Thursday, July 22, 2010

Take Daily for Health and Longevity

As a naturopathic doctor, I give A LOT of different types of advice to people on how to get healthy. Much of that advice is individual or tailored to the specific needs of the person sitting in front of me. In fact, I feel individualized treatment plans are a key part of my approach. I don't just see a person with "health condition A" and give them "treatment A". Very few "protocols" are used in my office. The primary goal is always to identify and treat the underlying issues which result in the symptoms each patient has. In other words, what is crucial for one patient, may be useless for another. It all depends on what's going on.

That all being said, there are also certain basic health tips I give to just about every single patient. I have chosen these health tips because, unlike the specific treatments I recommend to work on individual need, these tips will help EVERYONE.

Anyway, instead of just sharing them with each new patient I see, I figured why not share them with everyone I can?!

Take Daily for Health and Longevity:
  • Skin to Skin Contact with the Earth: Based on the information and research I have read in the new book "Earthing, the Most Important Health Discovery Ever?" I now consider "Earthing" to be the most simple, fundamental and crucial daily health tip of all. It is so easy to do, and yet so powerful and so potentially beneficial it's almost hard to believe. There is NO REASON why everyone of you cannot start "Earthing" today! In addition, optimal effects will be achieved by adding one or more grounding products from
  • Real Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants and Meats: This is a modified version of the simple advice Michael Pollan came up with after researching for his book, "In Defense of Food". Being a big fan of paleo eating, I couldn't help myself but to add a little meat! Anyway, the statement pretty much speaks for itself. No reading between the lines here. Stay away from all processed, packaged, chemical-laden foods. Eat each meal until you're about 80% full and stop there. Base your menu plans around a variety of richly colored organic veggies and different types of pastured, anti-biotic and hormone free animal foods and don't eat much of much else. You won't regret it! There are a variety of books on the right side of this page that can go a long way in helping you accomplish these goals.
  • Pure Water til Your Pee is Light Yellow: Everyone seems to have their own idea about how much water you can drink. 8 cups a day. Half your body weight in ounces. Only drink when you're thirsty. So on and so forth. I honestly don't know if any of these are right and I don't believe there's ever been any hard research done to prove me wrong. Because of this I decided to come up with my own set of advice on fluid intake. I don't think any research has ever been done on this advice either, but it makes the most sense to me. I think, depending on a variety of factors, especially activity level and diet, that your body's water needs can vary widely. So I had to come up with some advice that took this into account. After all, drinking too much water isn't good for you either! Give this a try and see how you feel.
  • Vigorous Physical Activity: Everyone and their mother knows by now that exercise is important. Most people still don't quite get just how important it is, and almost no one I talk to understands that some types of exercise may be much more beneficial than others. This subject could be an entire blog posting on its own, so instead of rambling on, I'll simply direct you to Mark Sisson's book at the top right corner of this page for more info. After years of research I feel this book, Primal Blueprint, gives the single best set of advice on exercise for health that I have ever come across. If you couple that with his equally excellent advice on diet and other healthy lifestyle tips, I feel Mr. Sisson has created the best overall book on health I have come across yet. This book, along with "Earthing" are the two most important health advice books available to date.
  • Regular Outdoor Exposure in Nature: GO OUTSIDE. OFTEN. 'Nuff said.
  • Quality Sleep and Frequent Rest: Unfortunately, this one is much easier said than done. Nonetheless, I would rank it up there just under Earthing, in terms of importance. (as I write this at 5:30am instead of, you guessed it, sleeping!) If this is a challenging area for you, you should know there is a wide variety of advice available out there on how to get a good night's sleep. Of course the most obvious advice (read- "Go to Bed!") is also probably the most difficult for most of us, especially parents, to follow. However, if you are having real problems in this area, you need the help of a health professional. If that is the case, I nominate myself. Why not? It's my blog.
  • Positive Social Interactions: This is another important bit of advice that could take a number of different forms, depending on the person. Honestly, most anything will do, as long as it's not directly harmful to you or anyone else. The biggest problem I see in this category is that people just get stuck in their day to day life and don't go out and have some fun! What's the best social activity I can think of? Go to a park with your friends or family, run around barefoot on the grass playing some game or another that makes you all laugh and breath hard, drink some water, eat an organic salad with chicken on it, then take a nap. There's this whole list in about an hour. Wow. Was that easy or what??
  • Play, Laughter and Good Humor: Have you ever heard about how it takes way more muscles to frown than it does to smile? I always loved that bit of trivia. Well, if you're this lame-o, you can take time out of your precious day to disprove the theory, or you can just go with it! Smiling and laughter will make you live longer. No ifs, ands or butts about it (snicker, I just said butt).
  • Meaningful Participation in Your Community: And last but not least, what good is living longer if you are not helping out the rest of this world? We are all in it together here, and without all of us doing our part to help each other and this planet out, we will just not make it much longer. The signs are everywhere. (Whew man, I just stopped smiling). Sorry it needs to be said. So start small if you aren't doing do so already. You know, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". Then go from there. Volunteer. Coach a Little League team. Open the door for someone. Plant a tree. Pick up the garbage you see on the ground and throw it away. Choose a job that makes you feel like you are making a difference. You won't regret it and neither will I.