Go Beyond Food.
I believe I’ve said it here before… I’m a firm believer in Hippocrates’ adage,
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
I also believe what Ann Wigmore had to say,
The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.
That being said, we live in a modern society where we are subjecting ourselves and our foods to incredible amounts of “unnatural” matter (pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, etc.). I do believe that as careful consumers (both in terms of how we buy and eat) REAL food can still be an incredible tool for healing!!! It certainly has been for my clients and me!
You may have even heard of the “miraculous” situations in which someone has changed their diet and experienced drastic healing and reversal of symptoms! Yes, food has the power to make these changes for us, BUT for MANY it’s simply not enough. I know I for one, early in my healing journey, was disappointed when food alone was not making the improvements to my health I had hoped for.
I feel that we sometimes get so caught up in the diet aspects of our lives and healing journeys that we too often forget, or put too little focus on, the MANY, MANY other areas that are SOOO necessary for our health and healing. Additionally, given the level of toxins we now face on a daily basis, and the level of nutrient depletion in our soils, I don’t believe food is usually enough to be our only “medicine.” Furthermore, I think we can get so into doing things “naturally,” we sometimes forget that occasionally modern times call for more modern approaches. We don’t want to place shame or guilt when a more conventional approach is needed. There is a time and place for the scientific advances of our modern society for sure!
As I’ve talked about in previous posts (My Health Story – Parts 1 and 2) and above, eating the proper foods for me has been critical to my health and healing. I am a firm believer that the “landscapes” (bacteria types and amounts, genetic expressions, etc.) of our bodies change over time and often our nutritional needs will too, at least to some degree. That has definitely been the case for me and many others I know and have helped over the years.
Yet, no matter how critical the food piece has been, and continues to be, to my healing, so, so many other pieces have been too. In nature, nothing happens in isolation. Such is also true of health and healing, or illness and disease. This has been incredibly evident to me in how my health rapidly declined in 2012 (as a result of so many factors) and has improved over time, also as the result of many approaches. If you’ve been concentrating almost exclusively on your diet for quite some time now without seeing any of the results you desire, or very little change, it’s absolutely time to consider other aspects of health. Even if you HAVE seen pretty drastic change by heavily focusing on your diet, I’d suggest now is the time to start expanding your approach to health as well!
In nature, nothing happens in isolation. Such is also true of health and healing, or illness and disease.
Of course, often we need other “medical” interventions- whether they are conventional or alternative. Proper testing, supplementation, natural or pharmaceutical treatments, counseling or therapy, modalities such as massage, acupuncture, or other body work, etc. may all be aspects of care that move us forward in our health. However, again, there are so many other facets of our health that we can address all on our own right from the comfort of our home or local communities, often for FREE!
What are some of the other facets of health and healing we may consider?
- Movement, activity, exercise
- Fun, joy, laughter
- Creative outlets
- Social activities, cultivation of relationships
- Play, leisure activities
- Getting outside your comfort zone
- Spiritual practices – prayer, services
- Self-care activities
- Stress management – breath work, meditation, mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques
- Mindset shifts
- Sharing and choosing love
- Following your intuition
- Gratitude practice
Some of my biggest advances have come in making mindset shifts, practicing gratitude, and learning to listen to my body. Understanding when to say yes and when to say no (when to push past challenging limits and when to rest) has been critical for me and something to which I have to remain very attentive. For some reason this makes me think of the Kenny Roger’s song…
You've got to know when to hold 'em, Know when to fold 'em. Know when to walk away; And know when to run.
Yes- this was before my time, but you gotta appreciate the classics, right?
I’ve gotten better about knowing when it’s time to release my concerns and stop the googling and research. Who feels me on this one?? It’s been important to consistently remind myself that I am not victim to illness and am not broken. My body is whole and is working hard for me each and every day!
In my particular case, I also have to really encourage myself to get creative with leisure activities and cultivation of relationships. Furthermore, I tend to have an almost constant desire to “check stuff off the list,” so I have to remember to slow down and enjoy the process, while also making time for less structured, fun activities.
When I started to put these pieces (and more, of course) together with my focus on real food nutrition, bigger changes in my health began to occur, and I became happier, learning to “love” the process rather than fight my way through it. Ahhhh, what a sigh of relief!
One more thing I will add here…If you have been focusing primarily on dialing in a healthy diet and haven’t yet spent much time in other areas of health and healing, please don’t beat yourself up over that. On the other hand, maybe you’ve focused only on some of these other things and haven’t addressed your diet yet. Kindly and compassionately determine what feels like the next best step for you. It’s quite possible that the best thing you could have done was focus on just one thing at first, and maybe now you only add one more thing at a time. Stressing over what you haven’t done or what you feel like you “should” be doing, will only be a detriment to you. So, take your time. Listen to your body and figure out what speaks to you. Where is your intuition leading you on your health journey?
Have you been primarily focused on diet and neglecting other areas of your health journey? Do you need accountability and guidance for broadening your healing approach? I absolutely love assisting people with a thorough approach to health and healing! You can learn more here about working with me. If you have been focusing on several areas of health and healing, which areas have been incredibly helpful for you?