Vibrant health starts with great digestionWhat are some of the ways you approach your digestive health? There is no right or wrong way to take care of yourself. Feeling good is the key indicator, that what you are doing, is working. If you are not feeling well, there maybe some things to consider. When I reached my mid 40's I started to experience symptoms of poor digestion and chronic discomfort after eating. It took me awhile to accept that I had to make some changes, but I really had no choice. I truly wanted to feel better. I made adjustments that included essential oils, foods, and lifestyle habits to increase my vitality and improve my digestion.
HydrationAre you drinking enough water? Did you know if you drink a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal it will inhibit the dilution of digestive enzymes in your stomach, resulting in better digestion? If you pour your water back and forth a few times from one glass to another, just before you drink it, it oxygenates the water. Not only does it taste better, it's better for you.
Pro-bioticsDo you know about probiotics? They come in many forms. They are the equivalent of fertilizer for your gut. Probiotics re-populate healthy bacteria and help the body create digestive enzymes. This will help your body fight infections, digest foods, and build the immune system. Our digestive system is our internal garden. Plants need optimal conditions to grow and to provide the best nutrients for themselves and for us. Give yourself plenty of water, feed yourself healthy nutritious things, and breathe in fresh air with sunlight. A vibrant glow will eminate from the inside out, in the way you feel, the look of your skin, and the relationship you have to your resources. Check out these probiotics.
- Bio-K (this is my anti-biotic, it really helps when I am needing a boost) in the refrigerated section of health food stores.
- Probiotic Capsules best in the refrigerated section of your local health food stores. Try to get probiotics without palm oil.
- Fermented foods- sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, raw cheese, miso, tempeh, kefir, pickles, kombucha.
- There are other foods that can be fermented.
ExerciseGet your body moving. Daily exercise will create better circulation, bring down inflammation, and help elimination.
Are you sleeping? If you can't get the rest you need due to an overactive brain, hormones, or medications. Try meditation.
Being outside is a great place to meditate or in the most tranquil environment that you create. Implement a daily practice starting with 10 minutes of quiet relaxation and breathing. Give yourself this time to replenish with a glass of water or herbal tea. Then just sit quietly or lie down on your back fully surrendered to the earth. If the quiet is too much for you, try some classical music or a guided meditation. Youtube is great for finding different genres of relaxation techniques. The body knows how to function and if you continue to give it the opportunity to respond, it will. There is no reason to feel guilt if you can not do a daily practice, just do your best, but make no excuses. Once you create the space to do this, you will be amazed at how time becomes your friend.
We all know about the word "diet". Often times the mention of this word can elicit all kinds of reactions. My reaction to food is "YAY!" I love food. I am not a perfect eater- whatever that means- however I believe FOOD IS MEDICINE. I have suffered serious gallbladder attacks from gallstones. I thought I was going to get my gallbladder removed to alleviate this aggravating pain that had been plaguing me for over a year. I had met with the surgeon and made the appointment, but my intuition kept telling me not to go through with it. That was in 2013. During that time I had really high stress levels and food was my only source of pleasure but it was ultimately giving me more pain. I was stuck. I went to a holistic doctor who put me on a liver/gallbladder cleanse and gave me a specific course of action with my food for about a month. My life changed. I now have the tools to better manage my health. I know what works for my body and what does not. Serious medical conditions should always be diagnosed by your physician and not taken lightly. Some situations call for immediate action while others can be tended over time. Not all doctors make the nutrition link to chronic or acute conditions, but many of them are starting to see the relationship. I enjoy organic foods - and I limit my sugar and caffeine intake. Nutrients are most available to our bodies and digested a lot easier when they are grown in healthy soil and prepared fresh. I don't eat fast food or processed foods. I value my health and well-being.
Stress levelsHow do you feel? Are you taking care of YOU? Keeping your stress levels down will significantly enable you to implement healthy habits. Stress is often related to feelings of being overwhelmed, out of control, not supported, or not nurtured. We can make a difference by taking five minutes a day to bring attention to the areas in which we have control in our lives. Choose to slowly make those changes.
What are some of the ways aromatherapy can be used to help digestion?
Put a few drops of essential oils in a carrier (jojoba, almond, olive, or grapeseed oil) and rub on the bottoms of the feet and on the stomach in a clockwise direction. I prefer essential oils of peppermint, ginger, fennel, or spearmint. Diffusing essential oils can also aid in the emotional states that accompany discomfort. I love to diffuse juniper and rose together or cedarwood and orange. Citrus oils are uplifting to the senses and the woody oils are grounding.
Aromatherapy is complimentary to acupressure, reflexology, massage, and energetic/chakra healing. This diagram illustrates specific points for the digestive system. Place a drop of diluted essential oil on the point and apply pressure to activate these organ related energy channels.
Get acquainted with the anatomy of the digestive system.