The Top Six Doctors for Health & Healing
My philosophy as a Naturopath is to Be Your Best Self Everyday. I live each day incorporating the same healthy lifestyle I recommend and prescribe for my patients. That doesn’t just include herbal medicine or other alternative therapies, but getting back in touch with ourselves, too. Mother nature has done an amazing job in terms of providing us with so many tools we can readily use to aid us in the healing process. Take a look at the six best doctors I always refer my patients to:
The sun is acts as an essential nutrient for us! It helps regulate melatonin production (the hormone that lets us know when it’s time to sleep) and is required for making vitamin D. When sunlight hits our skin, chemical reactions take place that allow our body to create this vitamin. Fun fact: vitamin D is actually a hormone produced by the kidneys that’s responsible for blood calcium concentration.
We can only get a small amount of vitamin D from foods and other sources. The rest requires the sun. Shockingly, nearly 1 billion people worldwide are deficient in vitamin D, which can lead to decreased bone density, fatigue and a depleted immune system. So get outside and soak up that sun!
Obviously, the summertime is the perfect opportunity to catch some rays. However getting 10-15 minutes of unblocked sun exposure each day throughout all seasons can do wonders for health and healing. Take a walk, spend some time earthing in the grass or even enjoy your coffee outside!
Up to 60% of our bodies are made of water, so the importance of it goes without saying. Nearly all of the bodily systems depend on water to function - it’s the molecule of life! Using the bathroom is one of the main ways our body is able to naturally release toxins. The more water you drink, the easier this will be.
Make sure to stay hydrated - I recommend consuming at least 100 ounces each day. Adding some electrolytes into your H2O is a perfect way to spice things up, while keeping you feeling great. The best way to supplement is to get either tablets or packets with no added sugars. Nuun works great (thank you Amazon Prime), as well as my favorite brand from Jigsaw Health. I recommend using ⅓ of the packet per water bottle, so your body’s receptors have ample time to absorb them.
The next time you have a beach day, take a break from laying out and jump in. The sea is rich in magnesium and other minerals, which our body requires for hundreds of different processes. Getting in the water allows your skin to draw in those minerals and promotes relaxation.
Sleep = life. It is one of the most restorative things we can do for our bodies, whether that be through taking a cat nap or getting deep sleep each night. When we sleep, vital processes take place that are necessary to live. Tissues are repaired, toxins are flushed from the brain, hormones are released and of course, our energy is renewed!
Make sure that your sleep quality is even better than your sleep quantity. Even if you are only able to get 6 hours of sleep each night, you know the drill - make sure your phone is on night mode to reduce blue light emissions, take a break from screens an hour before sleep and try to follow the same sleep routine every night. Supplementing with magnesium before bed promotes deep sleep through increasing the levels of GABA in your brain. That’s the neurotransmitter associated with rest and relaxation.
The lungs are an emunctory organ, or organ of elimination. Our lungs keep the pH of our systems in check through releasing carbon dioxide. This, in turn, keeps the body more alkaline rather than acidic. It is believed that disease cannot live in an alkaline body because regular somatic cells require oxygen and cancer cells, for example, do not. The deeper you inhale and exhale, the greater the amount of CO2 will be released.
Try to practice belly breathing for deeper breathes, improved posture and relaxation. Sit or lie down on the floor and place one hand on your chest and the other right above your belly button. Breathe deeply in through the nose and out through your mouth. Another practice I recommend is called square breathing. To do so, breathe in for 4 - 8 counts, hold it for 4 - 8 counts, breathe out for 4 - 8 counts and finally, hold the lungs empty for 4 - 8 counts. When you think about it, you might practice this method without even realizing! It’s excellent for anxiety.
It’s time to get your sweat on! Sweating can sometimes be a pain, but it’s crucial for eliminating toxic buildup. Movement keeps the lymphatic system flowing. This fluid and network of tissues is in charge of fighting off infection throughout the body. Contraction of the muscles helps to pump lymph even more. When the muscles put pressure on to the lymph nodes or lymphatic tissue, it causes contractions and keeps that fluid circulating.
Increasing your heart rate and breaking a sweat has amazing benefits, aside from keeping the lymphatic system healthy. Studies show how effective exercise can be for maintaining a healthy weight, boosting your mood and improving sleep quality, among many others. There is a huge variety of things to do. Find what works best for YOU, whether that be hiking, yoga, running, spin class or even taking a short walk in the middle of the day. Whatever you can incorporate into your schedule, stick to it and get moving!
Clean eating is essential for optimal health and wellness. Countless chronic diseases breed from the poor food habits and processed foods that are being consumed. Eating organic isn’t just a little more expensive, it has major benefits to it. Pesticides and herbicides have been linked to slowing down the mitochondria and hardening cell membranes. That means it makes it more difficult for our bodies to produce energy, making us feeling sluggish and worn down. Not to mention the extra work our liver has to put in to clean up all of the excess toxins.
Over the past decade, many studies have shown the intricate role our gut has in the way our body functions. Bottom line: the cleaner you eat, the happier your gut microbiome and lining will be. This is crucial for immunity and digestion. The microbiome contains trillions of bacteria and viruses our bodies need to stay healthy. Certain foods, prebiotic ones, like artichoke, garlic or onions, actually feed the bacteria and produce essential nutrients for them. Supplementing with a probiotic is beneficial, as well.
If you’re concerned about buying organic produce because of the expense, I have the perfect tip for you! The EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce is always a go-to. It lays out the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen, meaning which fruits and veggies test highest for these chemicals and which do not. The next time you’re at the store, have this on hand to help you make the choice.
Do yourself a favor and make an appointment with each of these practitioners - they aren’t hard to find! Using natural therapies and getting in touch with nature allows us to regain the deepest connection within ourselves that can sometimes get lost along the way. Get back on track and Be Your Best Self Everyday!