Thinking about Thanksgiving prompted me to write this blog. I saved it to my computer, planning to post it online as soon as I got a chance. Then coincidentally I heard a radio interview with psychologist Robert Emmons, author of a book called Thanks. Emmons has spent years studying positive psychology, and in the interview he pointed out that gratitude is more than a tool for self-improvement. “Gratitude is a way of life,” he said, noting how being grateful can improve your health physically as well as mentally.
My husband’s shoulder started hurting him a few months ago. At first it would come and go. Then it started aching and burning at night, so much that he couldn’t sleep on his side. I suggested lots of exercises to help strengthen his shoulder (which, to my dismay, he did not practice), and he regularly used his Yoga Tune Up® Balls for self-massage, but he was still in pain.
I am proud to say that I recently had my first colonoscopy. Although I’m 43 – and thus, seven years away from the age when colonoscopies are first recommended – there is a history of rogue colon cells in my family. And, my college roommate was recently diagnosed and underwent treatment for stage-2 colon cancer. I felt like I had gotten enough hints from the universe that it was time for me to follow the advice of my mother’s doctors and come in to get a baseline for colon health.
About two years ago I started the process of cleaning up what I was putting on my body, not just in it. Your skin is your largest organ; everything that goes on it ends up in you; so anything that was going on my skin was subjected to intense scrutiny. Sixteen months ago I finally ditched my face wash, and started using the Oil Cleanse Method.
There might be something wrong with your inner tube, and it could be making you sick and overweight. You may not even realize you have a problem … But if you have health concerns of any kind, or you are overweight, your inner tube could be the root cause. Of course, I’m not talking about a beach toy. I mean the inner tube of life — your digestive system.
Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month may be over, but I’m still thinking a whole lot about hearts. Around the time others were opening up heart-shaped boxes and eating heart-shaped chocolates, my husband’s heart was being examined and analyzed by a team of heart specialists.
Few things outrage me more than bad posture. I get really bent out of shape when I see people who are literally bent out of shape. It is so simple to improve your posture, and it is totally free and requires no gym membership.
Here are some Don’ts:
1. Don’t lean into one hip and cock it off to one side.
2. Don’t slump your spine like a willow tree.
3. Don’t emulate the posture of Paris Hilton.
Here are some Do’s:
1. Stand up straight.
2. Point your toes forward.
3. Have some respect for your own structure.
Okay, good, glad I got that off my chest.
What you put at the end of your fork is more powerful medicine than anything you will find at the bottom of a pill bottle.
Food is the most powerful medicine available to heal chronic disease, which will account for more than 50 million deaths and cost the global economy $47 trillion by 2030. All you need to do is eat your medicine and think of your grocery store as your pharmacy.
Recently, I went to Asia to lecture on prevention, wellness, health, nutrition and the new field of nutrigenomics, the science of how molecules in food interact with our genes to support or interfere with our health. I came away feeling humbled and awed as I realized that the average Chinese person knows more about the medicinal properties of food than I do after years of research. Medicinal foods are part of their everyday diet, and I learned more from matter-of-fact discussions about the healing properties of food I shared with my Chinese hosts than from my hours researching medical journals.
Do vitamins kill people?
How many people have died from taking vitamins?
Should you stop your vitamins?
It depends. To be exact, it depends on the quality of the science, and the very nature of scientific research. It is very hard to know things exactly through science. The waste bin of science is full of fallen heroes like Premarin, Vioxx and Avandia (which alone was responsible for 47,000 excess cardiac deaths since it was introduced in 1999).
That brings us to the latest apparent casualty: vitamins. The recent media hype around vitamins is a classic case of drawing the wrong conclusions from good science.
This month I am reminded of the courage it takes to continue to open our hearts in faith, even when we have been pained by loss or heartbreak. There is nothing more heartbreaking than being faced with the inevitable: our mortality, and the remembrance that life is impermanent. This is a reality we deal with each day, and yet the desire to live must carry within it a gratitude of remembering or the faith of forgetting.