This article was originally published in the Spring issue of Living Here.
I can honestly say I’m an expert in Revitalization, not only because I’ve spent 2 decades teaching clients non-invasive holistic methods to recover their health and vitality, but because I’ve successfully reclaimed my own vitality after going through breast cancer and chemo. I feel great – and I want you to, too.
Here are my top 3 tips to bring more vitality into your life, in 5 areas of well-being:
How to Revitalize Your…
- Hydrate: Increase water and herbal teas. Limit caffeine, avoid drinks with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Drink half your weight in ounces each day. If it goes right through you, you are NOT hydrating. It should go into your cells not right to your bladder.
- Need fast, dramatic skin revitalization? I recommend a natural detox mask and an infrared sauna, and offer both in my office. These can be used on a regular basis or as a last minute “skin rejuvenation” for special events. BOOM!
- Cellulite? It’s warming up, and who wants bare skin with dimpled fat? A whole body vibration plate has been shown in studies to help. Also called acceleration training, NASA-style whole body vibration was originally developed to address astronauts’ loss of muscle and bone in space. I got one for my Zen Vitality Room after going through loss of both, post-chemo. It vibrates at 30 pulses per second, stimulating lymphatic flow and detoxification while rebuilding muscle and bone. It also stimulates anti-aging Human Growth Hormone. Eliminating cellulite is a spectacular added benefit. Other studies show it helps with fibromyalgia.
- Bone Broth: If you read last month’s Holistic Outlook column, you know bone broth repairs digestive issues of all sorts. Missed it, or want the recipe? Just click.
- Food sensitivities are often the root cause of bloating, gas, heartburn and reflux, constipation and diarrhea, and many other digestive problems. Primary suspects: gluten, dairy, and soy. Eliminate them 100% for 3 weeks to see if you experience improvement.
- Avoid snacks after dinner. Instead, sip herbal tea. Want it sweet? Add stevia or xylitol. Don’t load your digestive system in the 3 hours before bed.
- We are designed to sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light. We do otherwise thanks to the relatively recent invention of electricity. Keep your bedroom black-out dark to improve sleep quality. No LEDs, no night lights, nothing coming through the windows. Your pineal gland (it produces melatonin) will thank you.
- We are all addicted to our screens, but try to separate at least 45 minutes before bed. The blue light disrupts normal sleep patterns.
- Coffee’s caffeine circulates in the system for 8-12 hours, so an afternoon java definitely impacts your sleep. Limit coffee to morning. Tea has less caffeine, and a gentler slope for both uptake and decrease.
What distinguishes youth from age? Having zip, zest, vitality, that twinkle in your eye… in other words, your hormones. You might be surprised how much you can re-balance hormones naturally at any age. I see it every day in my practice, and benefit from it myself, at the age of 62!
Stress hormones always trump other hormones. They’re meant to, to help us survive. They don’t distinguish between a saber tooth tiger, getting stuck in traffic, and planning a wedding. Hormonally, stress is stress.
When stress is constant, we age, break down, gain weight, lose sleep. What helps?
- Nutrition: eat 3 meals a day. Eat more real food, less processed and refined food. What you eat is information for your hormones and your metabolism.
- Meditation has been consistently in research to improve stress response (and help with insomnia).
- My two favorite supplements for stress management are Phosphatidyl Serine and PharmaGABA. Phosphatidyl Serine helps modulate cortisol, the primary stress hormone, and helps optimize and protect the brain. PharmaGABA is a natural form of neurotransmitter GABA. It helps quiet excitatory neurotransmitters, creating a sense of calm and physical relaxation without sedation. Both are available in my office. Note: please do not get GABA unless it specifically says PharmaGaba, which is the “bio-identical” form. The synthetic form, in my experience, does not provide the same benefits. (If you get a chewable, make sure you are getting at least 200mg and not a lot of sugar!)
True health means bounding out of bed ready to take on the day, maintaining steady energy and focus until you’re closing in on bed time. Turn to caffeine and carbs to get you through? Read on…
- Adaptogens are herbs that buffer the effects of stress on organs. They help maintain homeostasis, and the same herb can boost energy in the morning and support sound sleep at night. Two of the best known adaptogenic herbs are ashwaganda and rhodioloa.
- Tired after eating and have energy slumps during the day? Please don’t turn to sugar and caffeine. Those quickly boomerang you back to the doldrums. Instead, try increasing protein and healthy fats, and consider eliminating grains, or at least gluten (the protein in wheat, oats, spelt, rye and barley).
- Move. Have you heard the phrase “Sitting is the new smoking”? You are better off getting up and stretching a few minutes every hour than sitting all day with an occasional long workout. Interrupt your day with movement and you will be healthier, and more productive too. Want to know my very favorite exercise program? You need only 15 minutes 3 times a week, no equipment, hardly any space, and it’s inexpensive. It’s functional fitness, using your own body weight, dumbbells or bands – your choice. It works. It will grow with your strength and endurance. (Ignore the cheesy sales page, and just get the program. Trust me on this. You will be glad you did.) Buy it here.
We are incredibly resilient, we humans. Wherever you’re starting from, whatever you’ve been through, much more is possible than you probably realize.
Here’s to a revitalized Spring for us all!