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Detoxification is commonly thought of as a tool for drug addicts and alcoholics.  The nausea, pain and discomfort of acute detox is incredibly intense and can be a medical emergency, yet the essence of detoxifying reaches far beyond this picture.  In fact, it’s happening in your belly right now.  You’re detoxifying substances from everything you have eaten, drank, absorbed and inhaled from the recent past.

To detoxify is simply the process that occurs in the liver constantly, when substances are broken down and built-up in order to be eliminated from the body.  It is an essential part of our health in every moment.

Toxins in Our World

Bis-phenol A, heroine, phthalates, sodium laurel sulfate, alcohol, benzene, high fructose corn syrup and more are all routinely consumed toxins in any random American’s experience.  Recently, in Mayflower, Arkansas a pipeline carrying tar sands oil ruptured and spilled into the waterways.  This unintentionally exposed the town’s population of 2,000 people to at least 7 known toxins.

Meanwhile, many people are consciously ingesting illegal substances into their bodies routinely.  Plus those ingesting legal intoxicants, smoke-breaks, happy hours, drive-thru’s and much more.  Toxic exposure is happening to all of us, everyday whether consciously, or unconsciously.  This can create problems for the body on every level.

A toxin may be a normal product of cellular metabolism, a intermediary step in a pathway of something non-toxic being processed in the body, or something overtly damaging to the body from start to finish.  Whatever the method of origin, a toxin in the body disrupts normal organ function and causes cellular damage.  Fortunately, our bodies are well equipped for this process, when we are in an optimal state of health and when our exposure is reasonable.

However, our modern world is filled with substances that require nearly constant work to address.  Many are difficult for the body to process and are known as bio-accumulative, staying with us our entire lives.  Driving down the road, drinking tap water, cleaning house, cooking a meal: all of these simple daily activities can overwhelm our system with toxic substances over time, depending on our choices.

Toxicity and Our Health

The outcome of toxic exposures in the body are many.  Cellular damage leads to poor organ function which can lead to poor metabolism, fatigue, body aches, mind-fog, obesity, hormonal disturbances, auto-immunity, cancer, and the myriad of unexplained symptomatic patterns.  Toxic accumulation can play a role in every type of disease.  Generally, the symptoms develop slowly, over time and may be considered normal aging at first.

Enhancing normal detoxification in the body is something that can be achieved through numerous simple, daily life activities.  Based on the personal experience and individual imbalance, a formulation of specific tools can make a world of difference.  In general, detoxification practices should involve taking fewer substances into the body and encouraging normal elimination through the bowels, breath, skin and urine.

Adapting a toxin free lifestyle is an important step.  This may be unreasonable for some, especially when addiction stands in the way.  In today’s world with our current stress-level, global challenges and chemical exposures, it is important to fit tools into your daily routine that support detoxification.

Traditional Detox Tools Include:

–       Dry Skin Brushing: from Ayurvedic medicine,  brushing the skin with a course bristle brush from the tips of the extremities toward the heart daily supports longevity.  Aiding lymphatic circulation, toxins are circulated in order to be better eliminated.

–       Castor Oil Packs: popularized by Edgar Cayce, this routine abdominal self-massage is a fantastic way to aid digestion and liver health.

–       Contrast Hydrotherapy: many of the early European Eclectic Physicians devoted their careers to exploring the benefits of hot & cold therapies on the skin surface.  As an everyday tonic, alternating the heat of the shower with a brief burst of cold invirgorates vitality.

–       Sauna Therapy: inducing a high-temperature fever like state in the body through sauna’s is a tradition from cultures around the globe.  Ideal use includes the contrasting cold of a shower, cold-plunge or roll in the snow to draw the vital heat back into the body.

–       Fasting: reducing and altering dietary intake is a common thread through many traditions of medicine.  In addition to the rest it allows the body for spiritual pursuit, it also gives the body a great opportunity to detoxify.

At Stillwater, we offer tools for supporting longevity through detoxification.  Whether you’re facing addiction or illness we are here for you.  Our infrared sauna is the most efficient and most gentle tool for aiding the bodies release.  Addiction expert and therapist James Hart counsels people on making change.  Our Natural Living Store carries all the tools you need and as a Naturopathic Doctor, I have worked in both in-patient and out-patient detox programs and supported people on the journey to optimal health for over 10 years.

For optimal health, join us seasonally for a thorough approach to dietary cleansing and detoxification with professional support.  3-day, 7-day or 3-week options available!  For more information visit www. http://stillwaterhealingarts.com/seasonal-cleanse/.  Programs are based upon your unique needs, body-burdens, vitality and schedule.  Schedule your pre-cleanse consult today!

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I don’t remember how it started but several years ago my husband started a health kick and declared November as a sugar free month.  I love to support any ambition towards healthier routines and sugar is one substance we can all do without, or at least have a break from for a month at a time.

11 reasons to go sugar free (and I don’t mean changing to sugar replacements either!) –

  1. Break the addiction.  I once saw a bumper sticker that said, “Sugar, the Gateway Drug!”  I could not agree more.  It is our first experience with the dopamine surge that leaves us wondering how we felt that way and how can we get more.  Setting ourselves free from the habits that rule us is always a liberating experience.
  2. Lose weight.  Sugar consumption tends to increase compulsive eating and triggers a habitual response that result in people eating more and more.  Sugar is also incredibly calorie dense so we end up taking in far more energy than we’re able to use up.
  3. Stop the stinky gas!  Sugar feeds bacteria and yeast in the body that produce gases as they reproduce and grow in numbers in the gut.  What may be blamed on the dog can often be alleviated by cutting the sugar intake.
  4. Mood stabalization.  Not only does sugar affect our dopamine receptors, but it also triggers cortisol release in the body.  This results in an up and a down.  On top of that, blood sugar stability is very vulnerable to high concentrations of dietary sugars at once, particularly if they’re eaten on their own rather than with a big meal.  Sugar is then a triple whammy to the mood.
  5. Improve your energy.  The up and the down, the roller coaster ride of modern day life.  Depending upon stimulants to get through the day (sugar being a main culprit) results in a relative “over-ride” of your body’s natural energy system.  When a body has relied upon stimulants long term, it is likely that the adrenal system is no longer able to maintain a normal energy level without it.  Best way to prevent this is to keep stimulant us to a minimum, find routine, fun ways to reduce stress in your life and sleep when you’re tired rather than pushing through.
  6. Peace of mind.  Living free of habits, mood alteration, energy disruption and overgrown microflora results in a very pleasant peacefulness I highly recommend.
  7. Cancer prevention.  The first nutritional recommendation to cancer patients in integrative medicine is to cut out the sugar.  Sugar feeds cancer.  Cancer cells metabolize much faster than normal cells and require massive amounts of energy.  Sugar is their perfect medium.  Considering how long it often takes for a cancer to develop and be discovered, you can never begin prevention of cancer too early.  Start now, by not feeding it.
  8. Pain relief.  Sugar consumption increases the inflammatory response in the body.  The result of this in tissues that are already upset and painful is an increase in upsetness and pain.  In addition, many people have a sensitivity to sugar that will result in headaches, menstrual cramping or joint pain.
  9. Improve immune function.  In the same way that sugar feeds microbes in the digestive system, it is also going to feed the bacteria, virus and spirochetes that are involved in both acute and chronic infections.  In addition, sugar has a depressant effect on the white blood cell activity resulting in the body having a weaker immune response to illness.
  10. To set a good example.  It is clear that there are far more negatives than positives to sugar consumption.  Yet it is a huge part of most peoples daily lives.  So many of us have strong childhood associations to sugar.  Receiving sweets as a child was often the best reward.  By eliminating them from our diet, we can offer our children the opportunity to have a healthier start in life and hopefully not struggle with this one.
  11. To see what happens!  Give it a month.  You might even find you prefer it!

For a personalized nutritional assessment or if you’re challenged with blood sugar issues and experiencing severe cravings, I’m happy to help ease your struggle with natural medicine support.

~Dr. Hart

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It’s 2016, and unless you live in Oregon, Washington or Vermont, your insurance based healthcare is NOT going to keep you well.

As much as I cringe at the analogy of our bodies being like cars, people inevitably think of themselves that way all the time.  The squeeky wheel gets ignored until it’s a screaming or debilitating pain.

We pay for car insurance and know it’s going to be there when we crash (after paying our deductible).  But, we don’t expect car insurance to wash our windows, vacuum the interior, change the tires, the oil, the belts or even cover our annual tune-ups to see how things might be deteriorating within.

Health insurance is not much different in most states.  It will help out with emergency room visits, and sometimes cover basic screenings for life-threatening illnesses (PAPs, prostate exams and mammograms for cancer, bone density screenings for osteoporosis, etc…)  And it usually covers an annual exam to check for hypertension, monitor growth and BMI and provide medications that treat the symptoms.

Unfortunately, our current medical model misses out on how to keep people healthy.  While pharmaceutical medications are necessary in many circumstances, supporting health naturally so we don’t need them or improving health while we’re on them so we only need them short-term is ideal.  It’s no fault of modern Doctors, its the larger systems emphasis on drugs and surgery as the only medicinal tools.

Most of the current drug safety information is based on short-term controlled trials and the harm of utilizing medications is always acknowledged in their litany of side effects.  As research continues, we learn of previously unknown harmful effects from long-term or combined medication use. 

Fortunately, humans have been living a very long time and we have an immense history of health and vitality to learn from traditions around the world.  Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, Native American medicine, Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophical medicine, Western herbalism and the European Eclectic physicians are among my favorites.

With Naturopathic medicine, we are able to address the foundation of imbalances and improve our health over time from a truly integrated perspective.   It’s the journey of a lifetime, not a one stop shop!  With ancient systems, we learn what our bodies need, where are weaknesses are and how to improve ourselves day by day.  With modern science we get detailed information on changes and stats of organ function.  Naturopathic medicine is the most comprehensive medical training in holistic medical assessment from both perspectives.  For details on educational curriculum, check this comparison out:  Nat-Med-Ed-Comp-Curricula

At Stillwater, we want to support the community in their long-term health.  Trained as holistic primary care provider, naturopathic doctors work to not only address the current symptoms and diagnosis (working in conjunction with your other physicians, medications and insurance system) but to be your guide and ally in your health journey toward optimal vitality. We believe in making the best use of tools from all systems of healthcare and healing.  It’s 2016, shouldn’t we have it all?

At Stillwater Clinic, we have created a Membership program to provide people with an affordable addition to their routine healthcare costs.  Plans range from $35. per month to $300. depending upon the intensity of need for change.  These rates are significantly reduced from the fee’s of other medical specialists in our effort to make healthcare affordable and accessible to all.

Whether you’re passionate about maintaining the health you’ve got, you recognize your health is lacking by a sense of something’s not right or you have a serious diagnosis contact us to find out which package is right for you.

 

Stillwater Healing Arts 2016 membership plans include:

BASIC CARE – $35./month or $420./year ($580. value)

  • Annual integrative medicine health evaluation & treatment plan
  • 3 acute care appointments 
  • 6 spa visits (foot spa & sauna)

This package is intended for individuals who have good health, who wish to keep it that way with annual evaluations of what’s going on under the surface and some tune-ups along the way. For pediatric patients, spa visits can be utilized by parents!

INTERMEDIATE CARE – $65./month or $780./year ($1060. value)

  • Seasonal integrative medicine health evaluation & treatment plan
  • 3 acute care appointments
  • 6 spa visits (foot spa & sauna)

This package is intended for individuals who have mild symptoms and want to support the annual rhythm of their health with 4 quarterly Naturopathic and Chinese medicine evaluations and treatment plans. Ideal for individuals with low-grade or controlled health issues such as; allergies, headaches, intermittent digestive challenges, PMS, controlled autoimmune disease, cancer relapse prevention, and others.

TREATMENT FOCUSED PLAN – $140./month or $1680./year ($2360. value)

  • Annual integrative medicine health evaluation & treatment plan
  • Twice monthly treatment sessions (Acupuncture, Bodywork or Hydrotherapy)
  • Monthly spa visits with the foot spa and private sauna use.

This package is suited for individuals who may be in optimal health but utilize their bodies intensively and want to keep things tip-top, such as; athletes, performers, dancers, yoga instructors, builders, farmers and those who know the personal value of routine care. It also serves patients who have chronic health challenges that know what they need. For example, ADD/ADHD treatment, emotional health with 5-element acupuncture or chronic pain. This is also the package recommended for macular degeneration treatment.

COMPREHENSIVE HEALTHCARE PLAN – $175./month = $2100./year ($3060. value)

  • Monthly comprehensive integrative medicine appointments
  • Monthly spa visits – foot spa and private sauna use
  • 6 Additional acute illness or injury appointments

This package is suited towards individuals with uncontrolled health challenges who are in need of comprehensive evaluation and treatment. This commitment will be necessary for successful treatment of conditions such as; menopausal transition, adrenal fatigue, infertility, digestive disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, obesity, heart disease, diabetes. This package serves as the foundation for natural cancer treatment support, chronic infectious disease treatment and chronic degenerative conditions such as Parkinsons, MS, auto-immune disease and dementia. However, more support may be necessary depending upon diagnosis and evaluation.

INTENSIVE TRANSFORMATION – $300./month = $3600./year ($5520. value)

  • Monthly comprehensive integrative medicine visit
  • Weekly treatment sessions (Acupuncture, Bodywork or Hydrotherapy)
  • Twice monthly spa visits – foot spa and private sauna use

This package is designed to help individuals who are ready to make dramatic changes to their health. Ideal for those with undiagnosed medical conditions, at a place of significant life change, extreme symptomology, chronic pain or addiction. This program serves as the foundation of our holistic mental health & addiction program as well as our weight loss program.

All Programs Include:

  • 20% discount on additional appointments.
  • Email and phone support with our holistic Doctor.
  • Annual Membership – automatic payment required with 12 month contract.
  • We can customize any plan to meet your needs, budget, family and employee packages.
  • Member discounts for special events, classes and other programs as well.

Schedule today and we’ll get the right package created for you!

Questions?  Feedback?  Curiosity?  I’d love to hear from you!

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It is often said that the cancer is not what killed someone, but the treatment!  While western medical advances have proven to increase the odds of survival with most cancers, it is also true that the treatment tools are intensely taxing on the body.  Enduring cancer treatment to not only survive but also return to a high quality of life afterward is an important aspect of supporting the journey.

The purpose of cancer treatment is cellular destruction.  Killing the tumor, and only the tumor is the challenge scientists face when developing pharmaceutical chemotherapeutic agents.  The best of both worlds is to support the cancer destruction while simultaneously protecting and strengthening the rest of the system.

Interestingly, there are tools from the natural world that have an affinity for cancer cell destruction that may facilitate the targeting of the therapies.  The foundation of natural medicine is to assist the body’s return to balance and health.  Natural medicine products used with appropriate prescribing will facilitate the body’s innate wisdom to correct.  While pharmaceutical agents will force physiology in a particular direction, natural medicine tools have the potential to improve and assist physiology normalizing to a higher state of health.  Just as when the body receives adequate rest, hydration, nourishment and exercise, there is a greater ease to healing.  Natural medicine tools promote the body’s own capabilities.

Chinese herbal formulations have been utilized for thousands of years to encourage the specific balance of an individual’s health.  With the recognition of stagnation in a particular region of the body, these formulations can be directed toward that body region in order to assist the transformation.  Other formulations may be directed to improve detoxification, which reduces the negative side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.  The wisdom behind Chinese Herbalism is the specific knowledge of herbal dynamics and the matching of their effects on the balance of an individual’s organ activity.  This addresses the unique ways a cancer and other aspects of a disease are affecting an individual.

One of the body’s most powerful innate mechanisms for cellular repair is fever.  Through the immune system’s activity that increases body temperature, a variety of intricate steps unfold that can improve the overall state of health.  Heat shock proteins are activated by both extreme heat and extreme cold.  These components of physiology facilitate genetic transcription and facilitate the removal of errors in genetic coding.  There have been a variety of experiments done to demonstrate this effect on cancer with the most successful methods being promoted as hyperthermia.

Hyperthermia treatments range from sauna therapy, which increases the temperature of the whole body, focal treatments with applications of heat to the skin surface, intravenous administration of agents to activate the immune system and many more.  While the developments in this realm of medicine are slow to provide data on large numbers due to the limitation of financial support, it is broadly acknowledged that supporting the immune system is a key to cancer survival.

By the time a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, the internal system is already so compromised that it is indeed a health crisis.  Utilization of tools from all systems of medicine provides the best potential for the path to survival.  While there is great controversy around the use of antioxidant tools, circulatory support tools, and other natural medicines, the Cancer Treatment Centers of America continues to present a model of integration that works.  These hospitals across the US employ both Naturopathic Doctors and Medical Doctors to embrace the dynamic differences in approaches.  For any illness in the modern era, making use of the broad spectrum of medicinal tools provides great advantages and potential for cure.

For more information on cancer treatment support with Natural medicine and traditional medicine tools from many traditions around the world, visit Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic in Lyons.  In addition to individual support, we offer a Holistic Cancer Care Retreat weekend.  The upcoming Retreat is June 30th and July 1st.  Visit http://www.stillwaterhealingarts.com.

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You are not your diagnosis, you are an individual with unique needs and interests. While a disease may categorize a process happening within the body, there are many other processes to consider that may not fit into the typical disease pattern at all.

When an individual receives a cancer diagnosis, in most cases the process has been many years in the making. Cancer’s rarely form overnight unlike diseases resulting from trauma. The process of developing cancer may be different for everyone. For some the genetic factors have determined its existence. Others have had exposures to a variety of carcinogens that cause it to form. For other’s still lifestyle choices have everything to do with it. While it is shocking to the consciousness of the individual, the physiology within the body has been adapting to this for a very long time.

Curing cancer is more than tumor removal. Eliminating the mass from the body through the variety of cancer fighting treatments available prolongs and saves lives. However, the underlying factors that developed the cancer to begin with are not going to be addressed or changed by surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. These are more subtle factors of physiology that require a personal and holistic approach to understand.

Treatment for cancer has taken on a very different look from systems around the world. New technology aimed at supporting the immune system to recognize the cancer is popular in clinics in Germany. In a Switzerland hospital the recognition of the microbial aspect of cancer care is addressed. In Mexico, warming the body through a variety of means is utilized to simulate a fever and encourage immune correction of the cancers environment. Supporting the immune system, mircroflora and endocrine system has the potential to transform physiology permanently.

Just as with the immediate treatment, long-term treatment variation is also great. Examining what people take in on a daily basis is crucial. We all have foods that our mouths may love but our body’s despise. Chemicals in processed foods, cleaning products, furnishings and automobiles can all affect us differently. Recognizing authentically what our bodies thrive with and what impedes it can be a challenge to get beyond our mental associations to what should be good for us. Then making the lifestyle changes to a healthier routine brings us to confront the internal obstacles of our psyche.

In every case of cancer treatment, the Chinese Medicine foundation is to support the spleen. The spleen is an organ given little importance in western medicine and can be removed with minimal impact. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the spleen is responsible for the assimilation of what we take into our bodies to form our selves. It relates to the mind-body dynamic as the self-care routine and ability to nurture one self as well as others. The spleen is easily harmed by over-thinking and daily life stress accounting for what we know in western medicine as the dynamic of stress on cancer formation.

Enhancing the importance of self-care is often the jewel that cancer patients express discovering from the journey. It is all too easy to neglect one’s needs with all the other tasks on the to-do list. The ability to prioritize oneself can be a revelation that has taken a crisis to learn. Creating a daily life routine that supports the balance of personal needs and everything else is an important aspect to truly thriving.

Whether you have experienced cancer treatment yourself or have a strong family history of cancer formation, examining the unique causative factors for cancer development is an important part of prevention. Careful examination of cancer patients may result in a different explanation for every cancer patient’s needs and ultimately the cause of the disease.

For more information on holistic cancer care, contact Dr. Sara Hart, ND, MSOM, LAc at Stillwater Clinic in Lyons. We offer a Cancer Treatment Support Retreat to offer holistic healthcare tools to individuals on the journey of cancer care. The upcoming retreat weekend is June 30th through July 1st. Visit http://www.stillwaterhealingarts.com or call 303-823-WELL (9355) for details and registration.

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We have more mircro-organisms in our bodies than our own human cells.  This never ceases to amaze me!

As I move into my 2nd decade of working with patients, the importance of digestion on our overall health can not be overstated.  Many people who experience gas and bloating chalk it up to ‘beans the musical food’ and assume it’s commonality means normality.  What they don’t realize is that gas is the outcome of a festive event of creepy crawly yeast and bacteria who’s respiration results in our gas.  The more organisms are reproducing, the more gas we’ll experience.  The more gas we’re experiencing, the more inflammation and impaired nutrient assimilation we’ll experience.  The outcome of this can be any number of symptoms.  Some common experiences include:

  • migraine and tension headaches
  • acne and eczema
  • body pain including back & neck pain
  • mood dysregulation – irritability, depression
  • fatigue
  • abdominal pain
  • respiratory illness and frequent colds

Long term, organism overgrowth plays a part in many chronic diseases including; fibromyalgia, nutrient deficiencies, auto-immune diseases, cancers, atherosclerosis, chronic pain and many more.

Tending to our micro-flora is something that needs to be done on a routine basis.  In traditional cultures, organisms were consumed every day with produce fresh from the earth and foods preserved with culturing such as sauerkraut, kimchee and chutneys.

Today our foods are “cleaned” to the extend that their sterility impairs us.  Without a continuous source of microbes in our systems, we’re even more vulnerable to infectious organisms.  This in addition to our high sugar and processed food diets results in lots of organism parties, and lots of gas!

Adding beneficial microorganisms to the daily routine is the #1 most important thing you can do to create health in the digestive system as well as throughout the body.

May 22nd, Water Kefir Instruction and Distribution!

My all time favorite health routine is the brewing of water based kefir.  This amazing bubbly probiotic beverage is a great way to ensure adequate micro-flora as well as to address organism imbalance.

Join me at 5:30 for instructions and your own starter for a lifetime supply of digestive health.  I will have a variety of recipes to sample as well as information on why this is an essential addition to you and your families routine.

Stillwater Healing Arts Clinic, 304 Main St. Unit C, Lyons, CO 80540.

Call 303-823-9355 to register.  Space is limited, but this class will repeat when I have enough to share.Image

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Becoming Our Best:

Do you ever feel like that ideal sense of self got lost somewhere in the flurry of life?  After investing our time and energy in creating the life we thought we wanted, there is the all too common realization that we feel more out of balance than ever.  Often it is illness that reminds us we’re off track.  A diagnosis of chronic disease comes like a fire alarm, illuminating the needs we’ve neglected or didn’t notice at all.  Otherwise, it is that subtle notion that things could be better somehow.

Regardless of how we’ve arrived, there is a way to reconnect to the best in ourselves.  While it may not be accomplished in a weekend or our set vacation time, re-arranging our lives to support a greater sense of self is worth whatever exchange it may require.

Step #1. Prioritize

Life is filled with challenges and there is always something that could seem more important to do than taking care of our selves.  Not prioritizing self-care is the first way we sabotage ourselves.  This may be because of low self-worth, poor modeling as well as our cultural emphasis on productivity.  Pushing beyond this to make our needs the highest priority is the first and most important step.  Set aside time on the schedule every day, multiple times each day.  A moment here, 10 minutes there, 60 minutes two days per week, all adds up to a tremendous amount of energy to create a new way of being.  Spend six weeks with a new habit and you’ve established a new “normal” to your routine.

Step #2. Discover Your Needs

This may be the most difficult task.  Identifying our authentic emotional and physical needs can be very confusing because we adapt to fit into the world around us.  Emotional needs can be examined through a process of self-inquiry, meditation, prayer and counseling work.  Journaling is a fantastic process to begin with asking ourselves the questions of what we truly need to thrive, as well as to reflect back on what strategies we might have tried in the past.  Growth rarely happens along a straight line so as we learn and re-learn, keeping our own notes about the journey can help us identify when we’re slipping into patterns of self-sabotage.

Physical needs can be equally confusing.  For example, we crave certain foods but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily beneficial for us.  Generally, the foods we desire the most are the one’s that are least beneficial.  When we examine what foods we feel strongly about, they are very likely the foods that are triggering our immune system, resulting in an inflammatory response that causes the brain to experience a mild sense of euphoria.  Removing these foods from the diet is a good start to listening to the quieter voice of what our bodies truly require to feel vital.

Every body has basic needs; Proper nourishment in a calm environment, at least half our body weight in fluid ounces of clean water each day, adequate sleep starting before 10pm, daily exercise equal to the calories we take in.  In addition, some bodies need amino acid isolates for genetic weaknesses to be improved.  Others need neurotransmitter support to function normally.  These details can greatly support our experience of fulfillment in life.

Why we don’t allow ourselves these necessities is the interface for where our emotional needs and physical needs meet.  Why do we deprive ourselves?  Why do we get in our own way?  The first excuse is usually that we don’t have enough time.  Supporting health does not have to be complicated.  In fact, it can be far more simple than the life we currently know.  Identifying and getting our needs met is the most basic and imperative aspect to feeling whole.

Step #3.  Invest in the Journey

The more energy and attention we commit toward the pursuit of anything, the more it shows up in our lives.  A recent parent notices everywhere they look there are people around town with their infants, strollers, car seats, etc…  Not that people weren’t having babies before, it just wasn’t the focus until the energy and attention was put in that direction.  Taking on a new dietary focus and suddenly every headline or book cover that catches the eye supports that philosophy.  We are a trendy culture, but this goes beyond that.  We truly see what we want to see as well as what we expect.

Likewise, the more we invest in the fear of human imperfection, aggression, violence and failure the more we see that wherever we look.  While there is benefit in awareness, investing ourselves in the direction of growth we desire requires considering this on all levels.  It may require educating ourselves in a new paradigm, going to retreats or opening ourselves up to a whole new approach on living.

Step #4.  Go Gently in the Direction of Your Dreams

Establishing a goal allows us the possibility of imagining ourselves in a new circumstance.  This in and of itself can be a powerful gesture of change.  Our cells are continuously reproducing.  Our entire liver has died and recreated itself every 24 hours.  Our taste buds are a whole new set every 7 days.  Yet we don’t experience every flavor as if for the first time each week.  Our memory and self-image keeps the sameness in our lives.  Utilizing a conscious practice of shifting our self-image toward a more satisfied, whole and vital sense of self may allow for greater ease in our lives.

However, if we hold too high a standard for our own compliance, we are likely to fail and fall into another trap of self-sabotage.  Guilt and shame are powerful forces that affect our motivation and destroy our self-esteem.  Set a realistic expectation and allow for spontaneity in life as you find it fulfilling.

Step #5.  Recruit Supporters

Banish the nay-sayers and surround yourself with those who support your pursuit.  This may include establishing new social circles, setting new boundaries with family members and friends.  We have an amazing resource available to us today with the internet connecting us to others in a way never before possible.  Working together as a group enhances our own biochemistry, elevating serotonin creating a sense of well being and increased motivation.  Not only is group involvement inspiring, it also provides a sense of accountability to a process that otherwise is easy to slip out of.

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Pursuing a life of fulfillment and our best selves is what we all want and is something that may be much harder than we’d expect.  With this framework we can begin and support the continuous pursuit of wholeness.  At Stillwater Healing Arts clinic, we offer a wide array of resources to support the whole being.  Visit us online at www.stillwaterhealingarts.com to add to your holistic healthcare team.  Join us in May for a free 6 week Creative Writing group to explore the inner dialogue and work towards our best selves.

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