Know your body

   I often hear people say : "I know my body" or "My body is telling me...." I am actually one of those people. And there is nothing wrong with that. If we could all listen to our bodies and follow their direction life will be a lot easier. Unfortunately, a lot of us have developed selective hearing when it comes to our bodies. Some don't even speak the same language. Throughout all the research, and expanding my herbal knowledge, a miracle happened. My body and I started communicating in a way that made me understand. It turns out the different parts of our bodies are like words in a sentence. Together they make perfect sense, create beauty and wisdom. Taken out of context they can be interpreted as anything our imagination can possibly think of. Have you ever tried to diagnose yourself based on one of those website symptom generators where you enter your symptoms and it tells you what you might have? Talk about bringing an extra level of stress!
  As an herbalist one of my most important lessons was to look at the body as a whole. Don't cure the symptoms, heal the whole body. It's sort of a mantra you have to remember. There is another part of this that we must remember, which is sort of the break down of the whole body approach: assimilation, utilization and elimination. I know it sounds complicated but it is actually very simple:
  1.  Assimilation - what do you put in your body? The the first and most important thing is the quality of nourishment we provide for our bodies.Our bodies are part of Nature and only natural things nourish them properly. Do not get caught in the madness of it's made from ... so it is the same as.... Ask how exactly is it made ? If the process has a complicated name and you can't reproduce it in your own home don't eat it. For example to eat lettuce you need seeds, some soil, water and patience. Just pick it when it's grown , wash and eat. Can you make margarine or Splenda at home? So next time you go to the grocery store try to buy foods closest to their original state. Your body will thank you , since this is what it has been asking you for all along. Think of it like this- eating natural foods will bring your body to its natural state of health and well being.
  2. Utilization - does your body absorb the nourishment that you give it? If you eat anything that comes in a package with months of shelf life, the answer is probably NO. Every toxic, unnatural thing we put in our bodies affects our ability to process our food and extract the nutrients that we need. It was quite a shock for me to learn how little it takes to disturb the balance in our bodies. I am a home made kind of girl and I love cooking for my boys. We do buy organic when we can. We eat clean meats and avoid artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup and artificial coloring like the plague. We stock our fridge with tons of veggies and fruit. So imagine my surprise when I was diagnosed with H.pylori and an overly acidic body environment. Then I sat down and took account of all the foods that we eat that I don't prepare at home. It turns out little shortcuts cost us a lot more than we think, and also, organic does not equal healthy. A lot of prepackaged organic foods are still highly processed. Take agave syrup for example, it is as processed as white sugar. You don't have to eat complete "junk" to cause damage to your body. Do not be caught in every new miracle health ingredient that gets on the news. It is often just a marketing trick.   My first step towards healing was to heal my gut. I had to take antibiotics for the H.pylori and I admit that it was something I dreaded but had to be done. In order to avoid side effects of the antibiotic I tried to introduce more probiotics in my diet - fermented foods, home made yogurt and lacto- fermented drinks. It takes a while to reverse any damage done to our bodies. Remember that a healing journey is like crossing the country in a horse carriage and not a plane. It takes a long time but the knowledge you pick up along the way is priceless.
  3. Elimination - This is somewhat of a taboo topic and I personally think that is a big problem. How many times have you seen people cringe when they hear the words "bowel movement", or "discharge", or "mucus"? Elimination is the key to a healthy body. I am not going to talk about bowel movements either. I think that everyone that has taken the path of natural healing is aware of the benefits of "regular" bowel movements and proper digestion. I do support cleansing the body as part of the healing process. It is only through a good cleanse that the body can eliminate the toxins embedded in our tissues. A cleanse is like a spring cleaning for the body. And don't forget that the skin is our biggest organ and it also is a path of elimination. It takes about 30 seconds for anything you put on your skin to be absorbed in your bloodstream. A lot of people think about what they put in their bodies and often forget that what we put on our bodies is as important. There is a number of wonderful and fragrant oils you can use to heal and nourish your body from the outside. Use dry skin brushing and self massaging techniques to help your body eliminate any toxins and heal. 
Those are just the first three steps on the path to understanding our bodies. Each of us is unique and we speak an unique language. We need different nutrients, different stages of cleansing, and different stages of healing. Just remember to listen and pay attention. We are made to be healthy, it is our natural state. We are humans and we often forget that we are a part of nature as well. Turn to the Earth and she will provide you everything you need to be strong and healthy.