There’s a lot of things that your doctor can’t teach you during your 15 minutes together.
One lesson that I never had with my gastroenterologist is this: you body is a dynamic system.
Not static. Not stagnant. Dynamic.
It’s meant to be moving, always. Breathing, in and out. Blood pumping. Lymphatic fluid circulating.
Food being digested and moved into the bloodstream.
Blood moving oxygen and nutrients into cells.
Waste being whisked away.
That movement helps our bodies function. If the movement slows, or breaks down, there will be consequences to the rest of our bodies.
Instead of staying stagnant ourselves, making our bodies work harder to pump blood and lymph and everything else around, we can help out. Here are a few ways to do that:
1. Exercise (duh)
This is a complete no-brainer. We all know that exercise is good for us. When you’re super-sick, it doesn’t even have to be hard exercise–get up and move a little. At my worst, I would stand up and walk a few times around the house.
So get up, take a walk or do some yoga or bounce on a trampoline or whatever you want to do.
2. Contrast showers
These are simple in theory, but less-than-fun in practice. Start your shower with hot water, then blast yourself with cold water for at least 30 seconds. It’ll get your blood zinging to the surface of your skin in no time.
I end every shower with a cold rinse (plus a compulsive dance with a chant that goes something like “ooh cold cold cold”). It’s a great way to convince my body that it’s time to wake up and start the day.
Bonus points if you alternate between hot and could for a few cycles.
This one is similar to the cold showers, just for your feet. In a nutshell, you soak your feet in warm water, then dry them off and put on cold, wet socks, plus wool socks on top. Hop into bed and sleep like a baby.
Yes, it sounds disgusting. But here’s the thing: you can’t feel the wet socks. The warm/cold contrast boosts circulation, drawing blood away from your brain. You feel sleepy immediately, and I’ve always slept really well when I do this treatment.
The downside is there’s some prep involved. It’s easy if you have a bathtub…which I don’t.
4. Castor oil
Rub some onto your belly before you go to sleep at night. Done!
Oh–and wear a tee shirt that you don’t mind getting greasy. By morning, your skin will have absorb the oil and there will be better flow of lymph throughout your body.
FYI: I am not a doctor, or an oracle, or your own brain. This post is intended to let you know about what’s out there…not to diagnose or treat illness. Don’t be an idiot, but do make your own decisions about your health. If you’re unsure about how something will affect you, consult your doctor.