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It was 6 a.m. and the marmalade hue of the rising sun greeted us through the glass slider.
The white noise of commuter traffic hummed in the distance.
Graveyard shifts were the norm for me after my son had been diagnosed with severe eczema at five months old. He could only hold onto 20 minutes of sleep at a time. He would itch himself into a bloody frenzy, and it was torture to witness his discomfort.
I lie awake at night in the dark, clenching my iPhone, hoping to stumble upon the miracle solution. The prescriptions from our pediatrician during our seven-minute appointments were not going to uncover the root cause of his illness.
“The total number of prescriptions filled by all Americans, including adults and children, has increased by 85 percent over two decades…” ~ Consumer Reports, 2017
Our health care system is all about the quick fix.
Pharmaceutical advertisements have hidden messages embedded in each commercial that say, “Don’t inconvenience your friends and loved ones with your illness. Just take this pill to mask those symptoms, and go on with your day.” We have been conditioned to think that slow healing is not an effective option in modern America.
As I gazed down at my infant, who was covered in a rash, I questioned our certainty of success. The only forces driving us were trusting the natural order of healing and our fear of toxic drugs. We went the alternative route with conviction and didn’t look back.
Here are six golden tips for healing naturally in a fast-paced world.
1. Decrease your toxic load by going natural.
We live in a country laden with toxic chemicals. We slather them on our bodies, and pump them into our food supply. We spray our lawns and drench our clothing in carcinogens. We are constantly bombarded with chemicals with the uncertainty of what the long-term effects are.
“These chemicals are not tested in a lab, they are tested on us.” Please check out “Stink Movie” for more information about how the FDA does not regulate the chemicals that are used in our personal care products and clothing.
We switched to all-natural everything and gave up commercial deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, makeup, laundry soap, and food from a box. I learned how to clean with vinegar and make DIY personal care products. For more ideas on decreasing the toxic load, please see Wellness Mama.
2. Eat as close to the earth as possible.
The healthiest foods reside in the outer edges of the grocery store. Organic vegetables, grass fed meats, fresh fruits, and fresh herbs are some the most nutrient dense foods. Nature was designed to nourish our bodies with all the proper nutrients it needs. By shopping simplistically, cooking from scratch became easy and intuitive.
“Let food be thy medicine.” ~ Hippocrates
3. Alternative health care practitioners are extremely helpful.
Practitioners such as naturopaths, acupuncturists, osteopaths, chiropractors, and herbalists are useful healing partners because the true nature of their work is to treat the body as a whole. Practitioners offer diagnostic tests for an entire host of potential illnesses to help diagnose, so treatment will be specific and effective.
“Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel” ~ Kevin Trudeau
4. Support your detox pathways.
Colon: The colon is the first line of detoxification. If you aren’t pooping regularly, your body is not able to properly take out the trash. Diet plays a huge role in elimination. Think water, fruits, veggies, and good fats like avocado, olive, and coconut oil.
Liver: This high-profile performer has hundreds of jobs to perform, including processing chemicals and toxins. Your liver health and your immune health are closely related. Eat beets, lemons, greens, bitter foods, dandelion, and milk thistle.
Skin: The skin is the largest detox organ, so sweating and dry brushing alone can really help dump the funk. Don’t put anything on your skin with ingredients that you cannot pronounce and remember to go outside and expose the skin to sunshine and air.
Lungs: Breathing deeply brings fresh oxygen into the blood and increases white blood cell production. Most of us tend to take shallow breaths, which brings air into the very top of our lungs. When we fill the deeper part of our lungs with air, we can expel even more nasty toxins.
Kidneys: These little bean-shaped organs are responsible for the removal of waste and toxins within the body. Stay hydrated so the kidneys will work optimally, and try drinking some diluted apple cider vinegar on occasion to help prevent kidney sludge.
5. Don’t expect fast results.
There are no shortcuts in a healing protocol. Health does not come in a box that says, “take one daily and feel better soon.” Healing is not something that just happens on weekends when it’s convenient. Slow healing is necessary so the body has time to change. It may be wise to keep your healing plan to yourself, so others won’t give you their unwarranted advice. It takes mad discipline to be on this particular path, so proceed with caution and self-care.
6. Don’t confuse a healing crisis with failure.
When we begin taking on healthy habits, our body may experience a healing crisis or detox reaction. This is due to the body dumping toxins into the detox pathways. Detoxing slowly is recommended so fewer toxins are released at once. Remedies such as charcoal, apple cider vinegar, and fermented foods can be helpful during a healing crisis.
For more detailed information on detoxing the body, please refer to this article.
As I write this, I take a trip back in time and remember the horror of having a sick child.
I felt like I was holding my breath for two whole years, waiting for his time to shine. I ask him if he remembers being itchy, and he says he does. He knows his story well and how strong it has made him today.
Contrary to what Western medicine tells us, we can reverse disease. There are thousands of personal stories out there just like ours where people have healed naturally. We all have the power to delve into our personal determination to heal ourselves. We can push through our fears, ask for help, and take time to listen to what our beautiful bodies need.
This could be the adventure of your life, full of ups and downs, just like ours. In the end, we realized that if we are going to fight for something, it may as well be our life.