5 Steps to take if you are still not feeling your best

As a naturopathic medical student, I understand the importance of clean eating, daily exercise, stress reduction, sufficient sleep, sunlight exposure, avoiding prolonged sitting, reducing toxin exposure, blood sugar regulation, etc. I never drink, I avoid sugar like the plague, I wear blue light blocking glasses before bed, I eat as many greens as humanly possible, I get regular acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments – so why am I still not feeling myself? This may sound familiar to you. You feel like you are doing everything in your power to get healthy and achieve optimal health. However, sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do, if you don’t address the root cause. Follow these steps in order to uncover your root cause and finally feel yourself again!

1.     Don’t wait!

The biggest lesson I have learned throughout my journey is that when it comes to health - never put it off and never settle for anything less than optimal. If you brush off your symptoms, they will only get worse to the point where it could develop into something more serious like autoimmune disease and even cause lasting damage to your body. Also, once you start feeling better you will have wished that you addressed these issues a long time ago.

I feel so badly for those who suffer for 20+ years before seeking help. Imagine not having the ability to live your life to the fullest or reach your potential – not to mention, feeling poorly every single day with no hopes of improvement. It is also harder to treat conditions the longer they have progressed. Many put their health on the back-burner because they are too busy – but what could possibly be more important than your health? It should be your highest priority because it impacts every facet of your life and the people you love.

2.     Seek the care of an integrative medical doctor or naturopathic physician

Alternative doctors will look deeper into your issues.  Take the stress out of it and stop self-diagnosing – make symptoms worse.  It can be hard to find the right doctor – and sometimes you may need to see multiple doctors before finding the right one.

You need to find a doctor who will address the underlying cause. We all know that traditional medical doctors mask symptoms with medications that only make the problem worse. An integrative medical doctor or naturopathic physician will listen and take your symptoms seriously. They will help you identify and treat the root cause.

3.     Don’t stop looking for answers

The most frustrating experience for me was dealing with doctors who did not take my symptoms seriously. I’ve seen doctors on two complete opposite ends of the spectrum – those who deal with things a little too naturally in my opinion and those who only mask symptoms with medication.  It almost seemed like they were too afraid to take any more aggressive measures. I finally found a naturopathic doctor who changed my life.

You know your body better than anyone else and you know if something is not right. Keep exploring underlying causes with the help of a health care practitioner until you are satisfied.

4.     Put yourself first

This is not selfish in the least! You need to take care of yourself in order to have the ability to take care of others. The more you take care of yourself, the more positive energy that you can put back into the world. I have seen so many women put everyone else ahead of herself to the point where they become faced with chronic disease. Your family needs you to be healthy. Take time out for yourself to recover and heal. This is when you need it the most. Although it may not feel natural at first, remember that your loved ones would like nothing more than for you to be healthy and happy.

5.     Health is a journey

This may be the single most important takeaway. Healing will take time. It is a process. Don’t expect things to change overnight. Commit and stay committed to this journey because it is completely worth it in the end. It may take time, however, every step of the way you will continue to learn more and more. You will not only start feeling better everyday, but you will also have the desire to help others and share the knowledge that you acquire. It may take time, but enjoy the process of your healing journey!

How to Create a Healthy Home

At the end of the day, you want to come home to a healthy oasis since the world is toxic enough as it is. Your home is a place for your to recharge and repair. Protect yourself and your loved ones by implementing these easy steps:

Purify your Water

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The first step in detoxifying is to reduce toxins coming into your body. Water can contain harsh chemicals such as chlorine, fluoride, lead, mercury, etc. These chemicals can negatively impact your microbiome and can accumulate in your body disrupting normal processes. It is essential to provide your family with purified clean water – not only for consumption, but also to bathe in.

I recommend investing in a quality water filter and installing filters on your shower faucets. You should be using purified water even for cooking.

Breathe Easy

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If you haven’t gotten rid of all toxic fragrance products yet – this is a must (laundry detergents, fabric softeners, glade plug-ins and any other products with fragrance listed on the label). These products have been shown in studies to have various negative impacts on health and even possibly carcinogenic. Don’t even get me started on the fragrance dispensers used in my apartment’s common areas and gym. I have been sending management studies on the health effects of these toxic products but unfortunately they have not shown much concern for the health of their residents and staff.

After removing these toxic products, you must consider the environmental pollution and allergens in the air that you are breathing. I highly recommend investing in a air filter in your bedroom and adding some green plants which are known to naturally filter the air/increase oxygen. You may even consider a “no shoe” rule to reduce the toxins that are tracked in by your shoes.

Repair and Regenerate

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Sleep is the one time that you are able to detoxify. Do not allow outside lighting, noise or blue light to interfere with your time to recover from the day. As we get older, our melatonin production declines so you need to protect it from all sources.

First, make sure your bedroom is completely dark. I recommend installing blackout curtains on the windows if you have any light coming in at all. You should not be able to see anything within one foot of your eyes when the lights are out. It is not enough to wear eye covers because the photoreceptors on your skin also regulate melatonin production.

Make the bedroom a “sleep sanctuary.” Do not associate the bedroom with anything but sleep and keep all other activities such as work outside the bedroom. Make the bedroom a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Protecting your sleep is protecting your energy.

Charge Your Human Battery

The body acts like a battery. Create an environment that energizes you!  There are various activities that can charge your human battery. My favorite is using an infrared sauna which provides so many incredible benefits (blog post to come!) You can purchase a sauna from anywhere between $150 to $4,000. I got one at the low end of the range and it has truly helped my energy levels. Having one in the home will provide a more convenient way to enhance your health. Another way to charge up your battery is sunlight! Most are not getting near the amount of sunlight that we should be. A sunlamp may be necessary for some. However, I recommend getting outside and getting as much sun as possible. Lastly – exercise and movement! If you can’t exercise outside, set up an area in your home where you can do yoga, weights and/or cardio exercise. Invest in some equipment and use exercise as a way to unwind, de-stress and recharge. You should also have an area where you can work while standing. You can easily prop up your computer with a bin, invest in a standing desk or work at a counter top.

Clear your Mind

Ensuring that your home is clean and free of clutter will provide your mind with a sense of calm. It is difficult to have a clear head when there is clutter. Try a minimalist approach – I promise it will do wonders for your concentration and mindset. In order to reduce stress as much as possible, you must control your environment to work in your favor.

Tech Remediation

More and more research is coming out about the detrimental effects of EMF exposure. Protect yourself as much as possible. I recently had my apartment remediated by an expert and the changes that I have noticed are incredible – my focus, sleep and stress levels have improved significantly.

If you cannot find or afford an EMF remediator, you should at least turn off Wifi at night and put your devices in airplane mode. Arrange your Wifi and electronics in areas that are as far away from you as possible.

If you need any help with EMF remediation – I highly recommend EMFsol.com. They have home kits and products that you can put on your devices to protect yourself.

Detoxify Your Body

Often overlooked is the toxicity of common household and personal care products.  I recommend either making your own or buying natural cleaning products. Please do not expose your loved ones to the fumes of these harsh cleaning products.

Also, what are you putting on your skin? Personal care products are filled with toxic chemicals. Replace toxic products such as toothpaste, makeup, lotions, shaving cream, shampoo, soap, etc. with natural/organic alternatives. Your skin is your largest detoxing organ.

Your body and mind will thank you for implementing these steps in your home!