by Tiffany Windsor and Candace Liccione
Candace and I have been supporting women’s wellness for the past 30+ years and so we decided to share the top 10 issues that we are repeatedly asked about. They aren’t in any particular order and aren’t really steps but we hope they bring you awareness of some of the issues that may be holding you back in truly enjoying your life everyday.
This is the key to healing mind and body and spirit so you can identify your core issue(s) and start to work on healing. There are many paths to healing. At the core of health issues is an emotional issue or issues. We all have a core emotional issue in our life. Usually your emotional issue stems from your childhood. The problem is that people don’t know that their emotional issues, thoughts, and feelings are the beginnings of their health problems. Western medicine addresses only the symptoms and ignores the body, mind and spirit connection. We medicate our symptoms but never delve deeper into what’s causing them.
The best way to start looking at your emotional issues is to check out either Louise Hay’s book “Heal Your Body” or Inna Segals book “The Secret Language of your Body”. These books list the emotional issues behind different symptoms and disease. We create the situations in our lives, and we need to heal them. Your body is a mirror of your inner thoughts and beliefs. You need to look at when your symptoms started. What was going on in your life when the symptom started because the symptoms are the outer effect of what was happening. Was there a death in the family, family or job issues, relationship issues, illness in the family, or money problems? How do you heal yourself? You start over and reassess everything in your life. How do you talk to yourself - is it positive or negative? Your body is your state of mind. Every time you open your mouth you talk about your health. Start hearing what you are saying. Things like “he is such a pain in my neck” or “that person makes my head ache”. Your body hears every word you say and then acts upon your thoughts and words. Your body doesn’t know if you are kidding or not serious. It just follows what you tell it.
One way to find out your core issue is to fill out a Bach Flower Essence questionnaire. Candace works with Bach Flower Essences and makes custom remedies for people from the answers on their questionnaire. The answers you give on this questionnaire help you to discover your core issue. Once you know your issue you can start to work on healing yourself. What YOU think is your issue is probably not your key issue.
Yeah, like that’s easy! Of course, you have to slow down, unwind and allow space for healing. But what does this mean? We found some great information online at Conscious Lifestyle Magazine. For instance, how stress affects the body. You know when you are feeling stress, but how does it actually affect you? The sudden flood of adrenaline and other hormones causes changes in the body that include: increase in the heart rate and blood pressure, dilation of the pupils to take in as much light as possible, constriction of the veins to send more blood to major muscle groups, tensing of the muscles involved in running or fighting - that is that fight or flight instinct, increase in blood glucose to provide more energy, relaxation of the smooth muscles to allow more oxygen to the lungs, shutting down of the non-essential systems (like digestion and immune system) to allow more energy to the emergency functions. These are really interesting insights to how your body is affected by stress.
Our lifestyle definitely plays an enormous role. Dietary stress is common with our modern eating habits of eating fast foods, skipping meals, drinking excessive caffeine or alcohol, and eating refined sugars and flour. Environmental stressors? Well, we also don’t know how toxic our air and water may be for us. We have little to no idea how we are affected by electromagnetic pollution from our modern technology, such as TVs, computers, electric wires, cell phones, iPads, and the Smart Meters on our homes. How many of us make it a priority to spend time in nature to offset these lifestyle or environmental stressors? Lifestyle - we have control of what we eat and how much we exercise, dance, listen to music, spend time with loved ones, and spend time in nature. Nutrition - we can change our diet from the standard American processed diet to one that is more natural and nutritious. The healthiest diet is one of whole, fresh (unprocessed) foods, preferably organic. When we eat, we need to be relaxed. We certainly don’t need to be eating fast food on the run.
Instead of grabbing for prescriptions to manage your stress, have you thought about natural strategies and techniques for stress management? When you are stressed, what remedies do you reach for? Is it prescriptions which can have many side effects? Why not try some natural remedies including homeopathy? We talked about about homeopathy in a recent podcast but here are some of the specific remedies for stress. Ignatia is used for anxiety, Natrem Muriaticum for grief, or maybe Chamomilla for anxiety, especially with stomach symptoms and irritability.
You can also try herbs for preventing and treating stress. Dr. Bonnie McLean, who wrote the article for Conscious Lifestyle Magazine has some great information on herbs. Tonic herbs are considered super-nutrients. They improve physiological functioning and a sense of well-being and boost energy. Here are some herbs Dr. McLean uses for natural stress relief; these are usually found in capsule, tablet, powder, tea, and tincture form and they include ashwagandha, maca, chamomille, passiflor (passion flower), hops, and valerian. By the way, Candace has these herbs available at her store and she also does mail order.
A great go-to for stress relief and Tiffany’s first choice is aromatherapy and essential oils. Aromas stimulate our sense of smell. They are perceived through the olfactory nerve, located very near the limbic center of the brain, which is the hub for the body’s stress alarm system. We can use scents, such as essential oils for stress management. Some essential oils that are considered to be adaptogens (help the body/mind stay in balance and thus provide ways to reduce stress) are: Lavender—soothes and balances the body, Cedarwood—stimulates the limbic region of the brain, especially the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, Roman Chamomile—calms the central nervous system, Neroli—considered to strengthen and stabilize the emotions and encourage confidence and a sense of peace, Valerian—commonly used in sleep remedies. (The aroma is unpleasant, usually described as smelling like dirty feet.), Sandalwood—balances and stabilizes the mind and helps to release negative emotions, Orange—has an antidepressant effect, Jasmine—considered to have a relaxing as well as an antidepressant effect, Frankincense—considered a “spiritual oil” that has an antidepressant and anti-anxiety effect by stimulating parts of the limbic system, including the hypothalmus, pineal gland, and pituitary gland, Ylang ylang—considered a “spiritual” oil, believed to filter out negative energy and help with focus and confidence. Tiffany is a doTerra wellness advocate and she is happy to help you select the right essential oils.
Flower Essences - These remedies are natural and gentle. Prepared from the flowers of wild plants, bushes, or trees, they are prescribed according to one’s mood and state of mind. They are based on the theory that a mind in disharmony is the primary cause of disease and that it will hinder recovery from an illness. Emotions such as fear or worry can deplete an individual’s vitality, causing the body to lose its natural resistance to infection and disease. The original flower essences were created by Dr. Edward Bach, if you live outside the US, you may pronounce his name as Dr. “Batch”. Some great choices for stress management are: Rescue Remedy—stress, trauma, shock, Star of Bethlehem—shock, Aspen—anxiety and fear, Rock Rose, Mimulus, Cherry Plum, and Red Chestnut—fear, Sweet chestnut—mental anguish, Mustard, Gentian, Gorse, and Wild Rose—depression. To summarize, dig deep to find the emotional cause of your stress and support yourself with natural remedies. Candace can really help you as she provides flower essence consultations that are life changing!
Let go of the drama
Let go of drama and people who are not healthy for you. There is so much drama in our world today. Drama in your family life, work life and then there is the constant drama that comes from all of our electronic media – TV, cell phone, reality shows and social media. You are surrounded by drama all the time and we have gotten used to it and many people are addicted to it. Candace hears people in her shop talk about the reality shows they watch, and they discuss with one another the drama that goes on in those shows. They don’t understand that the producers of those shows make sure there is lots of drama by having the situations partially or fully scripted. They don’t see that it isn’t real. Those shows would be very boring if they were depicting real life.
We need to release all drama in our lives whether real or fake. Drama isn’t healthy for you. It raises your anxiety and adrenaline levels. Add rest, relaxation, sometimes just sitting quietly, being okay not doing stuff every minute. Stop – go out in nature, listen to music, talk to your family and friends, nuture your inner spiritual, add joy to life and have fun and laugh.
Drama is another aspect of your health issues. Contemplate living with less drama, less stuff, and less turmoil. It is time to release all the unnecessary stuff in your life, unhealthy attachments, negative emotions and negative people and toxic entertainment.
In the past, our family got caught up in a lot of drama and for us, reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz helped to eliminate the drama from our lives. Once we realized that we would not, should not, take anything personally, it was really easy to shift out of engaging in and perpetuating the drama.
We’ve talked about this for weeks on end. It’s really important to let go of food that is not healthy. If you are not nourishing yourself, you can feel the effects of fatigue, depression, digestion issues, fluctuation in blood sugar levels, brain function, stress on your heart, kidneys and liver, bloating and puffiness, high blood pressure, the list goes on and on. Don’t know where to start? Get Anthony William’s Liver Rescue book. So many health issues relate to the liver and it’s easy to start making changes to your food to help bring you back into balance. So EAT WELL!
Exercise that beautiful body and mind
You will feel better on all levels. Most people know that they should be exercising in some way, but they just don’t want to or don’t realize how important exercising is for their health. We are too sedentary. You need to move your body, your muscles, your arms, yours legs and feet. If you move your body, it works better on all levels. It really helps your digestion and elimination systems, your heart, your lungs and the entire body. We all know this, but most people aren’t doing it. No one is asking you to go run a marathon or something on that level (but if that’s your vision - we say GO FOR IT!). Just start by getting off the couch, put your phone down and start walking, join a yoga or aerobics class, dance or find a way that gets your body moving. And make sure that you exercise your mind by reading uplifting books.
Find an exercise that works for you. Yoga is Candace’s exercise of choice. She has been doing it for 20 years. It is so good on so many levels -- it lubricates your joints, it’s really great for balance as you strengthen all your muscles and you aren’t afraid of falling as you age, as it supports great flexibility. There are all kinds of yoga so you can find a kind that works with your body.
Walking is another great exercise. You can walk anywhere – on your street, at the mall or just around your yard. Walking is good for your body as well as your mind. Water aerobics is also wonderful exercise especially if you have body issues that don’t let you jump around. If you have bad knees, or hips or foot or ankle problems then water aerobics would be wonderful for those issues.
Be natural in your healing
We talked about this in step #2 for stress. For other disease - or as we call dis-ease or ill at ease, why not try natural remedies first before going to invasive measures. People have successfully been treating minor ailments like cuts, sniffles, dry skin, head aches, stuffiness, bloating, heartburn since the beginning of time, right? Grit.com has a great list of natural remedies.
Use eucalyptus to clear a stuffy nose - a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a humidifier or diffuser will help clear a stuffy nose. The minty essential oil helps loosen up mucus and reduce swelling. Honey for a sore throat - a spoonful of raw honey will instantly help ease a sore throat. As an added bonus, it will also help quell coughing fits. Mix a tablespoon of honey with a squeeze of lemon in a warm cup of water for a soothing drink. Honey for minor scratches - honey is a natural antibiotic. Applying it to minor wounds can help prevent infection and help a wound heal faster. Basil for bug bites - did you know that a bit of crushed basil on a mosquito bite will help relieve the itchiness. Plus, it smells much better than anything from a bottle. Apple cider vinegar for bloating, diabetes, and heartburn - organic apple cider vinegar has a host of benefits, from relieving bloating to preventing diabetes to helping those with heartburn. Calm nausea with ginger - an upset stomach can be helped with ginger. Ginger can also help with sea-sickness. You can buy an all-natural tea with ginger, or keep a piece of fresh ginger in your fridge (or freezer to make it last longer), and then just shave off a few pieces to add to hot water. Steep for 5 to 15 minutes before drinking. Lessen heartburn with baking soda - a touch of baking soda in a glass of water will clear late-night heartburn up in no time. Just be sure not to use too much, or you’ll be burping instead! Keep bugs away with peppermint - you don’t have to pile on a chemical bug spray to keep annoying pests away. Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil into witch hazel or water and spray when needed. Just make sure to avoid your eyes! Peppermint for headaches - in either tea or as an essential oil, peppermint is a great way to relieve a tension headache. The cooling effect can be very effective at giving you a bit of stress relief, too.
Chamomile for Sleeplessness - chamomile is great for promoting relaxation and preparing you for sleep. A cup of chamomile tea is a great way to get ready for bed. Baking soda for bee stings - Make a paste with baking soda and water, and rub it on the sting. The pain will stop instantly! Lavender for restless leg syndrome - do your legs and feet start to bug you at night? Rub a few drops of lavender essential oil on the areas of your legs that hurt (such as the ankle). Lavender is also known to help relieve anxiety, so it’s a great way to get your mind ready for a calm, restful sleep. Marshmallow root for irritation and sore throats - it has been been used for moer than 2,000 years to calm irritation and help with sore throats. It helps moisten and reduce swelling in mucus membranes throughout the body, and reduces irritation as a result. Green tea for the jitters - green tea is known to help relieve anxiety and lower blood sugar, especially when you drink it regularly. However, it does have caffeine in it, so if you are sensitive to caffeine, try drinking it before noon. Reduce a fever with linden flower tea - a cup of tea can help calm a low-grade fever and give everyone the rest they need. Remember, a fever is your body doing its work to fight off some type of infection. [Because we’re not in the medical field, we’re required to remind you to go to your doctor if the fever gets too high!] Tea Tree Oil for minor infections - for minor skin infections, try combining one drop tea tree essential oil (also known as Melaleuca) into five drops of coconut oil. Rub together and apply to infected spot twice a day. Here’s something new we learned from Grit.com - Thyme for snoring - while thyme has many antibacterial health benefits, a drop mixed with a few drops of coconut oil can be a quick remedy for someone who snores. Lightly rub some of the mixed oil to the bottom of your big toe before you go to bed. Or you can diffuse thyme in your bedroom a half-hour before you go to sleep. Turmeric, Willow Bark, or Cat’s Claw for arthritis - all are known for helping calm inflammation. Instead of taking aspirin, use one of these natural remedies to help arthritis. From this list, Tiffany’s daily wellness cabinet includes: honey, apple cider vinegar, ginger, peppermint, lavender, tea tree oil and turmeric.
No. 7: Know that you are here for a purpose.
Know that you are here for a purpose and discover your purpose and pursue it. We are all here for a reason. We have a purpose. Many people probably don’t even think they have a purpose. You need to be doing something for your spirit in your life. It can be joining a church, a group of people who like what you like to do, a group that helps others – children and animals. You need to feed your spirit.
REDUCE electronic dependence
This is so challenging but it’s important to start spending less time on the computer, phone and computer games. As Tiffany mentioned a few weeks ago, she made the commitment to herself to leave her phone outside the bedroom every night. Cell phones expose us to a form of electromagnetic radiation called radiofrequency (RF) energy. Scientists have suspected that this radiation might increase the risk of brain cell damage leading to tumors, and in 1995 they found this to be the case in rats. Most studies since then have failed to show a similar correlation in humans and last December the Danish Cancer Society released results from a 29-year study that found no solid association between increasing cell phone use and brain tumors.
We get it... our work requires us to be at the computer, use wifi, use cellphones but try to be aware of the choices to make to minimize exposure. Use a headset or speakerphone - there is no reliable data that exists on the upper limit of safe talk time, but corded headsets can reduce potential risk. These emit much less RF energy, and allow you to move the phone away from your body. One study shows that using a headset lowers radiation exposure eightfold. Keep your phone out of your pocket - a study published in the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery linked cell phone radiation to decreased bone density in the pelvis, and a 2008 study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic found that it lowers fertility in men. Limit children's use - kids have a thinner skull, and their brains are still developing—which may make them more vulnerable to any potential harmful effects of RF radiation. Stop talking while driving - In addition to creating a potentially deadly distraction, using your phone in the car forces your cell signal to jump between wireless towers. Since RF is highest when a connection with a tower is first established, talking while traveling can increase exposure. We did not know that. Don't chat with a poor signal. The harder your phone has to work to get reception, the more radiation it emits. We didn’t know that either. This is also the reason apparently you should avoid using so-called radiation shields (the shiny stickers that claim to block radiation); allegedly they actually force the phone to transmit at a higher power. Don't wear wireless headsets as if they were jewelry - earpieces don't emit as much radiation as a phone, but they release some—even after your call ends. Remove the device from your ear between conversations.
Gather with people of like mind
Gather with people of like mind. Express your creativity. Creativity is therapeutic. Join into something that is in-person. Too many people have social media as their main way of interacting with others. You need to gather in person with people who enjoy what you like. When you join in person you get a much deeper connection as you can read their body language, hear the emotion in their words, connect with them face-to-face. Creativity is really important for all of us. We all have a need to be creative in some way in our lives. Creativity is so therapeutic. Candace has creativity and wellness classes at her Wye River Designs shop and people come to spend many hours creating with her. She gets to know people in depth, and in conversation, they naturally share their issues and concerns. You would be amazed at the informal group therapy that goes on as people open up and discuss all kinds of issues. At her shop, they all help each other discussing whatever the group wants to talk about. The groups spend a lot of time educating each other on wellness as people are always discussing health issues and Candace and everyone in the discussion assists them in thinking about making better choices by sharing their own journeys to wellness.
Allow yourself to have fun and live with joy!
Joy is the answer for living a healthy, happy life. Jude Bijou at mindbodygreen.com describes joy as an emotion and emotions are wordless. They're pure physical sensations in our bodies. We express the emotion of joy in many physical ways. As Judy explains, for example, we jump for joy when we win a hard-fought competition, or we double over in uncontrollable laughter when someone relates a hilarious story. We squeal with delight after getting a surprise gift, and whoop and holler exuberantly when we hear fantastic news. We feel buoyant and jubilant on beautiful day. When we feel joy, we feel great about ourselves. We feel confident, powerful, capable, lovable and fulfilled. These are all good reasons to experience more joy
Undertake a challenging activity with a commitment to mastering it. Think of a project you've wanted to accomplish, whether it's creating a small flower garden in your yard, learning how to give your car a tuneup, or mastering the tango. The process of setting a goal, learning the necessary steps to achieve it, and giving it your best until you've mastered it will generate high self-esteem and pride. Those are feelings associated with joy. Actively seek joy through inspiration. Engage in an activity that's pleasurable and feels like play.
Jude also suggests that you deal with the sadness that blocks joy. When we feel sad, it isn't possible to also feel bubbly and exhilarated. In a place that feels safe and private, constructively express your sadness by allowing yourself to cry. While crying, acknowledge your hurts and losses. Don't indulge any negative thoughts about yourself. Just keep telling yourself, "I'm fine. It's okay to cry. I just feel sad." You'll immediately feel washed clean — even joyful. Honor yourself consciously and frequently. Give yourself a break from the day-to-day world. Nurture yourself. Set up a time, just for you, when you can disconnect from daily responsibilities and get away from the noise, stimulation, and demands of your world.
Joy comes easily when we focus on our own needs in a caring and loving way. Get a massage. Close the door, put your feet up, and watch the world outside your window. Take a nap. These kinds of activities replenish us and give our body and soul a chance to feel pure joy. Remind yourself: My job is to take care of myself. Say the word often and contemplate its meaning. Notice how your body feels when you say the word JOY! Think about what joy means to you. Be as specific as possible, imagining the feeling of joy, the images it conjures up, perhaps even the people and situations who trigger joy. Sign off your emails with the word joy. Paint the word on a smooth rock and keep it on your desk. More joy will rise up if you simply invite it to do so.
Also at the mindbodygreen.com article, there is a quick self-quiz that we found really interesting! You’ll find that link on our blog post.
Here’s to your wellness!