Health is all about free movement and flow in the body. Take any alternative therapy – from homeopathy to acupuncture to reflexology to healing and all the shades in between – and what you find at the basis of them all is the desire and attempt to remove blockages, to free up the channels of our body, mind and spirit so that light, energy and oxygen can pass unhindered.
Blockages mean communication in our body is hindered, and messages do not reach where they should in the form they should. Blockages anywhere in our system – be they physical, emotional or mental – stop the energy from reaching the cells, and a cell without energy, light and oxygen is like a house under the spell of a power cut: darkness prevails. It’s precisely in such darkness that disease thrives. Therefore, the goal of all Healing is to create free, unhindered flow and achieve harmony on all levels. The goal of Natural Nutrition is no different.
You may not think that nutrition per se can account for much blockage. Think again. How about constipation, for instance? This is an obvious case, you might argue. Then what about blocked arteries; by now the connection between heart disease and faulty eating habits has been well established. And what about blood clots (sluggish circulation) or inflamed glands (sluggish lymphatic system)? or the connection often found amongst women between an under-active thyroid gland and cystic ovaries? Surely there must be a connection between the fuel we feed our body and the performance we get out of it.
Nutrition is a hugely powerful tool to help you achieve and maintain free flow and harmony in your body. This powerful tool stays with you throughout life, day in day out, 365 days a year, virtually without a break. Use it wisely, and free movement will more likely prevail; use it carelessly, and hardening, malfunctioning and ill-health will become increasingly prevalent.
So what can you do from a nutrition point of view to help you achieve a flow of energy and vitality through your body? Consider the following ideas.
The first suggestion, as always, must be water. This is the simplest and most effective means to rehydrate your body and get things moving. If you drink little water and plenty of dehydrating drinks (such as coffee, tea, alcohol or fizzy drinks), just changing the ratios will enable your bodily systems to work much more efficiently. Considering we are 70% water, the brain is 80% water, the blood is 91% water and most communication in the body is fluid-based, it’s hardly surprising water tops the list of nutritional steps for an enhanced circulation.
My second suggestion is that you get into the habit of eating high fibre foods. Think Figs, Broccoli, Rice for FIBRE, to help you remember the gut-friendly fruit, vegetables and whole grains that should by right become your plate-friendly mates. The more high fibre foods you eat, the less likely you are to experience constipation, a digestive blockage that is all too common in our society and the cause of so much ill-health (the early naturopaths maintained that all disease started in the gut, and current science increasingly recognises the link between food and disease patterns).
Suggestion number three is a low food-stress day once a month. Choose a quiet day, perhaps on the weekend, when you can take it easy and rest if you need to. Make it a fruit-only day. Choose 1-2 types of fruit that you like (apples and grapes are good) and only have them, in moderation, throughout the day. Go to bed early. You will have then enabled your body to ‘shut off’ for one day, detox a bit and direct energies away from digestion (a hugely energy-consuming job) and towards body maintenance and repair. Things will flow better the next day; you will notice that your mind has become clearer and you – calmer. Do not attempt this gentle detox if you suffer from any illness or take medication.
If you are ready for a bit more work on yourself, then a lighter diet contributing to regular detox would be my fourth suggestion. No drastic measures required, just a bit more attention to your daily diet. Start the day with a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice in it. Have a light breakfast, in keeping with the seasons – for example, warm oatmeal in winter and fresh fruit in summer. Cut down on sugar, and free up half of your lunch and dinner plate for vegetables (not potatoes, though). Each one of these steps, certainly all of them combined, will help ease things along in your body.
My last suggestion for this article would be for you to enrol in a yoga, Tai-Chi or Qi-Gong class. Strictly speaking, this isn’t a nutritional piece of advice, but to me Nutrition is not a stand-alone practice. It’s hard to imagine much movement and flow in the body without some form of physical exercise to get the bile flowing, the blood pumping, the lymph moving. The reason I recommend these Eastern practices is because they incorporate ancient wisdom and an infinite, underlying understanding of the subtle connection between mind, body and soul. With a good yoga, Tai-Chi or Qi-Gong teacher you are likely to come closer to a more harmonious flow on more than one level, with the added advantage of physical exercise. Give it a go.
Finally, let me say this: our body is not a mechanical compilation of separate units. We know no more where the knee starts and ends than where our spirit does, nor does it matter. The parts we are made of have no beginning and no end. They should be open and connected, or else communication in the body fails. Most importantly, these parts all belong to a Whole that makes You. And it is only by opening up to and allowing for free flow throughout your body, mind and soul that You can reach your full potential, and be in touch with every aspect of your being.
© Vardit Kohn, February 2005. No part of this article may be copied or reproduced without prior written consent