Keep in touch with these old fellows … there are no waiting rooms and no co-payments. : )
The bright spot for health
Although sometimes out of town and hard to get an appointment in the winter, sunshine is one of the oldest, health-giving concepts in medicine.
And even though frequently forgotten as one of nature’s original antibiotics, sunlight kills pathogens on our skin, penetrates our nervous system, and sends energy throughout our entire body. Atapa Snana is the yogic phrase for the healing science of sunbathing. Ancient yogis and other cultures knew how to use the sun for radiant health and healing illnesses.
According to Penn State, “The ultraviolet component of sunlight is the main reason microbes die in outdoor air. The die-off rate in the outdoors varies from one pathogen to another, but can be anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes for a 90-99% kill of viruses or contagious bacteria.”
Here is a quick read detailing the health benefits of the sun and a list of the healing benefits of sunlight:
- boosts the body’s vitamin D supply which favors the immune system
- kills bad bacteria
- benefits skin disorders, including psoriasis, acne, eczema, and fungal infections of the skin
- lowers cholesterol
- lowers blood pressure
- increases oxygen levels in human blood
- boosts the immune system
- generates overall feelings of happiness and helps cure depression
A sensible amount of sun exposure will nourish and energize the body.
Don’t block the sunshine!
Swim in it … bathe in it … drink it.
Benefits of the sea:
- heals cuts and sores
- heals skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and rashes
- eases aches and pains
- boosts circulation
- draws out toxins
The sea water is made up of all the best elements: magnesium, sodium, potassium, and calcium. And they all get absorbed through your skin, making salt water exceptional for healing.
Relax in a bath:
Can’t go to the sea? Make your own detox salt bath with epsom salts or magnesium flakes using the methods here.
And of course, drink clean water and stay hydrated.
Sleep to recharge.
Ditch the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” notion and consider these 5 rules for better, deeper sleep
- Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends.
- Cut out caffeine after 2pm.
- Maintain a room temperature around 65 degrees, which is said to be the “sweet spot” temperature for a good night’s sleep.
- Ditch your electronic devices at least one hour before you go to bed so you don’t block the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
- Pay attention to what’s on your nightstand (article) and don’t keep your electronic or digital devices next to you while you’re sleeping.
The National Sleep Foundation looks at sleep as a significant piece of the health puzzle for rejuvenating the body and mind.
Our days our busy, but the power of rest is immeasurable. We can’t eat or exercise our way out of a poor nights sleep. Sleeping recharges us as a whole. Even taking a quick 20 minute power nap during the day helps rest and clear the mind.
Go ahead, snooze!
Go with the Flo — It turns out Florence Nightingale was right!
Fresh air, like sunshine, is considered the other original antibiotic. The “fresh air factor” is notable in the works of Florence Nightingale who proved the benefits of fresh air for the soldiers she was caring for during wartime.
Florence Nightingale’s first rule of nursing is “to keep the air within as pure as the air without.” From her notes in 1898.
… An open window most nights in the year can never hurt anyone…night air is often the best and purest air to be had in the twenty-four hours. Never be afraid of open windows. People don’t catch cold in bed. This is a popular fallacy…you can always keep a patient warm in bed, and well ventilate him at the same time.”
So it turns out Ms. Nightingale was right all along and hospitals today concur.
Here is some science behind these forgotten alternatives to antibiotics. “Open windows not only diluted pathogens but actually destroyed them. The term ‘fresh air factor’ was so named; it’s the newest-oldest antibiotic!”
Keep in mind, our homes and work places are so tightly sealed today that the air inside circulates pathogens, leaving our indoor air much more polluted than outdoor air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
The best advice I’ve found: Go outside everyday for at least a half an hour, no matter what the weather, and consider leaving a window open or slightly cracked at night.
Become a fresh air fanatic!
Exercise to be fit not to be skinny.
The body wants to move. It’s just designed that way. And more and more studies are coming out about the negative impacts of not moving, the basic premise being that an hour or two of organized exercise a few times per week, per the current recommendations, doesn’t come close to outweighing the negative impacts of the other hours of non-activity.
Check out this article, Is Sitting Worse than Eating Donuts? (Good news if you’re a donut fan).
Find out what works for you and pay attention to the big picture. My 90-minute Bikram Yoga class is my ultimate favorite daily thing, but I also pay attention to the other 22 1/2 hours in my day. Sleep counts for 7-9 hours, leaving around 13-15 hours in my day. Yikes!
Sure, a second Bikram class is always an option …:)
Eat to nourish your body.
My favorite concepts:
- Eat nutrient-dense foods
- Eat locally and seasonally
- Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re satisfied
- Eat organic food … or as your grandparents called it, “Food”
When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct, medicine is of no need ~ Ayurvedic Proverb
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This article was contributed by Jane Hill – fierce Bikram Yogi, lover of all things natural, and my best yoga buddy. Look for more articles by Jane in the Off the Mat Chats section of Views From the Podium!