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Two Daily Practices to Support Optimal Health and Healing

One of the great challenges that I've repeatedly encountered since becoming a health care provider is the mindset that the human body is a mechanical entity, perhaps like a car, the idea being that if something is wrong with our health, all that is needed is a replacement part, or perhaps the right doctor to fix us up.

The reality is that we do not run as simple machines that a talented engineer or mechanic can troubleshoot and restore, the main reason being that every thought and emotion that we experience has ongoing rippling effects on our health at a cellular level. If you don't believe this is true, consider the physiological changes that occur to cause us to perspire in response to a nightmare, to salivate at the thought of a mouthwatering meal, and even to experience arousal with thoughts of being physically intimate with our partner.

There is no way to quantify the effects that our thoughts and emotions have on our health - for the time being and likely well into the future, such effects will remain highly subjective. This is why I feel that all of us should take pause when we are presented with a highly touted solution to a health challenge via a procedure, medicine, or nutrient. There's no question that there are helpful treatments and remedies in our world, but let us never discount the ongoing influence that we have on our immune system strength and self-healing mechanisms via the thoughts and emotions we experience moment to moment, as well as through our daily choices in how we rest, move our bodies, what and how we eat, and the types of energy we choose to be around.

If these thoughts on us being highly holistic entities and the power of the mind-body connection resonate with you, here are two simple measures you can take daily to support your health and healing mechanisms from the inside-out:

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Once or several times a day, take a moment to sit or lie supine, relax your body, and breathe with intention. The simplest way to do this effectively is to slowly expand your abdomen as much as possible via deep inhalation, and then to slowly and maximally contract your abdomen by exhaling fully. Repeat this cycle of deep inhalation and exhalation a handful of times. Feel free to engage in this breathing exercise with your eyes closed if it is safe to do so.

The physiological reasons for why this is beneficial are beyond the scope of this post. If you're interested in exploring this further, simply google "lymphatic system deep breathing" and "parasympathetic tone deep breathing meditation."

Cold Therapy

You don't need to find a local tank at a sub-zero temperature to stand in for a few minutes daily to experience the many health benefits of whole body exposure to cold. Simply end your daily shower or bath with a shower of cool or cold water. Even a few seconds of exposure to cool or cold water will provide some level of benefit. Ideally, you can work your way up to slowly rotating your body around for a full minute as cold water rains down on most of your body.

If you enjoy wormholes of information and want to know more about the why behind cryotherapy, google "cryotherapy health" or "cold therapy."

Daily practice of diaphragmatic breathing and cold therapy will invariably strengthen all strands of the web of tissues that make up your body and health. You have little to lose but your own effort in giving these practices a try and observing how your body and health respond.

 
 

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