Spring Cleaning of the Mind and Body

by Deb Brothers-Klezmer, BSN, RN-BC, CRRN, NCTMB & Wendy Midgley, MEd, RD, CDE

Spring 2011 began on March 20th–after what was a very long winter for many!  This Spring, our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand and Japan–effected by earthquakes and tsunamis–as well as to the countries of Africa who are declaring their desire for freedom.

Despite the challenges of “our times”, it is also important to remember that we live in an era of INFINITE POSSIBILITIES as well!!

Spring is a time of OPENING to “the NEW,” to CHANGE, to these INFINITE POSSIBILITIES.  As we see the buds and new growth appear on trees, plants, and flowers–we sense the great ENERGY behind these changes. The same ENERGY that nurtures new plant growth also nurtures US and is available to harness!!

Spring is a great time to set new intentions and begin a new chapter. For many—this time of year is more auspicious for change than is January 1st. On an OUTER LEVEL, we may have an urge to clean out the closets, CREATE NEW SPACE, and dump “old stuff” into a giant dumpster! On an INNER LEVEL, there is a Call to clean up our thoughts and bodies.

In Oriental Medicine, the LIVER (a major detox organ) is associated with Spring—so it is an ideal time to do a body tune-up and improve liver function by improving our diets.

In Ayurvedic Medicine (from India), late Winter through Spring is “the KAPHA period“. On March 15, 2011, Deepak Chopra, MD wrote: “We are currently still in Kapha season. When Kapha is out of balance, it can manifest as colds, sinus congestion, weight gain, allergies, sluggishness, depression, and a lack of motivation.” He suggests that we balance these situations by making new choices that embrace light, purifying foods. He also recommends daily exercise and following regular routines.

For those of you who are feeling stressed, “heavy,” “sluggish”, “cluttered”, and/or “mucked up” with the goings on and rapid changes of late—CHOOSE this Spring as a time to RENEW YOUR CONNECTION with YOURSELF!! Tune up your body and state of well being.

For those of you who are feeling great and “on target” with your health and your goals–choose this Spring to DECLARE YOUR INTENTIONS on a HIGHER LEVEL.

HOW do we utilize the Energy of Spring to Renew our Health and Well Being? The best offerings for change are SIMPLE and many are free. We just need to claim them.

To quote Wayne Fields’ “What the River Knows?” (from a nursery rhyme):

“The best six doctors anywhere
and no one can deny it—
are: SUNSHINE, WATER, REST,
AIR, EXERCISE and DIET.
These six will gladly you attend,
if only you are willing.
Your mind they’ll ease, your will they’ll mend,
And charge you not a shilling.”

To elaborate on this nursery rhyme, what steps are recommended for this Spring?
1. Go outside, get some fresh air! BREATHE!!
2. Use proper sun exposure protection. (Some experts believe that 10-15 minutes of sun exposure–with no protective lotion–at NON-PEAK SUN HOURS—is beneficial. After that, protective lotion should be used.)
3. Drink 2+ liters pure, clean water daily.
4. Commit to adequate REST and SLEEP. Get in synch with the cycles of Nature. Go to bed earlier, get up closer to sunrise. Add relaxation, if that is not happening.
5. MOVE!! Walk more. Work in the garden, clean up the yard and clutter of winter. Sign up for a new exercise class.
6. COMMIT to RENEWED HEALTHY EATING. Winter choices tend to include starchy, heavier, acid-forming foods. This Spring, take a break from caffeine, sugar, alcohol, saturated fats, and dairy. Rather–choose lighter, more watery foods: green salads, vegetables, lighter soups, fruits, vegetable and fruit smoothies.
7. TO ADD to these “SIX DOCTORS”: Clean up your THOUGHTS and ATTITUDES. Ask yourself: What stressors can I eliminate or lessen? What can I let go of this Spring that no longer serves me or others? Who/where can I forgive and let go? OR, where/how can I let bygones be bygones?

In the PERSONAL HEALTH department of life, attend to these recommendations:
1. Remember your annual physical, as well as completing age appropriate lab and diagnostic screenings.
2. Have regular dental check-ups. FLOSS DAILY!!! —to avoid gum inflammation.
3. Drive within the speed limit, wear seat belts.
4. Wear safety helmets if on bikes, motor cycles and while doing “extreme sports.”
5. If seasonal allergies are problematic: consider allergy treatments with a specialist. There are also over the counter remedies that can be helpful.

To SUM UP: Use THE ENERGIES of SPRING to Reboot Your Body and your DIET to a higher level of operation!

Mehmet Oz, MD reminds us that Spring is a good time to attempt a CHALLENGE re: a health change. One of his suggestions is to “Reboot Your Diet”. Check out the “Reboot Your Diet in Two Weeks” challenge on Dr. Oz’s website:

http://members.doctoroz.com/challenge/the-dr-oz-ultimate-diet

Here’s to a Healthy, Happy Spring!

Deb and Wendy
The Wellness Shifter Ladies!!

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