The only option to maintain a good quality of life with chronic illness is symptom management. More and more in recent years, patients are turning to complementary and alternative therapies to improve their health outcomes.
Conventional treatment often leans heavily on medication. Though pharmaceuticals can be helpful in symptom management, quality of life is a whole different issue. For example, ‘mild side effects’ from drugs that manage high blood pressure (hypertension) can include nervousness, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, lethargy and even skin rash. Although your body may adjust over time, symptom management by medication could reproduce new symptoms.
Granted, there’s nothing life-threatening in that list of side-effects, but if you weren’t taking medication and felt sick like that, you’d probably take yourself to the doctor.
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
Those endless Summer days are a perfect invitation to adopt a Mediterranean pace of slow living, with time for siestas and home-cooked family meals al fresco. With the sun on your face and great company, what more could you need?
In our fast-pace world, taking time to slow down, savor the moment and enjoy simple pleasures has become a luxury. The notions of “you only live once” and “living your best life” has given many of us a sense of urgency. Every moment has to be seized and used productively. Combined with technology that tempts us to be ‘on’ and connected at all times, there’s little room left for slow living. Time even wrote a notorious piece about the Dutch concept of ‘niksen’ – which literally means doing nothing – as if sitting still and staring our of the window is something revolutionary.
But when you’re living with chronic illness, you’re probably used to life in the slow lane. Having little energy, reduced mobility and requiring lots of rest usually means taking things slow. Because slow living due to health problems isn’t a choice, you might feel sad, angry, frustrated and some real FOMO.
But going faster isn’t always better. Slow living has some serious benefits for your health and happiness. Here’s why you should embrace a slow lifestyle – and how to do it.
As a kid, I spent countless of summer days building sand castles, floating in the sea and being fully immersed in books on the beach. I can still remember the delight of eating salty and crispy French fries in the sand after swimming and playing all day.
Nowadays, I don’t tolerate the heat very well, but still, going to the beach feels like the ultimate summer experience. And there’s some truth in getting your ‘vitamin Sea’. Soaking in salt water works wonders for your skin, fights infections and is therapeutic for your joints and bones. The beach also offers great opportunities to relax and work out in a fun and doable way. And of course, getting your daily dose of fresh air and vitamin D boosts your health too.
But we all know the typical tourist look of people who got a massive sunburn after a day at the beach. Heat stroke is also a real risk when you spend all day under the burning sun. Plus, lying down on your towel all day, only flipping from front to back to get an even tan or grab some unhealthy snacks, is a relaxing, but not really recharging pastime.
Make the most of your vacation time with these 7 tips to have a healthy beach day!
There’s no better feeling than feeling healthy. Being healthy is not only beneficial for us physically, but mentally as well. Even though we all make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle, there’s always room to be more proactive. Here are 4 meaningful investments you can make in order to live the healthy and safe lifestyle you desire.
After months of cocooning indoors and indulging in heavy meals, early spring is a great time to get out of hibernation mode and shed your ‘winter coat’. And not just those dead skin cells from the dry winter air – your sluggish digestion and lymph flow can use a boost too.
Over the last few years, detoxing has become a major buzz word. The idea is that our modern world contains so many toxins – in our food and water, cleaning and beauty products, in the air we breathe – that your body doesn’t have enough capacity to fully flush them out. Especially not when your sedentary lifestyle with too much processed foods and too little sleep puts an extra burden on your body’s natural detoxification process.
So these toxins build up over time, clogging up your gut and internal environment, leading to common symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, irritated skin, bloating and digestive problems.
The solution? Doing a detox to cleanse your body.
Or at least, that’s what the thousands of detox programs and juice cleanses available tell you to do.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with the general concept of detoxing. Yes, your body naturally detoxes every day, but it makes sense to want to optimize that process – especially if you lead a typically Western lifestyle and suffer from (minor) health problems.
But although some people have had specular results from juice cleanses, I don’t think going on a detox is right for everyone.
Most detox programs focus on a variety of juices, sometimes supplemented with raw fruit and vegetables. Even though (veggie) juices contain lots of vitamins and minerals, they don’t pack enough protein, fiber, fat and calories to sustain a person in the long run. That doesn’t have to be a problem when you’re on a health retreat. But if you try following a detox program while balancing work and family, you might feel hangry and tired instead of revitalized.
A ‘3-day detox’ or ‘master cleanse’ also feels like a quick fix for a bigger problem. First we overeat during the holidays and then ‘compensate’ by restricting ourselves. This cycle of binge-eating and fasting might lead to a disordered relationship with food. Of course, a short detox program can also be a great kickstart of a healthier lifestyle. But when you make drastic changes, it’s easy to fall back into your old habits – hello cookie cravings! – as soon as your juice cleanse ends.
So can you support the natural detoxification of your body without depriving yourself? Sure! Take a look at these 11 simple ways.
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