So, I thought I’d go ahead and write a little something on Labor Day. What else might I discuss, but WORK.
Or, more importantly, EFFORT.
Maybe you’ve always assumed you have to do a bunch of things to get somewhere. “Hard work”, “sincere effort”, “grinding it out” — all of these are terms I know you’re familiar with.
And, the same logic is often applied to your health. You have to “try” to change your diet, “try” to exercise more, “try” to make better lifestyle choices like getting more rest or taking your vitamins or…
But, healing actually takes NO effort at all. Yes, that’s right. It’s effortless.
What takes effort is going against your body’s natural rhythms. Eating at random times, sleep and waking hours that constantly vary. Sitting watching TV instead of going out for a walk. Not taking your vitamins or drinking enough water.
These habits and others put a tremendous amount of strain on your body. Your cells have to make serious effort to compensate for them.
Something I’ve seen time and time again in clinic: Someone comes in, and we discuss diet. Part of their issue is they aren’t drinking water. Instead, they’re drinking iced tea, or sweet tea, or soft drinks, or coffee, or juice…
Drinking that stuff all day, day-in and day-out, is a serious burden on your tissues — in particular the kidneys, liver, adrenal glands, and nervous system.
Why? Because the sugar, caffeine, colorings, and other chemicals in flavored drinks and juices create extra work for those organs, where there doesn’t have to be any.
That extra work is like running your car for 100 extra miles a day, just driving around for no reason. What do you think happens? Yep, you guessed it… The engine wears out faster, the tires wear out faster… Everything wears out faster.
In other words, you age faster.
Now, back to the idea of “effort” and our example patient above.
Sometimes when I tell someone to drink water instead of all those flavored drinks, they look at me like I have three eyes.
But, then they try it. And, after a few days, they realize how thirsty they are. “I can’t stop drinking water… I am drinking so much! I never thought I’d like it so much!”
There’s no effort to it. Their body is saying, “YES, this is what I’ve wanted… Keep doing this!”
Pretty much everything else is like this. When you give your body’s healing intelligence the space to do its work, it is amazingly easy to keep going. You WANT to keep doing it.
Why? Because you feel better. You feel stronger, you’re happier and more energetic.
So, how do you support your body’s healing intelligence?
Mostly by NOT doing things. NOT eating junk food all the time. NOT drinking tons of caffeine. NOT staying up working on the computer until 11pm or later. NOT forgetting to take your vitamins.
In other words, getting out of your own way.
So, in honor of Labor Day, let’s all work a little less, and allow the simple things to take root in our lives. Rest, hydration, gentle exercise, and good, clean natural foods.
These are the keys to effortless healing.