Saturday, 25 June 2011

Cleansing My Body, Mind, and Soul

In my last post I talked about my struggle to find a balance, I would love to say that I have accomplished this goal over the past week - but it is still definitely a work in progress. I have been on edge, and as always life is very busy, so setting aside time for me to decompress, reflect, and take care of myself (despite the best of intentions) has fallen by the way-side. As a result my body has paid the price.

My inspiration
I like to think that I very rarely shows any outward signs of stress. But because I keep things bottled up, stress tends to manifest in all sorts of weird aliments (ie. hives, migraines, swollen joints, etc.). So needless to say in the past two weeks I have experienced all of the above...all of which actually end up making you more stressed! Its a bit of an self-perpetuating cycle - your stressed so you get hives, you have hives which makes you more stressed, and you continue to be stressed so you continue to have see how this goes. Anyways, I finally have a weekend at home and to myself so I am regaining control of this situation and attempting to bring a sense of calm and tranquility back into my life and my body.

I have been reading Suzanne Somer's Knockout, on and off for the past few months. Suzanne Somer's has long championed a natural approach to health, and garnered a great deal of attention by treating her own breast cancer diagnosis through alternative means and deviated from the standard practice of care. Knockout shares interviews Suzanne's personal interviews with several doctors who are treating cancer through alternative means along side glowing testimonials from their patients. Obviously given my current circumstances I was curious to see what all the fuss was about, especially because there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the publication of this book.

I greatly admire Suzanne's approach to health. She only eats organic, and from what I understand she grows most of her food herself. She practices yoga daily, and generally avoids allowing any type of unnatural substance or drug in her body. That type of clean living is something I would love to strive for, but as a girl with a cyborg heart and soon-to-be fake breasts I can't really swear off "Big Medicine", and nor am I entirely sure that I want to.

Suzanne's approach to medicine admittedly comes off a bit fanatical, but I do think there is validity to what she is saying. The information in her books tackles the experiences of the American Medical System, which I would happily agree is not exactly up to snuff in terms of the standard of care from the patients' perspective. From what I know about the American system and experience; I can see how a patient would feel very alienated from their treatment. And as a serious Darwinian fail I thank my luckily stars almost daily that I was born in a country that values the importance of universal health care. Canadian medicine is very different, and in my experience the treatment is amazing and very patient driven. I think there is room for both conventional and alternative medicine in our approach to treatment, and based on my experience they are becoming more closely related as time progresses.

Many of the doctors interviewed by Suzanne discuss the important role played by diet, exercise, and general lifestyle. Several of these doctors are using modifications made to these areas to treat and for all intensive purposes cure patients with cancer. The testimonials are amazing, and the my jaw-dropped several times when reading about some of the patients` experiences. This is something that I believe will become more and more important as research continues to advance, and one of the reasons I am choosing to make these changes in my own life. Many of the doctors here in Canada are very aware of the protective role played by these factors, and are attempting to establish a clear link between these elements in hopes of eventually finding a cure. My own family is part of a study to help discover the role played by these environmental factors vs genetic factors - so ``Big Medicine`` is experimenting with alternative means. But more than anything Knockout reminded me of the power and strength that can be harnessed within our own body if we treat it properly and approach our health mindfully.
My new suppplment routine

So I have been inspired to begin my first liver cleanse. The use of liver cleansing is discussed a great deal in Knockout as an essential to restoring proper body function within patients struggling with cancer.The liver plays a key role in maintaining your body`s balance through its function in digestion and the cleansing your blood of toxins, all of which is very important when battling this type of disease. The liver cleanse can be used by anyone hoping to improve their bodies overall function. My cleanse will take 3 weeks to complete, and I am hoping it will help make my body more effective against stress and restore my bodies natural symmetry.
The Plan...
* Supplements...
I will be taking natural supplements to gently cleanse my body of any unnecessary toxins that have built up over these past few weeks as a result of stress and improper diet. I will also be taking vitamin supplements to help my body restore its essential nutrients (including vitamin B, Omega-3, and Co Q10).
                    - Vit. B is supposed to help maintain/promote a healthy metabolism and immune system
                    - Omega 3 is thought to promote a healthy cardiovascular system (an area this Darwinian fail is always looking to improve), cancer prevention (also a must), and improve circulation
                    - Co Q10 is also thought to promote a healthy cardiovascular system , decrease migraine symptoms, and generally increase lifespan
* Diet - I will be eating whole, organic foods, consisting primarily of fruits, vegetables, and protein. I will be limiting processed sugars and refined carbs, and I will also be drinking 3 litres of water daily. Limiting my coffee intake (a serious struggle for this caffeine addict) and cutting out all alcohol are also a must.
* Exercise...
Week 1: will consist of a daily yoga practice (90 min. Bikram Yoga)
Week 2 + 3: will introduce cardio (mostly running for me) 3 days/week, 2 strength training sessions/ week, and 2 yoga practices/week
I will be exercising daily to ensure that I set that important time aside for myself (despite my schedule) and to garner those important health benefits.

More than anything else I hope this cleanse will serve as a catalyse to be more mindful of my health, and my approach to my body every day. I will keep you posted as the cleanse progresses! Wish me luck!

Love your favourite Darwinian Fail,