We're told to feed ourselves good food... exercise regularly... avoid stress. And be it lifestyle, nutrition, or everyday habits, we're (usually) trying to do the right things for our bodies, in hopes of living longer, preventing disease, or improving our current state of health.
We go for regular check ups, get annual blood work, all to make sure our body is functioning "within normal range".
But how often do we check up with the soul? That place deep down inside where joy or happiness or contentment sits. Our state of emotional wellbeing is shown to have profound effects on our overall state of health. Whether it's referenced as the placebo effect, mindfulness, or the mind-body connection, the health industry has come to recognize the importance of healing not only the body, but the mind. Decrease stress levels, practice meditation, try yoga, be mindful.
But what if it were even simpler than that? What if I were to tell you that the chemicals your body releases when engaging in something that brings your joy can mediate pain, decrease inflammation, and of course, lower your stress response. Sometimes, the most important thing we can do for our overall state of health, is to give ourselves some good ol' fashion soul food.
When was the last time you did something that brought you joy? Inspired you? Put a smile on your face?
When was the last time you picked up a paintbrush? Hiked your favour trail? Called your best friend?
Much like they always say teachers make the worst students, doctors make the worst patients. Like many, I find it easy to forget about self-care when we're so wrapped up in all the other things we need to take care of. Our own needs often take the bottom of the list.
So I recently prescribed myself a well overdue dose of my favourite flavour of soul food... travel.
If you've yet to come across the lists of "quick" tips to attaining goals that seem to be circulating the interweb these days, then you're probably bound to soon. It seems as though every goal or desire that may have once seemed dauntingly unachievable now has an article with a step-by-step process on how to reach it quickly or easily. And of course, we can't help but think as we frantically scroll down the page, "fantastic, they've found me a solution". Unfortunately, it couldn't be further from the truth.
the art behind the science
If you're unfamiliar with Naturopathic medicine, or even simply how it's pronounced, don't feel disheartened... you’re not alone. It’s a question I get asked day in and day out, and a tough question to answer at that. You see, Naturopathy doesn't fit as easily into a categorical box as some might hope, primarily because the term itself serves as an umbrella for what is practiced beneath it.
If you're looking to understand the criteria of a Naturopathic medical education, the modalities used, or how it compares to an allopathic curriculum, the AANM does a lovely job of breaking it down for you. Rest assured, your ND is well educated in both the holistic and allopathic sides of medicine. However, the part I hope to emphasize is not the structure of the curriculum or the hours of clinical experience, but more so the beauty of the way in which it is practiced - the art of Naturopathy.