Articles with 'health coaching'
Sometimes, on my social media, I’ll post up a bottle of organic microbrewed beer or a glass of biodynamic wine, or one of my summer faves… a margarita made with fresh lime juice, watermelon, tequila, cointreau, and salt on the rim.
Some folks are shocked to discover that I drink alcohol and I’m also a health coach. They wonder how is that possible?
One gal even wrote on my FaceBook page, “Health Coach advising alcohol? Confused.com.”
I could see where that could be confusing.
There was a time in my life when I abstained from alcohol entirely. Two years to be exact!
When I first began my journey toward health, I was very conscious about the foods I ate and drank.
I wanted to feel the effects of everything and understand what these substances did to my body and mind.
One night during my alcohol-free experience, I went to a bar in the west village with a group of friends.
I bellied up to the bar and ordered a tall club soda with a squeeze of lime. And, an interesting thing happened about 45 minutes into my sober experience. I noticed that the people standing all around me began speaking louder the more they drank.
My friend, perched on the bar stool next to me, was talking about consciousness and the Universe. As she was finishing her third pint of beer, her eyes glazed over and her speech was not as clear as when we first started the conversation. She easily lost her train of thought and couldn’t focus on what she wanted to say. She kept slapping herself in the forehead, pointing to the beer, and apologizing.
It was very funny! It wasn’t necessarily the beer causing the confusion – it was the human being drinking the alcohol in excess.
Watching that transformation from a sober distance was eye-opening.
Yes, alcohol is an extreme food that can have dramatic effects on the body and mind, especially if we overindulge.
But, that doesn’t mean alcohol is bad for us. On the contrary, alcohol can be quite healing.
According to Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked, “Alcohol is a powerful and versatile drug, and for most of human history was the most important drug in the pharmacopeia – a panacea, literally. It reduces stress. It also muffles pain, and for most of history served as humankind’s principal analgesic and anesthetic.”
Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, I remember when a baby started teething someone would dip their index finger into a bottle of scotch or whiskey and then give the baby that finger to suck on to help numb the pain. Besides being naturally anesthetic, alcohol also helps kill bacteria, which would reduce the baby’s risk of getting an infection while the teeth are breaking through the skin.
If we look at traditional herbal remedies that have been passed down for centuries many of them contained alcohol at its base. “First, alcohol is the only edible solvent that will extract and preserve many of the naturally occurring herb constituents that are poorly soluble in water, such as essential oils, resins, balsams and many alkaloids. Second, alcohol is an excellent natural preservative, which maximizes the shelf life of extracts. Third, alcohol is a great carrying agent, which facilitates the absorption of the herb’s constituents into the bloodstream.
Alcohol is also one of the oldest fermentations in our history! Grains, fruit, honey and starchy vegetables have all been turned into some kind of alcoholic ferment.
These powerful ferments have had multi purposes throughout history. Ancient people drank a honey-wine called mead. Some of its many attributes was that it enhanced longevity, virility and fertility. It was given to couples on their wedding day with instructions to drink one cup per day for one entire full moon cycle (28 days). Thus the term “honeymoon” found its way into our vernacular.
On a psychological level it seems moderate amounts of alcohol in a group setting promotes bonding, increases the amount of time people spend talking to one another and increases positive emotions. I guess that may be why some guys hug each other tightly exclaiming, “I love you man, I really, really love you man” after they’ve had a couple of brewskies.
The physical body feels the love of alcohol as well. A study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that, “Moderate drinking seems to be good for the heart and circulatory system, and protects against type 2 diabetes and gallstones.”
Unfortunately, according to many scientific studies the miniscule amount of alcohol I consume (one drink per week, or less) may not benefit me that much. Studies suggested that one drink per day worked best for most folks in staving off a variety of conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, macular degeneration and even the common cold.
Does that make me want to increase my alcohol consumption? Not necessarily.
My daily meditation is a powerful stress reducer and overall relaxer, and my positive emotions are generally very high.
As a health coach, there are times that I do recommend alcohol to clients and times when I do NOT. It all depends on their condition.
So, can alcohol be considered “healthy?”
I believe it can be, when used consciously and ingested moderately.
During a session they’ll say, “I know I need to eat better, I know I need daily exercise, I know I need to quit my job, I know I need to end my dead-end relationship, I know…”
Most of us know exactly what we need to do to help ourselves, but we don’t take action on it.
I believe it’s because we haven’t been taught to make our self and our health our number one priority, and to understand that we are responsible for our life.
Self-care is not on the agenda at our schools and it’s not taught in our homes or workplace. So where the heck are we supposed to learn this valuable information?
For me, experience was the best teacher. I learned about self-care and the body’s natural ability to heal through my own sickness. I was dysfunctionally programmed, like many other humans on this planet, to wait until disease came and knocked me to the floor before I made an effort to do something.
The “something” I did was not recommended by my doctors. It was considered radical and unconventional.
Instead of taking radioactive iodine to destroy my thyroid and take synthroid for the rest of my life, I chose to take full responsibility for the disease I manifested; the disease living inside my body, being fed by my poor diet and lifestyle choices. Read that full story here: Radiate My Thyroid? What?! No Freakin’ Way!
Within fourteen days of taking responsibility for my health and incorporating self-care, I noticed improvements; clear skin, better sleep, regular bowel movements, and increased energy. Very quickly, I made the connection that within me lives an innate healing power. All I had to do was nourish it with the proper physical, emotional and spiritual food it needed to thrive.
It’s been over sixteen years since making that initial commitment to self-care, and today my vibrant health (as well as the health of many clients and students) is proof that Thyroid disease, and other diseases, is curable.
The ability to heal an imbalanced or diseased condition takes patience, persistence and hard work, but you are worth it. It’s time we learned how to put our health first and incorporate self-care as an option for our health-care.
Here are some simple steps to activating your body’s innate healing wisdom:
STEP ONE - Take responsibility for your illness. This may sound harsh, but whatever the condition is, own it. It is yours.
STEP TWO - Become aware of your physical body and notice how it “feels” on a daily basis:
- Is it aching?
- Is your skin irritated?
- Do you have vibrant energy?
- Are you struggling to get through the day?
- Are you sleeping well?
- Is your digestive system functioning properly?
If your body is not functioning properly it’s time for some serious self-care. Hire a health coach for gosh sakes!
STEP THREE - Eat clean and get off the crap! Our daily food becomes our cells, our blood, our organs, our body, and our mind. We are what we eat. And, I mean that literally! If we eat food filled with indigestible chemical substances that impair the immune system, we cannot create vibrant health. Stop spending money on healthcare that doesn’t create health and put your money where your mouth is. Purchase local, seasonal food that is naturally grown and lovingly prepared. It’s as simple, and as hard, as that.
STEP FOUR - After getting “clean” dig deeper into the emotional body (the chakras). It’s here you can begin recognizing behavior patterns that may or may not be health-supportive. It’s time to discover who you are and what is your relationship to the world around you. If I had simply changed my diet and my lifestyle, without working on my emotional body, self-healing may not have been quite as effective.
STEP FIVE - Incorporate ancient healing techniques or use any modern healing practice that works with the body/mind/spirit, and not against it. Some healing methods I use include acupuncture, massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, chiropractic, shamanic drumming, chanting, chakra healing, meditation, and many others.
Some of my favorite healers in NYC:
James MacLean – Acupuncture, Reiki and Chinese Herbs
Master Jey Park – Peace of Mind Healing, 212-604-9595 email@example.com
Dr. Susan Bradley – Chiropractor
I love and appreciate my healers and I’m happy to share their info with you.
Of course, there are many more steps to healing, but these are the basics. Remember, as long as you are alive and breathing you can improve any condition. When we become aware of our situation and take full responsibility for what we have created, we can flip the switch from disease-promoting to self-healing at any time.
If you are a health coach and want more information on how to diagnose conditions, join my “The New Healers – Master Coaching Program” These classes are designed to give health coaches and other health practitioners the tools needed to help understand the physical, emotional and spiritual body on an intimate level to help clients (as well as themselves) start the healing process.