Sunday, August 19, 2018

Unexpected Detour

My plan was to post about working with an Integrative or Functional Medicine practitioner to do a supervised detox this week. In last week's post, I wrote about the basic principles of a detox and why you might benefit from an occasional detox. BUT - sometimes Life gets in the way and our best laid plans go by the wayside. This was one of those weeks!

I work in a fairly busy Integrative/Functional Medicine/Chinese Medicine clinic and we are transitioning to an EHR (Electronic Health Record) for the first time from paper. Paper is very inefficient so eventually, once we are all familiar with the system and have customized it for our purposes, we will be able to store the paper charts and just work on the computer but right now our charts aren't scanned in and it has been a little crazy to say the least!

So I realized on Friday, when we were having a Team Building day (and I had to go back to the office afterwards to finish my digital 'Task list') that I had not mentioned one of the most important components of ongoing detox - Self Care.

In our hectic modern society, we tend to work overtime during the week and overextend ourselves on the weekends. This leaves our adrenal glands - tasked with handling day-to-day challenges - without any reserves and sometimes just depleted to the point of exhaustion.

Taking time for self-care by literally stopping to smell the roses or reading a book or just hanging out with a friend doing nothing can allow you to put some 'money' back in the adrenal 'bank'.

SO - instead of researching my post and writing it yesterday, I went with a friend to Gibb's Gardens near Ball Ground, Georgia, which is just northwest of where I live in Alpharetta. Around every bend in the garden path is a new delight to appreciate, if you take the time to notice and be in the moment - a practice called mindfulness.

I recommend developing a mindfulness practice as part of an ongoing self-care regimen. Mindfulness allows you to connect with what I like to think of as your 'primordial self' - the you that you were before you were born and Life happened to you. This self doesn't have an Ego to tend but is perfect in every way and connected to the Source of all Being. When you connect to this Self, you can be more grounded, more compassionate, more loving, more present - you can receive from the Giver of all things whatever you need to be content.

When I first got started practicing mindfulness, I read some of Jon Kabat-Zinn's books.  I like Mindfulness for Beginner's and Full Catastrophe Living but he has many from which to choose. I also recommend Search Inside Yourself by Chade-Meng Tan which was written to explain both the personal and corporate benefits of mindfulness. I like it because each chapter is short and sweet and usually has a mindfulness exercise to try.

I also recommend to patients that they combine movement and mindfulness in some way to improve brain health. This could be yoga, tai chi, mindful walking, qi gong or visiting a garden and stopping to notice butterflies like the one above. So I was practicing what I preach by taking a break when my body was telling me I needed a break and so our discussion of a medically supervised detox will have to wait until next week.

Meanwhile, get out there and be mindful so your brain and adrenal glands can be healthier! That will help you have more balanced hormones and help your body avoid the possible diseases that result from being over-stressed.

Peace.


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