What does the word “alternative” mean to you? It can have negative implications, true, but what it really means is that you’re simply doing things outside of what some might call the “mainstream.” Is this good? It might be. Is this bad? It might be. It really depends on how you approach it — but it may also be positive, because it may make you think “outside of the box,” taking a different approach to things that may in fact be more effective. This is true as well of the way we handle our illnesses and good health, too. If you get sick, do you normally go to the doctor instantly get a prescription filled, in hopes of “feeling better”?
Chances are, if you’re like most people, you do, but this is very much within the realm of “instant gratification,” which many of us have become accustomed to in our lives. Although prescription medications can certainly be beneficial in the short term, they may also simply mask the problems we ourselves have caused by our lifestyles of too little exercise, too much fast food, too little focus on healthy eating, a beneficial lifestyle, and so on. In fact, this “fast food” approach to life can cause a cascade of health problems, from stress because of an overworked, fast-paced life — too fast — to anxiety, mental illness, physical illness, and so much more. If you’re someone who lives like this, what does that mean to you? Should you completely change how you live now, just dump the life you have, and move to a yurt in the Mojave Desert?
Small Changes Count
Actually, no. In fact, starting small is the best way to do things, because it means you can incorporate changes gradually into your life so that number one, you’ll be comfortable with them, and so that number two, you’ll actually keep doing them so that your life changes permanently for the better. In short, radical changes don’t work. Let’s say, for example, that you go on a diet and vow that you are NEVER going to eat ice cream again. The problem is, ice cream is one of your favorite foods, and once you “give it up,” you constantly crave it. It’s not long, maybe a day or two, before you “fall off the wagon” and binge on a pint of Ben & Jerry’s.
Now, why did that happen? Because drastic change simply doesn’t work. You’ve been eating ice cream for a long time, you crave that indulgence every day, and your body is going to work against you if you simply “give it up.”
So if you want to get healthy and begin to work on “alternative health,” where do you start? With alternative healing, you focus on changing your diet (gradually) from one of processed foods, high-fat foods, and “junk” food to whole, fresh, healthy foods that actually taste good. It may also incorporate other practices, like spiritual pursuits, alternative-healing arts like chiropractics, acupuncture, or Chinese herbal
therapy, and it will most certainly include some form of exercise. The basic premise is, you want your body to return to its natural homeostasis or balance. If you wish, you can consult an expert in the healing arts to determine a best course of “treatment” for you, so that you can return to homeostasis. It may take some trial and error before you find what’s right for you, but that’s part of learning the process of alternative healing.
“Eating right” means starting small. So don’t just decide that you are going to completely dispense with ice cream and only drink wheatgrass juice from now on. Instead, incorporate small, gradual changes that you are going to actually enjoy. So for example, instead of reaching for potato chips and a soda when you sit down to watch a favorite TV show, exercise when you watch that TV show; invest in a treadmill, an exercise bike, or a rebounder, and put in a few minutes of exercise before you sit down and give yourself a well-deserved break. And find substitutes whenever you can that are healthier for favorite treats.
For example, maybe you can give yourself a treat of ice cream once a week, and substitute plain yogurt with fresh fruit, like blueberries or strawberries, stirred in the rest of the time. Chances are, as your taste buds change, that ice cream will taste less enjoyable over time so that you will actually want the yogurt instead. You can also try substituting small amounts of natural sugars for the white stuff, like molasses or honey. Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, incorporated slowly, into your diet; by the way, local farmers markets are a great source for these fresh fruits and vegetables, and you’ll be supporting your local community, too.
As stated above, exercise is absolutely necessary for the best health. Find something you enjoy. The above-mentioned exercises are good, if you’re going to sit down and watch TV; you can also swim, do tai chi, or incorporate any number of exercises into your life very easily. A simple way to start is to park your car away from the front of your office building at work, or further away from the grocery store, so that you have to walk further distances to and from your car. Take the stairs, get out to the playground and play with your kids, and so on. All of this is exercise that is actually fun, and it’s a simple way to incorporate it into your day.
Alternative Health Arts
If you wish, you can also explore alternative health “arts,” like chiropractics, acupuncture, and so on. These practitioners have a different approach than traditional all opathic medicine does, where they address the body as a whole instead of the symptoms of your particular imbalance. They may help you correct your diet, give you physical “adjustments,” or may recommend supplements or herbs to improve your health.
Remember that “alternative” doesn’t have to mean “radical.” Instead, start slowly, explore different options for healthy change, and enjoy a gradually emerging, healthier you that truly enjoys what you’re doing.
Alternative Medicine Lifestyle:Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Alternative Medicines… http://www.alternativemedicinelifestyle.com