Traditionally at Opening Spaces we help clients through hands-on bodywork therapy to get out of pain, feel better, and become more aligned. As many may know, working on the physical, creating balance and confidence in our structure has a positive affect on our psyche as well. These, of course, are beautiful benefits, but what I’ve found over the years is that it is not enough to work with only the biomechanics of the physical body to create alignment.
Physical bodies only hold their inherent alignment if they have their internal chemistry in balance as well. At first glance, this may seem overwhelming or confusing, but it’s actually easier than we believe. Internal chemistry is our physiological internal functions that are intertwined with both our food intake and from our emotions. Our well-being is dependent on how efficiently these processes are carried out.
Our bodies are grown both from the pieces we inherited from our parents and from what we have put into it over the years. Unfortunately, we can be born with a deficit in certain areas, deficits that we inherited. I despised this notion when I first read it about a decade ago. But over and over it proves itself accurate (dammit!) These show up in familial weak spots in physical and emotional health issues. When this is the case, we need is extra nourishment to feed these deficient systems.
These bodies of ours actually do their complicated internal processes from very simple input from us. All we have to do is feed nutrients that our bodies need to function optimally. The simplest way to look at this is our bodies need nutrient dense food. This is the food found most often on the outer aisles of a grocery store or market. It’s the food in its most natural state. It’s the stuff packed with nutrients that our bodies can actually put to use, not fillers that gum up our internal systems.
Bodies can go long periods of time on crappy input of food, but at some point we will have to pay the piper so to speak. In my research, the easiest way to look at this is we need to put in the most nutrient dense food and the ones that cause the least amount of stagnation or mucus buildup in our internal systems. Any time we have stagnation in our system, any time our natural flows are impeded, our system functions a little less efficiently and debris builds up. We need to keep flow happening in our internal systems.
One of the quickest ways to see if things are moving is through our elimination system. This sucker should be putting out waste 2-3 times a day. Right? That’s a lot of movement! We have all kinds of crap backed up in here. This is the one system to focus on if it’s not moving this well.
Another piece to this is our emotions. Our emotions actually have chemical messenger components (neuropeptides) that are the molecules of our emotions. When our elimination system is working optimally, we actually eliminate emotional chemicals through our waste. When we don’t, our emotions can become backed up, too.
So what do we need to get things moving here? Again, nutrient dense and living food is our greatest ally. These are vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and seeds. Meat, wheat, and cheeses are some of the most mucus forming foods. Mucus creates stagnation, which inhibits flow and allows wastes to accumulate. In order to clear waste out of our system, we need foods that will move through most quickly and easily. This doesn’t mean we need to stop eating meat, wheat and cheeses completely (although that could be good for us), it simply means we need more of the former to get our systems moving.
In addition, we need to actually chew our food well and start the digestion process here. How much should we chew? Enough times that our food is actually a liquid when we swallow it down. For some of us this is gag inducing. I know. I used to pride myself on swallowing as much of my food whole as possible (I was a weird kid.) No wonder I had stomach problems. It may take practice.
This concept actually applies to smoothies, soups and liquid meals, too. We need to swish them in our mouth to get it mixed with our saliva to start our digestion process way up in our first mixing bowl, our mouth. Again, start small and keep enjoying your food. Don’t let these concepts ruin eating for you.
We want to get the most from our food, so digestion is important. If our body hasn’t been eliminating enough, nutrients will not be able to get absorbed through the walls of our intestines. There are all kinds of ways we can complicate absorption of nutrients, but we’ll start with nutrient dense food and proper elimination. Digestion may be helped with a cup of mint tea or some mint leaves or fennel seeds after your meal.
Some other helpful whole food herbs and combinations are licorice root and red raspberry leaf teas for hormonal balance. When we use whole food herbs (as opposed to an extract or standardized extract), we are getting the synergistic components and our bodies use only what’s needed and eliminate the rest. Licorice root also aids digestion and helps eliminate viruses from our system. Red raspberry leaf tea is helpful for balancing hormones through puberty, pregnancy, and menopause timeframes. These herbs are beneficial for both men and women.
When our elimination system is sluggish, it may be helpful to bring in herbal combinations to assist the movement of our lower bowel. Dr. Christopher’s Lower Bowel and Nature’s Sunshine LBSII are both well-respected whole food herbal combinations. With these whole food herb combinations, we start with the least amount needed and build up one capsule at a time until we get movement.
When we tone and nourish our internal chemistry we assist our bodies in holding their alignment through our physical, emotional and even our mental bodies. We reduce pain and give out bodies what we need to function at our highest levels. Let me know if you have questions or comments (Chris@openingspaces.com) around this subject that seems to have a lot of opinions and approaches.
As always, take good care and keep moving forward!