Thursday, November 28, 2013

SOO Thankful!

As I celebrate the wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, I have SOO much to be grateful for! 

This November marks 9 years since my health collapsed. After many years of suffering, I'm SO grateful to report that my recovery continues progressing very well! I think I'm healthier now than I've probably ever been. God has healed my body of so many things, and 2013 has been quite a year for me! 

- I began the year with a trip to the beach with my family, and I even played soccer for the first time in years!!!

- I was able to join a small group Bible study for the first time since 2004! 

- I bought a rosebush and actually planted it myself!

- I went on a road trip for FUN! =) I spent two weeks traveling, seeing friends and family, and having a great time.

 - I attended a HUGE Bible conference for 3 days and was tremendously blessed! 

- I finally finished the book I started in 2010 - hallelujah!!! And I'm now facilitating a Bible study using that book. Praise God!

- I had my first speaking engagement! It was really fun, and I hope to do more in the future. 

- I actually hung up a shower curtain! (Ah the little things we EI people learn to appreciate!) =) 

- I attended several family get-togethers and have greatly enjoyed being with my family again! 

- I FINALLY got moved back in my bedroom!!! I've slept in there about 5 nights so far and seem to be doing well. Thank you God! 

Looking back on this year, I'm overflowing with gratitude! God has done so much for me, in me and through me - to HIS glory! 

I'm thankful He is still the same wonderful God that He's always been! 
I'm thankful that for now I'm in a season of truly enjoying life. =)
I'm thankful that I can see so clearly how all the years of suffering were worth it, to bring me to where I am today. 
I am SOOO thankful! 

What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Flame Retardants

In September I promised I'd write a more detailed post about flame retardants. Well, I just read this excellent article by Dr. Mercola that pretty much says it all. 

He explains what products have flame retardants, the health dangers involved - especially for children, and how you can reduce your exposure to these toxic chemicals. 

I encourage you to hop over and read his article. Then consider what positive steps you can take to reduce the amount of flame retardant chemicals in your home. And of course, continue with your detoxing program (lymphatic massage, detox baths, deep breathing, stretches, etc.). 

Flame retardants are a serious health threat. I hope this information will help you in protecting yourself and your family. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Hear What I Say...(And So Do You)

Several years ago a health professional told me to start saying "positive affirmations" every day, like:
"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better." 

I didn't see how that could possibly be true, and it felt wrong somehow to say it. So I never did. Even though that probably wasn't the best statement for me to use, it was a good idea to change the words I spoke. Eventually I discovered the powerful effect our words have on us, and I started to use them in a positive way.

The reality is that our brains hear what our mouths say. Every time we say something negative (even if it feels true) about physical symptoms or emotions of frustration, discouragement, only reinforces that negative idea in the brain and in the body. 

I had to learn to stop saying words that didn't contribute to good health, and instead practice saying words that promote healing and strengthening in my body.

I think the most powerful statements we can tell ourselves are the ones that begin with "I am...." 

- I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
- I am perfectly designed for a unique purpose.
- I am strong and healthy in every season. (This is one I've been using a lot lately.) 
- I am courageous and fearless! 
- I am calm and capable in any situation.
- I am happy, thankful and full of life! 

Other good statements to use begin with "I can" or "I love" - 

- I can do this! I can handle this. I can enjoy this." (fill in whatever "this" is for you)
- I love my family! I love my house! I love my life! =)

Believe me, I know at first it can seem awkward to say things that may not "feel" true. But remember that words are a gift from God - to help us change! Our brains control everything in our bodies. If we want change in the body, we need to have change in the brain. And changing our words is probably the best way to make changes in our brains. 

When we tell ourselves positive truths, we are choosing to focus on those things over the negative things. 
I'm not saying that you can tell yourself "I'm healthy" and all health challenges suddenly disappear. 
I am saying that negative words do NOT help in the healing process, but positive words DO. 

So think about the things you usually say to yourself, or that you say about yourself to others. Are those words reinforcing negativity in the brain? If so, consider what statements you can use to replace the negative ones. Start with statements you're comfortable with, even if it's something like:
"I'm pressing on. I'm moving forward. I'm making progress." 
Choose a statement with a positive direction for you and start using it.

Then gradually add in other statements and stretch yourself a little more and more. 
- If you want to be thankful, even though you never feel thankful, then start saying "I love to be thankful." Your brain will hear that new message and begin to change your attitude. 
- When you feel tempted to discouragement, say "I can be happy!" 
- When you feel challenged, say "I am capable in this situation."  

Think of it like a game and try to always find a positive statement for each challenging moment.

I can testify that changing our words is an essential step to take in order to continue healing. Our brains need to hear us say things that support health and well-being - because I hear what I say, and so do you! 

So I'll get you started, ok? =)

You are wonderfully created by God for a unique purpose! 
You are loved more than you can imagine!
You are strong and courageous! 
And you can use positive words as a tool for healing! =) 

Yes and amen.

Your turn! =) Please share in the comments one positive statement you will tell yourself this week.  

P.S. Here's a really cute video of a little girl using the power of positive words. Enjoy! =) 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Life

You might be surprised, but did you know that your mouth is one of the key factors for good health? 

Your mouth affects your health in many different ways, including: 
*What you put in your mouth - what you eat and drink. 
I've written several posts on this topic, so I won't repeat that information here. 

*What comes out of your mouth - what you say.
This is far more important than most of us realize. I'll talk more about it in next week's post.  

*The daily care of your mouth - yes, including brushing, flossing, etc. 

Today let's focus specifically on teeth/mouth care. 

The sad reality is that most teeth/mouth care products sold today actually contain toxic ingredients. It's important to be aware of this. It's hard to find 100% non-toxic products, but let's at least take the time to choose less toxic options, since these are products we use on a daily basis. 

1) Toothbrushes - 
If you're using a toothbrush made in China it undoubtedly has aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, and/or various other toxins in higher than normal levels. (In case you aren't aware, products made in China are highly toxic--avoid them as much as possible.) 

Many health food stores now sell natural fiber toothbrushes. A cheaper alternative is to just make sure the toothbrush you buy is made in the USA or another "safe" country. So far I've found toothbrushes made in Switzerland or other European countries to be ok for me. I always wash them in baking soda then let them air before using for the first time.

If you're using a plastic toothbrush, then be sure to get a new one every 1-3 months. Three months is really the outer limit. And if you're detoxing a lot, then every 4-6 weeks is better, because the toothbrush gradually fills up with toxins from your mouth. 

Also, do not put your toothbrush in the dishwasher or boil and then continue using. Putting the plastic in scalding hot water may cause it to leach chemicals that you definitely don't want in your mouth. Just throw it away and buy a new one. Your health is worth it! =)

2) Toothpaste -
Ordinary toothpaste contains several toxic ingredients like flouride, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners and more (this article has more specifics). Using a toxic product like this daily means you're getting a continual exposure to harmful chemicals.

There are natural toothpastes available, however even some of those can still have potentially problematic ingredients. I used a baking soda-based toothpaste for several years until my dentist told me it was stripping the enamel off my teeth. 

Thankfully, the dental hygenist informed me that toothpaste isn't actually necessary for healthy teeth. Brushing and flossing is what is important. Since she told me that, I haven't used any toothpaste. I do usually put the tiniest sprinkle of baking soda on my toothbrush, enough so my mouth feels clean but not enough to harm the enamel.

You can also find toothpaste recipes made with all natural ingredients online.

3) Mouthwash, whiteners, etc. - 
Mouthwash is also toxic, and if it contains alcohol (or ethanol) poses a significant risk for cancer! (Here's the information about that.) 

If you feel the need to rinse your mouth with something, then try a mild saltwater or mild baking soda solution. (Recommended amount is usually 1/2 tsp in 8 oz of water.)

I've also been asked about oil pulling. From my research, I think it has more potential for problems than for healing. (You can be allergic to the oil, you may not be ready for that kind of detox, etc. I also don't think it's good to swish anything in your mouth for 20 minutes, as I think you may reabsorb toxins in that time.) If you want to detox effectively, I recommend starting with lymphatic massage and detox baths, then gradually adding in other detox methods such a rebounding, juicing, etc. (See my post on Detoxing 101.) 

As far as chemical teeth whiteners, definitely say no! Especially since there are some natural alternatives. One I read about online is to rub the inside of a banana peel on your teeth. I asked my herbalogist about it, and she said it would be fine for me to do it. So I rubbed the banana peel on my teeth and left it for 20 minutes. Then rinsed and brushed. It actually did improve the appearance of my teeth! Plus it was completely natural. (However, my herbalogist did say that not everyone would tolerate this well, depending on their particular health condition. So you might want to check with a health advisor before trying it.) Remember a healthy body is infinitely more important than white teeth. 

4)  Floss - 
Some floss is actually coated with flouride, which is toxic to the body and unnecessary for healthy teeth. However, I'm not sure how to tell which brands are. Personally, I just make sure the floss is not made in China, and I use the plain, unflavored kind. You can also find natural dental floss online. 

It's important to floss every day. Flossing keeps your teeth and mouth healthy and also (according to some studies) can protect your heart health (since it helps avoid plaque build up that can eventually wind up in the arteries).

This could be a whole post in itself, but just as a side note - dental fillings that contain mercury can cause serious health problems. With mercury in the teeth, it's like a continual dripping faucet of this toxin into your body. For many people having it removed changes their whole lives! Two of my loved ones had dramatic health recoveries after their mercury fillings were removed. However, if you do this, be sure to research and find a mercury removal professional. If the dentist doesn't know what they're doing, they can cause many problems in the process of removing the mercury fillings. 

Well, those are some suggestions of how to keep a healthy mouth. I hope they are helpful. Is there anything you would like to add?