I recently spent four days at an exclusive, executive health retreat called Canyon Ranch Health Spa in Tucson, Arizona. While there, I partook in many lectures and workshops involving physiology, brain health, aging, intuition, and exercise. In these lectures, I heard it said that science is doing a very good job at proving the interconnectedness of the mind, body, soul and spirit. When there is an effect on one part (ie. smelling a pleasingly fragrant flower), another part is also affected, (ie. happy hormones are released into the body slowing heart rate). A person is a wholistic bundle of energy, not a bunch of parts acting independently of each other. In the same token, when there is dis-ease in one area or system, it can create dis-ease in other systems.
For example, in one workshop I attended, the facilitating doctor summed up the workshop explaining that expressions of tenderness and compassion develop the frontal brain. The frontal brain is probably the least developed of the various brain segments. When tenderness is withheld from another, cortisol is released and accumulates in the heart of both the giver and the receiver. Too much cortisol in the heart can cause the heart to die. Consider this the next time you choose not to show compassion.
The suggestions below were given to me from a medical doctor with credit from Dr. Andrew Weil’s Integrative Medicine Program at the Tucson University. When I sat down in front of the doctor, he asked me how he could best serve me. I told him that I would like his opinion on what priorities I should focus on as I move into the second half of my life, and wanting to do it with vigour and vitality. He told me that if I follow the following suggestions, chances are that my life will be lived out well. Barring an unforeseen accident or medical complication, if my life is a 5 on a scale of 10, chances are that one of these areas is not being attended to.
Suggestions to live by:
- Get regular check ups and blood tests – heart and blood pressure checks, glucose, liver and cholesterol tests.
- Digest, absorb, and eliminate foods with high nutrition.
- Get active and stay active – shortening and lengthening lots of different muscles, breathe heavy for 20+ minutes and practice balance and good posture.
- Sleep well – the body needs revitalization time from the stresses of the day.
- JOY – start appreciating smells, touch, sounds, sights, tastes and energies
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