Naturopaths are known for promoting health and well-being. We can be a bit stuck up about it too. We flaunt our wellness like a Versace gown on the red carpet to the “oooh and aaahs” of those in our wake. After all, wellness is the thing of dreams. But what happens when we fall prey to viruses and bacterial infections? Well I can tell you that we are sooks (actually maybe that’s just me?) and removing our wellness-identity from us forms a sense of disillusionment. Anxiety. Identity crisis. Failure. Versace turns Target. Shit gets crazy.
There is a vast difference between feeling strong, lean & clean and feeling weak, sore & ill.
It is humbling to say the least, and there is a forgiveness of viral proportion needed on this journey of redemption. And it all stems from this idea of perfection. It is a marriage of unreasonable beliefs and unrealistic expectations. It is the imagery we use to create the notion of wellness and the idea of beauty. We are not alone in this habit either.
The alternative fashion industry once known for its celebration of wild and free-real-boho-chic-women is a running analogy of underweight impossibly perfect beauties who leap on beaches with feathers in their hair and have legs up to their arm pits. We are addicted to these ideals. In fact, in a world of visual information, we seek it out.
Perfection ideology is the new drug of choice but it fuels the inner critic of who we should be and who we are not. I loathe that. I loathe that the women and men behind these ideals are real people too, with stretch marks, crying baby’s, crooked teeth and hairy chins. That they live real lives, get bored, get hurt and look awful in a bikini.
Naturopaths are real people. We fall ill. It sucks and we are not good at it. But then it might be said (or believed) that we are. I can tell you that walking zombie-like around the caged walls of my house with 2 fellow sicklings aged 5 and 3 is my idea of parental hell. I was not doing the Julie Andrews glide from room to room with abundant creative ideas, nor was I using my calm been meditating in a cave for 20 years voice for instruction. Just ask my neighbours!
As I lay in my disheveled bed with watery eyes and only the Kleenex tissue box for company I scrolled through my instagram feed feeling all the more removed from this world of “perfect”. I was no longer sponsored by Versace and would not be hanging out at the after-party with A-lister Well-being. It is not that I believed that I looked like these perfect women – but I felt like they looked. Amazeballs.
So I thought about keeping it real. Finding the balance.
Health is beautiful, but let’s define beautiful. It is not in the leap but in the feeling of wanting to leap. It is not in the long legs, it is loving the f#cking legs you have. It is appreciating beautiful things without believing that you have to be perfect. It is being who you are and finding great love and value in that. It is about celebrating all that is you and inspiring wellness and vitality and happiness in those around us.
So whilst I am here, let me do what I do best:
Having a head-cold sucks. It bites the big one. Especially if you are a mother and clocked on to all household duties (let’s get our Versace on……)
This approach can be used for anyone who is immune-compromised and finding themselves susceptible to infection, viruses, head-colds, sinusitis, Upper Respiratory Infection and secondary bacterial infection. And unlike allopathic medicine, it can be used prophylactically or during the illness to reduce the severity of symptoms.
First of all, let’s be practical. I am a mumma of 2 little boys and I am not able to clock off for the day so I have to make choices that will support my body’s recovery in the best way possible.
Juice your Vege’s.
Make it mean, green, purple, orange and thick with vitality. Your body will be looking for extra nutrient, vitamins & minerals to stimulate WBC’s and the immune system’s attack on the viral cells. Less fruit, lots of vege and add some fresh herbs for an antioxidant boost, fresh lemon and lime for it’s vitamin C and bioflavonoids, and ginger/turmeric for their immune enhancing properties. Make a lot and drink it over the course of the day. And don’t stop there. Juice. Every. Day.
Neti-pot sinus cleanse. Once you develop the knack for this cleansing ritual you will never turn back. It is like diving under a wave in the ocean without going to the beach. If you don’t have a neti-pot you can use a small jug/teapot with a spout that will comfortably fit in your nostril. The idea is to flush your sinus cavities with diluted/ filtered (not tap) sea/salt water. This is achieved by pouring the liquid into your nose with the aim of allowing it to create a stream through (and out of) the opposite nostril. Leaning forward and upside down to improve the penetration of water really flushes old and nasty infected mucous allowing you to dispel it afterward. It instantly cleans and improves any symptoms of sinus pain and congestion.
Make your own decongestant chest rub. Using organic coconut oil as a base (you can also use a pure Vitamin E or aqueous cream base) add lavender, thyme, peppermint, cedar-wood, and wintergreen to warm and soothe your chest. This can be used on children also with out the nasty petroleum/ turpentine ingredients found in Vicks vapour rub.
Get your sunshine on! There is something wonderfully refreshing about letting the sun fall onto your skin. You might feel all mangey and feral but sunshine is nature’s most powerful antiseptic. The skin is able to convert sunlight into the Fat-soluble Vitamin D, and current research reveals it has a major role in immune function.
Have a hot steamy shower. Lock the door. Sing loudly enough to drain out the knocking and fighting in the hall. Leap from one side of the drain to the other, elongate your leg long enough to point the toes and induce a foot cramp…….
Motherhood. Keep it real. Keep it happy.
*My qualifications (ND BHSc Mother Woman Mortal) allow full endorsement of everything I just said. Yeah. That.