Photo: woods wheatcroft photography


As this year reaches its end and we in Sandpoint find ourselves happy and content with the holidays and exhausted from all the snow shoveling, I find myself thinking about my plans for the new year, the values and benefits I seek, and the changes I wish to make that match my goals.

My primary goal is to take good care of myself in all ways, from eating good healthy food regularly, to exercising regularly, and to supporting myself with positive thoughts about all I accomplish and releasing those mind chattering tapes that focus on what I have yet to do or have overlooked.

As a practicing massage therapist and holistic nutritionist in training, I study many resources about the chemistry of the body and how best it functions for optimal performance and radiant health.  My studies place much attention on the importance of adequately detoxifying ourselves due to so much environmental toxic exposures.  After spending several hours behind my snow blower breathing in exhaust fumes from this machine I am so grateful to own, I realized my need to focus more directly on detoxifying the effects of such exposure.  I have written about detoxification in past articles, and I again wish to remind everyone of its importance in maintaining one’s health.

Detoxification can be accomplished in a variety of ways.  Of course, I value massage therapy as one choice.  Massage offers so many benefits and is of great health value when undertaken regularly.  Massage gets fluids in the body moving onward and outward.  All the techniques employed in massage therapy enable cells, tissues, and muscles to release stuck and stored elements no longer serving the body.  Fluids carry away the wastes and also bring in fresh nutrients for the body to use.  The sense of well being provides a new happy chemistry to circulate and the body begins to function more efficiently.  Most people tell me they sleep much better following a massage, and we all know that through sound sleep our resting bodies accomplish the task of healing, repairing, and restoring.

Another favorite of mine is the Far Infrared Sauna, (FIR).  This dry heat sauna enables the body to sweat out toxins, especially those fat soluable metals we all take in from breathing toxic air (fumes) and from some of our food sources (mercury and industrial pollutants in some of our favorite fish).  Research has shown that regular sweating is extremely valuable for the human body and should be done regularly.  The dry heat of the FIR sauna is easier on the breath and eyes and does not require a high heat to get a good sweat going.   And far infrared is natural to the body, so this type of sauna, to me, is safe and comfortable for most people.

Eating healthy non-processed food is another way to help the body detoxify.  Colorful foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are rich in vital nutrients and antioxidants which help the body reduce free radicals, those rascals that have lost an electron and search for what they have lost often damaging cell walls, creating inflammation, and blocking absorption pathways at the cellular level in their process of seeking balance. Eating fresh foods, organic when possible, foods grown closer to home (so transport time is less and nutrient values remain high), meat foods grown on pastures and not in feed lots, increasing non-processed foods, and staying away from trans fats are valuable changes we can make to help in detoxification.

Of course, exercise is another important detoxifying strategy.  When muscles move, stretch, and work, all systems of the body benefit: mind, body, and spirit.  Everyone I know who exercises regularly feels better, thinks better, sleeps better, has more energy, and feels good about themselves-which creates positive chemistry that supports health.

Considering what I want for myself in the coming year, what I value, what benefits I wish to receive, and what I am willing to do to achieve these for myself, I begin to feel better already knowing that I have a positive direction to strive for-renewed goals for taking care of myself through exercise, sweating in my sauna, scheduling my own massage appointments, keeping up my nutrition studies, eating good healthy nutrient rich foods, and keeping a positive attitude.

I wish all of you the happiest and healthiest of years to come.  I thank you for all your attention to our contributors to the Complementary Health News column by The Sandpoint Wellness Council, and I invite you to visit our website, to find other articles you may have missed, to make comments, and to contact us at anytime with your questions, ideas, or requests for us to research topics of interest to you.

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Becky December 31, 2008 at 3:32 am

Thanks for the great detoxification ideas. I have been really trying to get healthier lately… I have learned a lot by reading some of Dr. Sha’s great and inspiring books…. I just finished “Soul Communication,” and am so excited to read “The Power of Soul,” scheduled to come out in January. I didn’t realize until reading your blog how important getting the toxins out of your body is.


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