This month my focus is on the feminine face of wellness, sometimes called “women’s health.” Focus on “women’s” or “men’s” healthcare can be non-inclusive. This blog is intended to be inclusive of feminine, masculine, and non-binary energy interactions. Masculine and feminine energy in humans is presented differently around the globe. The Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine) energies are symbolic in many cultures of an innate polarity of energies and how it appears in all humans, regardless of their gender identity. If we listen to the wisdom of many traditional systems of medicine, we all have masculine energy within us; we all have feminine energy. It is up to us to discover our own unique harmony within ourselves and our authentic expressions of these energies.
For anyone who identifies as female or with the feminine or yin (or with a different word that you use in its place), here are a few things to consider to promote health and wellness that lean to balancing the feminine. Next month I will discuss Inclusive Wellness for the Masculine.
My intention in this blog is to give you something new to consider. Each person is unique. If any of my suggestions don’t feel right or sound nourishing to you, please pass. There is not one herb or herbal path that is right for everybody. Listen to yourself. Listen to your primary care provider. Look into drug-herb interactions if you are on pharmaceutical medications. Herbs are medicine, and not to be underestimated in their potency.
Let’s practice together. Let’s be healthier than ever. Let’s be our best and strongest selves. The world needs more thriving, healthy and strong humans.
Please consider the following:
Self-care as a path of sustainability. Taking care of yourself can help everyone, including Mother Earth.
Know who you really are?
Humans are outnumbered by both microbes and virus. These little organisms are what we are made of when we look beyond stardust and DNA. Many of them are our protectors against “bad” microbes and viruses that try to invade our body systems; and herbs can be incredible allies to give them a boost. Herbs have super powers to kill and balance germs and virus during their lives in order to protect themselves; and they pass these abilities to humans when we ingest them. Why is this not on every news stand?
For thousands of years, humans have relied and continue to rely upon medicinal and aromatic plants as a primary modality of health. Humans thrive when we consume a broad variety of herbs and spices as part of daily living. Medicinal and aromatic plants contain a vast array of herbal chemistry that is actually the foundation of most drugs today. Herbs are time-tested to support humans in their fight against infections, to breathe deeper, to heal a wound and even to soothe a grieving heart. Humans are the outnumbered host to virus and microbes. When we regularly consume herbs and spices and teas, food, topicals and dietary supplements, we are helping to change our relationship to our microbes and viruses. An easy example is using garlic for its potent and germ fighting benefits. Eating heavy amounts of garlic can be smelled heavily in sweat, breath and the volatile molecules that kill bacteria and virus are excreted throughout the body.
This means the more often we drink, eat, soak in, or topically apply medicinal and aromatic plants, we are helping to keep in check the robust intelligence of microbes and viruses that we daily coexist with. As we are well aware, viruses are deadly, and we would not be here on planet earth without them.
Daily, make it a practice to enjoy more aromatic, beautiful and freshly prepared homemade meals. Cooking with aromatic foods and spices creates stimulating aromas (imagine simmering garlic and onions) that actually signal to your body to begin to create digestive secretions to better assimilate and utilize the nourishment from your meals. Eating more medicinal and aromatic herbs and spices – such as garlic, ginger, cinnamon, clove, thyme, oregano, cilantro, mint and more – also offers digestion-promoting and immune-enhancing health benefits.
Note: Eat less at each meal- avoid feeling super full vs. just right. In traditional systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, it is a practice to eat only the amount that could fit in your two hands cupped together. This allows for diversity of body size and needs, while encouraging not overeating.
Sleeping well requires work, especially as we age. To have good sleep, we need to prepare for good sleep all day long. Cut off your caffeine and sugar intake with plenty of time to use this extra energy (ideally before noon, but no later than 4pm). Take time to unwind from the world before bed. Turn off media and no eating after 9:00 PM. Light a candle, take a bath, read a book, mediate/pray, massage your feet with oil before bed. Find self-care rituals that can help you feel at ease, allowing sleep and dreamtime to offer you its deeply restorative and healing magic.
If possible, drink more water that is not in a plastic bottle – use a bottle you can refill.
Daily, create time for tea. For thousands of years, humans have found pleasure, health and wellness by drinking medicinal and aromatic plants as tea — plants like Chamomile, Tulsi-holy basil, Turmeric, Ashwagandha, Goji berry that promote immune, emotional and physical health.
When safe and easy, take time to breathe in more fresh, clean, outside unmasked air. Practice deep, deep belly breaths, and squeezing air out of your lungs to promote respiratory health and strength.
Please consider protecting yourself and your loved ones from heavily scented products that are not made from pure essential oils or CO2 extracts. In things like scented candles, many “natural” aromas are anything but natural. The powerful chemicals found in most scented cleaning and personal care products are known endocrine system disruptors, meaning that they hurt your hormonal balance. They are known to challenge the respiratory system. They are toxic to the planet. Spread the word. We don’t want these products. They hurt us and they contaminate the ecosystems around us for generations to come.
If appropriate, do offer your environment delicious aromas of essential oils to diffuse in your home and work spaces. Essential oils diffused into our world help to change and uplift our moods and to kill airborne germs, viruses and microbes. Essential oils, when used in the home and in workplaces, can provide greater protection and prevention of airborne microbial challenges.
Ideally, our body was made to move, shake, dance, stretch, sweat, and pant with exhaustion and to savor the gift of slow movement (like in Tai Chi, Chi Gong floating in water, and some forms of Yoga). For many of us, finding time and space to get more physical movement can be challenging. And yet, if we don’t move our energy physically and emotionally, this stagnation leads to “civilization” diseases of the body, mind and spirit. Especially in times of isolation and lack of connection, we humans need the space to talk about, digest and move our feelings. Today, for many, grief and significant suffering is a daily management practice, and movement can help.
Healthy movement and healthy deep and powerful breathing is a first-reach tool to move patterns of pain (emotional and physical), depression, isolation, anxiety, tiredness, anger, and sexual energy. Finding ways to move your energy both emotionally and physically can be fun and easy and incorporated to daily living.
Consider making a big deal of moving your body and your breath while you clean the house, sing in the car, have a dance party in the kitchen, or jump rope. You can even practice deep breathing while typing on your computer. If you have work that is repetitive or requires you to sit, consider consciously moving and shaking your body out often. Sigh. Make some noise, shake your face and head.
I am a devoted fan of GaGa Dance. A movement language you can do anywhere, anytime, fat, thin, stiff, flexible, even in a wheel chair. https://www.gagapeople.com/en/
We need more time as humans beings, vs. humans doings.