Meditation to Heal Yourself

WaterfallDr. Andrew Weil was one of my favorite teachers when I was in nutrition school and he is still such an inspiration to me. I love how much he knows and teaches about breath techniques, meditation, and living a healthy life. I came across this meditation to heal yourself and thought I would share it with all of you. Remember that your body does have the ability to heal itself. I want you to believe that whatever you are going through, your body wants you to heal. Repeat this affirmation: “My body can and will heal itself.” Enjoy this meditation and I wish you all lots of health and happiness. Namaste.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Sunshine

I wish I could say that now that it’s fall, we should all check our vitamin D levels and make sure that we have enough in our bodies. However, the truth is, for most people, getting vitamin D is becoming harder and harder – no matter what time of the year it is. Most of this is due to the fact that the best source of vitamin D  is the sun, but the sun has been blamed for a variety of health problems, so people are doing everything they can to avoid it. This in turn has led to a global vitamin D deficiency. The good news is this: you can still get some vitamin D from the sun and not put yourself at risk for getting sunburned or getting skin cancer.

Why do I need vitamin D?

Vitamin D serves many purposes, and does everything from helping your body absorb calcium (which is necessary for good bone health) to helping strengthen your immune system; vitamin D may even offer protection against a variety of diseases including psoriasis, some autoimmune disorders, and even cancer. (Click here for more information.)

What is the best source of vitamin D?

Most doctors recommend getting some sunshine every day, but the exact amount of time that you need to be outside differs from person to person. If you’re fair-skinned, I wouldn’t recommend being in the sun without sunscreen for more than 10-15 minutes. If you’re tan, 15-20 minutes should be fine. The darker your skin, the more exposure to the sun you need to make vitamin D. If you’re concerned about being in the sun, apply sunscreen after about 10 minutes to be on the safe side. I like to put some sunscreen on my face and hands, but wear a tank top and shorts – that way I can protect sensitive areas of my body, but expose some lesser sensitive areas. It’s also important to mention that the closer you live to the equator, the easier it is to get enough vitamin D from the sun. The middle of the day is when you should try to get some vitamin D from the sun. Check with your doctor to make sure you’re staying safe and protecting yourself while trying to get enough vitamin D – we don’t want any overexposure or sunburns!

What if I want to supplement?

Dr. Andrew Weil recommends 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day(based on research and the growing number of people with a vitamin D deficiency). Also, it’s important to note that there are several forms of vitamin D, including D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 is recommended when supplementing. If you want to know if you are vitamin D deficient, ask your doctor for a blood test; if you are deficient, ask your doctor how much you should supplement so that you know what is best for you (we are all different!). There are some vegan vitamin D3 supplements, such as Nature’s Plus Source of Life Garden Vitamin D3, which you can purchase here. (Be sure to check with your doctor before you start taking supplements!).

Vitamin D is important so I encourage you to get a blood test and make sure that you have enough; if  you are deficient, talk to your doctor about supplementing and repeat your blood test in a few months to make sure that you are doing everything correctly and safely. Best of luck! And if you can find some sun out there, go get some vitamin D!

Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress

PeaceandCalm

“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders” – Andrew Weil, M.D.

In my last post, I talked about the importance of learning how to deal with panic attacks and stress. I shared some meditation videos and explained how helpful acupuncture and meditation have been for me in relieving stress and tuning in to my body. Today I want to share some breathing exercises that have been helpful for me. Dr. Andrew Weil has many amazing breathing techniques and you can read more about them here. Dr. Andrew Weil explains bellows breath, relaxing breath, and breath counting. I highly recommend taking a minute to review each of these breaths.

I personally love relaxing breath and do it a couple of times a day. In addition to this, I am also doing the meditation to rebuild the arcline that I shared in my last post. Remember that breathing is natural and the more that we learn to use breathwork to our advantage, the faster we can de-stress. Dr. Andrew Weil states that our breath should be deeper, slower, quieter, and more regular and this has certainly helped me to calm down.

Here is a great video of Dr. Andrew Weil leading a meditation:

What are your favorite breathing exercises for relaxing? Do you have something that works well for you when you are stressed out? Please share! Also, if you’d like more help dealing with stress and anxiety, working with a Certified Health Coach is a great way to discover new tools to help you manage your stress. You are not alone. Contact me and we will get you started with your free initial consultation today!