Health Tips that have Nothing to do with Diet or Exercise, Part II

I understand why you might not necessarily feel like working out and watching what you eat right now.

Maybe you’re traveling a lot and the idea of getting back on track just seems pointless because you know you’re going away again next weekend.  Maybe you’re healing from an injury, or overloaded with family and work obligations these days.

Maybe it’s just that it’s summertime, and you’re feeling extra easy going.  There are barbeques and beaches to go to, and making sure to eat your veggies (other than relish on your hot dog) and get your exercise (other than Marco Polo) just feels like a big fat drag.

I’m not going to oil up my muscles and yell “NO EXCUSES!” in your face about it and then make you do fifty push-ups.  Part of loving yourself and your body is honoring the cycles of your life and your changing needs.

BUT… just because your brain needs a break from masculine energy health stuff does not mean that you have to say good-bye to all self-care!  I’m back today with more ways you can take excellent care of your health that have nothing to do with diet and exercise.  This way you can continue to be the glowing, radiant lady you are until it’s the right time to start up with the salads and spinning again.

Epsom Salt Baths

I know how alluring it is to take health tips from a gorgeous glowing young model.  However, I’m sorry Young Girl, but you’d look good whether or not you were on a 90 day juice fast.  You’ve got youth on your side!  Instead, I prefer to take my health tips from old ladies.  I mean, they did something right, they stuck around long enough to get old, right?  So I’m gonna give you an old lady health tip – take an epsom salt bath!

I mean, you could go to a fancy spa and spend $120 on a half ounce of lotion made from the extract of the dew drops found on the side of an ancient Himalayan mountain that is always green. OR you could just go to CVS and spend $1.99 on the mega carton of Epsom Salt and you have a powerful detox and stress-busting tool that will make you feel just as fantastic! Or even more so because you can still pay your rent.

Here is the deal with Epsom Salt baths.  Epsom salt is hydrated magnesium sulfate.  Magnesium is a wonder mineral!  This little miracle worker is great for circulation and heart health, is a stellar detoxifier, and relieves migraines.  It even reduces stress, because good magnesium levels help the body to bind serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical in the brain that makes us feel relaxed and happy.  It does everything, seriously.  I am this close to asking it to help me find a new wedding photographer.

Sulfate is no slouch, either.  Sulfates help with the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract.  They’re powerful detoxifiers, too!

As we’ve talked about before, your skin is a giant organ.  When you take an Epsom Salt bath, you bathe in magnesium sulfate.  When it is absorbed through the skin, it draws out toxins, relaxes your nervous system and muscles, makes your skin soft and smooth, and reduces swelling.  And all you’re doing is taking a bath!

All you have to do is draw a nice warm bath, load it up with 2 cups of Epsom Salts, and have yourself a little soak for at least fifteen minutes.  Do it as often as possible!  Try dry skin brushing before if you want to really go hog wild.  You will be amazed at how great you feel – your aches and pains will disappear, and your skin will look fantastic.  See, you can totally be lazy and be a health nut at the same time!  Thanks, Grandmas of the world!

Acupuncture

Oh, the wonder and glory of acupuncture.  For those of you who don’t know, acupuncture is a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice that involves stimulating certain points of the body with thin needles.  The whole idea is that your overall health and well-being is effected by the state of your qi (life force energy). Qi flows through your body through channels called meridians; and the needles help to get your it moving where it needs to go.

I’ve been going for acupuncture on and off since 2007, and I am forever changed because of it.  Here are just a few of the zillion benefits I’ve experienced:

  • Clearer skin
  • Regular periods.  Mine used to be whacky, now I am a consistent 25-28 day cycle girl.
  • Easy weight maintenance.  I never got acupuncture for weight loss specifically, but I do credit acupuncture for helping me lose twenty extra pounds without trying a few years ago.
  • Enhanced energy
  • Controlling food cravings.  Even if I never gained an ounce from it, my cells and muscles and organs would not like it if I ate my weight in HoHos and Dominos, which is what I used to have the urge to do all the time.  Acupuncture has balanced out my insides so well that occasionally I can be like one of those weird people I always thought were aliens who said they were too full for dessert.  Note: I said occasionally.  Other note: I still think those people are aliens.

Here are some important items for you to know before your first time under the, um, needle:

1) Acupuncture does not hurt.  The needles are super thin.  The only thing you’ll feel is a fleeting sensation when they insert the needles and the energy disperses, but after awhile you become kind of a junkie for that because you know that means they hit a spot with a lot of stagnated qi.

2) Acupuncture does not have to be expensive!  Many insurance plans cover it these days.  I absolutely love Pacific College Acupuncture Center in New York, where you can be treated by fully supervised students for an extremely reduced rate.  Most cities and surrounding areas have acupuncture schools with clinics that offer this option.

3) It can be used to treat practically anything.  Last summer I had a bad toe injury and my acupuncturist placed needles to get oxygen flowing to the area so it would heal more quickly.  Who would’ve thought?

4) Do not expect the same kind of advice from your acupuncturist as you’d get from your Western Medicine doctor.  It’s a whole different ball of wax; expect to talk about your emotions, the consistency and frequency of your poops, your dreams,  and what temperature you prefer your drinking water.  You’ve gotta just trust it – your acupuncturist is not a freaky fetishist, it all matters and helps them get to know your body.

Read Part One of this series here, and enjoy your time at the beach!

12 Responses to Health Tips that have Nothing to do with Diet or Exercise, Part II
  1. Shann
    August 15, 2012 | 4:11 pm

    Hooray for Magnesium and epsom salt baths!

    I have not experienced Acupuncture but love my Shiatsu sessions. I will plan to look for a local Acupuncturist.

  2. Alternative Housewife
    August 13, 2012 | 6:24 pm

    [...] Your Full Plate: Health Tips that have Nothing to do with Diet or Exercise [...]

  3. Janine (Alternative Housewife)
    August 11, 2012 | 7:52 pm

    Awesome – Sharing!

    • Marla
      August 13, 2012 | 9:14 pm

      Thank you so much honey!

  4. Gin
    August 10, 2012 | 3:29 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I’m more of a shower person but I’ve taken epsom salt baths in the past at times… but it’s been far too long and now I know I want to make the time to have a nice long soak!

    • Marla
      August 13, 2012 | 9:15 pm

      Oh Gin I bet you will be so happy you did! I’m more of a shower gal too but 15 minutes isn’t too hard to fit in. :)

  5. Lisa Salaz
    August 10, 2012 | 9:50 am

    Hi I am Lisa Salaz from the Goddess Circle as well; I am a fan of Espon Salt,acupuncture and a positive attitude; simple little things that are important to share and give another a friendly reminder.
    Love, Lisa Salaz

    • Marla
      August 13, 2012 | 9:15 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Lisa! Great to meet you! <3

  6. Petrea
    August 9, 2012 | 5:37 pm

    Marla, I love epson salt baths! Acupuncture though sometimes painful (especially in the toes by the bone area when you already have pain) it was well worth it when I use to go to treat inflamatory arthritis.

    • Marla
      August 13, 2012 | 9:16 pm

      Oooh, good point Petrea – foot acupuncture is pretty hurt-y when the needles are going in. Those bones! All those teeny tiny bones! I’m glad to hear it helped you too. <3

  7. Loran
    August 9, 2012 | 10:43 am

    Taking a bath is definitely something I can do for my health! I haven’t tried acupuncture but apparently there is someone here in the boonies where I live who is supposed to be good at it. Just might have to give it a try.

    • Marla
      August 13, 2012 | 9:17 pm

      Oh Loran acupuncture is AMAZING. You have to let me know what you think! xoxo

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HEY YOU!
I'm Marla Hamilton, and this is my blog. I write it because I want to make it very easy for you to feel healthy and great about yourself.Read more about me here.
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