Use the information included in this document as a general guide. Each suggestion is designed to help you get started on a healing journey.
There’s no guarantee that if you integrate one (or all) of these suggestions that your body will spontaneously heal itself; however, if you put these suggestions to work, we can promise you that will start to feel healthier, happier, stronger, and more alive.
Exercise and Lifestyle
Get outside, oxygenate your body, fell the sun on your skin and face, crank up your body’s natural Vitamin D machinery. Just 30 minutes of brisk walking, six days a week can make a tremendous difference. Looking for something more strenuous? Try cycling, hiking, swimming, running, or tennis? If you can’t exercise outdoors (during the winter or maybe you live in an unsafe neighborhood), join a gym, sign up for a CrossFit or Fitwall class, join a salsa or tango dance class (super fun), buy a mini-trampoline and jog on it while watching your favorite TV show, crank up the music and dance in your living room like no one’s watching, work up a healthy sweat — it feels good.
Move Your Pelvis
A healthy pelvis is the key to a happy body. Activities like yoga, Pilates, and Qi Gong activate all the muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, and lymphatic system in and around the pelvis. When your pelvis is open and balanced, the lymph fluid (plasma) moves easily, which boots your immune system and allows the interstitial fluid to circulate freely. A stagnant, misaligned pelvis will multiply (and in some cases cause) your urologic symptoms.
A plant-based, whole food diet like the Paleo Diet is the vital to a health body. The Paleo Diet is based on how humans ate in their native state 15,000 years ago — before the agricultural revolution shifted us from hunter/gathers to grain eaters. The Paleo Diet is comprised of approximately 65-80 percent fruits and vegetables, (which tend to alkalinize your body) and the rest is lean animal protein. We can’t say enough about selecting animal products that are free of all the chemicals, antibiotics, and other junk associated with conventional agriculture. We highly recommend that all your meat be grass fed, hormone-free, antibiotic free — preferably wild (fish) or organic if you can afford it. Also, we strongly recommend against eating soy in any form: soymilk, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and so on.
If you haven’t already, start taking digestive enzymes such as Bromeline (from pineapples). Pancreatic enzymes also help with digestion. Once these enzymes are done breaking down the protein you ate for lunch or dinner, they go to work on cancer in your body.
Connecting with your community (family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, religious group, people who share your interests and values) is critical when it comes to feeling vibrant and alive. If you tend towards isolation (TV and books), social media (Facebook and Twitter), reach out to real live human beings and invite them to join you for a cup of coffee or tea, the movies, a trip to a local museum, or an excursion on a local hiking trail. Whatever you do, do it with a friend. Being part of something outside yourself promotes friendship and a feeling of belonging. Community heals. Disease festers in isolation.
Nothing snaps you out of a funk faster than helping people who are less fortunate than you. Volunteering is an excellent way to feel better about yourself. Do you enjoy spending time with seniors, children, pets, veterans, people with disabilities, or people in recovery? Do you have a special skill or talent that you could offer a local nonprofit or religious organization (medical, carpentry, accounting, taxes, organizing, marketing, you name it)? Just a couple of hours per week of helping other people will take the emphasis off your own worries and concerns.
Avoid estrogenic compounds in food (soy), water (most plastic water bottles leach estrogen-like chemicals into the water), and personal products (lotions and shampoos). Maintaining a healthy estrogen balance is critical to your health, especially as you age. Environmental estrogen exposure has been linked to breast cancer in women and a host of prostate issues in men.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
The World Health Organization has classified alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen since 1988. Regular heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk for seven different types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colon, oral, and liver. We strongly recommend that you limit alcohol consumption to one drink per day.
Cigarette smoking is harmful for every body — the smoker, the people near the smoker, even the smoker’s unconceived offspring. Smoking doubles the risk of death from all causes between the ages of 35-69. Smoking while you drink is a lethal combination that amplifies the worst aspects of both habits. There are numerous ways to stop smoking. Click here for more information.
Stress is associated with every major illness, including cancer. Lowering your stress level is perhaps the most important thing you can do to avoid cancer and other urologic diseases. It’s easier than you think. In addition to the anti-stress programs we offer at Choices in Health, there are several excellent books, audio programs, and DVDs on the market. Click here for more information.
The antidote to stress is meditation. The healing power of meditation is greatly underplayed in Western cultures. A great story about how meditation heals is that of Australian author, Ian Gawler, who healed himself of bone cancer through meditation. All it takes is 20 minutes twice a day.
Resolve Past Traumas
The mind-body connection between unresolved emotional issues and illness is well documented. For example, feelings of helplessness generate an inflammatory response that facilitates the growth and spread of tumors. If you know you’re dragging around some demons from your past, there are lots of different kinds of therapy that can help. For more information about these techniques, click here.
Last but not least, have fun. Life is short — even if you live to be 100. If you delay happiness by saying, “I’ll let myself be happy when (I get a new job, a new car, the kids move out, we buy a house, pay for the house … and so on), it might never happen. Instead of waiting, we recommend that you give yourself a little dose of happiness every day. Take 20 minutes out of every day to (It doesn’t have to be the same thing every day):
- Finish reading that novel you started last year (or start a new one)
- Play with your kids
- Practice playing a musical instrument
- Study a second language
- You get the idea
You’ll be surprised what an impact this simple practice will have on your level of happiness.
Dr. Emilia Ripoll M.D.