Image credit: Emma Nayler Photographer.
My mother is an amazing woman.
The reason for my being. The warmth in our home. A hearty meal, made with love. Always time to boil the kettle and to sit with me and listen. An ever calming presence.
She is also the kind of woman who has been known to put others before herself – you know, the one who ‘soldiers on’ through her own health challenges. I’ll bet there’s a mother in your life who does the same.
Well, I have taken it upon myself recently to spare a thought as to how my mother’s health is being supported so that she can go on being her best and amazing self. Could your mum do with some support in any of these areas?
H2O – The importance of adequate water intake is not to be sneezed at, and it is very common for busy mums to forget to drink enough throughout the day. Water accounts for about 60 percent of an adult’s total body weight and it has to come from somewhere! Adequate hydration gives you the best kind of ‘detox’ allowing the kidneys to filter out all the waste substances and toxins from the blood. It lubricates and cushions the joints and spinal cord. The humble H20 is also a very effective natural skin plumping agent. So get a BPA free bottle, fill it with the purest water available and get drinking!
2-3 litres per day is a good ballpark aim for water intake, but of course this will vary depending on body mass, level of physical activity, temperature and water content of foods consumed.
Fruit & Veg – The less human interference the better when it comes to healthy eating. Fresh veggies and some seasonal fruits should feature as the stars on mum’s plate. Going back to basics and reducing intake of processed foods and artificial additives and preservatives are habits most conducive to excellent health.
Essential Fats – Make sure that mum isn’t afraid of fats! The demonisation of fats in the 60’s means that unfortunately many people avoid them altogether. Unfortunately, the finger should have been pointed at refined carbohydrates and sugars instead! Unsaturated and some quality saturated fats are essential for cell membrane structure, hormone synthesis and brain & nerve system function. Beneficial sources include oily fish, avocado, cold pressed olive oil and coconut oil.
Quality Proteins – Protein is important for tissue synthesis and repair and vital for cell structure and function. As often as possible, ensure your animal sources are free range, grass fed and anti-biotic free. Plant sources of protein include nuts and pulses, legumes and whole grains.
Stress Less – We can’t always change our situation, but we can choose how we perceive it. Our thoughts are powerful mediators in our emotional wellness. Deep breathing and mind quietening exercises are excellent techniques that can be used to bring us back into the present moment and bring acceptance to our realities. For a different kind of meditation that mums will love – try the dark chocolate wind-down:
Place a square of dark chocolate into your mouth, close your eyes and think of nothing but your breath and the sweet smooth taste of chocolate as it melts. No chewing! Sit quietly for the entire melting experience, then try to recall that centred feeling as much as you can throughout the rest of the day.
Sleep Hygiene – Our sleep cycle heavily dictates neurotransmitter synthesis and therefore mood regulation. Adequate sunlight during the day and darkness at night are the catalysts to which the body responds by producing the sleep/wake hormones. The main disrupter of sleep in modern day society is our exposure to artificial light past sundown. If mum is having any difficulty falling asleep or the quality of her sleep is not so good, make sure she knows to limit bright lights and ‘screen time’ (TV, laptop, smartphone etc.) in hours preceding sleep. Why not have some more romantic, candle-lit nights instead?
Happy Hormones – The hormones are like an orchestra playing in symphony; a delicate system that can get thrown out of tune in any number of ways. The most common imbalance in this day in age is oestrogen dominance and it can be characterised by pain and inflammation during menstruation. Some of the best ways to address oestrogen excess are lowering stress, optimising body weight, reducing exposure to xeno-estrogens (such as BPA in plastic), increasing anti-oxidant status and reducing inflammation by getting lots of fish oils. Vegetables from the brassica family contain compounds that support healthy metabolism of oestrogen; these include radish, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts.
Exercise – Making time for daily movement is going to be one of the key lifestyle choices that supports your mum’s health. It ensures that energy is utilised rather than stored, improves circulation so that nutrients can nourish the tissues and toxins can be moved out, and encourages the production of endorphins to lower stress and improve mood. It also encourages deep breathing which oxygenates and alkalises the blood, making the internal environment more resistant to disease. When is the last time you and the mother in your life took a long walk on the beach together?
Beauty – How many chemicals is your mum being exposed to before she even has breakfast? The beauty and body care products that we put on our largest organ – our skin – soak in. Take a look at the back of the shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturiser, deodorant, perfume bottles only to find many ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. And that’s before we even get into the makeup bag! Many commercial products contain chemical compounds that compound daily to make up a huge toxic burden on our systems. When buying mum pretty smelly gifts consider opting for organic, plant-based natural products rather than synthetic ones. Even better, search the internet to find plenty of recipes for making your own beautiful, nourishing, chemical-free products.
Chiropractic Care – Is your mum’s spine and nerve system being supported? The spine houses the intricate nerve system which is the means of communication between all muscles, glands and organs of the body. A well functioning nerve system means that the body can perform at its best. The physical, chemical and emotional stressors that we are exposed to in day to day life directly impact our wellness and vitality. Chiropractic care aims to address primary symptoms and increase the body’s natural resistance to these environmental stressors. It aims to continue holistically supporting a well functioning nerve system long-term to maintain a high level of health.
Give your mum the gift of health – get in contact with us at Life Enhancing Chiropractic to find out how we can help support the mother in your life. If you are an existing client, ask about our special family and friends initial consultation rate.