Physical Need 9 - Healthy Environment

Your environment has a major impact on your emotional well-being, mood and mental health. That might not come as a surprise; we all know how uplifting it can be when we go on holiday or for a walk in the country. Spending ten to fifteen minutes in natural sunlight a day has been shown to have numerous health benefits for example sunlight triggers the creation of Vitamin D within our body’s, in deed for many people it’s the main source of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency has however is associated not only with depression but irritability, hyperactivity, apathy, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the presence of severe depressive symptoms. i.e. if you have depression and have vitamin D deficiency (sunlight deficiency) the chances are that your symptoms will be worse when compared to someone without the deficiency. Another study examined people who were aged 65 and over and found that compare to those with the highest level of vitamin D, those with the lowest levels more than twice as likely to have problems with their memory, attention, reasoning and judgment.

 

For the last 40 years increasing levels of evidence has been emerging to confirm what many people now know our environment is saturated with toxins and chemicals from personal care products, household products, building materials as well as air, food and water that have the potential to negatively impact on our heath and mood.

 

Whilst many manufacturers claim that the chemicals within the product aren’t at sufficient levels to cause harm (which is probably true in most cases), the concern relates both to the cumulative effects of these chemicals and also to potentially hazardous interactions between the chemicals that we take into our body. We have good reason to be concerned since the presence of chemical toxins in the body is linked to a wide range of conditions, including autism, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities, multiple sclerosis, memory loss, childhood cancers, premature puberty, low sperm counts, testicular cancer, breast cancer, undescended testicles, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, infertility, birth defects, asthma and learning disabilities.

 

My own perspective on the issue of toxins and the environment is that until conclusive evidence is available I recommend to my clients (and I take myself) a precautionary approach in which they limit their exposure to sources of harmful toxins, whilst doing everything they can to support the detoxification mechanisms of their body and liver through healthy eating and lifestyle changes.

 

Tips for a Healthy Environment

 

The following are some suggestions to help you limit your exposure to toxic influences and to enhance your environment so that it supports and lifts your emotional well-being and health

 

De-clutter Your House

 This is quite an enlightening exercise to do. Go into every room of your house and for each item or object in that room decide whether it enhances and lifts your energy, decreases and diminishes your energy or doesn’t affect it either way. For those things that enhance and lift your energy leave them as they, however for those that have a negative effect on your energy, decide whether you want to throw it away, give it away, re-arrange it, put it some where else or store it away. Of course you should only be doing this with things that belong to you. This can be a really challenging and emotional exercise to do, particularly if things have previously had a positive meaning for you, but they key is to keep what lifts you spirits know. Many of my clients who I have advised to do this, as part of them simplifying their life process, have found this a liberating and healthy exercise to do.

 

Surround Yourself With Beauty

Whilst not everyone will appreciate this one, especially guys, you might want to consider placing one or more objects or items of beauty in each room of your house, something that captures your eye and lifts your spirits every time you see it. These could be anything from plants and flowers to pictures, ornaments and sculptures

 

Get Outside

Most of us living in the UK are sun-starved, despite the fact that sunlight is an essential nutrient. Make sure you get at least ten to fifteen minutes in natural sunlight a day without sun screen or sun glasses

 

Drink Pure, Clean Water

75 per cent of our body is water, so replacing that water on a daily basis is an important part of keeping healthy and well. Although the idea of drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day has never been proven, I’ve personally see the health of many of my own clients improve considerably from increasing their water intake to between one and three litres a day. Re-hydrating the body can lift fatigue and a depressed mood, alleviate water retention, prevent the skin sagging and even help metabolise fat more efficiently. However it’s not just about quantity it’s also about quality. Because tap water contains a lot of impurities and chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride, which some research suggests might have a detrimental effect on our body. I do acknowledge that this is controversial but there is emerging evidence that the fluoride found in our water supply may increase the risk of various health problems in certain vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, people with magnesium and calcium deficiencies, and those with heart or kidney disease. These include increased risk of osteoporosis, dental fluorosis (damage to the enamel of the teeth), infertility, reduced IQ, increased risk of hip fractures and increased risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in boys. You can check whether your water supply is fluoridated by asking your water supplier. If it is, my advice would be to invest in a reverse osmosis water system - a system that removes fluoride as well as heavy metals, chlorine and other chemicals or to use a water filter. Because chemicals such as phthalates and bisphenols are known to leach out of plastic bottles into its water, these should be avoided/limited. As an alternative drink mineral water from glass bottles, or if you do drink from plastic bottles them make sure that the bottle has not been left out in the sun or heated

 

Reduce Your Exposure to Xeno-oestrogens

 

by eating organic food (pesticides and growth hormone given to animals are the single greatest source of xeno-oestrogens), reducing your consumption of fatty foods such as full-fat products and fatty meat (as xeno-oestrogens are concentrated here) and limiting the use of plastic containers, clingfilm and plastic water bottles, from which they are leached.

 

Use Non-Toxic Personal Care Products

Deodorants, tampons, moisturisers, lipstick, hair dye, nail polish, perfumes and shower gels are made from chemicals, many of which are known carcinogens, allergens and hormone disruptors. Of particular concern is the evidence linking tampons with toxic shock syndrome, a potentially fatal infection of the blood caused by the toxin TSST-1. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of companies specialising in non-toxic personal care products

 

Use Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

The majority of household cleaning products are toxic and have not tested for their combined or accumulated effects, nor for their effects on unborn children. In a nutshell most standard household cleaning products are a considerable hazard and source of chemical toxins. I highly recommend that you through the majority of those toxic products away. There are a lot of safer non-toxic alternatives that can be used instead. If you do use conventional cleaning products make sure that they are stored in their original containers out of reach of children. Always follow the directions on the labels.

 

Consider Having Your Mercury Amalgam Fillings Removed

Mercury is one of the most toxic metals known to man, yet it resides within the teeth, in the form of amalgam fillings, in millions of people throughout the world. To date mercury toxicity has been linked to depression, autism, lupus, memory problems, behavioural problems, birth defects, kidney disease, immune suppression, chronic fatigue syndrome, infertility and allergies. Another study found high blood levels of mercury in clients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) when compared with non-AD clients. I’m not in favour of everyone having their mercury fillings removed, but should you wish to have them removed ensure you see a dentist who follows the guidelines set out by the British Society for Mercury-Free Dentistry. This is important, because mercury can be released during the removal process and this can make the toxicity problem worse. While having your fillings removed it is also important that you take certain supplements such as selenium and chlorella to support the process. This needs to be done as part of a comprehensive detoxification process

 

Expose Yourself to Negative Ions

Think back to a time when you were next to the ocean or in the mountains can you recall how uplifting the experience was? Whilst the view will be in part responsible for the shift in how you felt, we now know that the amount of negative ions in the air are also important. Negative ions are found and created in nature when molecules in the air are broken apart by the action of water, sun and wind. The areas with the greatest abundance of negative ions are those in nature, such as near the coast, woodland, mountains and waterfalls. Negative ions are biologically active molecules that have been found to improve oxygen circulation to the brain, increase stress resilience, promote optimum well-being, improving sleep and reduce the symptoms of allergies and asthma and help alleviate low mood. Whilst they are abundant in nature, they are relatively rare within the air of towns and cities. For that reason, if you do live in a built up area you might want to consider purchasing a negative air ionizer. This device generates millions of negatively charged particles, which have been found to help with improved sleep, a reduction in migraines and allergies, and an improvement in mood and asthma symptoms

 

Reduce Your Exposure to Electro-Pollution

One of the unseen threats to our health is that posed by electromagnetic pollution. Our bodies are being bombarded with EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies) and ELFs (extremely low frequencies) from numerous different sources such as computers, telephones, mobiles, power lines, cell phone relays, transformers, radios, radio transmitters, televisions, and microwave ovens. Whilst there is to my knowledge no absolute proof that these cause specific diseases, there is emerging evidence that they are a source of strain on the body and mobile phones for example, when used frequently and for long periods of time, can modify and damage certain structures in the brain. There is at present very little evidence available to guide us on what a safe level of exposure consists of and even less evidence on the long-term effects of electro-pollution. So, until we know more, the advice I give to my clients is to play safe by making some simple adjustments:

 

  • Start by limiting your use of your mobile phone. Use a land line phone whenever possible, avoid placing your mobile on your belt or top pocket, turn it off when not required and keep it away from the side of your bed when sleeping at night-time.
  • Stay a minimum of 18 inches away from a televisions and computer screens. Turn them off when not in use.
  • Buy a cactus plant Cereus peruvianus, which naturally restores an electro-magnetically disturbed environment back to near normality.
  • Move all electric clocks, clock radios, and telephone answering machines at least 4 feet away from the head of the bed.
  • Avoid using electric blankets, microwaves and hair blow dryers. Don't let your children play near power lines, transformers, radar domes and microwave towers.

 

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