If your wish is to stay healthy, here are three daily practices that will help you reach your goal.
Most of us live in some sort of continual stress, and our quick, shallow breathing indicates that. Slower breathing puts less strain on your body and mind, and will let your body operate longer with less effort. Try this simple exercise for at least three minutes, and notice how you are able to relax your body, calm your mind, and gain better mental clarity:
Take in a long inhalation, filling your lungs with as much air as is possible comfortably, counting as you inhale. Then take twice as long to exhale the air, doubling the count for the exhale. (Example: if the inhale equals three counts,the exhale will equal six counts.) Keep counting during the exhale even if you run out of air, until the body/mind adjusts to the new breathing rhythm.
Most of what we do, eat, and drink dehydrates us by creating more heat from the energy the body has to produce to move, think, digest, and flush. We operate with 70–80% water inside our body and 75–85% water in our brain. We are constantly losing water! Coffee, sodas, sugar water, vitamin waters, fruit juices, teas, and alcohol contribute to our body’s dehydration. They contain elements that make our body work harder, overheat, and slow down. Only pure water replenishes our water supply effortlessly.
Try drinking 1/2 oz. of water per body pound (example: 130 lb. body weight needs 65 oz. of water, approx. 02 liters, per day) for thirty days and see how much healthier you feel, act, look, and how much less you crave the other fluids. (Note: You may urinate more often until your body adapts to the greater intake of water.)
Experience this shower daily for thirty days to start the day totally energized, totally warm inside, alert, ready for the challenges of the day while you cleanse and flush your tissue, increase your vitality, strengthen your immune system, and improve your skin condition. (Caution to those under a doctor’s care: Get approval before trying this.)
Heat your body as you wash and cleanse the skin in your usual manner. Turn off/down the hot water. Turn on/up the cold water. Facing the stream of water, introduce the temperature to each extremity, staying with each extremity until it feels more comfortable (i.e., one leg, then the other leg, then one arm, then the other arm). Take two deep breaths, and step into the stream of water on the second exhalation, addressing the entire front of the body. Then turn around, and introduce the temperature to the neck and upper back, and then the lower back and back of the legs. Step away from the stream of water. Repeat the procedure (hot, then cold) two more times, each time staying in the cold water as long as you comfortably tolerate the temperature.
The effectiveness and benefits of this self-treatment will not be experienced unless you repeat the alternating temperatures three (3) times at least. It is better to limit the time you are in the cold water in the beginning, than to repeat this procedure less than three (3) times. Alternating the temperatures will get more comfortable as the days progress.
(Suggestion: catch the extra water in a bucket as you shower, and water your plants with it.)
Jim Dorr is a Santa Monica health practitioner and instructor. Contact him at 310.393.9367 or firstname.lastname@example.org.