Integrative Medicine Blog

Nurturing Our Health in the Spring

Heidi S. Puc M.D., FACP, ABIHM Sunday, April 09, 2017
Istock-nurturing health in spring

The transition from spring to summer is a magical time—it is a time of rebirth, of growth, of “re-creation!” The cold, monotonous days of short daylight which define winter have transformed into the crisp brilliance of spring, opening up to the threshold of summer. How can we nurture our health at this time? Below I have compiled several ideas that can help you feel more balanced and whole:

  • Get outside: Being outdoors in nature is healing. Do something you love outside—take a walk or a vigorous hike, ride a bicycle, garden, have a picnic, walk the dog, meditate, or rest in a hammock beneath some trees. Do what brings you joy amongst nature, and even better, stand barefoot on the soil or grass—this is known as “earthing”, and it can neutralize harmful positive ions of the body with the healing negative ions of earth. Getting some sunshine will also help boost your vitamin D level!
  • Detoxify: This is a great time to cleanse your body for a couple of days or a couple of weeks to improve your vitality. This could include avoiding alcohol, added sugars, and processed foods; eating organic vegetables and fruits with no flesh foods/meat, including a few prolonged nightly fasts (ex: no food from 5 pm to 11 am the next day); drinking 8-10 glasses of filtered water per day; drinking a “detox broth” made from kale, parsley, cilantro, chard, dandelion, and burdock root; encouraging bowel elimination with magnesium citrate and clearing toxins with a toxin binder such as bentonite clay or activated charcoal; sweating out toxins with the use of a sauna and aerobic exercise; self-reflecting/journaling/meditating; and increasing restorative sleep.
  • Practice mind-body therapies: There are a variety of mind-body therapies available, all of which can help to induce the “relaxation response”. They help to tone down activity of the sympathetic nervous system and increase that of the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn allows for a stronger immune system. We also feel much better as a result! Choose a modality that “resonates” or “feels right” to you. Some examples include massage, meditation, Reiki, Healing Touch, acupuncture, Tai Chi, and foot reflexology, but there are many others. I personally practice Transcendental Meditation on a daily basis; after having tried many different forms of meditation, this form works best to bring me into a deepened state. I also love to walk through labyrinths, which allow for both walking and stillness meditation and prayer; I highly recommend that you learn about labyrinths if you are not already familiar with them. Enjoy!