Posted by: Integra Massage | January 28, 2011

The Five Good Things That Sustain Life

I am not talking here about the things that might make us happy: love, fulfilling work etc, but about the absolute necessaries of good health.  So here are the five good things that sustain life.  Each one could make a series of articles in its own right, but here is an overview and a helpful hint for each.

Good Light

Every living thing on this planet depends on the light and warmth of the sun.  We are no different.  We require daylight to run our body clock and regulate our patterns of sleep and activity.  We also need sunlight to produce vitamin D which has a wide range of vital functions in the body including maintaining the health of bones and the nervous system.

It’s strange that we often talk of our distant ancestors as “cave men” when in fact they spent large parts of their life outside in the daylight and we skulk indoors!  It is not suprising that so called Seasonal Affective Disorder with its symptoms of low energy, depression and poor immunity, is so common  given our life style.

We have in fact become fearful of the sun because of the hole in the ozone layer.  I heard recently that Rickets is on the increase because we are keeping our children out of the sun so much. Helpful hint:  Spend at least an half an hour out of doors each day preferable in the full daylight around midday.

Good Air

People used to believe that that the air by the sea and in the high mountains had special curative properties.  It probably did compared to the smog filled cities of the nineteenth century.  Air quality may be better today in many ways, but how much time do we spend breathing the stale recycled air in offices, shops cars and planes? Even at home, plastics, man-made fibres, cleaning materials etc fill the air with volatile toxins.  Now of course we can’t all go and live in the countryside and breath pure air, but we can ensure our homes (particularly our bedrooms) are well ventilated.  In a later article I will introduce you to a breathing exercise that effectively clears toxins out of the lungs.  For now, helpful hint:  Get outside more and keep your living spaces ventilated.

Good Water

Occasionally I get clients who say to me that they do not like drinking water.  To me this is as daft as saying “I don’t like breathing”.  Water is simply the best drink there is for our body.  I personally do not agree with the popular idea that you should drink eight glasses of water a day.  How much you water you need depends on many factors such as your activity levels, the climate etc.  But I do encourage everyone to become more aware of their thirst and drink water freely and frequently  in preference to soft drinks or beverages. Helpful hint:  fit a plumbed in water filter to your kitchen sink.  They are about £20 from Wicks and can be fitted in half an hour.

Good Food

But what constitutes a healthy way of eating?  Looking at the thousands of diet books in print it seems no one can agree.  Leaving aside various fad diets and looking at sensible research it would appear that humans evolved as adaptable, opportunistic feeders who ate a largely, but not exclusively plant based diet.  Studies of hardy, long lived and healthy traditional cultures show a remarkable consistency with this principle.  I’ll be coming back to healthy heating many times in future articles.  For now: helpful  hint: The famous “five a day” for fruit and veg is probably an absolute minimum.

Good Sleep

Unless you are Margaret Thatcher, you almost certainly need 7-8 hours of good sleep each night.  My next article is going to be about sleep so I’ll say no more now. Helpful hint: Alcohol may make you drowsy but it stops you reaching true deep regenerative sleep levels.

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