If your body could be just perfect how would you imagine it to be? Is it possible to create it naturally? In the Body Zone, part two of the six zone Wellbeing Programme, eminent Naturopath Rumana Zahn talks about creating peak physical health and a body you want to be proud of.
The body is our vehicle that carries us through life, it may not be the exact type we’d like but nevertheless the way we look after it shows on the outside. Other people just need to say something about our shape and we instantly become self-conscious. The way we look can make us either ooze with confidence or lack it which can in turn affect our self-esteem. Disliking your body on a daily basis won’t help but doing something about it will. We all come in different shapes and sizes and one thing I know is we all feel our health could be better than what it is. We need to be clear about what the ideal is for us rather than seeking out perfection.
In Zone 1 on Life we discussed the first step is to define what it is you want to achieve and begin to set realistic goals. This may be to lose weight, get fitter or deal with a health symptom. Be as specific as you can – write them down, for example, I want to lose 4kg or to stop getting bloated after eating every meal. Monitoring our health is really important as it helps us to evaluate the progress we make along the way. Monitoring can be done in various forms through self-observation and through health and medical tests. However, remember that all tests are never 100 percent accurate and they only give a snapshot of that moment in time.
I’m a huge advocate of tuning in to your body’s feedback system and getting really skilled at interpreting the signals it gives you. I mean the real ne signals which most of us miss. This is so valuable that my clients are often amazed how much they learn in the first few days alone. This is all down to cause and effect – observing what it is you do and then to monitor the outcome. It’s what science is all about, so you become your own scientist.
Once you know what changes to look for you can start to put your plan together. The foundation needs to be your food programme, looking at what foods will provide health and which ones to avoid. All foods have an effect on the body. If you are using food medicinally to treat a condition then this is a whole different
ball game, a general health programme differs much more from using a food programme therapeutically. It is important to work with a therapist if you are trying to achieve the latter.
The next step is to support your internal organs. This may sound weird but you could be on the best diet possible but if you’re not digesting well it’s no point! Your digestive system needs to be working efficiently to break down and absorb food well. We take a look at this in-depth in the programme so you can begin to improve the way food is processed. I have to stress we all need to do this and certainly if you’ve ever taken antibiotics or any other medications during your life.
Removing toxins is something our internal organs do constantly but sometimes they do get overloaded and they need a break. There are certain ways to improve their efficiency by simply changing the diet and using particular herbs. In the past, we have seen methods of fasting or lent giving up certain foods; these were all practices that helped the body to heal. Scientists are now discovering that fasting and restrictive diets can have amazing therapeutic benefits on the body. One study on mice found that it increased life expectancy by a significant 40%. Imagine living until 100 then an extra 40 years simply having fasted during your life.
Get into an exercise regime that you enjoy and one that is manageable – dancing, walking or playing volleyball on the beach, even if it means only a couple of days a week. You’re more likely to be successful at doing it than trying to push yourself into something you don’t want to do. As a yoga teacher, I recommend techniques to improve breathing, meditating and stretching to help release everyday tensions. It’s something we can all do by incorporating it into our daily life.
Finally, putting all of this into place involves being proactive and responsible. We are often told habits are very difficult to break and to make all these changes isn’t easy. This is a limited way to think. You can easily put things into place to change. What we need is the intention to do it. If you don’t have the intention or the will it becomes very hard to change. There is a great exercise to help you begin this process. Follow the steps in the inset box.
Rumana will take us through Part 3 The Mind, where she will focus on how to deal with anxiety, depression and stress and how to get the most out of our brain and keep it healthy.
Rumana Zahn helps individuals and companies around the world to embrace health through prevention and natural means. She is highly trained in various forms of natural medicine and has been practicing over 25 years in the UK where she runs her clinics. Rumana teaches the medicinal effects of foods and herbal medicine at universities and works with some of the top companies in the world. Rumana practices what she preaches, she lives a healthy, vibrant life, practices yoga and meditation and has many beautiful loving friendships.