Animal Speak - August 2016 - Santa Fe
Holistic Nutrition for All
By Lynne McMahan
“The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food.” – Hippocrates
This month's theme, "Eating Well" was an opportunity for me to consider how best to integrate my Animal Speak column with this focus. I wanted to be mindful of the lessons about nutritional importance for our animals and how these lessons relate to our own nutritional focus. What I have learned from researching this month's column, from my animal friends, and from my own health focus, is that much of what we are learning about for our own nutritional health is true for our animal teachers as well.
Whole foods, herbal supplements, vitamins, and many holistic modalities have been used successfully for thousands of years to support both humans and animals to maintain health. Although we are becoming more advanced in our society, we are continuously reminded that nature has provided us many of the tools needed to deal with our everyday environment. As we move further away from nature we see a greater decline in health and an increase in the development of disease and discomfort. (https://nutrition4rpets.wordpress.com/news/)
Some of the same degenerative diseases we humans are struggling with, our animal friends are struggling with as well: stress-related disorders, digestive issues, immune related disease, cancer, allergies and arthritis, just to name a few. And as with our own health, we have choices for our animals as well--traditional medicine and treatment, naturopathic medicine and treatment, or a combination of both. The key is being our own practitioner and advocate--what makes sense for us to stay whole, healthy and balanced in mind-body-spirit? What is key for us, is also true with our animal teachers. In order for our animals to reach this balanced state, as their advocates we must do our homework. What do we need to learn to be in tune with their nutritional needs (an important part of creating a healthy environment for them) to best fulfill their spiritual purpose and to live a long and healthy life? How best can we communicate with them about their nutritional and health needs? How might we apply the same principles we are forming for our own health and well being to our animal's health, such as moving away from processed food to a wholesome, balanced diet, and determining our best holistic supports in herbs, vitamins and alternative treatments?
As with our own nutrition, we often sacrifice whole food for processed food as it has become more convenient and often, more cost effective due to its mass production. We are also discovering that many of our processed foods have addictive qualities that can change and neutralize what our own natural cravings and needs might ordinarily request. By determining a more holistic, proactive approach to our own and our animal's health and nutrition, we become advocates and greater partners for wellness.
I'd like to close this month's column with lessons from Leonard (Lenny to his friends) who has been at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter for several months. Lenny is a beautiful, light-skinned Bullmastif mix who is loved by all who meet him and is a great example of "proper nutrition is everything!" Allergies to a grain-based/ corn-based kibble have emphasized the importance of nutritional balance for his health and well-being. Exercise, connection and love are also on his "must-haves" list. And his motto: "will work and play for allergy-friendly treats and belly rubs!" is an important message for his future, forever home/ family and for all of us to hear (http://sfhumanesociety.org/adoptions/ LEONARD -ID#A109800).
"The six best doctors anywhere...are sunshine, water, rest, air, exercise and diet"--Wayne Fields
Lynne McMahan, Ed.D., En-Light-En Reiki, is a Usui/Holy Fire Karuna Reiki® Master and Mind-Body-Spirit Mentor, supporting the healing of each person or animal on their journey of transformation. For more information: enlightenreiki.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 505.400.3168. Santa Fe office: 110 Delgado St.