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Holistic Health


Spring Cleaning for Body, Mind, and Spirit

by Nancy Russell, M.D.


Springtime is here! It is time for Spring cleaning, decluttering, and new beginnings. As you begin, remember to write down goals and intentions including a timeline with measurable, realistic goals. It is rewarding to set goals with the change of seasons and be able to check them off a list for a sense of completion. After hibernating during the winter and sometimes getting off track with my optimal health goals, it is time to regroup. 


On the path to optimal wellness, several aspects of our life are important. For our minds and bodies to function well, it is imperative to allow ourselves refreshing sleep, healthy foods, regular exercise, and stress management. This all seems a little easier for me in the spring, especially when the sun is shining more and the birds are singing and green appears!


Let’s begin by assessing our physical bodies. The physical environment plays a crucial role, specifically the quality of the water and food we ingest and the air we breathe. Pollutants abound. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 1)More than 4 billion pounds of chemicals were released into the ground in 2000, threatening our natural groundwater sources. 2) Nearly 2 billion pounds of air emissions were pumped into the atmosphere. 3)Several thousand food additives are intentionally added to our food supply and thousands more slip into our food supply unintentionally during harvesting, processing, or packaging. 4) Overall, the average American consumes about 124 pounds of food additives a year! In addition, exposure to toxins is increased by eating processed foods and fat, drinking or bathing in tap water, consuming excessive caffeine and/or alcohol, using tobacco, taking medications for long durations, inadequate exercise, liver or kidney problems, and occupational exposure. 


So what can you do to improve your health and minimize these exposures? Whatever you think about detoxifying your body, both critics and proponents agree on one thing: The best way to reduce the level of chemicals/toxins in your body is to bar their entrance. 


To reduce your exposure: 


  1. Don’t smoke and avoid secondary smoke. 

  2. Eat as much organic food as possible. 

  3. Use water filters in your refrigerator, sink, and shower. 

  4. Use natural cosmetics, deodorants, and hair sprays. 

  5. Use nontoxic bug repellents. 

  6. Substitute chemical-laden, scented household cleaners, and detergents for all-natural ones. 

  7. Limit your use of paint, varnish, and wax. 

  8. Use air purifiers. 

  9. Avoid alcohol and caffeine.  

  10. Don’t buy products presoaked in formaldehyde such as particleboard, plywood, and permanent-press fabrics. 


Assist your system to release and eliminate toxins: 


  1. Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes 3 times a week. 

  2. Drink plenty of water daily; divide your weight in half and that is how many ounces required per day. 

  3. Eat cleansing vegetables and herbs based on your blood type.   

  4. Participate in a 10 day or 28-day nutritional program that combines low allergenic, organic foods with a source of protein and nutrients known to enhance the body’s detoxification capacity. 

  5. Far-Infrared Sauna treatments. 

  6. Enroll in a Juice Fast Retreat.  6) Make an appointment with your health care provider to discuss an individualized approach to rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit.  


Cleansing can also positively impact your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Detoxification of the body can lead to better sleep and relaxation, decrease in aches and pains, reduce allergy symptoms, aid weight loss, and improve energy and overall health. 


Other activities to positively impact these areas include: 


  1. Journal your feelings. 

  2. Meditation. 

  3. Prayer and reflection time daily. 

  4. Relaxation breathing. 

  5. Individual or couples retreats. 

  6. Reading inspirational material. 

  7. Gardening.

  8. Being in nature. 

  9. Being with your pets.

  10. Connecting with a friend or loved one.

Nancy Russell, M.D. has been a holistic Internal Medicine physician in the Kansas City Northland for over 30 years at 5140 N. Antioch Road in Kansas City, MO.


Her phone number is 816-453-5545 and website is where you can get more information. Dr. Russell is board certified in holistic medicine and is a member of the American Holistic Medical Association and a prior board member.


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