Health is not simply the absence of disease, it is a state of being in which there is a sense of vitality, vigour and the ability to bounce back after adversity.
In good health there is a spring in your step and a lightness in body and mind. Contrary to popular belief this is not age dependent. We tend to accumulate problems as we get older which we may not always take the time to resolve. Sometimes we are told ‘You have to expect that now on account of your age’; however, good health can be experienced at any age.
- A Regular Sense of Contentment
Contentment and stress do not occupy the same space. Stress causes a cascade of reactions throughout the body that result in increased inflammation and, over time, disease. In contrast, contentment and happiness have repeatedly been found to make our hearts healthier, our immune systems stronger1 and our lives longer.
Life will never be stress free, but the ability to regularly appreciate and take pleasure in the simplest things in life establishes a chemical and neurological pattern of contentment. This gives the strength to bounce back after difficulties; research has shown that happier people recover more quickly from stress.
NOTE: Although some of our ability to feel contentment and happiness comes about through genetics and upbringing, it is a habit that CAN be learned!
Have you ever noticed changes in the appearance of your tongue? The colour of the tongue may be pink, purplish, bright red or pale. There may be a coating – white, yellowish, even green or brown. ‘Peeled’ patches can appear in various locations or the edges may seem indented. The tongue gives clear signals as to the internal health of the body.
A healthy tongue should be pink, with a smooth margin, there may be a very slight whitish coating. The variety of colours, size, markings and coatings on different tongues is quite complex requiring a trained practitioner to interpret accurately.
An obvious sign to look for is a yellowish coat-ing covering the middle and/or back of the tongue surface; this indicates toxicity in the digest-ive system, ineffective waste removal and as a result, the likelihood of an imbalanced gut flora.
There is often some confusion as to what exact-ly a healthy appetite is.
It is healthy for your digestive system to feel empty and clear before you eat. You may hear a little rumbling, particularly in the morning before breakfast. It is healthy to feel a sense of desire at the sight/smell or thought of your next meal. It is healthy to feel a slight sense of tightness in the stomach.
Appetite sometimes gets confused with cravings – these tend to be associated with addictive foods – breads, pastries, sugary and pro-cessed or highly salted foods become overly desirable. These snacks are often chosen when there is no real appetite as they provide stimulation. Boredom, low energy or mood? These provide a quick fix.
A good way to tune in to a true need for nourishment is to imagine eating something nutritious that you are drawn to – a home-made vegetable curry or something simple like a handful of nuts and dried fruit – does your appetite say yes? Or was it just nagging you to eat the white baguette?
A sudden energy drop a few hours after eating and an urgent need to eat may be a sign that your blood sugar levels are imbalanced, not that you have a good appetite. There should be no pain or excessive physical or mental discomfort associated with an empty belly.
The Sclera or ‘whites of the eyes’ reflect our wellbeing, particularly in relation to liver health and general detoxification. Bright, clear sclera are a sign of good health; eyes that look red, pink, bloodshot or with a greyish or yellowish tint are telling their owners to ease up and take care of themselves. Notable yellow-ness of the sclera is a sign of jaundice and should be examined by a qualified professional.
- An Easy Laugh
We often take life too seriously. With a heaviness upon us, it is hard to laugh or make light of things. To laugh easily is to let your guard down and cast aside your reservations; a little bubbling of light playful energy under the surface keeps our energy flowing and stops us becoming weighed down.
Laughter is healing, decreasing the secretion of the stress hormone cortisol and increasing immune function. Try a class of laughter yoga, you’ll understand why those who laugh often are some of the healthiest people around!
Wishing you good health and humour in 2022.
The Herbal Clinic – 32 King Edward Rd, Swansea SA1 4LL
MEILYR JAMES BSc(Hons) DBTh DAcu AcuC Dir MGNI Registered Medical Herbalist, Iridologist & Acupuncturist
Tel: 01792 474356 Web: herbalclinic-swansea.co.uk Email: email@example.com
- Sheldon Cohen et al. Positive emotional style predicts resistance to illness after experimental exposure to rhinovirus or influenza a virus. Psychosom Med Nov-Dec 2006;68(6):809-15.