The most difficult situation to be in is to feel sick, weak and ill, and to be immune to help. There comes a time when the body becomes so toxic and weak, that it becomes so sensitive to everything. Even the chosen diets and techniques that should be beneficial to your recovery cause you to feel worse. Green smoothies make you sick, detox program make you sicker, and everything you try makes your body ache more, making you feel more and more hopeless. The reason being is that your body’s immune system is on strike, and your body’s normal detoxification pathways have become so overwhelmed that they no longer function properly. It is during this time period that you need very special tools. Tools to regain strength when weak, ill or sensitive.
I have seen many clients in this particular situation, where they have been to countless practitioners, have tried endless remedies that all lead to a dead end. Maybe you are this exact person. Desperate for help, and yet in some ways given up all hope. If this is you, there is hope.
In order to regain strength when weak, ill or sensitive, it is imperative to work on building up the body. This is not to be done through stringent diets and aggressive detoxification protocols, but rather gentle healing methods. Think of your body as a little baby that needs tender care. Nourishing foods, hydrating liquids, rebuilding supplements, grounding cleansing techniques and energy-giving therapies. This is the basis of recovery. So if you are suffering, whether from chronic illness, plain old age, aggressive sensitivities (to everything!) or are desperately trying to recover from cancer, adrenal burnout or an unknown, never diagnosed condition, these tools are for you.
Tools to Regain Strength when Weak, Ill or Sensitive
The Diet for Recovery
The key to this so-called diet is that it is 100% about nourishing. It is built upon the principles of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda where easy-to-digest, warming and cooked foods are the answer to rebuilding health. Here are the tenants:
Eat only warm foods. This includes lightly cooked (steamed, sautéed or baked) vegetables, soups, hot cereals (oatmeal, buckwheat) and whole grain dishes. Include warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and cardamom.
*if you are sensitive to gluten, avoid all gluten grains
Avoid all cold foods. This including salads, raw vegetables, cold beverages, frozen desserts, and large quantities of raw fruit.
Eat nourishing and grounding foods. This includes root vegetables, bananas, cooked grains, organic yogurt, ghee, eggs, nuts and seeds (sprouted is best).
Avoid larger quantities of animal meats. Smaller quantities of organic grass-fed beef/bison, lamb, chicken and wild salmon are okay. Do not eat fried meat, cold cuts, or raw meat or fish.
Drink warming beverages throughout the day. This includes ginger tea, bone broth, and other herbal teas. Drink plenty of room temperature, purified filtered water. Avoid caffeinated beverages, soda, sweetened teas and alcohol.
Go organic. Non-organic foods expose the body to harmful chemicals and hormones that can further impede the healing process. By going organic you can help reduce the toxic load on the body. Use the organic shopping guide for budget friendly tips on eating organic.
Try eating Kitchari weekly. Kitchari is an essential cleansing and nourishing grain dish that promotes healing and revitalization. It can be eaten daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner as a type of gentle cleanse, or can be incorporated into a more varied diet. Grab the recipe for Kitchari here.
Breakfast: Hot oatmeal with cinnamon, bananas, and ghee or coconut oil
Dinner: Warm vegetable soup with ½ baked sweet potato
Snacks: A cup of bone broth
Stay Hydrated and Mineralized
The body cannot function without proper hydration. Water is the very currency that our body runs on, essential for blood volume, clearing out waste, and regulating body temperature just to name a few. That is why it is vital to stay hydrated. Use this guide to ensure you are drinking the optimal amount of water daily.
Minerals are secondary to hydration, but is also a key component to recovery. Minerals play a role in almost every function of the body, but most of us are deficient. Great ways to boost mineral levels in the body are to include the following into your daily routine:
- Coconut water – drink one glass daily
- Sea salt – add unrefined sea salt to your food. Sea salt is rich in trace minerals.* if you have high blood pressure, kidney issues or other conditions that are sodium-sensitive talk with your doctor.
- Vegetable juice – fresh vegetable juice is not only very hydrating, but it is also rich in minerals. Vegetables such as celery, cucumber, spinach and beets are rich in minerals. Just make sure it is freshly pressed (you can find at most health food stores or local juice shop – or even better, buy your own juicer), and room temperature.
One often-overlooked component to a successful recovery is the toxin levels in your home. This is something most of us do not think about but is very important. When the body is weak, ill or overly sensitive it means that the immune system is over compromised and the body’s detoxification capabilities are not working as they should. This makes the body unable to properly neutralize and process toxins. Therefore, making sure your home is as toxin-free as possible is an essential step to recovery.
The main source of toxic exposure in our home. It is from the very air we breathe, the water we drink, and the products we use. Making sure that we clean up our indoor air, drink the right purified water, and use only non-toxic household cleaning products, and personal care products is an essential step in health restoration. Use the following articles to learn how to have a toxin-free household.
Gentle Cleansing Practices
In a state of weakness, illness or great sensitivity, it is clear that the body is overwhelmed. That is why it is important to start moving out harmful substances from the body and reduce inflammation so that the body can recover. While conventional detoxification practices are far too aggressive at this stage, simple and gentle cleansing practices can be of great use. Here are some suggestions of gentle cleansing practices that you can start implementing without risk of overburdening the body.
Dry Brushing: dry brushing is the practice of using a brush with coarse bristle to brush the skin. Used in circular motions towards the heart, dry brushing can help stimulate the lymphatic system, a key system in immune health.
Castor oil packs: castor oil packs are a topical treatment that uses the nourishing qualities of castor oil over the detoxification organs of the body. It is believed that the penetration of the castor oil through the skin can also help promote lymphatic movement and boost immune health.
Mineral Baths: a tried and true holistic treatment, mineral baths have remained a staple of health rejuvenation for good reason. Allowing the body to be submerged in a bath of minerals can help to gently promote the movement of toxins out of the body while restoring minerals to the body.
Grounding Mats: grounding mats are a lesser-known health tool, but are based on the most simple human practice, receiving the earth’s beneficial and healing properties. When we stand with bare feet on the earth, swim in the ocean water, or walk in forests, our body has a scientifically-proven reaction. Our inflammation levels lower, our blood pressure reduces, and our immune system is boosted. But since most of us live in a world where these earth practices cannot be appreciated daily or even weekly, we can use a grounding mat as a replacement. Grounding mats mimic the same body response that these earth practices create, but they can be done daily in our own home, even while we sleep. You can learn more about grounding here.
Rebuilding + Nourishing Supplements
In most cases, during this time of crisis even supplements can illicit a negative response, but there are a few that are well received. These supplements are directed at rebuilding and nourishing the body, and are gentle enough to be taken by most people during this time. As always, consult with your doctor before beginning.
Chyawanprash: chyawanprash is an ancient herbal remedy that is an essential of Ayurvedic health. It is a herbal preparation in jam form that has over forty herbs in it. The synergy of the herbs has been used to restore vitality to the body by promoting health in almost all areas of the body system. It can help lead to better metabolism, endocrine and digestive health, and whole body functioning.
Vitamin D: at this point in time it is far beyond conclusive that vitamin D is a vitamin essential to health. Vitamin D plays an important role in immune, mental, bone, heart, and nerve health. It is known to prevent disease and cancers, and to help prevent cognitive decline. The problem is almost every one of us is deficient. Even if you live in sunny California, unless you are taking a vitamin D supplement, chances are you are low in vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation is extremely safe, and is a great tool for recovery.
CoQ10: CoQ-10, or coenzyme Q-10, is also called ubiquinone-10 or vitamin Q. CoQ-10 is a potent antioxidant, which helps to protect your body from the formation of harmful free radicals. Free radicals can damage your cells and impair your immune system, which can then lead to chronic infections and many forms of degenerative disease. Damaging free radicals can form from exposure to chemicals, pesticides, toxins, radiation, and toxic substances. In almost all cases of weakness, illness or sensitivity, extra antioxidants like CoQ10 can be extremely helpful. It protects our very cells from damage, and thus cell death or abnormality (like in cancer). In addition, it helps promote cell life by increasing their energy function.
There are a couple very effective yet gentle therapies that I suggest for those you need a dramatic recovery of health. These therapies can help restore energy and blood flow, while also help to reduce stress. Reducing stress is key because stress not only affects our mood and how we feel, but it also has a dramatic effect on the inside workings of the body. Research has found that it hinders immune health and increases inflammation, both of which prevent health of the body. That is why incorporating these therapies into your recovery plan can offer a high level of value.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a holistic health technique that stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine practices in which trained practitioners stimulate specific points on the body by inserting thin needles into the skin. It is believed to open energetic pathways and stimulates blood flow, thus aiding in healing conditions.
Pranayama: Pranayama is a yogic breathing technique that helps to clear the physical and emotional obstacles in our body to free the breath and so the flow of prana – life energy. Learn more here.
Limit Electronic Exposure
One thing that is hardly ever looked at when addressing the health of one in a health crisis is our electronic exposure. Many people who are suffering from weakness and illness are extremely sensitive to electronic exposure. That is because of electronics, specifically computers, smartphones and tablets, emit electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs). When a person’s immune system is weak and the body is toxic, it becomes far more sensitive to EMFs. Even to the point where talking on the phone elicits a headache, working on the phone or computer leads to insomnia and poor sleep, or even wearing or being by a smartphone causes physical aches and pains. This is something to be mindful of and to start paying attention to. See if you are sensitive. If so, limit your electronic exposure. You can also try the EMF protective device below.