Managing Your Chronic Illness Through Healthy Living
As an Integrative Health Coach, as well as a Neuromuscular Massage Therapist my goal is to help people understand their unique bio-individuality so that they can better cultivate a healthy lifestyle that is tailored specifically to their needs & goals. Proper care & cultivation of a sustainable, healthy lifestyle is especially crucial for those currently managing &/or recovering from chronic illness such as: cancer, etc…
My first recommendation for taking your first step in your health journey is to create an environment that supports your emotional & mental health, as well as your physical health. This can mean something as simple as organizing & decluttering your home, to creating healthy boundaries with loved ones & limiting your interaction with negative energy. Remember, your body, more specifically your central nervous system, is designed to assess both your internal & external environment, at all times, & anything within those environments that the central nervous system perceives as a “threat” can lead to resoundingly negative, painful & sometimes harmful reactions within the body, which is why creating a nurturing & supportive environment is especially important to those living with or, healing from chronic illness.
As an Integrative Health Coach, once I feel confident that a client has established a supportive environment in which they can THRIVE, I begin to slowly incorporate the following steps within which we can work to create a personalized healthy living program.
The First Steps Towards Better Health
#1 Avoid extremes!
That means No extreme workouts, No extreme diets. Remember, your body is going through a lot & adding any extreme routine to your life could trigger strong negative reactions in the body. The true key to sustainable lifestyle is to create a healthy balance between physical activity & nutritional support. The key to healthy living success is not found in extreme lifestyle changes, but in consistency of effort.
#2 Drink more Water!
Water works to regulate body temperature, protect your joints, spinal cord and muscle tissues. Water also helps your body remove waste, eliminate toxins & reduce inflammation. The removal of waste is especially important for those who are living with chronic illness & are having difficulty with digestion & elimination due to high dosages of medication. Those living with chronic illness should avoid dehydration as much as possible! Dehydration will add stress to your cardiovascular system, which can then cause your body to struggle to maintain blood pressure. Again, we want to help the body's systems function optimally & keeping water consumption to a minimum of 70-90 oz of water per day is one of the best ways to support your body.
#3 Support your body with Nutritionally Beneficial Foods.
At its core, your body is nothing more than 1 giant protein, therefore quality PROTEIN is essential to healing at the cellular level & restoring proper muscle function. Quality, complex CARBOHYDRATES provide usable energy & aid in healthy digestion. Healthy fats such as the kind from fish, avocado’s, etc… are essential to proper brain function, regulating blood pressure & maintaining a healthy body weight. The key is to remember that everything you put into your body is information & support for the body, it is imperative that you provide your body with nutritionally quality items that support your health & healing.
#4 Balance Physical Activity with Quality Rest.
Physical activity can be anything as long as it gets your body moving. Activation of various muscle groups not only helps the heart to circulate blood throughout the body, but it can also help promote a healthy mind by releasing endorphins that can drastically reduce anxiety & stress. As a health coach my recommendation is to pick a routine that matches your current life stage & don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Maintaining an active lifestyle is an act of self-love & is essential for helping the body heal.
Quality Rest is the balance needed for those looking to lead a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Rest & Quality Sleep not only helps aid in digestion, promote weight loss & reduce inflammation, but it also helps your body build a strong immune system, increase your memory, elevate your mood & reduce depression.
As a Health Coach who's worked with a myriad of individuals with various chronic illness diagnosis’ I understand that these steps might seem simple but, I promise that the sustained combination of these efforts will work to provide your body with a strong, healthy foundation on which you can begin to take the next steps further into your health journey.
*Thank you to Crystal Mathis for sending us this helpful article to post in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Neuromuscular Massage Therapist (MT116124)
Crystal Mathis is a Certified Integrative Health Coach & Licensed Neuromuscular Massage Therapist. She runs a private practice in Houston, Texas where she continues to help her clients create and implement positive, sustainable lifestyle changes everyday.