blog chemicals MCS tips

Stay healthy while dealing with sensitivities

barefootHi friends! I know many of you out there in blog land, like me, suffer from environmental sensitivities. You are not alone! While my sensitivities have not disappeared, I have learned to cope with them better and keep them under check to a certain degree. I wanted to share with you what has worked well for me.

– Yoga.

The psoas muscle has a large influence over the fight or flight response. If you are sitting for much of the day, your psoas muscle becomes shortened. Yoga will help lengthen it out. I immediately started to feel a difference with my reactions when I started practicing yoga.

– Acupuncture and chinese herbs

I am lucky enough to have a fantastic acupuncture provider here in Charlotte and have had a huge amount of help dealing with some of my symptoms with Chinese herbs. If you go this route, make sure your herbs are organic and that your practitioner has rave reviews.

– Organic food

Organic food contains more nutrients. Why? Because the plants have a better developed immune system, having to fight off disease and pests on their own. You will have less exposure to chemicals this way as well.

– Nutrient dense food

We environmentally sensitive ones seem to need greater stores of nutrients. A heard an EHS friend say that he needed nutrient dense food and realized I had been seeking out the same thing but had not put a name to it. Avocados are my favorite nutrient dense food.

– Fermented foods

The first time I heard about fermented foods and gut health I felt thrilled, like a missing puzzle piece finally fell into place. And suddenly it seemed like everyone is talking about this incredible health breakthrough. If you haven’t heard the news, this is it in a nutshell: Microbial cells outnumber human cells on the human body 10 to 1 and researchers are starting to understand that the bacteria in our guts helps us digest, helps our immune system and in short is essential for good health. The problem is, most people eating a typical american diet have poor intestinal flora. Fermented foods will help set that straight! So eat some raw sauerkraut, drink some kombucha, eat some kefir. I’ve been fermenting my own sauerkraut and kombucha. It’s lots of fun!

– Cut out caffeine

Caffeine raises cortisol levels in the body, a stress hormone. We don’t need additional stress when our environments are already stressing us out! If you’re hooked, I recommend transitioning to a weaker form of caffeine (green tea for instance) before eliminating it completely. The transition will make it easier. I eliminated all caffeine except that found in chocolate, and I now recognize that caffeine really just made me feel bad.

– Give yourself time to recover

If you have to take part in activities that stress you out, allow yourself the time to recover. Perhaps that means avoiding scheduling two social events in one week. Or perhaps that means seeing one friend at a time instead of a group. Just recognize your limits and allow yourself to respect them. When I follow this rule, I do great. When I don’t – it turns into a great reminder!

– Get barefoot and try Earthing

Connecting to the earth’s energies is healing and grounding. Literally. Many environmentally sensitive folks have experienced relief with this method. If using an Earthing sheet, use the grounding rod instead of the outlet ground. Earthing helps me sleep peacefully, and when I sleep well, I feel good.

– Dig in the dirt

And if you haven’t heard about the importance of the gut, perhaps you’ve heard that digging in the soil is a natural antidepressant. Facing life with the burden of chemical or environmental sensitivities is enough to get anyone down. Don’t let yourself stay down. I always feel better after getting my fingers dirty.

– De-stress your relationships

If your relationship is a source of stress, try to find a solution to change this. Many of us who are environmentally sensitive seem to also have a Highly Sensitive Person physiology, meaning it takes us longer to recover from stress. Stress depletes the body and will make it harder for you to stay healthy. Just say no to living with constant stress!

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I’ll be giving a workshop soon on precisely these topics – coping with sensitivity. Perhaps some of you would like to join us? Find out more about it here.