Natural Remedies

I don’t have time to run to my doctor today. Quick, Internet, “What’s a natural remedy for my menopause symptoms?” Kale & Spinach. “Ugh! What else you got?” Lose weight. “Pass. What else?” Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. “Uh, yeah, we covered kale & spinach already, and now you’re adding bananas and cherries after you just told me to lose weight. Please try again.” Exercise regularly. “Damnit! We have already covered this – kale, spinach, lose weight. I want relief now” Drink water. “Whew! There’s one I can do.” Pardon me now while I take a long drink of water. Please join me in doing the same.

This, of course, reminds me of the natural remedy for depression I offer to every potential counseling patient who claims not having enough time or money to start therapy and doesn’t want any sort of medication: 1) Water, 2) Sleep, 3) Nutrition, 4) Movement, and 5) Socializing. I am typically met with arguments that they’re too depressed to socialize or get out and move, they only want to eat crap, and they can’t sleep or are already sleeping too much. So, I tell them, “Tthen drink water.” Pardon me now while I take another drink of water. I invite you to please do the same.

After a sip of water, less depressed individuals will launch into how it’s really their job or their spouse or their kids or their parents that’s the problem. As we explore the job and the kids and the spouse and the parents, it becomes clear that they hustle all day from one thing to the next, grabbing fast food here, eating half their kid’s discarded sandwich there, rushing off to meetings and work sessions, and sitting on chairs or in drivers’ seats for 8, 10, 15, or more hours a day. They typically reveal they’re getting an average of 4-6 hours of sleep, generally beginning after 10 or 11pm. I go back to my five recommendations and encourage them to get 6-8 hours of sleep and begin that sleep before 10pm. I am generally met with explanations of how they must keep that schedule to keep up with all the engagements they have, which tends to include some socializing and maybe even some exercise, so I remind them of the importance of nutrition and they pull a healthy bar out of their purse to prove to me that they attend to nutrition, so I’m back again to water. I suggest they drink more water. You now know the drill. Take another drink with me now.

If you’re four paragraphs into this and your water is empty, go fill it now. If you’re this far and you don’t even have any water within reach, go get some. I’ll wait. We’ll all wait. It’s that important. Not energy drink. Not coffee. Not tea. Not scotch and water. Not athletic replenishment drink. Just water.

And although Eddie Money suggests that some cool, cool, water can fix damn near anything, I wouldn’t go quite that far. I’ll need to squelch my peri-menopausal irritability in some other way. Turns out you don’t even have to limit yourself to drinking the water to experience it’s benefits. You can soak your body or feet in it. You can swim in or float on it, or run through a sprinkler. That all helps. In fact, I think I’ll go splash some on my face now to calm my soul. And, while I’m in there, I’ll go ahead and make room for more!

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