Healing

I’ve Been Prescribed The Ocean

I’ve Been Prescribed The Ocean

I wake up and am immediately drawn to the ocean. I cross the railroad tracks, hike up the hill and stand against the railing that overlooks Beacons Beach in Encinitas, California.

I walk down to the ocean, find a big rock to sit on and stare dreamily out into the water watching the sunrise surfers hang ten.

I sit in a trance listening to the swooshing sound of the waves break against the shore, up onto the rocks and get pulled out again. I hear the seagulls in the distance, and I can pick up on the sound of a pelican swooping into the water for his breakfast.

The waves have me in a meditative state, and energy fills me to my core. I can’t help but smile, and not think of anything else but the present moment. I feel completely full, and the thoughts of everything else wash away. Meditating never seemed easier!

There’s something about being by the water that just makes me happier, and I’m a pretty darn happy person even away from it.

A popular belief is that salty air, which is filled with negatively charged ions, can help decrease blood pressure and elevate mood. Ocean visits were once a prescribed “cure all” for most illnesses in the 18th and 19th centuries.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the ocean has healing properties. The way I feel around water is unlike anything else. But how silly would it be if we went to the doctor in the 21st century and were prescribed a walk on the beach, a swim in the ocean or to sit underneath a waterfall?

I’d take that prescription over our “pill nation” agenda any day.

What are negative ions?

An ion is an atom or molecule that has either gained or lost an electron. They are created in nature as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, moving air and water. Nature provides both negative and positive ions, and it’s the negative ions that give us that feel good energy.

Negative ions are known to enhance mood, stimulate senses, provide relief from allergies and migranes, help promote alpha brain waves, help absorb oxygen into blood cells and balance serotonin.

The best generator for negative ions is lightening, ocean waves and waterfalls. They are also abundant in mountains and forests. (I knew I was meant to live in the Tropics…)

All of these areas have a higher concentration of negative ions than positive. The normal ion count in fresh country air is 2,000 to 4,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. At a large waterfall there is over 100,000. On the other hand, in a polluted city you will see levels below 100 per cubic centimeter.

It makes sense to me why I feel more alert, stable and energized when I’m surfing, climbing waterfalls and swimming in the ocean.

How does the ocean make you feel?

Magnesium Deficiency and Epsom Salt Baths

Magnesium Deficiency and Epsom Salt Baths

Magnesium is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body.

Magnesium plays a critical role in over 300 enzymes, reduces inflammation, improves blood flow, regulates temperature, detoxes the liver and helps to improve muscle and nerve function.

Unfortunately, many people are magnesium deficient without even knowing, and the American lifestyle lends itself to magnesium depletion so rapidly that magnesium therapy should be an ongoing process for many of us.

Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency are high blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances, insomnia, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, back pain, headaches, migraines, depression and hypertension.

Why are we deficient?

Due to diet, agricultural practices and stress, our magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century.

Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from our soil with the use of pesticides that are sprayed on produce that we eat daily, and the American diet of refined and processed foods are stripped of their vitamin, mineral and fiber content. For consumers who love their sugar intake, think about this for a second. For every single molecule of sugar you consume, 50 times the amount of magnesium is depleted from your body.

Stress is a large cause of our levels dropping as well. Stress hormone production requires high levels of magnesium and stressful experiences lead to depletion of magnesium stores.

For those with a daily workout routine, you sweat out important nutrients during exercise. This is why sports drinks market themselves as an “electrolyte drink” containing magnesium, potassium and sodium. Many athletes suffer from muscle cramping, which is from losing these great nutrients during a workout. And guess what? Magnesium isn’t just a mineral, it’s an electrolyte. So you can get back your nutrients after a hard workout with a good bath soak.

Epsom Salt Baths

Epsom salt is a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. By using Epsom salt baths you can detox your body and experience amazing health benefits.

Our skin is a highly porous membrane and readily absorbs both magnesium and sulfate through the skin into the body’s blood stream. By using Epsom salts in your bathwater, it creates a process called reverse osmosis that pulls salt and harmful toxins out of your body, allowing the magnesium and sulfates to enter.

According to the Epsom Salt Industry Council, researchers list health benefits from sufficient magnesium and sulfate levels.

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.

Ready for a bath already?

I know what I’m doing this weekend! Spring is a time for detox and cleaning out, so start with your own internal system. Your body will thank you!

Add two cups of Epsom Salt and soak for 20 minutes, up to 2-3 times a week. Epsom salts are inexpensive and can be purchased at Wal Mart, Lowes and Home Depot among many places. Also, try to add magnesium rich foods into your diet such as roasted pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds, brown rice and sunflower seeds.