Over the years, I’ve noticed that many people interested in spirituality have a tendency to forget about their bodies.
I can't blame them. I’ve experienced debilitating physical pain, injuries, and depression that I would never wish on anyone else. In the darkest of those times, I, too, wanted nothing more than relief from my suffering, and I looked for it in spiritual teachings, meditation, yoga and other techniques to train and quiet my mind.
But after working as a Nutritional Therapist and reflecting on my own transformative healing journey, I’ve lived a truth that we share with clients in our practice: You can’t out-run poor eating habits or nutrient imbalances by simply doing longer meditations, more prayer, more exercise, or additional years of talk therapy.
As tempting as it is to hope that those extra minutes on the meditation cushion, or times spent in prayer, will take away some of the hurt—and they often do help for a little while—it is necessary to recognize a real physiological need in the body (especially nutritional needs) as just that.
For example, if your body demonstrates a measureable deficiency in magnesium (on a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, for instance, as discussed in previous articles), no amount of meditation or prayer is going to replace that magnesium shortfall. The only way to replace that missing magnesium is to ingest it, through conscious food choices and nutritional supplementation.
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It almost sounds silly to point out something that seems so obvious on the surface, but you might be surprised how many of our clients begin the process as devoted meditators who desperately lack vital nutrients in their bodies.
We do the same kind of compensatory thinking in other ways, too. For example, if I am feeling badly about eating fast food for lunch, or going out for drinks the night before, I might try to “undo” or "make up for" the damage by running or going to the gym to work it off. But again, the lack of life-giving nutrients, and the presence of toxins (like alcohol, trans-fats, coloring agents, refined sugars, and preservatives) are what need to be removed and replaced with what body needs to function optimally.
Our lives and our bodies are expressions of the same continuous process we call living. To find health, balance, and a deep sense of who and what we are, we have to care for even the smallest parts of each day, bite by bite. Everything matters, not just the parts that attract us.
And sometimes, you do just need to add more magnesium (or vegetables, or fats, or proteins…) to help bring inner peace, calmness, and reduce physical pain, frustration, and symptoms of depression and illness.
Ask yourself right now: What is your body trying to tell YOU that it needs?