I recently went home to Perth for a visit. By the end of each Perth trip, one thing is certain. I am so grateful for my home (and sanctuary) that I have created in Melbourne. For those sensitive to their environment, even a week in a different location can make a big difference – sometimes for the better, sometimes to their detriment. I know many people think my lifestyle is on the extreme side of hippy, and by no means am I telling you that this is the way everybody should live. However I have found a way to reduce environmental stress on my body that works for me, and assists in my goal of living life well. My home is truly my sanctuary!
I’m sure by now you know I’m superbly passionate about environmental health. I probably talk more about it on this blog than I do about chiropractic itself, and you might wonder why I’m a chiropractor and not an environmental health officer (but to be honest, my next postgrad study is going to be in environmental health!).
For all my fellow chiropractor readers, I know that you know chiropractic already. You don’t need to be told that a subluxation may cause unexplainable symptoms in any individual. You know as a chiropractor that the first thing I do with each and every patient is assess their spine and nervous system for such subluxations, and correct these first and foremost. What I’m trying to do for you is widen your scope to consider what is causing the subluxation in the first place.
For the rest of my readers, this is something I somewhat cover in my FAQ section. Chiropractic enables me to assess the state of each child’s nervous system, and correct any spinal restrictions (aka subluxations). But if I want to take a truly holistic approach to health and wellness, which is something I pride myself on, then it would be foolish for me to think that a spinal restriction is the one and only thing that would affect your child’s nervous system.
My top 4 favourite ways to make your home your sanctuary:
- Drink (and bathe in) good, clean water. Staying well hydrated makes a significant impact to your health – your body is made of a lot of water! Spend some time finding the right water filter for you. They don’t have to be expensive. We currently use an Alps water filter which sits on the bench, and a Nikken shower head filter. They aren’t perfect, but they sure do make a difference. It is amazing how often we need to clean out the drinking filter. I’ve actually taken progressive photos of how quickly it gets dirty to show you what is potentially in your tap water (for another blog post).
- Be aware of what is in your mattress. You spend a lot of time in bed. The health benefits of getting a good night’s rest are well-known. The quality of your mattress can make a big difference. Some people (myself included) react to foams, which can lead to sleep disturbances. Another thing to consider with mattresses is the inner springs – there is a controversial theory that inner springs can act like little antennae for electromagnetic radiation, attracting a pile of it right into your sleeping space. I haven’t found anything that officially proves this, but in the meantime it’s important enough to me that I have chosen to sleep without inner springs. Our mattress is an organic futon from Organature. (so is our bed frame, as it is made from chemical-free wood).
- Reduce your radiation exposure. Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are produced by anything electrical, as well as water running through pipes. It is impossible to avoid, but easy to reduce. Ensure you don’t sleep next to a wall with wiring or bathroom plumbing running in it. Use manual alarm clocks rather than digital, or if using your phone as your alarm, place it outside your room (we put ours in the bathroom). Turn off power points when not in use. Choose a home a safe distance from big power lines. We have also chosen to add a few extra things into our house which are supposed to assist in reducing EMF exposure, including salt lamps and indoor plants in most rooms, and amethysts next to computers (and one in the bedroom too).
- Reduce mould exposure. Moulds release spores which are then breathed in, and may cause lung irritation, and even neurological and behavioural symptoms (for myself it causes severe brain fog). They will grow anywhere damp. Check your bathrooms, bedrooms, air conditioners, and ducted heating regularly for mould. We use white vinegar, bicarb, and oregano oil to remove our mould, which luckily for us tend to only be present in the shower.
I could honestly go on forever discussing ways to make your home more of an environmental health sanctuary, but those are by far my favourite ways, with the biggest bang for buck. When my own personal environment isn’t right for me, I experience increased brain fog, muscle aches, fatigue, stomach aches and food reactions, dry and irritated skin, and worst of all I’m grumpy (just ask Greg). Have you considered the things in your house that may be contributing to your child’s lack of sleep, poor moods, or behavioural issues? Could it be as simple as moving their bed to assist in their sleeping issues, or cleaning mould more thoroughly to reduce their ongoing cough and allergies? Could changing their drinking and showering water improve their dry, irritated skin?
Have you got some other favourites that you would add to my list? Is there anything that has worked for your children (or yourself)? Leave your comments below, or head over to facebook or twitter and comment there!