When I was in college I really had that strong black woman thing going on. I was an officer and in charge of several events with my sorority, was active in my church, worked a part-time job often full-time, took a full course load and made it my business to hang out just about every weekend. I thought I could handle it all until my gums told me something different.
Yes, my gums, those things that hold your teeth, had developed a number of painful lesions that my dentist told me come from stress. That was my first lesson in the impact of poor healthcare on the body. Over the years I received more lessons battling acne, costochronditis (inflammation in the rib or cartilage), Candida (too much bad yeast) and osteoarthritis (loss of cartilage between bones in the joints, often causing them to swell). Sick of just getting chemical injections and taking medications to mask the pain I began a major search for naturopathic medicines to get to the root of my issues. I discovered a whole world of natural ways that God had for me and couldn’t believe how duped I had been into believing that only synthetic medicines could cause me relief. Like me, I know there are some of you who have believed the same thing. Well, for your information and to encourage you to start your own natural health quest, I am going to share with you over the next several Fridays a natural method that I have used that has worked for me. I am also going to feature others who have used natural methods that have worked for them.
#1—Get More Rest
The first and very simple change that worked for me was more rest. I have to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. The first time my gum lesions appeared, my dentist gave me a prescription for penicillin and told me to take it easy. The next time my gums became sore (a sign that lesions were coming), I didn’t seek medicine but rest. I do this every time and rest works.
Rest regenerates the cells. This makes my skin clearer, relieves my pain, and prevents or eliminates my lesions. And we all know that a good night’s rest clears the mind, minimizes bags and energizes the body. There will be times when we can’t get to sleep early enough to get a full night’s rest, but we have to make these times as few as possible. We have to forfeit those regular late night phone conversations, social media interactions, volunteer overtime, and that bedtime movie. These all make me feel good when I do them, but I pay for them when I’m dragging the next day. We also have to stop staying up worrying about things that we can’t change.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.—Psalm 127:2
Life is demanding enough, let alone for those of us recovering from being that unrealistic strong black woman. We need to be healthy in spirit, mind and body. God wants us this way and helps provide it for us through sleep. At the beginning of the year with all our fresh goals, let’s add getting real rest so we can be refreshed, energized and healthy to do the work we are meant to do.
Copyright 2011 by Rhonda J. Smith