Posts for: January, 2019
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old holistic approach to health and wellness. One of the main principles of Ayurveda is that the mind and body are indissolubly connected. According to Deepak Chopra, “Freedom from illness depends on expanding our own awareness, bringing it into balance, and then extending that balance to the body.”
Ayurveda is a way of life. It is a way of life that has started to become more mainstream in the past few years as many of us are becoming more conscious of our own mind-body connection. Western medicine has long viewed the body as parts that make up a whole. Eastern medicine, on the other hand, sees the body as an entire entity inextricably connected. Our modern approach to health and wellness though is starting to blend the two.
An understanding of Ayurveda and the lifestyle associated with this approach to comprehensive wellness can help you lead a more fulfilled, healthy, and happy life. When you understand your body and what works for you and doesn’t work for you, you are better suited to make decisions that will affect you in only a positive way.
There are three doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) associated with the five elements of nature (space, air, fire, water, and earth). Discovering your dosha, which is based on your body frame, weight, complexion, eyes, hair, joints, sleep pattern, body temperature, temperament, and how you react to stress, can help you create a lifestyle that is best suited for your unique nature.
Living in harmony with your mind and body can be done through eating a healthy and colorful diet, living in tune with nature, getting sufficient and restful sleep, exercising, and embodying the law of least effort.
This isn’t a call to prescribe to one wellness approach over another, but more of an invitation to develop an intuitive and conscious relationship with your mental, emotional, and physical self. It is this invitation that many of us are starting to RSVP to, especially as we move into 2019.
Simple Ayurveda practices that you can start incorporating into your daily life:
- Drink warm water with ginger two to three times a day
- Laugh out loud
- Scrape your tongue
- Eat your biggest meal at lunchtime
- Rise with the sun
- Give yourself time to rest
Every night while you are asleep, your digestive system is hard at work. One of its many nightly tasks includes removing toxins from the body and depositing them on the surface of your tongue. You must remove these toxins; otherwise, they reabsorb into the body. A build-up of toxins in the body can lead to all sorts of health issues, and not to mention some kicking breath.
Brushing and flossing your teeth is critical to maintaining your oral health, but if you don’t properly clean your tongue, you are still leaving tons of bacteria and toxins behind.
Fret not though! The simple act of tongue scraping is a daily practice that can significantly improve not only your oral health but your overall health. Tongue scraping is an Ayurvedic self-care ritual and growing trend in 2019. While many of us likely brush our tongues while we are brushing our teeth, using a proper tongue scraper is far more effective at removing all that accumulated gunk.
A tongue scraper is a U-shaped piece of copper, tin, brass, gold, or silver that you can purchase at nearly any health or grocery store. To scrap your tongue, all you need to do is stick it out and gently scrape from back to front. After each scrape, rinse off the scraper. Repeat this process five to ten times, or until your tongue feels clean.
Once you’ve scrapped your tongue and seen what comes off of it and how amazingly fresh and clean your mouth feels afterward, you likely will never start a day any other way.
The benefits of scraping your tongue every morning include, but are not limited to:
Elimination bad breath
Prevention cavities, tooth decay, and periodontal disease
Strengthen of your immune system
Enhanced taste buds
Removal of toxins in your body
According to leading industry experts, it has been predicted that in 2019 there will be a rise in the trend of smile self-care. Our wellness and cosmetic routines have long included caring for the appearance and integrity of our hair and skin, but now more than ever we are looking to give that same care to our smiles.
At Parker Dentistry, we have always said, “a face makes a smile and a smile makes a face.”
Wouldn’t it be great if in 2019 we all collectively smiled more? When we feel great about our smile, we are more likely to share it with the world, and the world could really use the light of bright white smiles! This is a trend that is accessible to everyone.
There so many amazing and affordable options of at-home and in-office teeth whitening products, electric toothbrushes, effective kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes, and procedures to help your smile reflect your inner smile. At Parker Dentistry, we have it all and have it all to offer to you. This is one of the areas where we really shine!
To get you on your way to your most brilliant smile yet, follow these simple steps.
Floss every single day
Flossing helps remove plaque between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach. A build-up of plaque can lead to cavities and periodontal disease. While some of us love to floss, for those who don’t, you can also try an oral irrigator to reach those tight tough-to-reach spots.
Come visit us twice a year
Coming in every six months for a proper teeth cleaning is key to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. We also have the tools to remove stains from your teeth, which will only help make your smile sheen even more.
Regularly having your teeth cleaned will also greatly decrease your chances of developing periodontal disease, which has been linked to heart disease and other conditions.
Buy a great toothbrush
If you are ready to make the switch to electric, we highly recommend a Sonicare. The entire Parker family uses one and we even sell them in our office. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque and stains from your teeth than the traditional manual toothbrush.
Once you’ve tried a Sonicare, you’ll never go back to a manual; the clean feeling is truly next level!
Drink more water
If you aren’t already guzzling down two liters of water a day, 2019 should be your year to start. Not only is drinking water necessary for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, but the rest of your body requires it to function at its full capacity.
Your teeth, gums, and skin around your mouth will thank you for giving up the smokes. Your entire body will greatly benefit from kicking this habit. There is no time like the present to stop doing something that has zero benefit and immense consequences.
Choose the right whitening product
The next time you come in to see us, ask Dr. Blake, Dr. Steve, or your hygienist about our in-office and take-home teeth whitening products. This is a wonderful gift to yourself! Now, whitening your teeth is easier and more affordable than ever. And, a particularly great time to start whitening your teeth is right after you have had your teeth cleaned.
We can’t wait to see your smile soon!
Did you know that “Meatless Monday” was actually created back during World War I? The U.S. Food Administration encouraged families to reduce the consumption of key staples in order to aid in the war effort. More than 13 million families pledged to give up meat on Mondays and wheat on Wednesdays. Meatless Monday was again reintroduced and widely followed during and after World War II.
It wasn’t until 2003 that this movement was revived though and for quite different reasons. Meatless Monday was reintroduced as a public health awareness campaign. You might not have realized, but the average American eats as much as 75 pounds of meat a year! The health and environmental effects of such a high rate of meat consumption are truly devastating.
Did you know that according to EarthDay.org…
Eating one less burger a week is the same as taking your car off the road for 320 miles?
Skipping steak once a week is equivalent to not driving for almost three months?
The world’s population of cows eat enough to feed nine billion people?
70% of the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest is to provide land for livestock?
An eight-ounce steak requires 900 gallons of water?
Deciding to lead a plant-based lifestyle is one of the best things that you can do for your body and the planet. However, such a decision is completely personal and not necessarily what everyone wants to do. If you aren’t ready to go full plant-life, eliminating your meat and dairy consumption by even just one day can have wonderfully positive consequences on your health and on our planet.
A meat-heavy diet has been linked to obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Meat, dairy, and highly processed foods also increase inflammation, which is the root of most chronic diseases. Many of us have been taught or led to believe that the best source of protein comes from the meat of cows, chicken, pigs, and fish. This is simply not true. Protein in found in countless plant-based forms.
Veganism, vegetarianism, and meatless-days are trends that have been gaining momentum and will continue to do so as we venture into 2019. Eating a plant-based diet has become more accessible, affordable, and appetizing than ever as brands and companies that are dedicated to this shift in the way we eat are continuing to grow and evolve.
You can easily swap out animal protein for these nutrient-dense plant alternatives:
Remember, little changes can produce grand results, and our actions and decisions affect more than just our individual health and wellness. Let's make 2019 OUR healthiest year yet!