Are you struggling with enough energy or mental focus to get through your day or weight loss issues? Are you drinking too many sugary or caffeinated drinks to help you get by? Chronic dehydration and lack of nutrients could be part of the problem.
Over the past three decades, North Americans’ consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (a.k.a. pop or soda, juices, kid’s drinks) has skyrocketed. So, too, have rates of overweight, obesity and obesity-related diseases. It’s not a coincidence, a growing body of research points to a link between soft drinks, obesity and several health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
There is too much sugar in the average North American diet. In the past 30 years, total calorie intake has increased by 150 to 300 calories per day and about half of this increase comes from soft drinks. Several studies have shown that sugar-sweetened beverages have a low are not satisfying like solid food is, and people aren’t lowering their food calories to compensate for too many liquid calories and as a result are gaining more weight year after year.
Many people have a hard time drinking plain water, because they want the ‘taste’ of a soda or juice and the ‘kick’ of a coffee or energy drink. People just don’t drink enough water, and too much caffeine acts a diuretic, making it even worse. Chronic dehydration is a real issue for many people and when this is the case, every organ and system in your body is affected. When the body is dehydrated, cells are depleted of energy. The cells then have to rely on energy generation from food rather than water. People tend to eat more when the body is thirsty. Also, the body will not metabolize fat unless the body is adequately hydrated to safely remove dangerous toxins that are often stored in fat cells, thus inhibiting weight loss.
Low-grade dehydration (versus acute and clinical dehydration) is a chronic, widespread problem that has major impacts on well-being, energy, appearance and resiliency. Christopher Vasey, ND, a Swiss naturopath and author of The Water Prescription (Healing Arts Press, 2006), believes that most people suffer regularly from this type of chronic dehydration because of poor eating and drinking habits.
Chronic dehydration can cause digestive disorders because our bodies need water to produce the digestive juices that aid the digestive process. If we don’t get that water, we don’t secrete enough digestive juices, and a variety of problems — such as gas, bloating, nausea, poor digestion and loss of appetite — can ensue.
Bottom Line: If you’re not actively focusing on hydrating throughout the day, there’s a good chance you could be at least somewhat dehydrated, which could be negatively affecting your energy, vitality and immunity — as well as your appearance. Drinking enough water is critical for weight loss. Experiment with drinking more water throughout the day and eating water rich foods such as vegetables. You may observe an almost immediate difference in your well-being, and even if you don’t, establishing good hydration habits now will do many good things for your cellular health over the long haul. But that doesn’t mean you need to down eight glasses exactly, or that if you run a little shy of 64 ounces, then something awful is going to happen. Just be aware that the fewer vegetables, fruits and legumes you are eating, and the more dried, processed or chemical-laced foods you include in your diet, the more water you’ll need to consume to compensate.
It’s also not just about water. It takes a delicate balance of nutrients, minerals, and electrolytes to get and keep water where it needs to be — properly hydrating your bloodstream, your tissues and your cells. Minerals, especially electrolytes and trace minerals, are essential to maintaining cellular equilibrium. Minerals help transport water into the cells, where they also activate enzymes. And enzymes are the basis of every biological process in the body, from digestion to hormone secretion to cognition. Without minerals, enzymes get sluggish and the body suffers.
One solution, especially for those who don’t like the taste of plain water, is M Networks nutrient ‘stiks’. Low or no calories, chock full of nutrients, enzymes, antioxidants and good stuff for your body, and very convenient to bring with you anywhere you go. Simply mix with water. This is brand new, affordable and convenient – we are the first ones in Edmonton to carry this line – and we only choose the highest quality products in our clinics. (PS I have tried everything to lose weight and have spent thousands of dollars. Have lost 6.5 pounds in one week with the Slim Stiks and Burn capsules so I’m beyond excited to share something that works!) Our whole family loves them from my body building son who loves the Go and Smart Stiks, to my office manager son who loves the Soul Stiks. Watch a short video HERE.
Keys to Getting Your Best Massage Therapy session ever
1) Know the results you want from your massage therapy session: Do you want Therapeutic or Relaxation massage? Are you in pain with muscle tension or do you just want to de-stress and have total
body relaxation? We will customize your massage to meet your needs and we can best do this when we know what you want/need/expect.
2) Direct billing – we would be happy to direct bill for you to the companies we deal with. Please come prepared with your insurance information and knowledge of what your coverage is, if they allow direct billing and payment to a 3rd party, and what percentage is paid. We also do require a valid credit card on file to be able to carry a balance on your account. (Visa debit/credit does not work).
3) If you want therapeutic massage – what kind of pressure do you like? If you like the “good pain” of a deeper pressure massage please let your RMT know. If you
like a lot of pressure in some areas and lighter in others, again just communicate this. Note that if you choose to have a therapeutic massage you may be tender for a
few days in the areas worked on, much like when your muscles are sore after a workout when you haven’t worked out in a while. Occasionally there may be bruising after
a deeper therapeutic massage. Again, it’s important to let your RMT know during treatment if anything is out of your comfort zone. Don’t feel you need to ‘suffer’
4) Relaxation light touch/lymphatic drainage/body flushing – in some cases this is the best thing for a person, depending on what you like and what your body
needs. However relaxation doesn’t always mean light pressure. A relaxation massage can also be firmer pressure, but the goal is different than therapeutic massage
5) Mix it up! It’s totally okay to want relaxation on most of the body and deeper therapeutic work on problem areas or vice versa. Please keep in mind
though, that when therapeutic work is done it is more focused and you will likely not be able to have a full body massage because of time constraints.
6) What do you like? Another way to be as happy as can be with your massage is to tell your RMT areas you really like or don’t like getting worked. Like hands, feet and head or maybe your glutes and legs. Always identify the difference between problem areas (“my hips are sore”) and areas you enjoy (“I like my feet worked on”). This will enhance your massage 10-fold but if you don’t say anything at all we could skip past those areas to focus on the obvious issues, leaving you dissatisfied. If you have many problem areas it’s very difficult to treat the full body as problem areas need extra time to be worked on properly.
7) Book accordingly; give your massage therapist time to work on your body. 30 mins will only be enough for maybe one problem area or back/neck/shoulders relaxation massage. 60 minutes is adequate for full body relaxation or therapeutic massage on a few problem areas. 90 minutes is the best bet when you have many problem areas or you want an ultimate relaxation treat.
8) Temperature is another key factor in having that massage that is very important. At our clinic we offer heated tables, hot pads, and hot towel treatment. If when you get on the table it feels too warm or if at any time you feel too cold, please let your therapist know.
9) Hydration – This is so important and way we can’t stress it enough. Without adequate amount of hydration nothing works quite right in the body. Muscles don’t
respond the same and when you are dehydrated muscle spasms and cramps start to come out to play sometimes during the massage, which is not fun. You will get the best
results if you stay hydrated both before and after your treatment. It’s also a good idea to not come in with a totally empty stomach as being hungry will be distracting during this very important time for you.
10) Arrive early enough to fill out any paperwork especially if it’s your first visit or you have insurance to go through. Because of our busy schedule, we always
end our treatments on time even if not started on time, as we have other clients to see afterwards.
11) Never be afraid to say “that area is tender”, or “that feels really good”, or “I feel that shoot down my leg” or “I’d like some more pressure there”. We love
the feedback; it makes our job easier and when we can do our job properly it will make you happier. We don’t take it personally, everyone is different! It takes a
couple treatments with a therapist for both of you to feel comfortable.
12) Good Fit – we have many therapists and if one person doesn’t fit your needs we can match you up with someone who can. Feel free to reply to the feedback email
that is sent out after every treatment, it’s only seen by the owner, and we will be able to determine the best fit. It’s amazing how even RMTs that go to the same
school come out with different styles, pressure levels etc.
13) Nature calling – it’s a good idea to void your bladder prior to your massage (especially if you’re drinking all the water we want you to) so that you aren’t
distracted during treatment and you can enjoy the full session without needing to ‘go’
14) Treatment planning – if you have chronic pain and/or tension issues the best scenario is to come once a week for a couple weeks then taper off onto a
maintenance schedule. 1-2 massages a year doesn’t leave you with much of the benefits you would get if you came regularly until you feel some relief in problem areas
and then get on a maintenance schedule that suits your schedule and budget. The absolute best way to get the massage you want is to GET massages.
We look forward to seeing you soon to give you your best massage ever!
Carl Parnham RMT and
Lara Clement, owner, The Self Centre