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Dr. Tori Hudson, Portland, Oregon, Blog Healthline Blog

Here in the Pacific NW, Spring is a big deal…. It’s the revival of hope that the rainy/gray638288760 days will be less and less and eventually rare. Not everyone can tolerate these many months from roughly November through May/June… the gray, the wet and the dark can be stifling to the mood. I’m an Oregonian… in fact raised on the Oregon coast … so it’s a way of life for me. But, for many of my patients, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a very real condition. Full spectrum light bulbs can help. Thirty minutes every morning in front of a 10,000 LUX light box can help. Trips to east of the Cascades, (or Palm Springs), can help. Back to spring though. Spring is a good time to contemplate what is going on in nature and try to mimic some of that for ourselves. How can we grow new above ground shoots? How can we grow robustly to reach our optimal productivity and bounty? What can we plant right now in our lives that will yield the fruits of our labor in the next 2-6 months? All metaphors of course… for choosing healthy whole foods, regular exercise, regular outdoor activities in nature, fresh air, etc. One time, at least 36 years ago I had the opportunity to spend two weeks in Alabama with Dr. Agatha Thrash, a very orthodox Seventh Day Adventist, practicing the ways of Ellen G White, the prophet who wrote many books on health. Dr. Thrash shared with me what she called, NEWSTART. Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, fresh Air, Rest and Trust in divine power. I never forgot this. And it intersects so well with the principles of Naturopathic Medicine as far as healthy lifestyle strategies.

Any ways in which you can make positive moves towards healthier eating, regular exercise, reducing/avoiding harmful substances (I’m thinking especially of chemicals in food/water/ home and nicotine) and managing harmful stressors…. will optimize your foundational health, lengthen your life, and optimize aging. I know you’ve heard it before. But even if you have failed before, small steps make a difference and eventually lead to bigger steps. I listened to a program today for opioid addicts that was about “harm reduction”…giving addicts clean needles and life-saving kits in case of overdose. The point being, a little support and assistance for harm reduction, even in the presence of obvious harm, can buy some time until we are willing and wanting and able to make bigger change.

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