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Mind Body Health

Michelle Martin

Holistic health is a philosophy which views the body as an integrated system, recognizing the interconnectedness of physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Instead of merely addressing symptoms, a holistic approach aims to identify and treat the root causes of imbalances, promoting overall harmony.

Nutrient-dense food
Consuming a well-balanced diet rich in nutrients provides the body with the essential building blocks it needs to function optimally. Eating clean and nutrient-dense food is key. Inside our bodies are billions of neurons. At the end of each neuron is a neurotransmitter which connects to another neurotransmitter. It’s like your own internal telecommunication system. These neurotransmitters communicate what we’re thinking, how our bodies move, along with regulating emotions, metabolism, and sleep patterns.

This is important to know because nutrients are what manufacture neurotransmitters. We need healthy nutrient-dense food to help our bodies fight disease, communicate, and perform efficiently and effectively. Clean and real food, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, and whole grains contribute to physical and mental vitality and support the body's natural healing processes.

Pro tips: Eat without distraction, using all your senses. Remember to hydrate with water all day.

Movement
Physical movement is not only crucial for maintaining physical health but also plays a pivotal role in mental and emotional wellbeing. Engaging in regular physical activity boosts circulation, enhances cardiovascular health, and releases endorphins. From yoga to strength training, finding a form of movement that suits your preferences ensures a holistic and enjoyable approach to fitness.

Using your body isn’t defined by the gym or previous perceptions of how to “get fit.” Consider something you love that is physical. Find what works for you. Anything that increases your heart rate and encourages strength training for bone density. The best type of exercise is the one you will do most often.

Pro tips: Movement outdoors has additional health benefits. Studies have found Forest bathing reduces stress and enhances relaxation.

Sleep hygiene
Many things you do during the day can disrupt your quality of sleep, including caffeinated beverages, eating late at night, nicotine use, certain prescription medications, and technology use. Eat lighter meals earlier in the evening (a minimum of two hours prior to your bedtime). Regular exercise promotes continuous sleep, while late night workouts energize the body and brain instead of signaling quiet time.

Adequate and restful sleep is a cornerstone of whole-body health. During sleep, the body undergoes crucial repair and restoration processes, impacting both physical and mental functions. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and prioritizing relaxation before bedtime contribute to better sleep quality.

Pro tips: We love our technology but using our devices before bed signals to body to be awake and alert. Help your body power down by turning off your devices at least an hour before bedtime.

Emotional engagement
The mind and body are deeply connected, and nurturing this relationship is vital for overall wellbeing. Practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and deep-breathing exercises can help manage stress, improve mental clarity, and foster emotional resilience. Taking time for self-reflection and relaxation is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind-body connection.

Acknowledging and addressing emotions is integral to holistic health. Cultivating healthy relationships, seeking support when needed, and practicing self-compassion are essential components of emotional wellbeing. Emotional health is not about avoiding negative feelings but embracing positive emotions and continually sourcing joy in life.

Pro tips: When we express gratitude our brains release both dopamine and serotonin, along with reducing the release of stress hormones such as cortisol. Gratitude also rewires our brain neuropathways creating more opportunity for a positive mindset.

In the pursuit of whole-body health, it is essential to recognize and honor the interconnected nature of our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. By adopting an integrated approach that addresses nutrition, movement, sleep, emotional health, environmental factors, and the mind-body connection we can enhance our overall wellbeing and fulfillment.
Michelle MartinMichelle is a Certified International Health Coach (CIHC) and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. She supports Canopy’s health and wellness initiatives through a holistic approach based on bio–individuality. Michelle writes and speaks about health-related issues including sleep hygiene, nutrition, mindfulness, and forgiveness. She has presented for a wide variety of industries and audiences, and encourages attendees to be boldly curious about their wellness journey. Michelle volunteers her time as a National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) instructor, providing evidence-based education and coaching for families of loved ones with a mental health condition.

Along with supporting wellbeing initiatives, she is part of the Customer Success Management team and assists with providing proactive service and solutions for Canopy Members and partners.

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