Could these eight lifestyle habits be compromising your health?

Although there are seemingly many diverse factors that cause disease, all with very complex, seemingly unrelated, medical explanations as to how they occur, many diseases actually stem from a single, simple cause – pH imbalance.

Since the early 1930’s physicians and health experts (including Tom Bowen) have observed that many of today’s diseases originate from pH (or acid and alkaline) imbalance in the body.  In order to function efficiently and effectively it is essential that the body maintain a narrow pH range to carry out cellular function.

“The body will always try to correct a disturbed acid/alkaline balance, especially in the blood. It is of vital importance that the blood maintains a pH-value between 7.35 and 7.45, because even the slightest deviation can result in acute health problems, coma and death. The body will therefore sacrifice massive amounts of minerals to eliminate excess acid in the blood and rather cause osteoporosis and malfunctioning of other organs, than endanger the pH-value of the blood.”

http://www.suessgras.net/acid-alkaline-balance.htm (This site has excellent information on acid/alkaline balance)

What causes pH imbalance?

Many of the typical practices of a western lifestyle cause an overly acidic condition in the body known as acidosis.  Acidosis leads to osteoporosis, arthritis, rheumatism, gout, premature ageing, problems with the respiratory and digestive organs, chronic headaches, chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating, reflux, heartburn, eczema, and weight gain.

These seven lifestyle habits directly conflict with the body’s ability to maintain its optimal pH balance and may be compromising your health:

1. Consuming an overly-acidic diet
2. Stress
3. Lack of water
4. Lack of/over exercise
5. Smoking
6. Lack of sleep
7. Overwork

Habit No. 1 - Consuming an overly-acidic diet

 

Diet is a causitive factor in acid/alkaline (pH) imbalanceMeat, dairy products, highly processed foods and sugar, as well as coffee, alcohol and soft drinks lead to an acid condition in the body when not balanced by enough water and alkaline-forming foods, such as fruit and vegetables.

Many acid-forming foods are not harmful in themselves. On the contrary, foods like oils, nuts, and fish are essential for a healthy, balanced diet. Health problems only occur if the diet consists to a large extent of acid-forming foods.

If there are insufficient alkaline-forming foods consumed in the diet, the excess acid will not be able to be eliminated and will be stored permanently in body tissue and fluids.  This is where diseases such as arthritis, gout, and rheumatism start.  It can also lead to weight gain and cellulite as the acids and waste materials are stored in fat cells.

The large scale use of pesticides in agriculture and the use of antibiotics on livestock have raised the acid levels in our food supply, which is why more and more people are turning to organic food.  The growing of organic food, whether fruit, vegetables or meat does not produce environmental pollution and soil depletion as conventional farming does.   On the whole, organic food usually tastes better and has more vitamins and minerals.

Solution: For those who are overly acidic it is recommended that your diet consist of 80% alkaline-forming foods and 20% acid-forming foods until the body’s pH levels come back into balance.  Here is a full acid/alkaline food chart

Never consume soft drinks; the pH of some cola is nearly as acidic as hydrochloric acid!  Drink water with natural flavours such as lemon or lime juice.  Consider substituting organic food into your diet wherever possible. 

Habit No. 2 - Stress


Chronic stress can lead to chronic acidosis. When under stress the body produces acids as a natural response. In particular, the adrenal glands secrete the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline. These hormonal secretions lead to an accelerated metabolic state which creates acids as a by-product.

Solution: Try these Stress Management Techniques

Bowen Therapy is also very good at relaxing the body by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which stimulates digestion, recovery and repair, and halts the secretion of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol.

Habit No. 3 - Lack of water

Lack of water can cause pH imbalanceAs water is necessary to wash acid wastes from the body’s tissues, insufficient intake of water can be another cause of acidosis. The type and amount of water consumed can be critical in maintaining proper pH balance in the body.  Water should be filtered to remove chlorine, ammonia, heavy metals, inorganic chemicals, pesticides, bacteria and remnants of corrosive, sludgy piping.

Reverse osmosis is a very popular and effective method of filtering tap water in your home.  The caveat though, is that the membranes used in reverse osmosis are so fine that they also filter out all of the beneficial alkaline minerals leaving the water slightly acidic (pH of 6.5 rather than a neutral 7.0).  If you are endeavouring to bring your body back into pH balance, it is important that a re-alkalising/mineralising filter be added to your reverse osmosis system. 

Brita brand filters can also be used to filter out chlorine and some contaminants. It is not as thorough as reverse osmosis though, e.g. it does not filter flouride. Brita filters also do not filter naturally occurring minerals, so there isn't a need to re-mineralise water after filtration.

Many brands of bottled water are no more pure than tap water (25% of bottled water is sourced from municipal water supplies without additional treatment). It is a requirement that chlorine be added to water that is not bottled at the source. There has been many incidents where bottled water has been recalled due to contaminants, mould or bacteria being discovered at higher than acceptable levels. If drinking bottled water it is best to buy water bottled at the source such as Evian - it has more naturally-occurring minerals, no chlorine and much less opportunity to be contaminated.

Lastly, alcohol, coffee, tea and sweetened drinks should not be used as a substitute for water.  Alcohol, caffeine and sugar all make the body more acidic and further dehydrated.

Solution: Drink six to eight glasses of filtered, mineralised water each day.

Habit No. 4: Lack of/over exercise

Moderate exercise is alkalising to the body for many reasons.  It increases the oxygen flow in the blood, tissues and organs, and stimulates the burning and elimination of acid wastes from the body.  Exercising past the point of exhaustion though can create acidity due to lactic acid build-up.  On the other hand lack of exercise can contribute to the accumulation of acids in the body.

Solution:  Your approach to exercise could consist of moderate physical activity at least three times per week with a period of rest to allow the lactic acid levels to return to normal.

Habit No. 5: Smoking

As you know, smoking has many unhealthy consequences for the body.  In relation to acid and alkaline balance, the strong chemicals and toxins in cigarettes have a very acidic effect on the body.  The lungs, along with the kidneys, are the main toxin-eliminating organs in the body.   Smoking not only loads the body with acid-forming toxins but it also weakens the lungs, hampering the body’s ability to eliminate toxins through expiration (breathing out).

Solution:  Quit!

Habit No. 6: Lack of sleep

We all know how good we feel after a good night’s sleep.  One of the restorative actions the body takes while we sleep is to bind and eliminate acid. Alkaline minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium and magnesium bind to acids (thus neutralising them) allowing them to be excreted by the kidneys.  The less you sleep, the less acid you eliminate.

In some individuals lack of sleep can also cause the stomach to produce an excess of hydrochloric acid.  This excess acid must be neutralised, which creates an even greater demand for your body’s precious mineral reserves.

Habit No. 7: Overwork

Many times those with workaholic tendencies ignore the signals that their body is giving them (“I need a break”, “I need to go for a walk”, “I need water”), and continue to keep working.  As a substitute for the rejuvenation the body would have received from a walk or a break, the body starts to secrete adrenalin for the extra energy needed to keep going.  Done repeatedly the body starts to accumulate the acidic by-products of this and without the appropriate rest and recuperation is not able to eliminate them.

Also, with chronic overwork it is often much more convenient and time-efficient to forego healthy, nutritious meals and go for a quick, sugary snack/meal and a coffee. A common scenario is to follow this up at night with the use of alcohol or drugs to unwind from the busy, stressful day.  All of this of course, greatly compounds the acidic effect.

Solution: Deliberately start breaking up the momentum/habit of overworking.  Ensure you are getting ample amounts of rest and relaxation and are eating balanced, nutritious meals.

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