Do you pop vitamins or supplements like they are pills? In today’s society, whenever we are sick or have some discomfort, we are told to pop a pill. I was again reminded of this when someone recently said that I had forgotten to mention a vitamin that another expert recommended as a “cure.” (By the way, I am certain that the word “cure” was not the term this expert used.) This is a prime example of someone who is looking for a magic bullet.
Don’t get me wrong. Taking nutritional supplements can contribute greatly to your health when you use them properly and for the right reasons. But, whenever we imbue a single therapy — whether it’s a drug, a diet plan, an exercise routine, a vitamin, or anything else — with the power to fix what ails us, we have a problem. This is no different from the allopathic approach, which while necessary sometimes, such as when you are in extreme pain, is rarely a sufficient way to create true health and healing.
7 Ways to Know If Nutritional Supplements Are Right for You
During my years of practicing medicine, and now through my books, lectures and website, I teach women (and men) about all the different ways they can become healthier. And, I have recommended supplements as a way to give your body the support it needs.
However, there is never one magic bullet that works for everyone. The reason for this is simple: We are all different. The good news is, when your body needs support, there are ways you can determine if a vitamin (or diet, or other therapy) is right for you.
Here are 7 ways to tell if a vitamin (or other therapy) is right for you:
Do Your Research. If you are considering using a supplement or any therapy, research it thoroughly to determine the benefits and whether it is suitable for your condition, especially if you are pregnant, take prescription medications, or have an illness. Be sure to read labels for ingredients, and research the company’s manufacturing standards as well.
Trust Your Intuition. Believe it or not, you know what will work for you and what won’t. You just need to trust your intuition. You can tune into your body’s intuition by sitting quietly and listening to its signals. You can also ask your body to tell you what it needs. You may hear a response immediately, or you may get signals later on. A friend of mine told me that a medium recommended she take several supplements. She began taking one at a time and when it came time to add one particular supplement, my friend could not get the bottle open no matter how hard she tried! She realized that this was a sign that, even though it was recommended by a trusted source, the supplement was not right for her.
Try the Sway Test. If you are considering taking a medication, a supplement or even trying a new diet plan, you can do the sway test. Simply hold the item in your hand (or state your intended plan, such as “I intend to eat more healthy fats”) and close your eyes. Then, say something like “my supplement (fill in the name here) is good for me,” or “my intent to add more healthy fat to my diet is good for me.” Wait and feel which direction your body sways. If it sways forward, that is a positive indication that the supplement or plan will be beneficial. If you sway backwards, that is an indication that the therapy may not be right for you at this particular time. If your body stays centered without moving forward or backward, it means that the particular therapy is neutral for you right now. You can also use the sway test to determine how many times per day you should take a supplement.
Use Muscle Testing. Muscle testing is similar to the sway test, but you will need a partner to help you. Extend one arm at shoulder level. Then have your partner push down on that wrist to get a baseline for where your arm moves. Then retest while holding the remedy in question. Notice if you are able to continue to hold your arm up. If you are able to keep your arm extended, then that remedy is likely a good one for you. If your arm falls below your baseline, the remedy does not match your needs (some people teach muscle testing using your own hands and fingers. I have never been able to get this to work for me. My intellect overrides this every time).
Take the Supplement. Of course, the easiest way to determine if a supplement will work for you is to try it for 7-10 days. Use only one supplement at a time, and monitor your results. Write down how you feel after you take it, as well as, how you feel over time. If you have any additional symptoms that arise, be sure to write them down. They may be due to your body releasing toxins, or they could mean that the supplement is not working for you.
Address your emotions. While the underlying cause of a condition may be a virus, bacteria or even an injury, there are always emotional triggers at play. For example, the reason a virus becomes activated may be due to stress, anger, resentment or other hidden emotions. Once you identify the emotions associated with your condition, ask your body if the supplement you are considering will support you in releasing the emotions and healing your condition at its source.
Meditate on it. Meditation is a great way to receive guidance from the Divine part of yourself. You can ask for guidance about anything, including whether you should take a medication or supplement.
My Current Vitamins and Supplements Routine
I’m very healthy and stable. When it comes to supplements, I am not seeking a magic bullet for anything, but rather support for my long term health. As such, I take a number of supplements to support my body’s specific needs. I continue to try different things just to see what happens and if I can improve on the health benefits I am already receiving.
My supplement use has evolved over time and will continue to evolve, as my specific needs change. Right now I take a Vitamin D supplement (5,000 IU/day). In the summer I bank Vitamin D by getting out in the sun as much as I can. But, I live in Maine, so I take a Vitamin D supplement to enhance my immune system and keep my blood levels where they should be all year round.
In addition, every day I take a pharmaceutical grade vitamin and mineral combination that is loaded with antioxidants. I have done this twice per day regularly for about 15 years! I also take a joint supplement formula that is loaded with curcumin to help with the pain of my frozen shoulders, which aren’t really frozen, but still hurt when I move in certain ways. I am improving steadily. I will stay on this another month or so, then cut way back.
Pretty much everyone needs more magnesium in their diet. I take a highly absorbable magnesium and a mineral formula by Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. I do this first thing in the morning with water and some Himalayan sea salt and a little apple cider vinegar for taste.
I am also working with Sandra Chiu, an acupuncturist in Brooklyn, who formulates Chinese herbs specifically for me to increase my yin energy and decrease dampness (which in Chinese medicine is associated with weak spleen energy.) I take two packets per day. The herbs change monthly as my constitution changes.
Finally, I recently began daily coffee enemas. Dr. Kelly Brogan, author of A Mind of Your Own and creator of the Vital Mind Reset program, suggested them as an excellent liver tonic. I haven’t noticed any difference yet. But, I plan to give it another couple weeks.
Learning to trust your body’s capacity to heal is a journey. Whether you choose to use supplements (or other therapies) is a personal choice. And, when you do so with integrity versus just popping another pill, you can receive many health benefits, and a renewed sense of connection to yourself.
Do you take supplements? If so, I would love to know how you use them and what benefits you receive.