Over the past few months, particularly, and generally over the last two years, I have been involved with my sister-in-law who has Alzheimer's Disease.
It is a particularly cruel disease and as many of you know I'm sure, involves the slow but sure loss of memory. It often begins with what appears to be simple forgetfulness, but it can, over time destroy speech, comprehension, and coordination with restlessness and dramatic mood swings. It is also very frightening, as you begin to realise that there are blanks in your awareness which get bigger and bigger until finally you have 'left' completely. Body still here, mind long gone.
Naturally, because I do what I do, I am interested in the metaphysical reasons behind this and I have learned that, on an energetic level, there is a desire to leave the planet due to an inability to face life as it is, a refusal to take the world on, to engage. This generally stems from the fact that life has, they believe, let them down, not lived up to expectations and one during which they felt helpless, dis-empowered and generally not good enough.
From what I know of my sister-in-law's childhood and life in general, this all fits very nicely and explains a lot.
All well and good. What to do though? For her, the time is past to change anything and difficult decisions are having to be made on her behalf.
For the rest of us, I have been doing some research and wanted to share my findings with the rest of you, as having witnessed this heart-breaking disease, I am keen to bring knowledge to the subject so we can keep ourselves as healthy, mentally, as we can.
Firstly - life style - yes the picture below is of 'green juice'! Statistically right now, it is estimated that one in three people over the age of 80 may contract the disease. The right diet may delay the onset of the disease or lower your risk by as much as 40%. So, changing your diet is a simple way start work.
'We are what we eat' and nutrition is vitally important in mental health. Here are a few thoughts:
Drastically reduce (or eliminate) artificial sugars. Not just for mental health, but generally
Be aware of how many 'heavy metals' you take in - mercury in fillings, aluminium (foil, cooking utensils) to name just two
Be mindful of your salt intake to reduce hardening of the arteries, particularly those in the brain.
Increase omega-3 fatty acids - as a family we take linseed oil, foods rich in Vitamin C & E, B6 & B12.
Foods rich in folates - green leafy veg to you and me.
Turmeric - a spice associated with curry which contains curcumin, shown to reduce protein clumping in the brain.
My favourite piece of research - WINE!! Apparently, a small glass of red wine (some websites say 3!) per day may reduce any risk by up to 75%. I'm all for that!
And of course - exercise! Get out there in the fresh air and move. Walk with friends, dance, skip, run. Whatever floats your boat, but get moving.
Secondly, live consciously.
More on that very soon. In the meantime, let me know your thoughts, opinions - feedback. Connecting keeps the world turning!
With love and healthy thoughts,