Rhythm and Getting in the Flow

Picture two swimmers. One glides easily downstream with the current, enjoying her view of the wildflowers and birds along the river bank as she swims along. Her strokes are relaxed and confident, her breathing is easy. She arrives at her destination relaxed and refreshed despite her physical exertion. But the other swimmer struggles upstream against the current. He makes no easy headway; his muscles strain with each stroke, and he works hard for every breath. If he pauses for even a minute to savor the scenery along the way, he loses momentum and is swept downstream. Having fought his way to his destination, he arrives exhausted…he’s not in rhythm.

That’s precisely what it’s like to live out of sync with life’s cyclic flow. Instead of using your natural rhythms to propel you along, you fight them at every step of the way.

Our lifestyle today makes it harder to stay in tune with our environment and the rhythm of nature. We get out of rhythm or Spent because we continually give our bodies the wrong cues. We eat the wrong foods at the wrong times but most importantly, we don’t get enough natural light during the day and we get too much artificial light during the day and night. We use artificial light to extend our day activities into the night and even during the day, we spend little time in natural light outside. This constant exposure to artificial light is leaving our bodies out of sync with the light rhythms of the natural world. We can do this because we have created artificial environments that insulate us from cycles of the seasons and of daylight and darkness. We have become detached from nature and don’t experience nature’s rhythms. For many there is a price to pay as your natural body clock continues to beat to the natural rhythm of nature.

For most of us, probably the only time we become aware of body rhythms and their importance is if we have jet lag. It is probably the best way to realize that you have a body clock because jet lag is basically a short term disruption of your body rhythms. Anyone who has flown over a few time zones for instance New York to London, knows what I am talking about. You get tired easily, feel sluggish, you have trouble concentrating or thinking clearly, and you sometimes even feel light headed or dizzy. Your body aches, you have trouble sleeping and you may even have digestive problems. Sound a bit like you’re out of sync?

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Frank Lipman, M.D.

Pioneer in Functional Medicine
For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How to Be Well, The New Health Rules, Young and Slim for Life, Revive and Total Renewal.After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalitiesIn 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non-Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness. He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, “If antibiotics are right, he’ll try it. If it’s an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things.”In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives. He is also the instructor of the mbg Video Course, 14-Day Detox.
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Frank Lipman, M.D.

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