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Health Note

Pride Month can be healthy!

This month, I'm going to use the health note to point out how PRIDE MONTH can be healthy for you!

In Western Medicine, we are trained to seek more precise diagnoses and more effective treatments. No doubt that the science of medicine has improved health in so many measurable ways, but sometimes it can deemphasize the importance of wellness. For millennia, native healing traditions like Ayurvedic medicine have observed and taught that wellness is equally central to our health.  

So how does this related to Pride? It's really not a stretch. One of my favorite things about Pride Month is the positive energy that it brings to our communities. Celebrating love and caring for all, getting out to celebrate the rainbow of human diversity - what a great way to improve our wellbeing! Just by participating, here are some ways you are being healthier:

Community: when we are with other people (who are being nice!), that feeds to our collective sense of being and positivity.

Relationships: Want to improve your self-esteem? Tell someone else at a Pride event, why you think they're great. (and I bet you'll get some nice compliments in return!)

Movement: not all health is exercise! Just getting up and moving at a pride event improves circulation, and bone and joint health. (but you do get bonus health points if you join a dance-off!)

Mind-Body Connection: Get your free Mom Hug. Endorphins for everyone!

Nutrition: I always love the healthy food vendors at Pride Events. And you're sure to find some water bottle "schwag" to help keep you healthy as well! Also, it's very important to take home as many coffee blends as you can find. I can't cite any studies about the health benefits of coffee, but I'm the only doctor here, so let's just say 1/1 doctors recommend that you buy the coffee.

Personal Development: this one sounds a little funny but lots of studies show that if we appreciate how our lives (and work!) help to improve humanity, that earns mucho points on the wellness scale. Just going to pride - you are part of improving humanity! I even heard that there are literal employment opportunities you can find at some of the sponsor tables at Pride - why not shop around for a career?

Physical Environment: probably not as specific to pride, but Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the meditative natural space as a way to connect with our world and bodies. June is a great month to get connected - find 15 minutes to get a lawn chair and sit under a tree, or near a creek (or both!), and just listen, and meditate.

Sure, I could rationalize these things by trying to explain how increasing the activity of our parasympathetic nervous system releases endorphins, and that improves brain chemistry, blah, blah. That might be true, but also I think it's ok to just accept the wisdom of the ancient healers - and enjoy Pride Month!