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I’m Rodger Douglas and I treat fibromyalgia with homeopathy. I use a body mind approach that revolves around simple and healthy living.

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picture from cottonbro studio at pexels 

home cleanse

Did you know that the symptoms of toxicity in the body are almost identical to those of fibromyalgia? A few examples are pain, stiffness, painful joints, headaches, digestive issues, allergies, skin problems, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and brain fog.

 

Knowing this you might come to the conclusion that exposure to toxins are the underlying cause of your symptoms. You may then decide that it's time to cleanse your body. But before you do, consider that the average home contains well over 500 toxins, most of them you can’t see, smell, or taste.

 

So, what’s the point going through all the trouble of detoxing your body if you are simply going to re-absorb most of those toxins again? It makes much more sense to first cleanse your home and create a healthy environment in which to live.  

 

Now, I know that don’t have much energy to spare. Just the thought of rearranging our homes makes most of us feel tired. That’s why I came up with a simple home cleansing strategy that will help you remove most toxins for the least amount of work.  

 

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that for many outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. It’s names after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who noted that approximately 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Here are a few more examples:

 

20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes

20% of factories cause 80% of pollution

20% of employees do 80% of the work

20% of athletes score 80% of the points

 

And 20% of toxins in a home cause about 80% of the symptoms. So instead of rearranging your whole house you can focus instead on the 20% of items that are most likely to be causing your symptoms. Fortunately, it is common knowledge exactly what the most toxic items in a home are, so we can zero in on them. To find out if your body is perhaps toxic do the toxicity quiz.

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picture by jan kopriva from pexels

the joyful method

There are many ways to go about tidying your home but I believe Marie Kondo’s method is the best suited for people with fibromyalgia because it’s is based on the idea of surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy. Since many people with fibromyalgia suffer from anxiety and depression, beginning with something that resonates with their hearts is the perfect starting point for their journey of healing.

 

The Marie Kondo way of decluttering is ideal for fibromyalgia sufferers because it's centered on bringing more joy into your life. In essence it’s not just a method of tidying up, but rather a way of practicing mindfulness and presence through the art of tidying. When you put your house in order you put your body in order too.

 

In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo lays out her method for decluttering the home.

 

Pick one category of items in your home such as clothes or books. Find all those items in your entire house and then put them all in one big pile. Take one item at a time and ask yourself, “Does this bring me joy?” If not, take a few moments to remember the happiness the item brought you, and let it go with grace. Next, find a proper place for each of the remaining items. To maintain order in the future always return an item to its designated place after you have used it.

 

The secret ingredient to Marie’s method is by starting with the easiest category first and then tackling progressively more categories each time. 

 

Her order is clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and then sentimental items. If you have extra energy and want a beautiful home your are welcome to follow this order. However, our focus is not on tidying, but rather on creating a toxin free environment. Our sequence is:

 

1. journaling

2. a simple start

3. plastics

4. cookware

5. cleaning products

6. cosmetics

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picture by anete lusina at pexels

 one ~ imagine

 

The first step in Kondo’s method is to imagine your ideal lifestyle. Clarify what sort of life you want to lead: What will your day look like? Who will you surround yourself with? What will you do?  What will your home look like? The more detailed and vivid you are the better. 

 

You can simply ponder these sorts of questions in your mind, or even better, journal about them. Add pictures or magazine cut outs if you want to.

a simple start

picture by cottonbro studio at pexels

two ~ simple ideas

 

Before you do a full declutter start with these common sense ideas. They are free and don't require much energy or any precious spoons. 

 

no shoes

About 60% of dirt, pesticides and germs come in to your home on the bottom of your shoes. Keep them out by never letting your shoes walk in. Go barefoot or wear slippers on chilly days.

 

add plants

Plants not only make your home look pretty, they improve air quality and detox your home by removing pollutants like ammonia and formaldehyde. About 15 to 20 plants is enough for an average house.

 

open windows

If you have good ventilation in your home, you can reduce mold and improve overall indoor air quality.

 

dust often

Your home is full of items that contain chemicals. Over time traces of these chemicals accumulate in dust that can be inhaled or swallowed. Dust and vacuum your mattress and furniture regularly.

 

eliminate mold

Regularly clean damp surfaces where mold is likely to grow. Add 8 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a liter of water to kill mold without chemicals.

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picture by anna shvets at pexels

three ~ plastic

 

If you are at home right now take a moment to look around you and make a mental list of all the plastics you can see: shirt buttons, computer keys, picture frames, light fixtures, and more. I’m sure you will be surprised to notice that plastics are everywhere.

 

The advantage of plastics is that they are incredibly useful and versatile. This is because they contain a long list of chemicals that give them their various properties such as strength, pliability, transparency, and color. However, many of these chemicals are toxic, and as the plastic decays they leach into our air, food and water.

 

It’s almost impossible to remove something so ubiquitous from our homes so the most practical approach to take is to discard the plastic items that are you come into close contact with, such as water bottles or cooking utensils. 

 

Collect as many plastic items from around your home as you can and place them in a pile. Then hold one item in your hands at a time and examine it.

 

Is it worn out and decaying? 

Does it come in contact with food? 

Does it come in contact with your body?

What kind of plastic is it?

 

Just look for the number printed on the bottom the containers.  It’s a number from 1 to 7, enclosed in a broken triangle. This symbol closely resembles the recycling symbol but has nothing to do with recyclability.

 

If you feel you want to keep it then find a place in your home for it. If you suspect that it could be leeching harmful chemicals discard it and replace it with something made from a safer material.

#1. PET (Polyethylene) is safe but don’t reuse or heat. 

 

#2. HPDE (High-Density Polyethylene) is the safest and is okay to reuse.

 

#3. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride or Vinyl) is not safe because it contains lead, phthalates and dioxin.

 

#4. LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) is safe and can be reused.

 

#5. PP (Polypropylene) is safe but do not microwave. 

 

#6. PS (Polystyrene) is not safe because it leaches a neurotoxin known as styrene.

 

#7. This catch-all category is sometimes safe but watch out for BPA, BPS, or BPAF or other bisphenols.

pans

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four ~ cookware

Non stick cookware is coated in Teflon. Teflon contains a family of chemicals that pose a risk to your health because at high temperatures they release toxic fumes. Studies have shown that nonstick cookware can reach dangerous temperatures in as little as 2 minutes on a stove top.

 

Aluminum cookware is a long-standing kitchen staple due to its low cost and ability to effectively conduct heat. But aluminum is a known toxin to the body and can leach into food from cookware especially when cooking acidic foods such as tomatoes.

 

I strongly suggest you get rid of any non stick and aluminum cookware immediately and replace it with a healthier alternative such as cast iron, stainless steel, ceramics or oven safe glass. 

 

Now I hear you saying that this is getting expensive. First I asked you to replaced your plastic utensils, and now it’s cookware. What’s next? My argument is that nonstick cookware lasts between one and five years on average while a cast-iron or stainless steel pan will last a lifetime if you take good care of it. Not only will you save money in the long-term but having quality cookware in your kitchen inspires you to cook better quality meals. Every Wednesday in my neighbourhood is recycle day and as I walk to the station I always see non stick pans left out to be collected. 

cleaning products

image by polina kovalena at pexels

six ~ cleaning products

 

The ingredients found in household cleaning products mean that our homes look clean but might not be healthy. Cleaning products are ironically the most prevalent source of indoor pollution filling the air with carcinogens, hormone disrupters, neurotoxic solvents, mood altering chemicals and reproductive toxins.

 

Collect all your household cleaning products into one pile and your cosmetics into another. Hold each item in your hands and examine it carefully. Does it contain harmful chemicals? Do you really need it? If you feel you’d prefer to discard it right away or replace it when it runs out. It depends on your budget.

 

Natural products are healthy but there are a few downsides: they tend to be a little pricy, they are usually only available online or at speciality stores, and they are not as effective as commercial products. At this point you want decide which of your commercial products you like and would like to continue using, and which ones you want to replace. It’s a matter of balancing health against convenience. 

 

If you can’t find stores that sell handmade near you you could try online. Sites such as Etsy, Shopify, Big Cartel, Bonanza, IndieMade, and even Handmade at Amazon have great products. The bonus of shopping at them is that you are supporting small businesses. 

cosmetics

picture by linda prebreza at pexels

six ~ cosmetics

There are thousands of synthetic chemicals in beauty products, many of which are skin irritants, skin penetrators, endocrine disrupters and carcinogens. Chemicals like parabens, formaldehyde, Sodium Laurel Sulfate, and phthalates give beauty products a longer shelf life and make them more effective but they cause countless damage to our bodies. Read more.

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body cleanse
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