Yesterday I went for my annual Skin Cancer Checkup*.
I’ve seen the same Dr for the past 5 years and we always seem to talk about interesting topics – from having mixed race kids (she does too) to vaginal lubrication after menopause and how laser technology can help (ouch! I’m not sure how we got to that discussion…but we did).
Yesterday’s topic was no disappointment!
It started with her asking me to remind her about my work and she was curious how Japanese Yoga differs from other yoga styles.
After my usual spiel, I casually mentioned how Japanese Yoga is holistic and incorporates eating approaches – specifically- non-conventional approaches to food such as reducing (or eliminating) meat, dairy, refined flour and sugar.
Based on previous chats I’ve had with GPs, I expected the usual glazed eyes and bored look most Dr’s give me when I refer to ‘food as medicine’.
But not Dr B!
Her eyes lit up, her spine straightened and she launched into sharing how she’d eliminated all meat, dairy, gluten, sugar and nightshade vegetables from her diet over the past year with dramatic results.
Turns out she was on thyroid medication which she’s been able to stop altogether since changing her eating habits.
And when she helped her mum go on the same diet, her mum’s asthma literally vanished.**
Dr B said she can’t get over the other noticeable changes- her skin’s cleared up, her energy levels have increased and she how she feels so much more centred all the time.
She also mentioned how she couldn’t believe when she went through medical school (in the UK) she received no training in nutrition. Zilch. Nada. Zero.
Dr B’s story is the perfect segue into Part 3 of our 4-Part Japanese Yoga Mythbusting Series.
Today in Part 3, we’re unpacking the myth that cow’s milk and dairy are good sources of calcium and necessary to a balanced diet.
In fact I’m going to call it- from a Japanese Yoga perspective, milk and dairy isn’t even considered GOOD for you.
If you look at your body’s health purely from the Japanese Yoga and meridian- based therapy point of view, what milk and dairy does is block your Large Intestine meridian.
Meaning – milk will create mucous and congestion, worsen any sinus, headache or migraine issues, increase cellulite and other fatty deposits in the body and make you prone to skin breakouts, foggy brain and poor elimination.
Dairy (and meat) are also considered to interfere with women’s reproductive systems – and are highly recommended to eliminate completely if you’re suffering from endometriosis or experience menstrual cramps, pain and other menstrual issues.
Several Western medicine studies convincingly concur with the Japanese Yoga view that cow’s milk and dairy may not be so great for you.
This lengthy study shows that populations that consume the most cow’s milk and other dairy products have among the highest rates of osteoporosis and hip fracture in later life.
There are studies in this article even suggesting milk plays a role in breast cancer and diabetes.
And if that got your juices pumping, you might like this pubmed study of milk, dietary calcium, and bone fractures in 77,761 women over a 12-year period.
By now you might be wondering:
But what about my morning latte?
What if I want to ‘live a little’ and have an ice-cream on a balmy evening?
What about enjoying a bit of bread with my butter (that’s me!!)?
Or perhaps you’re a facts and figures gal and you simply want to know what are some of other ways you can get calcium?
The last question’s easy: stay tuned for Series #4!
As for the first three questions…..let’s go deep for a moment, lovely…….
At the end of the day, Japanese Yoga is a heart-centred, holistic approach to health that respects the free will, choice and self-determination of all.
Your experience in your body is something nobody gets better than you.
And if you bounce out of bed in the morning, have loads of energy all day long, rarely get sick and you do it all on a daily milky latte, the odd icecream, and a bit of butter on bread, far be it from Japanese Yoga to be the fun police to come and shut it down.
As we know- nature (which you are) is highly adaptable and so is a healthy body.
If you notice you’re not bouncing out of bed each morning, you have any of those issues mentioned previously relating to a blockage in your Large Intestine meridian, have sluggish moments throughout the day (hello 2pm slump!), you get sick fairly regularly and most importantly– you’re ready to make a change so you can feel better everyday– then tweaking a few basic diet habits could be your holy grail.
And starting with cutting out cow’s milk and dairy and exploring healthier ways of getting your calcium might not be such a bad idea.
The good news is there are many other tasty options.
Stay tuned in Part 4 for the Japanese Yoga solution.
*If you’re not from Australia, this is something most Anglo Australians do after the age of 40 because of the high risk of skin cancer in this country.
** this is a personal story only- it’s not intended as advice to stop medication.