Leading a healthy lifestyle and avoiding toxins is good for our bodies. No secret there. Did you know it can also improve mental and emotional health issues? Author Tara Mackey shares her journey from prescription drugs to good health in her book, “Cured by Nature”, and you are going to want to get your hands on a copy.
Mental and emotional health issues affect nearly 7% of adults and 3% of children in the U.S., according to Anxiety Disorders Association of America. The main treatment? Prescription medication. While, certainly, some people need prescription drugs to treat their health issues, many are being given antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds to address symptoms without knowing the cause of the imbalance.
Tara Mackey was one of many people suffering from physical, mental, and emotional illnesses from a young age. No surprise, she was prescribed a range of medications to treat the symptoms, while the cause of her maladies was left unchecked.
As an adult, Tara took her health into her own hands and found other, more natural, means to better health. In her book, “Cured by Nature”, Tara spells out in detail how she came to discover toxins were behind her health issues, and the changes she made to get and stay healthy.
Interview with Tara Mackey, Author of “Cured by Nature”
LT: So many people, especially women, are diagnosed with anxiety and depression these days, and subsequently prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Do you think these conditions can be treated other, more natural, ways?
TM: I believe that regardless of if we’re taking medication, we should be incorporating natural methods of healing into our everyday lives. I took pills for over 11 years, for any illness, pain and various diagnosis – emotional, mental and physical – that you can name. They may have masked the problem, or handed me some chemicals, but never, ever actually helped me on my way to being truly healed. The reason it’s important to have natural methods and tools for healing is because at the end of the day, you can’t rely on a pill. A pill won’t do the work. You need to do the work. You need to be able to rely on yourself, no matter what.
LT: Do you feel we are an overmedicated society?
TM: Without a doubt. Walgreens sold over 900 million – almost a BILLION – prescription drugs on 2015. That’s 3 times more drugs than there are people in this country! And that’s just one pharmacy!! 70% of Americans are on some kind of drug! That makes me a very, very small minority.
Some drugs are needed, of course. Even psychiatric drugs, in severe cases. But Walgreens alone sold enough drugs last year for everyone in this country to be on 3 meds at the same time! There is no DOUBT that we’re overmedicated. These companies have investors, stockholders, lobbyists, and CFO’s to satisfy. Their filled prescription drug numbers WILL go up, year by year. I have no doubt about that, and their books prove it. We need to know what we can do for ourselves to make sure we’re not one of the overmedicated ones.
LT: How does meditation factor into a healthy lifestyle?
TM: Meditation is the simplest form of mind-work. Sitting quietly gives us the time and tools to learn things about ourselves we’d NEVER figure out otherwise. One of the first things I learned in meditation was that my normal breathing was totally panicked. Well, no wonder I had anxiety! I didn’t need medication – I needed to figure out how to breathe!
Most of the things that hold us back from our dreams are learned behaviors that we may not even realize we have! It wasn’t until I started meditating that things really started falling into place for me. I was able to give up a lot of ego gratification, which left room for amazing things like new friendships, amazing opportunities and fearless action. Without mind-work, you won’t be able to find the strength needed to conquer learned helplessness, which becomes totally ingrained in us.
LT: You recommend a shower filter for healthier hair and skin. Can everyone benefit from this?
TM: Yes! Many domestic water users are concerned about clearing up the hardness of their water. Hard water requires more soap and synthetic detergents for home laundry and washing, and contributes to scaling in boilers and industrial equipment, skin disease, acne, dryness, hair thinning and more.
Everyone can and should be using a water filter in their shower and sink to make sure that they’re getting the best, most purified water for their bare skin while showering, drinking or taking a bath. When I moved to LA, hard water immediately started doing a number on my skin and hair, and it took me months to identify this as the culprit!
The very week I got a shower filter, a lot of the problems I had been faced with – cystic acne, dry hair, split ends, psoriasis – disappeared completely! I was so relieved & astonished! I’m so passionate about letting others know so they don’t have to suffer, also!
LT: You believe coffee is the skin’s worst enemy. This comes as very sad news to many of us;) What does caffeine do to skin and do you have any tips for eliminating from the diet?
TM: Haha. I know it’s sad, but unfortunately, it’s so, so very true.
Caffeine, the main ingredient in coffee, is the world’s most consumed psychoactive drug. It is also a diuretic, meaning it’s a dehydrating, appetite suppressant. It disrupts your gut flora, which is where good skin and health truly begins and ends. Caffeine also messes with your hormones, most notably, your stress hormones. NO thank you. If you already suffer from anxiety, coffee alone could be causing it!
I love Teeccino, which is a caffeine free tea that tastes JUST like coffee! You can buy bags of it or a roast to brew. Delicious! Oprah also makes a caffeine free chai tea (Oprah Chai!) that is my jam! If you make it with some almond milk and cacao, it tastes just like coffee! It’s really hard to find caffeine free chai, so hats off to Oprah! If you need a natural jolt, add a capsule of ginseng and stir before you drink up!
LT: Osmia Organics came to your skin’s rescue. Which products do you recommend for treating acne?
TM: I’m still addicted to Osmia’s Black Clay Facial Soap, which converted me to green beauty. I use it once a day and it’s super gentle and effective on my skin. I also adore Osmia’s Detox Mask, which is full of activated ingredients that pull out all the gunk from your pores, as well as nourishing ingredients that don’t dehydrate. Follow with Osmia’s Spot Treatment on the blemishes themselves and you’re on your way to naturally clear skin! I also recommend DIM plus from Nature’s Way for hormonal acne. This supplement truly saved my skin when everything else – including Accutane – failed completely!
LT: What is one thing anyone can do today to improve their health?
TM: Twenty minutes of concentrated movement. Find the time to exercise – seriously. It’s been one of the most incredible things I’ve ever done for my health. No matter how much mind work I’m doing, it never has as much of a positive effect on my health or mindset unless I am spending some time connecting with my body. I have designed two fitness plans specifically for people to be able to exercise easily at home. One is designed to transform your body in just two weeks! Getting just 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise a day (you can do it during one of your favorite Netflix shows!) has been proven to help hundreds of health issues, as well as aid you in expanding your lifespan!
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Images via Tara Mackey/The Organic Life