For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. First, what’s the deal with salt room therapy? Are there actual benefits, particularly for dermatological and respiratory conditions, to sitting inside a room as aerosolized salt wafts over you? Second, what can a reader do who absolutely can’t get to sleep after training at night? Postworkout insomnia is a real drag, and it will impede your gains, so this is an important topic. Luckily, there are a few things to try.
One major downside to having these big prominent heads stuffed with consciousness-spawning brain matter is that they sometimes ache. Nobody likes a headache. You can find fetishists who enjoy pinching, slapping, biting, burning and any matter of objectively painful stimuli. But there aren’t “headache fetishists.” No one’s chugging a 32 ounce Slurpee in search of brain freeze, or getting drunk for the hangover.
The difficult thing about headaches is figuring out why they’re occurring. Pain in other areas is different. You can look at your hand if it’s hurting and figure out why. You can see the cut on your knee and know what’s going on. But you are your head, and the headache is inside. Your consciousness sits behind your eyes observing reality and directing your role in it. It’s all a big mystery. Or so it feels.
We’re entering the lazy days of summer here, but I wonder how many people feel an increase in stress and obligations. Every year I feel like the leisure time of summer erodes at a more rapid pace. Whatever happened to summer as a time for R&R (especially for kids)? Of all our personal limited resources, I often wonder why rest gets such short shrift. Although our hunter-gatherer ancestors worked only about 12-20 hours a week, leaving virtually the whole day to rest, socialize and play, such is not the case for most of us today. We’re supposed to be busy (even on vacation). To sit in quiet or risk boredom isn’t the way of the world these days. So I’m going to venture that too many of us have forgotten what being rested actually feels like. In light of that, I thought I’d offer up a few suggestions to remedy the situation.
Look: I’m a man. I’ve lived a different experience than the average woman, with totally different equipment and different concentrations of hormones coursing through my body. But I have a daughter and a wife and a good head on my shoulders that’s spent the last 30 years thinking about health, nutrition, and fitness for humans, so I have a few things to offer.
So let’s get right down to today’s post. What follows are 12 tips for Primal women. Or any woman, really.
(Men, too: if some of the things mentioned in today’s post aren’t working for you, and the tips seem to apply, go for it!)
Strip away the skin, fascia, muscles, organs, blood vessels of a human and you’re left with the bones: the foundation providing passive structural support. Many people accept that we can affect and even control the health of the rest of our tissues. Muscles? Just lift. Cardiovascular system? Do some cardio and lose weight. Teeth? Stop sugar. But bones just wear down the older you get. Everyone knows it. And sometimes bones just break. There’s nothing you can to prevent it and nothing you can do to improve your healing except wait and hope. If you want stronger bones, you’ll need some pharmacological assistance provided by a white coat-clad adult wielding a prescription pad.
But bones aren’t inert. They are living metabolic tissue. And though we can’t tell them what to do directly, they grow—or diminish—in response to the signals we send. What kind of signals should we be sending?
When most people think about the perfect Primal vacation, they’re thinking about camping, rock climbing, surfing, trekking, scaling mountains, fording rivers, and generally being out in nature. There’s some truth to that. Natural beauty abounds all over this world, and most folks following the Primal Blueprint have a deep-seated appreciation for the natural world. However, being Primal is about far more than just diet, exercise, and being outside. Those may get most people through the door, but the movement has grown and my thinking has evolved to encompass a wider range of qualities and sensibilities. As Primal travelers, you are exceptionally thoughtful. You value experiences over things, and the things you choose tend to enhance life experience, not replace it. Your vacations should be no different.
So these are my top tips for engineering the perfect Primal vacation. Coincidentally, they’re great tips for anyone looking to have a memorable, transformative experience in a new place.