8 Steps to Wellness
Trust in your body’s ability to heal and protect itself
Often our society jumps to medication for a quick fix. Got a headache? Take a drug. Got back pain? Take a drug. Got a fever? Take a drug. You get the idea. Realize every drug on average has 8 side effects. This is not my opinion, but fact according to the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR). This is unfortunate for the person relying on the medication to help them. Many patients take prescription drugs without knowing these harmful side effects. So here’s my first question. Why would any intelligent person put something in their body to exchange 1 symptom for 8? This argument is not questioning, however, the proper use of drugs and surgery in a crisis situation. In everyday life, people are ignoring the body’s warning signs. These signs and symptoms are warning us about dysfunction, disturbance, and disease.Take headaches, for example. They may be common, but definitely not normal. There are many types of and reasons for headaches, but certainly not because of an aspirin deficiency or the latest drug.As for any kind of pain, if you mask the pain with a medication it doesn’t go away for long. In fact, it may come back even stronger next time because you ignored the cause of the pain. Additionally, you will put yourself at risk for further damage by numbing the body’s mechanism to perceive pain and protect itself. Headaches and pain are just two examples of signs and symptoms that should not be ignored. Instead, ask yourself, why is this happening? What could be causing it? If you’re not sure, seek help from a natural health provider who looks for the underlying cause.As for fevers, the body will raise its core temperature as a defense mechanism against infection to fight back. Why take a drug to reduce the fever and thus reduce our natural defense in the process? However, there are limitations to this standard according to personal preference or comfort. My family will seek medical intervention when a fever reaches 103 degrees. The challenging part is waiting for the body to process naturally. It will take a little longer at first, but once a pattern of immunity is developed, the response time gradually improves. In the end you have a much stronger Immune System relying on itself for healing and protection.Again, medicine is extremely valuable in our society, but I question the appropriate time and place for its use and abuse. By relying on medication, for the less critical situations, you subject the body to numerous side effects, increase toxicity levels, risk additional tissue damage, and lower your immune response. Trust in your body’s innate ability to heal. Applying this will take patience, increased awareness and understanding of your individual body capabilities, setting specific guidelines for intervention, and using natural alternatives to enable your body potential.
Circulate, Hydrate, & Strengthen
You must keep your body moving on a daily basis. The human frame is built to achieve great levels of motion, grace, speed, endurance, and strength. Many of us spend way too much time on the computer, driving in traffic, and sitting at our desk. This inactivity for our bodies is essentially a slow death. The circulatory system will breakdown, maybe gradually, without blood flow to all vital tissues and organs of the body. Why do you think we have more sudden heart attacks today than ever before? Unfortunately, it’s common to hear of people dying of cardiovascular complications in their 40’s! To me this is not only sad, but preventable. Yes, diet and genetics do play a role in this tragedy. However, it’s up to you to decide. You can either use it as a crutch or a springboard for your motivation. Many times we have heard common people achieve extraordinary results. Convince yourself. You can do it. At least try. When you try, you have already succeeded.The benefits of cardiovascular exercise outweigh any common excuse you can come up with. Just get started somewhere. Even if you can only walk a few minutes each day, it’s still a baseline for exercise. Then add 1 minute each week until you reach 30 minutes per day. Keep it simple, enjoy it, you can do it. For those of you keeping score with calories, remember walking burns the same number of calories as jogging. It’s true, as long as you go the same distance. In addition, I always recommend swimming as the best form of whole body exercise. This option is especially recommended for people with painful joints. The water provides less compression to the body compared to the pounding on land. This is also a good example of why some prefer a mini-trampoline to jump or run on. Take your choice, just keep moving.Now that you’re on the go, you must hydrate your body. During the day we lose fluids crucial for optimum function. Therefore, we need to replenish these fluids back to healthy levels. Remember, our bodies are comprised of mainly water. To keep your water intake at a healthy level use this simple guideline. Our bodies need the equivalent of ½ our body weight (lbs) in ounces per day. For example, a person weighing 200 lbs needs 100 ounces of water per day, minimum. Water only, not water in your tea or juice. Once you change the composition of water it no longer has the same effect on the body. Drink spring water or distilled water. Rarely, if ever, drink tap water. Also, if you consume any coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverage you must replace each cup or drink with an additional 16 ounces. These diuretics will deplete your body of essential fluids.Since your body is fully hydrated and circulated, it’s primed for strength. In my opinion, if you build tremendous strength in your Cardiovascular, Immune, and Musculoskeletal Systems then you can fight off most anything you come in contact with. Do you ever stop and wonder why some people get sick when a cold/flu passes through an office and others don’t? Many things lower our Immune System including stress, poor diet, lack of supplementation, lack of sleep, poor digestion, dehydration, lack of exercise, etc…
Nourish and Replenish the mind, body, and spirit
The mind, body, and spirit need constant nourishment to thrive.You must provide the best environment for the mind to reach optimum function. Create a surrounding which allows calmness, proper lighting, oxygen, or whatever stimulates your neurons. Exercise and increased blood flow is a good example. Some prefer meditation or deep breathing. While others like a hot cup of tea, open windows, a free flowing breeze, and the sunshine. The point is to find which best suites your individual thoughts and brain wave activity.The body requires high potency fuel to perform at peak levels. Similar to your car, the type of gas effects the performance of your drive and longevity. Without proper maintenance checks, oil changes, and quick response to warning lights your vehicle will depreciate faster. If ignored long enough, it may stop running all together. Many of us seem to grasp this concept very well. However, when it comes to taking care of our bodies, we expect normal function with fast food, sodas, high stress, no supplementation, and minimal amounts of water. It’s a wonder our systems last as long as they do. In my opinion, this is the root of all dis-ease. Just look at the word. Our bodies are no longer operating with ease. Instead, the body is forced to maintain with little or no vitamin and mineral content from the food we eat. Consider topsoil depletion and a host of preservatives, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides along with that. As a result, the systems of the body gradually become weaker and more susceptible to infection, virus, and disease.The answer is in receiving maintenance checks on a regular basis regardless of symptoms. Prevention is the key. Stop ignoring your body’s warning lights. Do something about it. Tired of being sick? Tired of having no energy? If so, then feed your body what it needs and replenish nutrients and water. Use organic products whenever possible. At minimum, take a great multi-vitamin/multi-mineral. Stay away from fast food, soda, and sugar (the big three poisons of our time). Drink plenty of water everyday and sleep 7-8 hours a night. Remember, most of our growth and repair occur during sleep.Last, but not least, any well-rounded existence relies on continued spiritual growth. A healthy balance is maintained by looking outside ourselves to find ways in which we can help others. Take time to appreciate your achievements and plan for the future. Gather with family and friends to share in life’s experiences. Cherish our children and respect the land and oceans. Resolve to improve yourself on a consistent basis. Manifest positive actions and events in the world around you.
De-stress your body on a daily basis
Everyday our bodies are exposed to tremendous amounts of stress in many different forms. Physical stress is accumulated in the work we do each day. This includes driving, sitting, standing, lifting, bending, etc… Most people work 5 days a week at this pace. Logic might suggest resting on days off. However, many chose to fill their days off with activities like golf, boating, fishing, skiing, or some kind of physical sport. For many of us the weekend represents a time to release some steam from the work week. I’m not trying to spoil the fun, but, just keep in mind this is now 7 days of physical stress. Even great exercise or golf can be relaxing mentally, but it’s still a physical stress on the body.Now add emotional stress to the mix. In some ways it’s less obvious, but sometimes more damaging to the body than any other type of stress. Good examples of emotional stress include work demands, relationships, financial concerns, or family matters. Remember even good events can be very emotionally draining. Just ask any new bride and groom. (Refer to Step 6 for more on this topic)Now add environmental stress on top of the physical and emotional tension. It’s very difficult to accurately measure the effects pollution, toxic waste and chemicals, greenhouse effect, extreme weather, electromagnetic forces, or the solar system have on our body. These are just a few of the very real examples we face everyday. Be aware and protect yourself. Try to limit your exposure where possible. On the other hand, gravitate toward the positive environmental aspects like oxygen producing trees, rainforests, ions from our oceans, and healthy amounts of sunshine.Why should you de-stress? Stress has been proven to be the underlying cause of many ailments or disease processes. Stress builds up until the systems of the body start breaking down. Eventually signs and symptoms appear in the form of headaches, indigestion, insomnia, fatigue, increased blood pressure, memory loss, and lowered immune resistance. The point and bottom line is this. You are subjected to high levels of stress everyday. You can proceed through your days without giving this much thought or you can do something about it. You must find ways to remove the amount of stress your body absorbs each day. When you take action, the quantity and quality of your life will improve. As in many cultures, wisdom is the key to longevity.How do you de-stress your body? First, take control of your life. Don’t give up your power to anyone. Next, follow Step 2 (Circulate, Hydrate, and Strengthen). Increase your awareness in ways you feel calm and at peace. Do at least one of those relaxing activities per day. It could be as simple as taking a bath with soft music and candles. Visualize the ocean breeze caressing your face. This is your time by yourself. Take a walk in the park. Meditate. Do Yoga. Get a massage on a regular basis. Get a regular chiropractic adjustment. Get acupuncture. Take a steam or sauna and stretch. Detoxify your body daily or monthly at minimum. Take anti-oxidants. Drink green tea. Get a colon cleanse. These ideas do work and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Strive to Live Well
Wellness is measured by more than just merely the absence of signs and symptoms. Strive for abundance of energy and vitality versus lack of fatigue. Aim to reach your biochemical limit of possibilities. Living each week, month, or year on a rollercoaster of health establishes a lower threshold for negative influences to cause signs and symptoms. In other words, if your goal is to simply survive each day then stress at work, people around you with a cold/flu, or family concerns will affect you more dramatically. Does stress at work cause a headache or your muscles to tense up? Do you get sick when people around you spread their germs? Do family matters give you an upset stomach? If yes, then your body is too reactionary. Instead, obtain a proactive approach to raising your threshold to the point where life’s ordinary challenges are less persuasive.One way to achieve this high level of wellness is through homeostasis. This ultimate balance of the mind, body, and spirit promotes unyielding strength. The balance is found in moderation, variety of brain wave activity, bodily structure, spiritual growth, optimal lifestyle habits, and biochemical awareness. Each biochemical individual has the ability to find peak performance in a unique way. The key is in knowing which way your body responds the best. Healing occurs in many forms and pathways. Some seek relief through chiropractic adjustments while others rely on acupuncture. Still others need massage to combat muscle tension and stress. In my opinion, the best treatment program encompasses a combination of holistic therapies. This multi-disciplinary approach to wellness maximizes all sections of homeostasis. Therefore, mastering equilibrium and optimum function is possible and can be maintained.Additional ways to achieve wellness include proper digestion and nutrient consumption. Digestion is one of the most important functions in the body. This process starts in the mouth the moment food enters. The brain receives signals to release enzymes which aid in the digestive process. Without highly potent enzymes, indigestion is sure to follow. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Indigestion causes headaches, bloating, gas, acid reflux, fatigue, autoimmune disease, and absorption disorders. If you’re having any of these symptoms most often a tablet enzyme per meal will help greatly.ACID REFLUX IS CAUSED BY LACK OF DIGESTIVE ACIDS. This is a true statement and a big misunderstanding in our over-marketed world of antacids and medications. The last thing your body needs is an ant-acid. These are products designed to add base to your stomach ph. Your stomach and complete digestive system must be acidic to properly breakdown food, assimilate, and absorb essential vitamins and minerals. The burning sensation in the stomach is a by-product of poor digestion and will only persistently worsen with antacids or medications. Also, supplement your diet with a great multi-vitamin. We simply can’t get enough nutrients from food alone to LiveWell.
We live in a day and age of free speech and expression. As a result, our world continues to evolve with new ideas, creativity, and communication. Sometimes, however, this freedom tests our boundaries, beliefs, opinions, security, and patience. It means listening to someone shouting at the top of their lungs about a subject matter that you would spend a lifetime opposing. Still expression is necessary and healthy. In your personal life, are there times you choose to bite your tongue? Are you overly concerned with the consequences or response to your expression? This suppression is an underlying cause to many illnesses, ailments, and disease processes. WHAT YOU DO NOT EXPRESS IS REPRESSED IN THE FORM OF DYSFUNCTION AND DISEASE. For example, research shows that repressed anger over a prolonged period of time leads to liver dysfunction. The body can only handle so much build up until a blow up of emotions is finally let out. This cycle is equally damaging to personal relationships and bodily functions. Taking the above into consideration, you must find ways to express yourself without inhibition. Free expression is crucial even at the expense of a negative initial reaction. Similar to honesty, a person may not appreciate true comments at first, but later learns to count on it. Expression is not necessarily easy, but then again most worthwhile elements of life require persistent effort and commitment. Be true to yourself.Sometimes we say things without speaking. Body language is very revealing to the observant, but when words and actions are mismatched then confusion results. Clarification through good communication can help prevent misunderstandings and varied expectations. Tell people how you feel. Very few are capable of reading minds. Make your intentions come from compassion and understanding. Realize your expressions can have great impact on the people around you.In different situations, search for the most comfortable form of expression to begin with. It’s important to get started somewhere. Try a letter or email if confrontation is currently too difficult. Pray, meditate, or express through creative art. As the circumstance develops, you may need to come out of your comfort zone to have a successful interpretation of your feelings. Eventually confront yourself and others with integrity. Many fear confrontation, but this fear stands in the way of progress and missing life’s beautiful experiences. Don’t let fear stop you. Remember, fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. True representation of expression is a vital part of health and wellness. Keep this in mind the next time you think about holding in your emotions.
Engage in Life
Are you always sitting on the sidelines? Are you usually the spectator watching others? Whatever you enjoy, be proactive about it. Instead of letting life happen to you or around you, decide what you want out of life and go for it. Many people make the mistake of waiting until the kids are older, have more money, or have more time. Unfortunately, this line of thinking will cost you several life enhancing and enriching experiences. The key is finding a healthy balance between activity level and rest, work and vacation, family and friends. Work to live, not live to work. Take vacations on a regular basis to spend quality time with family and recharge your battery. Embrace the value of a romantic dinner or weekend away without the kids.Remember the rewarding feeling after achieving something? This unique emotion is only felt after putting your heart and soul into that something. Be passionate about what you do each day. Passion occurs when we pass-I-on. By sharing yourself with others, life takes on a deeper meaning. Some couples search for commitment through marriage, but too few relationships have passion. Spark your life by caring more for others than yourself. Be unselfish in love, work, and play. Call it karma, but what you give comes back ten fold.Tired of superficial relationships and life without meaning? Then show some initiative and look with compassionate eyes and listen with a tender heart. Stop complaining about your life and how someone else is to blame. End complacency and procrastination. Take responsibility for your own actions and concentrate on the positive aspects of your life. Improve on those things and communicate with others a sense of pride, happiness, and zest for life. As a result, you will attract similar people to you. Surround yourself with joyful, uplifting, high integrity people and life will truly be engaging.Let me finish with one last intriguing question. If you’re unsure about what really drives you, ask yourself, “If I died today, what would my tombstone or obituary say?” Are you satisfied with your current answer? If no, then write your own and start fulfilling it now.
Health + Function = Wellness
Achieving optimum health is very challenging in this day and age. You have to earn it.You must survive the mass marketing of fast food and the temptation of a quick meal. Many people with financial burdens fall prey to these less expensive food traps. Less cost usually means less nutritional value. Research shows that fast food is high in fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar. When it comes to food and supplements, you get what you pay for. Choose higher quality over quantity. You may have to pay more and work harder, but it’s worth it. Plan meals ahead of time and buy healthy organic food and snacks. Shop with attention to ingredients and not just taste. When eating out choose fish over chicken for protein. Try to avoid food combining of carbohydrates, protein, and fats all in one meal. This combination of different food groups makes it difficult for the digestive system to breakdown and absorb. Ideal dining should be in a stress free environment, a separate course for each food group, and salad last to aid in the digestive process. Drinking should be at a minimum to prevent dilution of essential enzymes. You are what you eat, but more accurately, you are what you absorb. Your body will thank you with a much better level of health.After good dietary habits are established, the next obstacle is exercise. Daily movement of the musculoskeletal system is absolutely crucial to optimum health. Use it or lose it! In addition to optimum health, optimum function is required to accomplish wellness. Function is measured mainly by the nervous system. This mesh work of complex nerves controls every cell, tissue, and organ in the body. The central nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Your spinal cord runs from the base of your brain down to the tail bone or sacrum. Spinal bones, called vertebrae (24 per human frame), protect the spinal cord and nerve roots. Therefore, proper function is maintained through spinal correction or adjustments to balance these vertebral segments. As a complement to spinal health, the nerves rely on certain vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B1 has shown improvement in nerve regeneration and growth. Minerals are required as neurotransmitters to send messages from one nerve to another. Without these neurotransmitters, information and nerve impulses are delayed. As a result, loss of optimum sensory and motor function exists. Muscle spasms, numbness and tingling, sharp or burning pain, and stagnated blood flow are common. Not normal, but common. Also, keeping stress under control can directly influence a healthy response. Some functions of the body simply shut down with dominance in the fight or flight mode. Calmness is necessary, for example, in reducing blood pressure and peristalsis (bowel movement). Nervous tension can lead to increased pain, fatigue, indigestion, constipation, headaches, and muscle cramping just to name a few. To summarize, follow steps 1-7, achieve optimum health through diet and exercise, and accomplish optimum function by preserving spinal health and sustaining a nutritive and invigorating nervous system. Do this and Live Well.