July 15, 2013

Why Disease & How to Achieve Health

These are my notes from my chiropractor's class on "Jump STart to Wellness."  You could just watch the video, but I thought I'd post my notes with the video too, fo those who don't have the spare hour and a half.
(video will be added in a month, hopefully). It was really interesting though, so here we go...

First of all he gave shocking facts and data about how mess up America's "health" system is. It's not a health system, but a "symptom" system.
Choose Natural Health
You can picture three concentric circles (ordered largest to smallest
SYMPTOMS (which is what our current system is at),
then inside that is 
SYSTEMS (which some medical professionals address, but generally from a one-sided view),
then inside that--the center circle--
CAUSE We should be working at the root cause, from a holistic perspective, but much like our whole society (education, health care, etc.), everything is compartmentalized and standardized so that we can't cross areas to find a holistic approach (because that is more mysterious and takes more time and effort).

But, here is the simple holistic perspective of a "Wellness System" instead of our current Health system. IT is called the 1-3-5-7 approach.

1 Cause of Disease
Dis-ease is dis-comfort. This is cause by stress, or rather our inability to adapt to negative stress in our lives. Take for exaample weight-lifting: good? Yes. and no. Good, in that you get stronger as you get through that stress in appropriate amounts. But bad if the amount is too high or too much and your body can't adapt to it. So dis-ease comes when you overdo something. Or, on the flip side, if you under do something--a deficiency. Take for example not getting enough sleep. So when we overload or are deficient in sometype of thing or stressor, and can't deal with that, stress starts to affect us (first in ways we can't see, and unless we nip things in the bud early, those stressors start taking control and we lose some of our ability to control that.
Toxic Stress Response
I like this graphic about stress from some Harvard study.
First it starts at the atomic level, then the molecular level, then the cellular level and so on until it surfaces.

3 Areas of Stress
By stress, I don't just mean the type that happens when you don't do your homework. So, let's look at the three areas of stress: physical, chemical and emotional/mental. These are fairly self-explanatory, but a few thoughts.... First off, some stress only applies to one area, but others overlap multiple areas. Some even cause chain-reactions; for eaxmple, emotional stress at work causing you to not sleep and physically not being able to have the energy needed for the next day's work. (bummer cycle, huh?) Also, chemical stress is related to any type of toxins (air we breath, pesticides on our food, ingredients in products we use, etc.). So those are the different types of stress.

5 Key Systems
Ok, next to the systems of your body that get affected by stress, so we can see what we need to do to address them. Don't get me wrong after reading this though...our bodies are not super fragile. God gave them to us as beautiful, resilient temples for our divine spirits. Yet...if we don't pay attention to how we handle stress, then our bodies can become very fragile! And by the way, there is no particular order for most of these systems, except the first two are generally the most important.

1. Nerves - this is the most important system of your body because it runs everything and send messages to your brain and back! If this gets in trouble, then it starts to break down other areas.
2. Hormones (Endocrine) - If these get off, lots of other things get off. Why? Because Nerves communicate to your hormones via electrical, while hormones communicate via chemical. If toxins interfere with this basic communication, then your body gets confused and can't regulate your body's processes for life. I would say adrenal and thyroid in particular are frequent culprits of other problems, but there are all the others. You can take these simple tests if you want to see which of your hormones is off...or look at this graphic below.

3. Digestion - The muddled communication between nerves and hormones does damage to your digestion too. Or damage comes by eating the wrong foods or by eating too quickly or all sorts of other things!
4. Detox - Our bodies need to purge bad and input good. So we need to detox. The basic detox organs are the following: liver, lungs, kidney, gut, skin. IF any of these are out of whack, then there's build-up. So you might need to figure out which one is out and go to it/
5. Structure - Then there's out physical structure. All the nerves go through the spine and out to the appendages and such. If our spine is our of whack, then certain nerves can be pinched and causing problems we might not know can be detected in the spine. This is why chiropractors can be helpful. My chiropractor can tell what it out of alignment when we have a cold. HE even knew my baby had a diaper rash by her spine mis-alignment (which is called a subluxation).

7 Pillars to Wellness
So, it might be useful to look at your life in this idea of seven pillars to keep your framework happy and healthy...

Think Well - control your thoughts and mind. Don't let worry overcome you to despair. Faith and hope really go far in having a happy life. Make the best of what you have--what you can. Be positive. No one wants to be with someone who whines all the time and it wears on people! Trust that things will work out for the best. Limiting thoughts and judgments about yourself or others could limit progression towards potential--both yours and theirs.

Drink Well - drink regularly. Our body is like 70% water or something and that regulates our systems. A little lemon juice in your room-temperature water first thing when you wake up (30 mins before eating) will start your digestive system going strong. And if you feel dehydrated, you've already waited too long to drink. How much? I  just focus on at least getting 8 cups a day, but the more the merrier (esp. when hot outside or if more physically active or a larger male or something).
Water - so important for good health!

Eat Well - See our health blog for more info, but basically whole foods, minimally processed is the way to go.

Sleep Well - adults need 7-9 hours generally. If you get 4 hours of sleep, then your cells literally think you're getting older (at a faster rate) and can't regenerate as quickly as they should--less efficient.

Move Well - life is movement. Even sitting in an office all day is physical stress, because our bodies are made to more. get up and walk. Even just going from the sitting to standing position is one of the most important moves you can do (research has been done on it)

Love Well - think about your different roles and relationships. which need strengthening? work on one.

Play Well - we need to listen to our inner-child sometimes. laugh a little! Or a lot! Take some time to enjoy the moment and release from responsibility stressors in good and fun ways.

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