Refreshing Our Ideals of Health
At the beginning of a fresh new year, there’s a good time to hold up our concepts and ideas to the light of day, examine them a bit, and see if they still hold water. As with all things in life, there are many roads to Rome, and we must choose the road that makes good common sense to us and is a road we are comfortable traveling. I do not subscribe to the idea that “one size fits all” when it comes to health. The perspective that follows is an invitation to begin breaking down how we address health through maintenance of the body (whether through conscious choice or unconscious conditioning). Accidents, birth defects, and genetic issues withstanding, we can exercise an amazing amount of control over our own health. And in many cases of the list above, we can still cause very positive effects upon our personal vehicle . . . the body.
In our culture, we are generally raised with the principle that health issues are only solvable by a doctor. And while I’m not throwing doctors at large in front of a bus, I believe we are better served by mastering our own health and using doctors, other health practitioners, etc. to help us reach our goals.
Who knows your body better than you? You lived in your skin for all your years, for every minute of your life. Whether you realize it or not, you have amassed an extraordinary amount of data about your own body. I’ll bet money you can identify the foods that don’t seem to sit well with you, how much exercise or type of exercise your body likes, how much sleep you optimally need, whether or not you have allergies; the location of your aches and pains, what ameliorates or exacerbates those pains, and then some. There is NO ONE who knows you better than you. You may not have the education, training, or vernacular to independently and adequately heal yourself (yet), but YOU hold all the data. And, if you’re reading this, the very free ability to learn.
We live in a world that is becoming more filled with sickness and disease and weight issues. I think it is VERY reasonable to make this assumption: if the science we are using was adequate to permanently solve our current heath issues, we’d be seeing a decline in the ills that affect us. So on its face, the real life data that is stacking up demonstrates: a.) the very nature of our present scientific understanding of restoring health to the human form is incredibly lacking, and b.) our current practice of tackling symptoms can be faulty (homeopathy being an exception).
The body is a living, breathing, metabolizing machine and there are some very basic systems that govern its function. One of the foremost systems responsible for producing robust health is the immune system – as immune function declines, our health always suffers. The other basic is the neurological system. In order for the body to run all its trains on time, the nervous system must be in good working order. There are many practices we can engage in to make sure the body’s systems are not overwhelmed (i.e. unhealthy). We can regularly cleanse our body systems to assist on the front of maintaining good functional health. There are all kinds of cleanses (digestive tract, kidney, liver, blood, etc.) that can be quite potent for maintaining or creating optimal operation over a long haul.
Let’s bring this picture into sharp focus using a common item that we all know requires regular maintenance – our cars. We know there are rules governing keeping a car in good working order. And by and large, and most importantly, we accept the maintenance rules that come with the purchase of a car. As a population, we are under mystified illusion that creating and maintaining health appears rather luck-based. We are taught that we are not qualified to help ourselves to good health and generally do not accept and respect that maintenance comes with the acquisition of a three-dimensional body.
Just as you’d take care of a beloved car, we need to learn to take care of our beloved bodies. Of course, I’m assuming that you really like your present vehicle – if you don’t, please pretend you now own your dream car for the duration of imbibing this perspective.
We KNOW: we must regularly change the oil in our vehicles to keep the engine in good working order. It’s foundational – leave the oil in your car too long, the engine will be damaged. Similarly, If you’ve been roaming this planet for more than 30 years and you’ve not cleansed your body systems, your “car” has never had its “oil changed.”
We KNOW: If you don’t change your brake pads regularly, you won’t be making stops very well. Having your personal vehicle in motion, as well as at rest, is a foundational key to health. The lymphatic system is as extensive as the vascular system, is responsible for cleansing your body at a cellular level, and has no dedicated pump. Your literal, physical motion (exercise and movement) is the pump that circulates lymph. Without motion, your body is challenged in ridding itself of waste; once our bodies become too waste filled, simple things like restful rest are not as easily obtained. And you need your rest! While you sleep, your body is doing significant work to repair, restore and rejuvenate ALL of your body systems. Pretty amazing, right?
We KNOW: if we put gas in the oil pan, that engine will be pretty dead, pretty soon. We easily accept that engines (not including 2 stroke) only require oil and we respect that requirement. Our bodies require foods rich in bioavailable (<- that right there, is a key word!) vitamins, minerals and nutrients. If our diet consists of foods that: a.) don’t agree with us (more in One Size Does Not Fit All), b.) are largely processed, c.) filled with additives and/or chemicals, our personal machine will be lacking in bioavailable nutrition needed to adequately repair, restore and rejuvenate ALL of your body systems.
We KNOW: put too much oil in the oil pan, and the car won’t even turn over. Yep, cars MUST have oil, but even too much of something it must have, can be detrimental.
Even with the healthiest of foods, very commonly, if you eat too much of a specific food, that food will begin causing you problems. We need to have a diet that is filled with variety in all food groups (by the way, female bodies manage less variety with more ease than male bodies), are foods that agree with us and provides an adequate fuel source to serve the overall machine (more in Counting Calories).
Vehicle maintenance is clear as day. And most will not argue the vehicular points I’ve listed. The key here is this: Once one begins examining health related causes and effects over time, the goal of good health becomes less mysterious, less chance based and more of an area of life that we can exercise a modicum of control over. However, the exercise of that control generally doesn’t make itself available until we begin to respect and accept the “rules” for maintaining optimal health.
So, if you don’t know that you can assist your body in regular health maintenance, you’ve just been informed. Now, go do your homework if health maintenance is of interest. 😀 Some already know the body has its own set of rules for maintaining good working order, and then pretend as if those rules don’t apply to their particular personal vehicle. And sadly, that predisposition can turn your car into a clunker.
One thing I have learned, hands down: you must respect your biology and accept the limitations of that biology. That acceptance is where health lives.
Unlike cars, we only get one personal vehicle for life. The relative health of that vehicle bears an extraordinary influence on the enjoyment (or lack thereof) of all other areas of life. Put your pedal to the mental metal and give your body the tune-up(s) it may be craving. Vrooom! 😀
REPOSTED from the Wise Remedies Blog space on AGENDA.
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