As the winter time approaches, people are often on edge about avoiding germs to save themselves from getting ill. Conventionally, we are trained from an early age to avoid germs at all costs to prevent sickness. While microbes we are exposed to certainly influence our bodies, the idea that avoiding germs is the only way to prevent the occurrence of sickness is simply not true.
The average adult human body has been estimated to contain anywhere from 20-80 trillion bacteria, which means our bodies contain more bacteria than human cells. Many of these microbes are extremely beneficial to the body as they help facilitate healthy digestion, immune function, and nutrient production.
We are literally covered in bacteria, so avoiding them completely is a futile effort. This is not to say that being sanitary and keeping clean is not important (it certainly is), but there is another way to prevent sickness and disease in the body.
Instead of attempting to treat sickness and disease once it has occurred, a better option would be to restore our body’s ability to stay healthy and function optimally so that sickness cannot develop. Bacteria that produce sickness are typically opportunistic invaders of an already sick environment (like flies swarming on a dead animal carcass). Thus, if we can maintain a healthy environment in our body, we can minimize the occurrence of illness.
To restore and maintain health, we need to know what health is.
Almost no one knows what the definition of health really is. Therefore that which they believe about health can not be true.Dr. Ian Grassam
Most would say, “Health is when I feel good and look good.”
The problems with this thinking:
- Some of the deadliest diseases have little to no symptoms while they develop (heart disease, cancer, neuro-degenerative conditions)
- Development of disease can take YEARS before symptoms become apparent
- Symptoms often are masked or relieved with drugs
According to the World Health Organization, the definition of health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
Thus, the real definition of health is when the body is FUNCTIONING and HEALING NORMALLY and not the absence of symptoms or disease.
Symptoms and disease are secondary to a body that is not healthy and functioning normally.
So what can we do to ensure our body is in a state of health and functioning optimally, regardless of if we are experiencing symptoms?
There are three components of health we need to address: emotional (reducing stress), chemical (proper nutrition, avoiding chemical toxicity), and structural (exercise and spinal structure).
Here are the top 4 ways to keep the body healthy to minimize short-term illness and avoid long-term degenerative diseases.
- Consume Unprocessed Nutrient-Dense Food Daily
The food you put into your body has a PROFOUND impact on your body’s ability to stay healthy and function normally. Our cells REQUIRE a vast spectrum of nutrients to function optimally. Without these nutrients, dysfunction and sickness will develop over time. This doesn’t mean that your diet must be perfect, but try to include as much unprocessed, whole food as possible. With the use of a few high-quality nutritional supplements, your body will get everything it needs to function optimally and minimize sickness.
You can’t build a durable home without high-quality materials, and you can’t build a durable/healthy body without high-quality nutrition.
Often times people believe they are eating healthy, but the reality is they are not. I would be more than happy to assist you in assuring that you are.
For a general guideline on what you should be eating, click here.
For recipes and help on preparing meals, click here.
- Have Dedicated Exercise/Movement Time During the Day
Another thing our bodies REQUIRE to function optimally is movement. Movement helps facilitate nutrient exchange in cells, blood flow, lymphatic flow, healthy brain function, and many other physiological functions that keep the immune system strong.
Exercise does not have to be long and monotonous (think hours spent on a treadmill). Short, high-intensity interval training or circuit training can be done in just a few minutes, and is fantastic for your body.
There are many fantastic fitness facilities in the area, each offering a unique approach to make exercising fun, not a chore.
- Protect Your Spine
The first thing that comes to mind when talking about the spine is back and neck pain. While back and neck pain are a common secondary condition associated with spinal problems, they are a warning sign of a much more significant underlying condition known as a Structural Shift of the spine. A common Structural Shift is a condition called Anterior Head Syndrome.
The spine is intimately interrelated and integrated with the nervous system as it protects the spinal cord and allows for the clear passage of the nerve roots.
What does your nervous system do?
•It controls EVERY process in the body.
• It is what turns the food you eat into energy and healthy tissue.
• It’s what allows a cut on your arm or other tissue damage to heal without you having to think about it.
•Most importantly, it controls immune system function and ultimately it is what allows you to destroy harmful invaders and maintain health.
Those are some pretty neat powers we all possess.
When your spine shifts out of normal structural alignment due to accidents, trauma, and everyday activities, the nervous system is obstructed and normal body function and healing is impaired. When normal alignment of the spine is restored, your nervous system will function optimally, as will the healing and function of your body. Thus, a healthy spine will allow you to minimize the occurrence of secondary conditions associated with a weak immune system, such as the flu and frequent colds.
Similar to performing routine maintenance on your home or vehicle, getting your spine checked regularly by a structural chiropractor will protect your nervous system and body from long-term damage and degeneration.
- Reduce Your Stress Levels
Short-term stress is necessary and can be beneficial as it allows us to react appropriately to a potentially adverse situation. However, most people are suffering from chronic or long-term stress. Constant deadlines, work, kids, bills, and a myriad of other stressors trigger anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues. Combine this with the fact that most people are not doing the three things listed above, and you have a recipe for emotional disaster.
Some simple things that can be done to conquer stress are to plan out your days, weeks, and months in advance. This will allow you to organize your tasks so that you are fully prepared to get them done and minimize any potential conflicts. Being prepared and knowing exactly how your days will unfold can do wonders for lowering anxiety.
Also, by becoming more organized with your everyday activities, you will be able to free up time to do things that help you relax. These could be any of your favorite hobbies or perhaps getting a stress-relieving massage from one of the many fantastic massage therapists in the area.
Life is not always perfect, and that’s OK!
When it comes to health, there is no silver bullet. You are REQUIRED to do the above things in order to give your body the best chance at achieving and maintaining health. When you have health, sickness will be minimized. You might survive without regularly doing these things, but you will not thrive.
There are many outstanding resources to assist you. Hopefully I can be one of them for you. If you have any questions, please contact me. I am happy to help.