What does health mean?
What does health mean to you? Is it just lack of disease? Or is it thriving in your environment with boundless energy, showing resilience to stress, tackling your day with positivity and enthusiasm? Gruelling challenges at work and in your life serve to strengthen your resolve and develop your relationship with your environment, yourself and the people around you. What if health could mean empowerment and personal growth? What if it became an adaptive force in your life that enabled you to take on life's challenges in ways that help you grow as a person instead of wearing you down, leaving you flat and demoralised?
What if I said to you that this vibrant, energetic glowing person is already right there inside of you and can be unlocked with food choices, nutrition and meditation? What could your life look like if you passionately followed your dreams and nourished your body with food, positivity and love?
Health typically is considered "lack of disease" in our society. To the point where my clients have had chronic, degenerative illnesses but because they "fit in between the tested parameters" they were told they were healthy. Even though they were not happy in their body. And yet to be honest this is the best time to treat chronic, degenerative disease: when it has not yet got a hold and can be reversed.
So then what is disease?
Naturopathically, disease is the physical expression of a body that is out of homeostatic balance. Ok so that sounds pretty hippy dippy, but it means that your body knows how to generate healthy cells and given the right environment and the right nutrition it will. Disease is a state where the body is showing that it is not in an environment where it can thrive (cue stress) or not getting adequate nutrition (cue our western diets). These areas where we are not supporting our meat suit come up as stress fractures along the lines of our inherited weaknesses. For example, 2 people can have the same high sugar diet, 1 person might get diabetes and the other could get thrush, we can see from the expression of which disease process the person follows where each individuals inherent weakness lie (the first in insulin sensitivity, the second in the health of the microbiome). Both have pushed their body out of balance (the first, in the fine line of blood glucose, insulin production and cellular uptake of sugar, the latter in feeding sugar hungry microbiota that are allowed to flourish and overwhelm the populations of other microbes). So while both people need to address their diet we can better understand their individual needs and inherent weaknesses by how their body expresses disease. Therefore health is the reversal of this imbalance or disease process by offering the body the right environment and nutrition to correct this imbalance and in the process we better understand our bodies which is empowering.
So you can see that it is the naturopaths understanding that disease or illness is not the opposite of health but a spectrum and it depends on which pathway the disease or illness process takes that we can decide what pathway to take to optimise the health of the individual. This gives us a clearer and deeper understanding of the person which means we can tweak things like diet and lifestyle to better support and nourish each individual so that they can reach their potential and their greatest expression of resilience mentally, emotionally and physically.
Healthy mindset, healthy vibrations, healthy meatsuit
Your mindset is made up of everything you think. It is a reflection of your beliefs and how you have integrated a lifetime experiences into the belief system. Your belief system protects you from your experiences, it helps you to make sense of the world around you, why things happen to you, why people treat you a certain way and how to react. It is conditioned by your parents, your peers, your teachers and your idols. It helps you make choices an then also rationalises why you made those choices. Your ego protects it and left unchallenged you could be holding yourself back from your potential. Making choices is hard!! The part of your brain that makes choices is like a muscle and like a muscle it is fatigued each time it is used and needs to rest. Working on a positive mindset is the key to health because it helps you make the decisions you need to make for your health like food choices, exercise choices, engaging with other people, animals and the environment. If your mind is working against you it will be a lot tougher to succeed in reaching your goals.
This is how you feel, how your environment and the people make you feel and in turn how you make others around you feel. It takes a lot of energy to maintain positive, loving and caring, grateful and optimistic (something that I am still working on). How you experience your world and your life again dictate the choices you make but also how much happiness those choices can bring to you and the people around you. And its nice to feel good!!! A common misconception is that you either feel good or you don't. But thats not true cultivating love, compassion, gratitude, happiness and optimism is an inside job, one that we have to give energy to, constantly work on and improve. You have the potential to be happy, you have the potential to be love, you have the potential to enjoy your world and those in it.
Your body is a complex biochemical reaction and microbial ecosystem. It uses food and stimulus from your environment to function and feed cells, mitochondria and your microbiota. This makes up your physical body. Electrical signals control the mechanisms and functions of your body, with inadequate nutrition in combination with ongoing stressors these become compromised. The weakest organ or area of your body or genetic code will express disease first and if not corrected during the acute flare up will reset your level of health to accommodate this disease process. This is why most disease onsets occur during a particularly stressful event.