We try to stay healthy as we age - what goes wrong?Nov 28, 2021
I’ve been writing for a while now about topics and ideas that I’m passionate about, and they all basically boil down to the health of our bodies and minds.
- How can we be healthy despite our modern lifestyles?
- How can we be resilient?
- What can we do to “turn back the clock on aging”.
- What if we want to refuse to accept the Western medical model that says it is “normal” to get sick, to develop chronic diseases as we get older, to lose our memories, … ?
- How can we maximize our “health span”, not just our “lifespan” (with potentially unhealthy years at the end of it) -- who would want that?
The human body is a marvellous, intriguing, adaptable (I could go on) creation of such complexity, that we still don’t fully understand it or know how it really operates -- but that’s what makes it so fascinating as we continue to chip through the layers to increase our knowledge and understanding.
One of the things that is clear, or we would not have survived as a species for the past 200,000 years, is that we are designed to subconsciously keep track of the health of our body (and mind) and to self-correct when things go wrong. That’s why we have an immune system that interconnects with all the other systems on our bodies. Of course modern medicine is also there to help, especially when things go so far wrong that it’s too much for our bodies to “auto-correct”, or we have acute emergencies that in times past were often fatal. Check out what I wrote about Immunity here.
Think back to when you were a kid, how much energy you had, how quickly (usually) you rebounded from an illness. And how over time your energy slowly declined, you became more susceptible to what was “going around”, things started to fall apart … and perhaps your doctor, or all those magazine articles, told you that you were “just getting old!”
The current medical model often doesn’t act until you tip over the edge of wellness into illness. Think about what happens when you get a blood test and it comes back in the “normal” range, but you still don’t feel right and you know that something must be wrong. Instead, I like to think of health as being on a continuum -- beginning at the high end with that healthy body with lots of energy, and then as different stressors impact it, it’s a slide down into illness. But don’t wait until then! Trust your body to tell you when things aren’t right. Be empowered to take action to reverse that downward trend.
As well, modern medicine often treats the various body systems as separate entities, and the body and mind as independent from one another. Traditional, native and eastern traditions continue to recognize that they are all connected to, and influence, each other. Illness can be seen as a blockage or stagnation of the vital energy that flows through the meridians of the body. In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), it's called "Chi", in Ayurveda, it's "Prana". They also encourage us all to “Listen to our bodies” to recognize our intuition, gut feelings, a feeling in our hearts, a spine-tingling sensation. These are all ways that your body will talk to you - make sure you listen!
What really goes wrong?
The body is designed to assess any illness you have and send resources (those immune cells) to help you heal. And this worked well for most of those 200,000 years. But now? Not so much! What has gone wrong?
As I read the latest research and talk to other natural health practitioners, it seems to come down to 4 general contributors:
- Deficiencies in the required nutrients that are the building blocks (protein, fat, carbohydrates, plus micronutrients) of all the tissues in the body: cells, organs, chemical messengers (hormones, neurotransmitters), and other processes that carry out the roles of the various organs and the body as a whole.
- Too many toxins, harmful substances (processed food, food additives, environmental toxins etc.) seemingly everywhere these days.
- A Sedentary Lifestyle – as the body’s systems are not doing what they were designed to do, which is to be active for long hours, every day.
- Overload of Stress - caused by all of the above plus the emotional stress of 21st century life -- even more so in the past couple of years.
I’ve written about many ways to counteract each of the above issues in previous articles - check out the entire list here!
And I'd like to know that future articles and programs will be about topics of interest to YOU and what you want to read about -- and participate in.
So what are you most concerned about?
I would like to know what concerns you have about your health as you age.
I would love to hear your thoughts or feedback on the topics you are wondering about, and any questions that you have, and any programs you would be interested in.
And as a thank-you for completing this short survey, I will send you a Healthy Alternative Holiday Recipes e-book.
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