According to C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. the five essentials for health includes the following:
1. Positive attitude
2. Body Mass Index 18-24
3. 5 servings’ fruits or veggies daily, MINIMUM
4. No smoking
5. Exercise- 30 minutes, 5 days a week
Accordingly, only 3% of Americans have all these habits and if adopted average life expectancy would increase from 78 to 100!
As Hippocrates states:
oIf we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health
Why aren’t Americans taking better care of themselves? My belief is that we are living in an age of information overload and human doings, rather than embracing inspiration and human beings.
According to the 2009 Gallup poll:
The percentage of Americans experiencing a lot of happiness or enjoyment without a lot of stress or worry declined slightly from an average of 48.2% in 2008 to 47.4% in 2009…
Conversely, the percentage of Americans experiencing a lot of stress or worry but not a lot of happiness or enjoyment increased by about the same amount.
See, our fast paced lifestyles has led us to stop taking care of our souls needs and turned our attention to how to produce outcomes. It’s a tough balance. I know this for myself. What this means is the old cure-all-one -magic- bullet- pill, won’t work. That’s because stress and lifestyle factors affect everyone differently. This cure- all-magic -bullet may actually throw you more off balance if it’s not what you need!
As the father of medicine was also quoted to have said:
oEverything in excess is opposed to nature.
oExtreme remedies are very appropriate for extreme diseases
I’d like to add, that when the body is chronically in a state of imbalance, it takes a lot to get it to a new set point. That’s why it’s so important to let someone help you decipher what is right for your individual needs. Asking for help until one has learned to tune in and trust their own wisdom again is necessary when there is so much we are up against us that prevent us to tuning in for ourselves!
Today, there’s more toxins, more stress, more food manipulation, and what seems like less time. What does this mean for me, as an Integrative Practitioner? It is not just choosing the right supplement and adjusting symptoms to create a healing response. It is working with the client to teach habits that not only reverse the progression of disease but prevent future issues. It also means applying the knowledge that supplements not properly used could potentially harm the body. Using objective measures such as labs and reviewing symptom response questionnaires is essential to make sure the body is safely getting what it needs.
I have always been a strong proponent in bio-individuality in medicine. Most cases that have come to me, through my Naturopathic training, I am able to tune into specific causes of the dis-eases and suggest an individualized protocol. Conventional lab testing, through the client’s primary care physician, case histories, and symptom analysis, provided an excellent framework, and in most cases are usually enough to ignite a change for the better.
Right now, I’m currently going through training for functional medicine. I have learned a lot through testing different individuals. This is a new, more in depth approach for me and my clients. By studying what is going on at the cellular level, I am able to determine what processes are dysfunctional before they can be labeled as diseases. It is quite exciting and definitely prevenative! Furthermore, the testing allows me to move beyond organ dysfunction and into bio-individuality regarding what supplements are best for each patient.
When a client is stuck, or just wants more information on optimal, specific recommendations, this is a tool that can analyze the breakdown in the cellular mechanics and assess what nutrients are needed to maintain longevity and health!
Hooray for more efficient tools to optimize health! If you want to learn more about functional medicine and how it stops the game of supplement roulette, please check the Institute of Functional Medicine at www.functionalmedicine.org, my name will be posted after I complete the certification in September.