Submitted By: Dr. Darin Stokke, DC
Everyone wants to be healthy, right? Is there a magic ingredient to health? Believe it or not, health isn’t going to be found in a pill or potion, or in a surgery or new diet fad. In fact, to find health may take a bit of a paradigm shift for most of us. Here’s 3 things everyone needs to know to be healthy.
We Are Made To Be Healthy
Health is our normal default and sickness is abnormal. We are designed to be healthy, to stay healthy and to regain health when we lose it for any reason. This may seem obvious to some but a foreign idea to others. Our body and mind are amazingly complex and amazingly good at what they were designed to do. Our brain, nervous system, and every cell of our body are hard wired for survival.
The goal of every action of our mind and body is to best maintain our survival. When something challenges our chances at survival in any way, our mind and our nervous system jump into action and respond. Sometimes those responses are the sensation of pain when you touch your hand on a hot stove causing you to pull away. Or the response to raise our body temp and create mucous that stuffs our nose and congests in our chest so as to best capture and expel a threat to our body such as a virus or flu bug through our coughs and sneezes.
These are not dysfunctional actions of a sick body, but a healthy response of a body that is strong and fighting for survival. Even today, if you are feeling pain in a joint or in your spine, this is a healthy sensation of your body warning you something isn’t working right and to keep you from further injuring an already overly stressed joint causing further damage. Covering those healthy symptoms with a pill is treating your body like it’s a dysfunctional mess. The best drugs can do is cover up a symptom and the best surgery can do is repair to the point of semi-function when the body, joint or body part has lost most or all of its function through injury or years of neglected degeneration.
Movement Is Good
When we don’t move or movement becomes dysfunctional in some way, problems occur. Our joints, for instance, require movement to remain healthy and to create flow of fluids in and out of the joint. A joint that doesn’t move or moves in a dysfunctional way out of alignment will break down and degenerate rather quickly. When blood flows and moves in a healthy way, our body and cells remain nourished and alive. When blood movement becomes impeded or dysfunctional we end up with heart attacks and strokes.
When digestion allows movement of foods to flow properly, we get the nutrients we need into our body and get the toxins out. But if the movement of digestion is increased or decreased, we either end up deficient in nutrients or backed up with excessive toxins. When the movement of nerve flow is normal, our brain and body communicate at ease. However, when the movement of nerve flow is obstructed or cut off, communication is also cut off causing dysfunction in the body parts those nerves supply and dysfunction in the body as a whole. Maintaining functional movement always means maintaining optimal health.
Stress Isn’t All Bad
Good stress is called eu-stress and bad stress is called di-stress. Often we are told that all stress is bad. However, the right kind of stress is essential to our health and well being. Without any stress, our body and mind would quickly breakdown and decay. Exercise, for example, is a stress we place upon the body that has a good effect. With exercise we are challenging the body to keep it strong. Sitting in front of a TV for 8 hours is a stress we place on the body that is not so good. Sitting with a bad posture abnormally stresses the joints, weakens the core and postural muscles, and creates distress in our nervous system. Reading is a stress we place on our mind to keep our mind strong and active. Obsessively worrying about things out of our control is a stress we place on our mind that is destructive.
The key thing to remember about health is that true health comes from the inside out and not from the outside in. No matter what stage of life we are in or what the cumulative effects of years of bad habits and injuries may have caused to our body, there is still hope of being healthy. The hope for each of us shouldn’t be perfection but rather optimization. We should all look at ways today that we can best optimize our health and optimize what we have to work with so as to enjoy the best quality of life today and into the future. It’s up to each of us to take responsibility for our health and make the right choices to live out the lifestyles we each desire.