Empower Your Life and Prevent Disease Holistically
Press releases extolling the virtues of the latest key to disease prevention regularly do the rounds of the media. While many of these “keys” prove to be fads or claims which are superseded by later research, the question of disease prevention is still of central concern to anyone interested in health. Just which “preventatives” really do help to prevent disease?
In conventional medicine, it is common for two categories of action to be emphasized when it comes to disease prevention: Immunization and screening. Immunization targets very specific diseases, in particular those prone to becoming epidemics. Screening, meanwhile, ranges from the monitoring of blood pressure, to the carrying out of breast exams and colonoscopies.
If you think for a moment about public health campaigns, whether be delivered through the medium of TV advertisements or through posters at local health clinics, immunization and the various types of screening get most of the air time.
Impressed upon us across our lifespans, particularly as we approach critical ages for certain diseases, the impression is inadvertently given that immunization and screening cover pretty much all a person needs to know about countering disease.
As important as these two facets of the fight against disease are, once we have left childhood we might be forgiven for thinking there is only one tool left in the arsenal: Screening. And yet, it’s easy to forget that screening is not about disease prevention, but rather it is concerned with disease detection and intervention.
The disconnect between our natural interest in disease prevention, and the narrow focus of the traditional medical system, leaves us shortchanged. And this is exactly where holistic medicine comes to the fore. Immunization and screening are simply not enough; there is a whole other set of tools out there for preventing disease.
When we explore the world of holistic medicine, we soon find that this set of tools is both more extensive than people imagine, and more powerful. The following are six of the most effective ways you can prevent disease. Just imagine these mighty weapons added to immunization and screening, and feel the power!
Tool 1: A Diet-Powered Immune System
By flooding your body with food that supports your immune system, you give yourself every chance of keeping healthy and resisting disease.
Food for the body is like gasoline for a car; you wouldn’t put shampoo in your gas tank because it smells nicer than gasoline or you happen to have some on hand! The car would quit working. Needless to say, putting the wrong things in our mouths makes our bodies malfunction, too.
Tool 2: A Toxin-Reduced Lifestyle
By removing toxins that weaken the immune system, you give your body every chance of functioning optimally.
Toxins make it into our bodies in many different ways. Pesticides show up in our food because plants assimilate them through tainted agricultural practices; additives/preservatives/colors get added to our food to improve its appearance, texture and shelf life; fluoride, which is known to reduce thyroid function, is added to our municipal water supplies; mercury, known to cause all kinds of symptoms and health issues, makes up over 50% of amalgam fillings; among many other vectors of toxicity.
We can do our best to avoid them, but toxins are in our food, in our water, and in the air that we breathe, making it very hard to partake of contemporary life without encountering them.
Fortunately, nature has provided ways to deal with toxins and facilitate the elimination process, so our first port of call for dealing with them is to control the things we can. This means optimizing our general health, and facilitating the function of those systems which major in toxin cleansing, such the liver and lymphatic systems, giving our body every chance of combating toxins itself.
One way of enhancing the body’s natural detoxification functions is through the use of foods and supplements which facilitate cleansing more directly. Supplements, herbs, fruits and greens, such as spirulina, cilantro (coriander), barley grass juice, dulse and blueberries all work to detox the body.
And, let’s not forget to minimize our consumption of toxins (alcohol and tobacco, in particular!), and reduce the effects of industrial toxins by carefully selecting food, cleaning products, personal care products, health treatments, everyday decor and clothing, and more.
Tool 3: An Activity-Powered Lymphatic System
Most of us are aware of the more obvious health-related benefits of regular activity and exercise, while the mental and emotional benefits are starting to become more widely recognized. But holistic medicine also stresses another very powerful benefit of regular activity.
The lymphatic system of the body does not have an organ like a heart to to keep things flowing. Instead, it relies on the movement and contraction of neighboring muscles to help it rid the body of toxins, waste, and other unwanted materials.
In order for this removal process to run smoothly, we need to keep active. The lymphatic system also transports infection-fighting white blood cells throughout the body; however, this cannot happen efficiently without the movement of our bodies on a daily basis.
Tool 4: Positivity-Powered Gene Expression
The field of epigenetics has revealed that the way we think can affect the expression of our genes. If we choose to think and do things which generate stress, these thoughts and actions can foster the expression of disease. As Dr. Bruce Lipton has emphasized, “The function of the mind is to create coherence between our beliefs and the reality we experience”, implying that the, “…mind will adjust the body’s biology and behavior to fit with your beliefs”.
Fortunately, the opposite also holds true. Choosing to think and act in ways which create positive thoughts, actions, and energy flows fends off disease expression, and has also been shown to turn disease expression off altogether.
Tool 5: A Fun-Powered Chemistry
Laughter is known to decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, which in turn improves resistance to disease. Laughter also triggers the release of endorphins, the natural feel-good chemicals of the body which promote an overall sense of well-being, and can even temporarily relieve pain.
Finding ways to keep laughing by engaging people, media and activities which make you laugh, is an underrated method in the disease prevention tool kit — possibly because the notion itself seems more “funny” than “serious”!
Tool 6: A Free-Flowing Energy System
One of the most powerful ways of conceiving the body is as an energy system, with its own energy flows, causes of sub-optimal energy distribution, and means of energy flow optimization. Within this framework, unresolved emotions, traumas and bitter feelings never die; instead, they create persistent barriers to a life of positive energy flow.
Dark, unresolved issues create painful symptoms and dis-ease that express themselves with amazing symbolic power, and regularity, throughout all aspects of our lives, including our health.
Taking the time to identify and work through barriers to energy flow, such as negative emotions, traumatic events, and bitterness, can halt and even reverse the genesis of disease. Often, these barriers can be very painful to work through, but they can be resolved.
Sometimes, a simple process of apologizing, or conversely, of forgiving, is all it takes. At other times, we can work little-by-little, with guidance and encouragement from others, to chip away at major traumas. Every gain we make begets positive outcomes which feed back into our lives, strengthening us further.
Making the Most of the Preventative Tool Kit
The conventional model of tackling disease is often restricted to vaccines and screening. These disease-fighting tools dominate public health initiatives, and are impressed upon our minds as the sum of actions which can be taken to keep disease at bay. As we get older, they lock us into a mindset of detecting disease, rather than preventing it.
The good news is that the tool kit for combating disease is far more extensive than we are often led to believe. By employing a holistic model of prevention, we can indeed ward off illness and many different diseases and conditions.
The key to holistic prevention is personal lifestyle intervention. The steps required to intervene meaningfully in our lives are not those that a doctor or practitioner can take on our behalf. A doctor or practitioner might be able to guide you to best practice solutions, and encourage you along the way, but it takes personal action to make use of the holistic tool kit.
Immunizations and early detection form a critical part of public and personal health. But, why stop there? Why not take steps to minimize the occurrence of disease, or indeed prevent it altogether?