Are you feeling well? Many of us aren’t. In fact, today, over half of the world’s population is afflicted with some sort of chronic or degenerative illness – autoimmune disease, heart disease, diabetes, dementia – the list goes on. A recent report from the World Economic Forum states that one in three adults worldwide has multiple chronic conditions: cardiovascular disease alongside diabetes, depression as well as cancer, or a combination of three, four, or even five or six diseases at the same time. Perhaps you are struggling with a collection of ongoing symptoms, which your health professional can’t explain, or maybe you’ve already been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease – or suffering in silence from numerous other common afflictions like anxiety and depression.
If you are anything like me, I am guessing that you’re not wanting a lifelong commitment to prescription drugs as a method of palliative management. And my hope is you don’t see your body as inherently defective and destined to be broken beyond repair. Because I want to tell you there is another way.
Responsibility as the key to health
The air we breathe, the food we eat, the thoughts we allow, the toxic compounds to which we are exposed, and the experiences we undergo all have a major impact on health, wellness, and longevity, not only for ourselves but for the welfare of seven generation stewardship taught by Native Americans and demonstrated in the scientific literature. Epigenetic research shows us that symptoms aren’t life sentences, and that you can and are the principle director of your body’s fate. By reframing illness through this lens, we can derive comfort from the fact that every symptom, every genetic variant, and even the materialisation of disease processes puts you, me, and every other person on the planet at the centre of our own health and wellbeing.
Unlock your body’s innate capacity for healing
Many people consider the body to be little more than a vehicle that is somehow separate from the mind, passively carrying them through life until they require the intervention of a doctor to fix, or at least manage the symptoms of suffering. But here’s the thing. We are not inanimate objects. We are living organisms and our bodies contain an innate capacity of self-healing mechanisms, always regenerating, tending to states of order and regulation against the downward spiral of deterioration.
Every organ in the body has a regeneration cycle where old cells die and new cells are generated. Take, for example, your small intestine. Every few days, your small intestine gets a new epithelial cell lining and your intestinal bacteria regenerates. The epidermis of your skin completely turns over every two months. Even the cells in your heart, blood, and bone marrow are capable of replenishing, whilst the brain has been shown to regenerate neurons post injury.
We’ve known about this self-healing ability for a long time. Hippocrates stated during the fifteenth century BC that the body has the vitality not only to heal itself and restore itself to health, but also to ward off disease. But it does this only under the right conditions to do so. Symptoms are merely the body’s way of expressing dysregulation and the goal is to remove the obstacles that are keeping it in this state.
The human body is comprised of approximately one hundred thousand billion cells that carry out over one hundred thousand biochemical reactions per second. Yes, you read that right, per second. Your body has dozens of bioregulating systems, including the nervous, endocrine, neurological, cardiovascular, digestive, and many more. Each of these bioregulating systems are intimately related on both an electrical and biochemical basis. When communication between the two is disrupted or fails, dysregulation and symptoms follow.
However, your body is wondrously and miraculously designed. Self-regulating systems sustain all life processes, such as your heart rate, blood sugar levels, hormone production, respiratory rate, detoxification, immune function, and blood pressure. Processes most of us aren’t even aware of happening, every second of every day. Each of these systems seek balance, otherwise known as homeostasis. One example of a system balancing itself is thermoregulation, when we get overheated and perspire. Another example is blood sugar regulation, where if blood glucose gets too high, insulin is released to lower it. And if toxins enter the system, your immune system reacts to disarm it. Breathing is regulated, blood pressure is regulated, digestion is regulated, circulation is regulated, and on and on.
Disease, or “dis-ease” where the body has lack of ease, happens when one or more of these systems is out of balance. Most often, in chronic disease conditions, there are numerous systems out of balance. The reality is that the human body is interconnected, much like an orchestra. As soon as systems are viewed in isolation, as is usually the case when we see doctors specialising in a specific field such as neurology or rheumatology, we so often lose sight of the whole.
To illustrate this further, a gastroenterologist also needs to be an immunologist, because 80% of the immune system is located in the lining of the gut. Hormones also affect the function of our digestive system, so an endocrinologist needs to wear a gastroenterologists hat. There is virtually no cell, no system, inside our body that works independently. This is why we need a holistic approach. A whole-istic body system approach becomes less about treating a specific diagnosis and more about addressing and re-regulating the body as a whole.
Food as medicine
The food we eat is not just fuel and building blocks for the body, it’s also a messaging system that delivers critical information to our cells. In fact, certain food and lifestyle practices can unlock immense self-regenerative energetic resources within your cells, optimising DNA expression and making them more important in affecting your health than any other single factor. Virtually everything we are comes from the things we eat, breathe, apply to our skin, or drink. The standard view that food is merely caloric content containing macro and micro nutrients is old thinking.
Biologically speaking, our bodies require food in order to derive the energy, structural materials, and regulating agents needed to support the growth, maintenance, and repair of all our cells, tissues, and organs. In order to maintain homeostasis, your body requires the intake of over sixty different essential nutrients daily. An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal body functioning, which we cannot make and therefore needs to be sourced from the food we eat. Vitamins, minerals, and biologically active plant phytonutrients (phyto is from the Greek word for “plant”) are primarily derived from plant foods, and if you’ve been part of the 3 Sources community for a while, you’ll know how incredibly important these are in our diets.
Nutritional deficiencies impair homeostasis and may eventually cause disease. There are many diseases known in the science literature that can be induced, triggered, activated, or caused by nutrient deficiency. Nutrients are required for the bioregulation of every single system in the body. Ensuring the body has the proper amounts of required nutrients, in the correct and most bioavailable forms, is an important part of bioregulatory nutrition. Creating homeostasis is much like following a recipe. If you don’t have the yeast, then the bread won’t rise.
Putting it all together
My philosophy and approach to optimal health and wellness is rooted in both functional and biological medicine principles, which believe that every symptom has systemic and multiple causes. Our bodies are constantly coordinating variables to maintain healthy, stable conditions. The ability to create homeostasis in every physical and energetic aspect of our being is called our regulation capacity. Regulation is adaptation, and the ability to regulate is the key to health and longevity. But if there are too many blockages in the flowing river, our regulation is hindered. The body slows, cells degenerate, and we run out of energy.
Regeneration and healing can only happen when the self-repair forces are ignited. Your body’s default state is one of ceaseless generation. However, there are many factors that can adversely affect this miraculous regeneration from happening, such as; food allergies, improper nutrition, stress, environmental toxins, hidden infections, lack of movement, lack of sunlight, etc. These all disrupt systemic balance. Many of these factors can be addressed by following a step-by-step approach, the exact approach I use in my own life and on my own healing journey. My step-by-step approach encompasses 5 key principles:
- Reset the stress response
- Use food as medicine
- Support detox and drainage
- Replenish the gut
- Activate self-healing forces
This total mind-body approach uses nutrition and lifestyle practices as powerful tools to naturally support your body to regulate, adapt, regenerate, and heal. Would you like to find out more?
My upcoming online program, The Healing Template, due to be released mid-January 2021, invites you to aid recalibration of your body and being, providing you with a compass and road map for life. Are you ready to welcome it in? To pre-register your interest and find out more information about the program as it is released click here.
“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease” – Hippocrates