In terms of life on earth, it was at a point very recently in history that the disease model changed. For several millennia, we have used ancient healing practices that bring the body back into balance. It was not until about 300 years ago that we began to look at the body as a broken system that needs fixing, rather than a system that is whole, but out of balance when external forces get inside. While most of the focus in the U.S. Medical System is centered around increasing the access to quality health insurance, there remain several obstacles beyond accessing what we assume and know of as quality healthcare. To start, the lack of education and awareness about what “healthy” is, the lack of services available and offered that are covered by our medical insurance companies and the focus on pathogenesis, or disease, rather than optimal health are a few ways in which the system we exist in fails to advocate for the health of people. While there is no simple fix to counteract the disease-centered model that consumes our country, bringing global awareness to proper and optimal health, which comes from the inside-out, will help to shift our awareness around the meaning of health and disease entirely.
Unknowingly, the average American engages in several dozen unhealthy behaviors to alleviate overwhelming and extended stress levels. Behaviors like comfort eating, smoking, an excess of technology/TV, poor diet choices altogether and other forms of inactivity are something we “give in to” when we are not feeling our best. What we fail to realize is that these are what make us feel even worse. While there is a healthy balance in listening to the body, there are other choices available than the ones we give in to. The average American is further conditioned to think that being healthy comes from the outside rather than the inside. We’re taught early on that thinness means you are healthy, and that if a person who exercises looks fit they are healthy regardless of what they consume.
Likewise, the human body is perhaps the most resilient living thing on this planet. We thrive on the heavily masculine, corporate 9-5 cycle with the go go go mentality until about age 50 before an array of health complications start to show up. The midsection grows large, the muscles and joints begin to atrophy, the mind slows down, and we assign these symptoms or states of dis-ease to, “getting older.” Nevertheless, most if not all of these unbalanced states of existing are a result of decades of improper nutrition and the toxins in our environments. Endogenous toxins, or things like uric acid, gout, and bacterial overgrowths like candida, all originate from exogenous toxins, or our surrounding water, food, air and environment. At this day and age, our water supply is contaminated, food is rarely even food in the Standard American Diet (SAD), and the air we breathe is so heavily polluted that people go to oxygen bars to bring more oxygen into their lungs.
In the present disease-centered model that we operate inside of, the exogenous toxins create a plethora that imbalances in the body which we call symptoms of disease. When the causes of these dis-ease states are not solved by the drop of a pin, individuals look to X rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, laboratory analyses of the blood and tissues, or even surgery. The hope is that once a doctor can “see” what is wrong, the patient can be “fixed” with drugs or surgery. Patients are prescribed pharmaceutical after pharmaceutical and eventually the symptom is masked. The problem is that our present day medical tests fail to assign a lasting solution. Although the symptom is no longer there, and the patient may not be in a state of discomfort anymore, the dis-ease state is still present. After time, and without the patient even realizing, the states of dis-ease are accumulated and the patient now has heart disease, cancer, or metabolic disease. We are told these physical symptoms are a sign of life, or from “getting old,” rather than a result of constant triggering and accumulation for the past several decades. Likewise, pharmaceuticals and surgery create or patch, or Band-Aid effect, to mask the physical, emotional or mental ailment and a false sense of ease is created. This patchwork model can last for decades, and although it relieves pain and discomfort, it covers up the true state of dis-ease and imbalances are altogether neglected.
One of the solutions is to prevent this build-up of disease from ever accumulating in the first place. Eating healthy, exercising/moving the body regularly, preventing excess amounts of stress, and maintaining good and healthy relationships with friends and family are known to be common healthy practices. Yet, going outside, drinking enough water, detoxing the body, and sleeping are a few practices that do not receive enough credit.
Why our healthcare model fails to focus on preventing illness and dis-ease states can be attributed to several reasons. However, at the root, it is the pharmaceutical industry that is responsible for the research, development, production and distribution of medications to patients. If patients are never falling ill, then pharmaceuticals are never needed. The pharmaceutical industry is currently a $1.3 trillion industry, which is near to 3 times the U.S. military spending ($732 billion), and 20 times what the U.S. budgets for the Department of Education ($64 billion). In the present medical system, doctors are taught to battle disease and treat chronic illness to the very end. We have brilliant technologies and treatment plans that do save lives but the health outcomes never match what we pour into the system. If instead we focused on prevention rather than treatment, the lack of accessibility, high costs, and lack of availability of physicians would never be a problem. The key is to hold ourselves to higher standards with the behaviors that place us at higher risks for dis-ease.
If at a younger age we were taught how the body naturally works, there would be a greater understanding of how it falls out of balance. There would be a want to maintain optimal health; prevention would be built in. Nonetheless, even the idea of prevention can become flawed. Prevention does not have to be going outside of a day’s normal events to care for the body and mind. There are easy ways to maintain optimal levels of health, but the undoing of our pre-conditioned behaviors, habits, and beliefs are what will take great efforts to rewire and reprogram.
Alongside Allopathic Medicine, Naturopathic medicine and Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) instead focuses on “treating” the patient before any states of dis-ease ever begin. See Naturopathic Medicine to learn about the core principles. The approach is to take care of the body entirely so that each part is functioning at full capacity and all systems in the body are cared for properly. Naturopathic Medicine, CAM, and other holistic approaches look at the body as a full system and utilize preventative-based therapies so states of dis-ease never begin. Below are a few easy and relatively cheap (if not completely free) ways to bring the body back into balance!
- Can be completely free!
- Mindfulness and Meditation: Just as often as we cleanse the physical body, our mental state also needs to be cleansed. The mind and body are deeply interwoven and the repetitive stress that we put our minds and bodies through is helped when we bring stillness into the mind. Mindfulness, and meditation are both great tools for the mind and body. A meditative state can be achieved in over 2,000 ways! If you are not one for seated meditation with the eyes closed, try going for a walk, without distractions, and focus on the breath.
- Recorded Meditations will soon be added to The Connected Perspective platform!!!
***An additional way to cleanse the body is to eliminate exogenous toxins, or foods and beverages that overload the body when consumed too often or too regularly. Every now-and-then, it is healthy to cleanse the body from the toxins that we pour into it; significantly reducing and/or eliminating coffee, alcohol, processed foods, sugar, and animal products for short periods of time can give the mind and body the ability to heal and repair itself. I just completed Purium's 30-day cleanse, and WOW it worked absolute wonders for me inside and outside, however, they also offer a great 10-day cleanse for someone who doesn't have 30 days to commit to a cleanse. Check out the 10-day Cleanse, or the 30-day transformation and use Code: connectedperspectives for $50 off or a 25% discount (whichever gives the greater discount!!).
- Completely free!
- Detoxification is necessary for all of the body systems. While there are several different ways to detox, one way that is completely free is through breath work. Breathing exercises clear the tissues of toxins and allow for regrowth and repair of damaged tissues.
- Breathing Exercises will soon be added to The Connected Perspective platform!!!
3. Dry Brushing
- Very Inexpensive! (I got my dry brush for less than $10)
- Dry brushing techniques are performed to cleanse the lymph of physical and emotional imbalances that are stuck and unmoving in the lymphatic system. Dry brushing can be done at several different times but I like to dry brush before showering. Best if done in circular motions, towards the heart all and around the entire body, but especially where there are high concentrations of lymph.