Saturday, January 5, 2013

What Kind Of Breeding Ground Are You Creating?

It's the time of year where I see more and more of my patients and friends and acquaintances dealing with the common cold, or upper respiratory issues, sinusitis and the like.  Many of them are quick to rush out to grab the first over the counter "remedy" they can find.  Some venture beyond that to see a medical doctor for their symptoms, with our without having had any fever (sign of infection).  I find this interesting and sad all at the same time.

It's sad because so many times, simple throat irritations, cold symptoms, and even mild fevers are going to resolve without any help from anyone.  It's interesting to me, because it shows that our culture in general still looks to the medical community as the be all, end all, for health and well being.  Of course, I live in a different world, a world where I know the body has this amazing healing ability, a world where I believe that the body doesn't need outside help as much as it needs less interference.  In my world, I grasp the fact that we are constantly building or destroying our bodies with our habits.  How we eat, move, think and rest creates a breeding ground for one of two things:  health and wellness, or sickness and disease.  It's a long term process that occurs daily.  Just like we don't become obese by eating one bad meal, or skipping exercise one day, we don't become ill by one exposure to someone with the flu.  Conversely, we don't become well by eating a healthy meal one day, or for a week etc.  It's a constant, ongoing process that sees us always moving one way or the other on what I term the "Wellness Spectrum".

Have you ever noticed how often sick people get sick ?  This is not a knock on anyone that gets sick a lot, but honestly, I see people with years, or decades, of behavior patterns that are unhealthy, and they are the one's usually who are always sick.  (Yes I know there are exceptions to the rule, but they are, by definition, exceptions, not the rule).  For someone like that, it may take years of turning their life around with new habits, to clean out their body, and to build a new foundation inside for wellness.  I see people with unhealthy relationships, lifestyles, habits that are consistently getting sick, taking medication (over the counter or prescription) and they never seem to get any better.  Oh sure, they get over the current condition, only to be whacked by another one right around the corner.

Again, this is not a knock on anyone, and some people have had serious problems that have weakened their immune systems, that's a given.  But too many of us blame outside circumstances for our health issues, ie bad luck or bad genes.  Yes, those may be a factor.  But in reality, if we work to build our body's immune system, if we strengthen it by how we eat, move, rest and think, our batting average of fighting off illness will get better.  I'm a good example of this. I used to get sick and miss work about 2x a year as I am constantly exposed to people carrying various illnesses, viruses, etc into my office and me touching them physically.  However, in the past 7 or 8 years, as I've focused on wellness more intently, this has begun to happen less and less. It doesn't mean I don't ever get sick, everyone gets a little sick at times whether it's the flu, or just a bit of a scratchy throat.  Again, I like the concept of "batting average", where we improve our ratio of well times vs. sick times, much like a baseball player wants to improve his ratio of how many hits he/she gets to how many times they make an out.

Start a trend today, right now, to move in a wellness direction consistently.  Don't get down if you do fall ill, you may have decades of habits that have created an unhealthy base in your life, and everyone gets sick somewhat at some point.  It takes time, but in the long run it's worth it!

Until next time...Be Well!!

Dr. Bruce

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