I love asking people if they think they are healthy. Nearly everyone says yes! Which is funny because the statistics show the exact opposite. But I always follow up with another question, how do you know? Whether their answer is healthy or sick, “how do you know”? You see most of us are basing our health off of misguided markers. Some base their health on what the doctor says. We do annual screenings with the MD and they send you off with a clean bill of health. The problem is that medical tests are not preventative, they are reactive meaning they can only detect when disease has already arrived. Is it possible to be building heart disease, cancer, or diabetes and it not show up on a test yet?? Of course! In fact heart disease builds in the body for 10-20 years before it’s even detectable. On average cancer is discovered at stage 3, years into the making! Testing alone cannot tell us if we are healthy.
There’s another group of people who base their health on how they feel. Now don’t get me wrong, if you feel bad you can assume you’re not doing well. But again at what point do you FEEL heart disease? It’s called the silent killer for a reason! Over 70% of people find out that they have heart disease because they have a heart attack. Now, how do you feel the day before you have a heart attack? You feel fine! Looking back, would you say that you were healthy the day, the week, the month, even the year before your heart attack? No way! Everyone can be building heart disease, cancer, diabetes, thinking they are healthy, if they are waiting until they feel bad.
To truly know if you’re healthy you must know the definition of health. Webster’s dictionary tells us that “Health equals 100% function in the body”. I think that’s so cool because it’s inferring that we are DESIGNED TO BE HEALTHY and that our bodies heal, regenerate, and repair themselves in order to maintain that normal state of health. So when your body is functioning at 100% there is no pain, no sickness, no disease but there is life, and energy, and health!
The question then becomes, what can I do to improve my body’s ability to function properly?? Welcome to the 5 Essentials of Health. We call them Essentials for a reason. Your body requires them to function properly and heal! Without them you are slowly slipping into dysfunction, disease, and ultimately early death. So what are they?
Nutrition: How well do you think your body functions off of fast food and soda? Do you think pizza enables your body to heal? Do you think your late night ice cream builds health or disease? The foods you put into your body matter more than you can imagine. Your diet is either the CAUSE or the CURE for disease. For me food is black and white. Is this food life-GIVING or life TAKING? Always choose life-giving foods!
Exercise: It comes as no surprise to anyone that exercise is important. But do you see it as ESSENTIAL? Motion is life. The more you move the more alive you are and the better your body functions and heals. Exercise should not just be about losing weight, it’s about restoring balance, energizing and oxygenating cells, increasing metabolism, and improving function and healing!
Minimize Toxins: Man-made chemicals destroy proper function in the body. Every chemical that comes in is toxic to the body so your body has to work overtime to get the chemicals out and repair the damage they cause. If your body is constantly working to remove and repair, you cannot be building health. Toxins also disrupt the perfect hormone balance in your body. What do hormones do? Everything! From weight loss, to appetite and energy levels your hormones are responsible. Remove the chemicals, let your hormones rebalance, and let your body heal!
Mindset: When talking about mindset and proper function in the body we need to start with stress. The way your body works you are in 1 of 2 states. You are either in “rest, digest, and heal” or “fight or flight”. In Rest, Digest & Heal your body is at ease. This is where we are designed to be for 99% of our lives. In this state your body repairs from any and all damage. You can properly break down foods. Your immune system is kicking butt. But when stress comes in our state shifts to Fight or Flight. Your body turns off all “non-essential” processes in order to escape danger. Your digestive, immune, and reproductive systems shut down. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Breathing rate goes up. Blood flows away from the brain and organs and gets pumped into the muscles. All of this is a very good thing if the stressor you are dealing with is a bear chasing you! But that’s not the case these days. Your stress is your bills, your relationships, your emails. So instead of living in Fight or Flight 1% of the time, we are there 99% of the time. Managing stress is ESSENTIAL to proper function and healing in the body.
Chiropractic: If our goal is to improve function in the body, it would be silly not to ask, “what controls all function in the body?” I’ll give you a hint, it sits between your ears. It’s your brain! Everyone knows that your brain and nervous system control everything in your body. For you to digest food, to move your arms, lungs to breathe, heart to pump blood, detox and repair, even to regulate your Fight or Flight response, your brain MUST tell that part of your body what to do! But what happens if it can’t? What if your brain can’t tell your heart to beat? Well you die. That’s a little extreme but what happens if your brain can’t tell your heart how to beat PROPERLY? If your brain can’t tell any part of your body what to do at 100% it cannot function at 100%. If health = function and your heart is not functioning properly it’s not healthy! It’s not healing, regenerating, repairing like it’s supposed to! The best example of this comes from heart transplants. Here we have this 60-year-old man with a bad heart. He gets a brand new 18-year-old heart transplanted in. You’d assume that with an 18-year-old heart he’d have another 60 years ahead of him! But on average heart transplants only last 5-7 years. Within 5 years a healthy heart is destroyed! Why? Because the cause was never corrected! The reason the man’s heart went bad in the first place was because his brain couldn’t tell it how to repair and heal! So the new heart will have the exact same issue! The brain MUST be able to tell the body how to function at 100% otherwise health cannot exist.
God knew that the brain and nervous system were so important that He designed protection. He designed your skull to protect the brain but then He designed the spine to surround and protect the spinal cord. He even put openings in the spine so that every nerve in your body can exit through the spine to go out to every corner of the body. That’s why we say that “life flows through your spine” because for your brain to tell your heart, lungs, gut, and immune system to function, the signals must flow through your spine! But your spine can shift out of place causing interference to the flow of life! Those misalignments are called SUBLUXATIONS. When subluxations occur nothing else matters. You can eat the best life giving foods, exercise and move all day, remove all chemicals and even take away all stress but if you have subluxations your brain cannot tell your body how to function. Dysfunction leads to disease and disease leads to early death. This is why chiropractic care is ESSENTIAL. Chiropractic seeks to find and correct any and all subluxations in your spine RESTORING function, HEALING disease and PROLONGING life!
Improving function is what the MaxLiving lifestyle is all about. It’s not just fighting disease or losing weight, it’s much more than that. It’s about maximizing your life! It’s about having abundance in all areas. Having an abundance of energy, an abundance of joy, an abundance of vitality. It’s about adding years to your life and life to your years! Live an abundant life – Live the MaxLiving life!
In Health and Faith,