Welcome to another new year – a blank slate full of possibility and opportunity!!
I’m so glad you chose to meet me here today. With the first article of 2018, I want to set the tone for the rest of the year. To do that, I’m going back to the fundamentals.
Many years ago, I launched my practice in Southwest Florida and called it Fundamental Health Solutions. The name was significant because my foundational philosophy of healthcare is that the best way to achieve optimal health is to align our lives with the way our bodies were designed to function.
How Did We Make It This Far?
Somehow, humans survived on this planet for nearly six thousand years without:
- air conditioning
- complex gym equipment
- cell phones
- pharmaceutical drugs
- fast food
Call me a cynic, but it seems that the more advanced we become as a civilization, the more problems we have.
For instance, there’s no record of cancer prior to the industrial revolution. The concept of side effects doesn’t appear in the medical literature until people realized they could make money treating patients with petroleum-based chemicals. The incidence of obesity and cardiovascular disease forms a flat line on a historical timeline until about 1960, then it spikes.
I think we spent the twentieth century creating bigger problems by trying to solve small problems the wrong way. I also think that we are seeing the pendulum swing back the other way as more and more people are waking up to these issues.
Ancient Wisdom Makes A Comeback
Greek scientist Hippocrates is widely considered the father of healthcare. To this day, most physicians accept their call to medical practice by reciting the Hippocratic Oath (“First, do no harm”). I think they should consider some of of his other statements:
- “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
- “The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well.”
- “Walking is man’s best medicine.”
- “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”
Why am I saying all this?
Because I believe we’ve gotten away from health and wellness as a society because we have forgotten where we came from. In an effort to maximize our productivity and our comfort, we have alienated ourselves from our creature design.
How We Sacrifice Health For Comfort And Convenience
We pump air through metal tubes that fill with stagnant water and breed bacteria in an effort to keep our homes cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We keep our windows and doors shut tight to keep out the elements, but in doing, create areas where mold and mildew can grow unabated. To fight mold, we spray toxic amounts of chlorine into our enclosed air spaces.
We pay others to produce meals for us. In order to maximize profits, many of these businesses produce recipes that are fluffed up with carbohydrates that stimulate parts of our brain in enjoyable ways (but do nothing to nourish our bodies), low-cost chemical fillers, and addictive flavorings. Our bodies continue craving essential nutrients, like protein, healthy fats, ascorbic acid, and water, but we substitute sugar and salt. Some of these places serve items that are not even food.
In a dubious effort to prevent world-wide famine, chemists developed ways to genetically modify vegetables so that they had pesticides built into their DNA. Greater yields, less waste. The problem is, nobody studied what happens to the modified food cells once they enter human digestive systems. Today, we have a massive spike in food allergies that can be linked directly to the use of pesticides and genetic modification. I’m probably going to get slapped by the censors at some of the social media platforms again for saying that, but the research is clear and quickly becoming public. We are being used as lab rats.
Our entertainment is pumped into our homes through electronic devices, requiring nothing of us but to sit motionless for hours on end. Most of these devices transmit their content over electromagnetic waves whose effect on our bodies has never been seriously tested. If you turn on your iPhone in my house, the wifi sensor will detect as many as a dozen different wifi signals coursing through my walls at any given time. Remember the 1990’s, with all the class action lawsuits against tobacco companies for hiding the research that cigarette smoke caused cancer? That’s what the 2020s will be like, but wireless carriers will be the defendants this time.
Many of us earn a living sitting at a desk for up to 8 hours a day, handling paper, typing e-mails, and participating in meaningless meetings. Those who recognize their need for physical activity sit in an automobile that takes them to a facility full of machines that simulate exercise.
But What About Improving Lifespans?
I know how easy it is to argue that lifespans have gone up. The median age has gone from 40 to about 70 in the last century. There are large parts of the world where the life expectancy is over 100. But when you look closely at it, you find that those areas where longevity is high, the lifestyle is very different from what we see in America. That was the finding of the Blue Zones research project.
On the other hand, in those cases where people in America are living into their 80s and 90s, too many are suffering from immobilizing dementia, crippling arthritis, and a never-ending litany of chronic illnesses. That is not longevity.
We may be living longer, but what is the quality of those extra years? Linked permanently to a breathing system, a colostomy bag, insulin shots, and as many as 20 different prescription drugs per day…is that living?
We Are Not Arriving Where We Should
I believe we should all live to be over 100 years old, and we should enjoy every minute of it in vibrant health and vitality. That is not the model the American healthcare industry promotes. I hesitate to call much of it health care. It’s really disease management. Rather than deal with root causes, they use chemicals to provide relief from the symptoms of those root causes. There is a trillion-dollar industry that has grown around the concept of keeping patients dependent on chemicals to maintain some semblance of functionality instead of truly leading them to wellness. I believe the measure of a doctor is how many of his patients he can get free from needing medicine.
In all fairness, some of my best friends and favorite colleagues work tirelessly in the medical profession, producing results for their patients from inside their wheelhouse of training. Some have made significant breakthroughs in guiding patients to wellness. I lament that they are the exception, not the rule.
A Better Way To Live Longer and Stronger
I paint this bleak view of the present at the beginning of the year to set the stage for a better way.
Our bodies were designed intentionally with the systems in place to heal themselves and foster wellness for up to 120 years, using only the resources that were available to us when we first walked the earth. Since there is no record of CVS or Walgreens in the ancient writings of the Middle East or Asia, we can rule that out.
What did they have?
- Starbucks (who put that in there?).
- They walked on their bare feet (or thin sandals).
- Many carried heavy loads on their backs.
- Some chased game and hunted.
- Everyone breathed in clean, fresh air every day.
- They exposed their skin to the nutrient-rich sunlight.
- People had almost no exposure to amplified electromagnetic frequencies (other than those produced by the sun).
While we enjoy modern conveniences, we need to look backward and see what we are still missing out on in our pursuit of comfort.
Back To Old Ways
I saw a breakdown of healthcare in history (probably a Facebook meme) that captured this something like this:
2000 BC: “Eat this root.”
1000 AD: “That root is evil! Say this prayer.”
1850 AD: “That prayer is superstition. Drink this potion.”
1935 AD: “That potion is snake oil! Take this pill.”
1975 AD: “That pill is ineffective. Take this antibiotic.”
2000 AD: “That antibiotic is poison. Eat this root.”
That pretty much sums it up. We’ve come back full circle to seeing our bodies connected to the planet and drawing our nourishment and healing from the resources the planet provides.
Fundamental Health In The Bible
Even as I wrote that, I heard someone calling it a bunch of “New Age mumbo-jumbo.” But speaking as a scientist who loves God’s Word, I’ve found that the more we understand about science, the more it draws us back to The Garden of Eden, and the more we understand about the original Hebrew text of the Bible, the more clearly we see naturopathic remedies and nutritional guidelines.
Did you ever notice that the food groups that were forbidden in Jewish Kosher tradition are foods that are high in parasites and toxins, like pork, camel, bugs, and shellfish? Did you ever notice that the Wise Men brought frankincense, which is an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral oil to Mary? Have you ever noticed the references to aloe, cinnamon, lavender, hyssop, cassia, olive, and myrrh? Do you think maybe they knew some things about the healing properties of plants that we have lost over time?
You better believe it.
Come Back For The Rest of the Story
Next week, I want to go a little deeper in our exploration of the healing properties of food. I’ve often said that I can align your nervous system precisely, but if you eat poorly my adjustment won’t benefit your health as much as it could.
I really hope you will join me for that. I believe you’re going to walk away with some information that will have a significant positive impact on your health, and could even extend your life.
It will also set up our next Fundamental Foods and Friends Dinner, January 11th at my office on Pine Ridge Road. I’m so pleased to introduce you to my friend, Francie Bussing of Plant-Based Radiance. Francie is an instructor in Wellness and Plant-Based Cooking through NCH, and when she shows you how to use your food as medicine, you will never go back to your old eating habits again. Please RSVP by January 10th to ensure enough seating. Each dinner gets more crowded than the one before it, and I want to make sure we have room for everyone who wants to attend.
“At the end of your FEELINGS is NOTHING. At the end of your PRINCIPLES is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas