This is the final episode covering the three steps of the Optimal Health Model. In Episode 35 I discussed maximizing what is needed for our bodies to thrive. Then in Episode 41, I discussed minimizing the things that are harmful to our bodies.
Today I will be discussing how to prioritize the things that create an environment for healing.
Science today has shown that every organ in the human body has the ability to heal itself given the right environment – even organs we have been told could not, like spinal tissue, brain tissue, heart tissue, pancreatic tissue, and prostate tissue.
I’m really fascinated by the inner environment, and I think the easiest reason to explain why is with a quote from Buddha: “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”
This inner environment needs to be Prioritized. Many of us, including myself, really struggle to do these things consistently. Even if we know we must do it, we struggle to do it… and as a result, we often end up with chronic disease in the body.
So, let’s dig in and see what we need to Prioritize…
Are you getting enough sleep? Is your sleep quality sleep?
If you intend to live a long and healthy life, sleep needs to be a priority. Anyone struggling with chronic disease — which is at least half the adult population in the U.S. — would be wise to take heed, as sleep cannot only contribute to the problem but also counteract any healthy lifestyle strategies you’re using to address it.
As a general guideline, seek to get right around eight hours of sleep every night. Anything below seven hours really starts to impact your health (if you’re an adult). The good news is there are many ways to improve your sleep, including nutrients. (While I don’t recommend relying on sleep aids long term, certain supplements can help improve sleep and can be used while you’re implementing more permanent changes.)
Here are some quick tips to help you sleep:
Are you getting rest and relaxation? What are you doing for yourself?
Meditation, even a short 10-minute break to meditate, is incredibly beneficial. And my friend and former guest Chel Hamilton has a great one guided meditation podcast called Meditation Minis that can really help out with this.
Muse also makes a brain-sensing headband will elevate your meditation experience. Check it out at choosemuse.com.
Don’t forget to laugh! laugh at life, laugh hard – a good belly laugh is good for the soul!
Gratitude is essential for our wellbeing!!
Take a minute every day and write down in your journal what you are grateful for. Or start a gratitude jar, where you write down something that you are grateful for and drop in the jar every day. I have a journal/day planner, and every morning I write down 3 things I am grateful for, then I do it again in the evening. I also write down the lessons I learned for the day.
Move your body! You don’t have to go crazy – just start walking, get outside, enjoy the birds and nature; Park the car far from the door at the grocery store or an appointment and walk; Take the stairs, not the elevator.
A meaningful relationship is characterized as a relationship that is of personal significance; is healthy, caring, and long-lasting, and is one we couldn’t do without. It’s with a person who helps us grow, supports and encourages us, and is there for us when we need them.
Ah yes, the power of the Placebo effect!
“The placebo effect is more than positive thinking — believing a treatment or procedure will work. It’s about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together,” says Professor Ted Kaptchuk a Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The Placebo effect, the effect of the mind‐body connection by and large is modulated by hormones and by neurotransmitters. These are two very powerful sets of messengers in the body. Because we have receptors for various hormones and receptors for various neurotransmitters all throughout the body, these two systems end up directly affecting the other biochemical systems as well.
The attention and emotional support you give yourself is often not something you can easily measure, but it can help you feel more comfortable in the world and that can go a long way when it comes to healing.
As opposed to the Nocebo Effect, Placebo’s Dark Side – Negative thinking it is equally as powerful. Nocebo language can delay progress in managing chronic pain and possibly worsen our symptoms.
Because the conscious and unconscious mind has direct control over all bodily functions, it is vital that clinicians are always aware of how the words they use may affect the mind.
As I have said many times the body as a stupendously intelligent organism. As a flexible, ever evolving, and adapting genetic code, the body will heal itself with the appropriate changes (and then a commitment to those changes).
It’s not complicated. When we maximize the right things, minimize the right things, and prioritize the right things, the body is at ease – and we don’t have to experience DISease
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Disclaimer: The activities and research discussed in these podcasts are suggestions only and are only advised to be undertaken following prior consultation with a health or medical professional. Fitness training, nutrition, and other physical pursuits should be tailored to the individual based upon an assessment of their personal needs.