Victory for the Vulnerable
Every year the World Health Organization designates one specific day to highlight the health and well being of Earth’s citizens. The theme of this year’s designated health day, which falls on April 7th is simple: giving people access to healthcare without the prospect of financial hardship. Beyond any political considerations, it would be hard to argue with this noble goal. Good health and vibrant wellness should be the birthright of all human beings. Created in the image of God, humans were designed to be infinitely creative—to adapt, improvise, and overcome the stresses of life.
Now you may be thinking that it’s ironic to try to commemorate world health when currently all the countries and continents of the world (besides Antarctica) are busy trying to “flatten the curve” of new cases of the COVID 19 viral epidemic. But really, there is no better time to highlight the pillars of health than now. More than ever before, we need the truth about wellness, and we need simple solutions to get there. It shouldn’t cost a fortune to be well.
Where do we start? In the maelstrom of misinformation and the whirlwind of worry about Pandemics, eating saturated fat, going in the sun without sunscreen, whether or not to use hand sanitizer or whether or not to isolate or connect, the side effects of pharmaceutical meds, not being able to get our blood sugar or our blood pressure under control, the ever-present threat of cancer, and the hundreds of other concerns that we are bombarded with every day—how do we manage all this information and sort through it for the real and the true? Once we find that true path, how do we navigate it amid our busy and stressful lives? And how do we not go bankrupt trying to regain the health we once had? And how can impoverished countries hope for their citizens to be well?
I’m here to tell you there is hope! Living in a first world country doesn’t necessarily mean that we will be healthy. Nor does living without everyday luxuries mean that one will get sick. The question that is missing from most of the conversations about this virus—the question to which my mind keeps returning is this: Why are some people getting sick and others are not? If viruses like COVID-19 made everyone sick, wouldn’t we all be sick or dead? Those who succumb to this virus are less resilient overall. Perhaps they smoke (ingesting toxins daily), or perhaps they have other respiratory conditions. Perhaps they are advanced in age, but we are seeing more and more young adults between 29 and 54 dying from the complications that can arise from exposure. The question for me then becomes, “What must we do to become more resilient in the face of stress?”
You see, stress is more than just emotional drama or work deadlines or financial lack. It’s the result of the toxins in the food we eat, the heavy metals in the water we drink, and the pollution in the air we breathe. It’s the abundance of carcinogens and toxic chemicals in the personal care and beauty products we use daily. It’s the financial and spiritual toll that comes from owning too much and giving too little. It’s the fact that we sit all day and don’t move like our bodies were meant to move. It’s the negative thoughts we dwell on that cause a low-level thrum of generalized anxiety in our brains. It’s the busyness and lack of sleep that we have come to equate with success. It’s the abundance of EMFs that bombard our bodies, multiplying viruses and diminishing immune function. And it’s the traumas that we experienced as children that locked the Limbic System (emotional centers) of our brains into the stress response. It’s our inability or refusal to address the stress that is the great equalizer.
Anyone can adopt the basic pillars of health. They are simple, but not always easy. Sometimes we must ignore the mainstream information and do what seems counter intuitive. This can be uncomfortable until we get used to it. For instance, we have always heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but scientific studies show that intermittent fasting (limiting the number of hours in which we consume food) improves insulin sensitivity, blood pressure, and oxidative stress in those with prediabetes. Fasting is free!
Breathing is free as well, and controlled breathing is a simple way to lower stress in the body. The 4-7-8 breathing technique also known as “relaxing breath” is specifically useful when trying to overcome anxiety. By inhaling for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds, you can reduce anxiety, get to sleep faster, manage cravings, and control or reduce anger responses.
Movement doesn’t have to be done at a fancy gym. Any regular movement of the large joints in the body (hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, etc.) sends chemical messengers to the brain that stop stress in its tracks! Regular, specific, spinal adjustments are simple, but important! According to Dr. Roger Sperry’s research, 90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.
We need to drink more. Although some countries don’t have reliable access to affordable, clean water, most countries do. And still 75% of us are chronically dehydrated! This chronic net fluid loss that comes from eating a diet high in sodium and drinking caffeinated beverages and alcohol causes fatigue, brain fog, irritability, kidney stones and weight gain. The body is stressed when it is dehydrated, and if you feel thirst, you are already dehydrated.
And we need to sleep more—or at least sleep better. Most everyone you talk to will say they either have trouble getting to sleep or trouble staying asleep. Deep REM sleep (rapid eye movement) is the only time during your day that stress hormones are metabolized. Since sleep deprivation and sleep disorders are associated with HPA axis dysfunction, it makes sense that as you get your body and mind less stressed, you will sleep better. Conversely, if you sleep better, your body and mind will be less stressed! Last year, Americans spent an estimated 41 billion (!) dollars on sleeping aids and remedies. Sleeping should be free, but with the prevalence of EMFs from 5G connectivity and the increase in stressors of all kinds, what should be free and easy eludes us.
Another paradox involves happiness and stress. Most of us think that if we had less stress in our lives that we would be happier, but happiness is by choice not by chance. If we choose to have an “attitude of gratitude,” we will not only increase our happiness, but reduce our overall stress levels. Studies show that positive emotions broaden our momentary thought-action repertoire, which then builds our physical, intellectual, and social resources. One way to build not only happiness, but also resilience is to be generous. It is a conscious choice to look around and take in the beauty that surrounds us instead of seeing the ugly. It’s a choice to remember the good and let go of the bad. It’s a conscious decision to find things for which to be grateful every day. It’s difficult; but it’s worth it. Both the New York Times and Forbes magazine recently documented this brain phenomenon. In their timely articles, they showed that gratitude stimulates the hypothalamus—the part of the brain that regulates the stress response—as well as the ventral tegmental area of the brain that oversees pleasure and reward. This practice of gratitude improves both physical and mental health. Practicing gratitude every day is one of the best ways to increase resiliency to stress because it provides counterbalance to all the negativity and cynicism that surrounds us.
The 3 As of Resilience
If we were to put all the pillars of health into a nutshell, it would look like this: The 3 As of Resilience. These “3 As” are Attitude, Adjustment, and Adaptogens. By adopting attitudes of hope, faith, love, joy, gratitude, and generosity, we raise our core vibrational energy. This elevation of energy not only makes us feel better and gives us more pep in our step, but it naturally repels sickness and diseases that vibrate at a much lower energy. Two different energetic patterns cannot exist in the same place, so when we adopt these positive attitudes, we give no place for sickness and disease. We increase our native resilience. Adjusting our attitudes and adjusting our food choices are both complemented by getting regular, specific, spinal adjustments to free the Dura from stress. When our brains are “turned on” we are able to see life more clearly and make better choices every day.
Supplementing with adaptogens like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, and Cordyceps can definitely help build your resilience—even in the face of overwhelming stress. Your body is subjected to a thousand insults a day, but it only has one real go-to move: inflammation. By making the body part (cell, organ, or system) hot, red, and inflamed, leukocytes kill stuff off before it kills us. When inflammation is chronic (through infection or insult), cortisol and other stress hormones stay elevated in the body. This confuses the immune system and makes it less efficient. So, the trick is to not only build up your immune system, but also to address the stress in your life that makes your body toxic and deficient. Get rid of the “bad,” and shore up the “good.” That is the secret to a healthy, strong immune system, and that is the secret to resilience!
Several scientific studies show the power of Ashwagandha in enhancing immune function by increasing immunoglobulin production in the body, and by regulating antibody production by augmenting both Th1 and Th2 cytokine production. The Tibetan medicine Rhodiola regulates T cells and increases immune function in the spleen. It helps your body do what it was intended to do—fight off infection! Cordyceps is also a powerful, adaptogenic herb that effectively improves immune function through protection against oxidative stress in the body.
All this adds up to a super-boosted immune system for those who take these powerful, ancient herbs. When we created this product, we had YOU in mind! Whatever challenges you are facing today; whatever heartache or disappointment; whatever stressors and causes for concern, you will benefit greatly from the power of these herbs. If we spent as much time, energy, money, and concern building a body resilient to stress as we do worrying about avoiding germs, we would be better off. By lowering stress hormones and building innate resiliency, healthy attitudes, regular adjustments, and adaptogenic herbs can change the health of the world one body at a time. That’s a message we can all get behind on this World Health Day.