Do you wake up in the morning stiff and in pain? Do you have trouble sleeping, thinking it is your mattress? Do you experience anxiety, depression, or even forgetfulness? Sore back, stiff joints, which are limiting your abilities and desires? Gaining weight and having trouble shedding a few pounds? Swollen legs and ankles? This is your body’s ‘Service Engine’ light that is coming on! Are you listening or ignoring it?
For the vast majority of us, these ‘symptoms’ are common place, happening to over 80% of us each and every day. However, these are the mild symptoms, and there are much worse things that take place as the progression continues in the deterioration of our health and body. The list goes much further and includes more advanced health conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular complaints, further deterioration of cognitive abilities, allergies, and cancer.
Despite these health complaints, we trudge forward, moving about in our lives. We may seek ‘solutions’ but more so they are quick fixes in the form of medications, which according to statistics, create little real long-term solutions for most patients. This leads to one medication being coupled with another, either to enhance effects, or counter side effects which have been created. Still, we push forward, dragging our feet, and accepting our perceived ‘fate’. This then leads to complaining to ourselves and to others, which creates a negative internal attitude, further fostering our ill-health.
A vicious cycle of events?? Yes, but there are important points that we are either ignoring, fail to realize, or just don’t truly accept, which can either make us or break us. If your vehicle’s engine light was on, wouldn’t you pay attention to it?? Or would you ignore it in hopes that it will just turn off or maybe that the problem is nothing major? What if you continue to ignore it and one day, your car won’t start?
First, yes, aging is a pain in the butt, but it is a fact of life, as we all age. Our cells age as well, and the damage present within them is past on from one cell generation to the next. This aging and cellular degeneration is all associated with chronic inflammatory changes in our body. No one is immune to this chemical process and it occurs with every breath we take or piece of food that we digest. Despite being a part of our lives, this process of inflammation can be controlled and managed. This process is what is creating the vast majority of your health complaints, from that sore back to your contention with a more serious health ailment. The connection has been shown in research for many years, and now is the time to seriously ponder the concept. Article on Aging.
Second, our food choices often dictate our health. This is a proven fact and one that any person that has properly changed their diet will testify to, as the right regimen can literally reverse any clinical ailment, or at least dramatically improve it. Sadly, most of us do not give our food choices the credit they deserve, or for others, they adopt a ‘diet’ prescribe by another or one that their friend is following, without any knowledge or understanding. Then, that diet fails you and up goes your hands in frustration. Article on Nutrition.
Third, your mindset influences EVERTHING! In reality, you are not your body. The body is a tool really, meant to serve and assist you in creating, discovering, and evolving. It is a vehicle that you are driving in this life, like a car that you take back and forth to work. If you don’t take care of your car, you may not be able to go to work, and could be fired! Same with your body, you likely have all sorts of plans for your life, things you want to do, see, and become, but if you don’t take care of that body, all bets are off. Article on the Mind
If you are experiencing a lack of health and vitality, whether if it is just restless and incomplete sleep, sore joints, or a more serious health ailment, YOUR BODY’S SERVICE ENGINE LIGHT IS ON! Are you listening or ignoring?
Seeing What is in Front of You
As a doctor, a veterinarian, I have come into contact with people on a daily basis for over 25 years. While I mainly focus on health ailments in the pets and horses, their issues are often reflective of the owner and self-created on a certain level. The connection is real and quite evident if one pays attention. During the course of treatment of these animals, it is inevitable that the owner, the human in the equation, will note something regarding their own health. They may have similar complaints as the pet, or they may see how the pet has responded to treatment, and thus question if the same could not be done for their own health complaint.
During my personal cancer recovery, I got to see both sides of the equation, being a patient and a doctor. A few things became obvious to me, as my body struggled to recover.
- The traditional approaches with medicine and surgery, which I would have applied myself as a doctor, and were applied to me as a patient, are palliative at best, offering no real solution to what ailed my body.
- The precise cause of my medical condition, my health ailment, was of my own creation, via choices that I had made consciously or unconsciously.
Now, for me, as a doctor, disease and sickness is real and exists, but only to the level to which we allow it to exist. Being a doctor, as with all doctors, I depended upon patients being sick, as it kept the “door swinging and the cash register singing“, as they say. Rude to say that? Yes, but it is the truth. Illness is a billion dollar industry, cancer is a billion dollar industry. There is not much money to be made when a person, or animal, is healthy and well. That’s truth.
Every ache, every health complaint that you can fathom is a ‘service engine light’, so to speak. It is your body, my body, telling us something is not right and it is sending a signal to the brain, your mind, which registers. This signal may register as pain, bloating, water retention, poor stamina, itchy skin, digestive upset, fading memory, or ongoing sleepless nights. It is an early warning sign, and if you ignore it, the problem will fester and soon, you have a more serious situation on your hand, or for most, before they know it, they have a laundry list of medications each day. Are you listening??
I say all of this because I see it every day whether if that is in person with another, in a phone call, or maybe even an email. I see it when I go to the grocery store, observing people, what they buy and how they are even walking. It is concerning to me, as for most, this is just a problem they feel they must contend with on a daily basis, but it isn’t! You do have a choice, and whether if you realize this or not, you are making a choice one way or the other.
As a veterinarian, it was not uncommon to have an owner come in with their pet, complaining of lack of appetite or maybe a growth on the body. Upon further observation, it was obvious that this problem did not just pop up overnight, although most owners swore that it did. Then, upon further inquiry, there were prior warning signs that were snowballing for the past 6-12 months, which were in and of themselves minor compared to the current events. The situation now is way more serious, outcome is more guarded, as the body is more damaged. It would have been much easier and effective to deal with the problems earlier in the course, but they were ignored.
This same concept revolves us as humans, as people, and our health complaints. Most physicians that you seek are providing palliative care, truth and honest. The reason for this is that most of our ailments are due to chronic inflammation and chronic disease, aging really and abuse, to which there is no cure, only symptomatic remedies. Many of our doctors are contending with the same ailments, as they are human as well, and despite being doctors, their choice of solutions is often misdirected. They may see the value to proper food choices, exercise, and mental attitudes, but conveying them to their patients not only takes time, but the concepts are often not well received. This is due to our desire for the ‘immediate fix’, the pill, the injection, or the surgery. Thus, we continue to get worse in our own health, not better.
Awakening and Awareness; You are in Control!
I remember many years ago, reading a research paper out of a major medical institution, that stated the fact that somewhere around 80-90% of all cancer patients had some major life event in the decade prior to their diagnosis. I don’t recall the details or the author of that paper, but it struck me at the time, as it was proof for what Chinese medicine touted, and that was that emotions were closely linked to all disease. In Chinese medicine, emotions out of balance lead to energy stagnation in the body, Qi stagnation, which then contributes to disease and ill-health. To go one step further, in Chinese medicine, this energy stagnation then impacted digestion, which further aggravated health. What was taught for centuries to exist was now being recognized in medical research. We are now making the connection between our mindset and digestion, and the association with disease.
Pretty neat to see, but in all honesty, that ‘truth’ existed for centuries, but for most they ignore it until science proves it exists. Well, now we have the research and the proof, but yet, still most ignore either by their own choice or because their healthcare provider hasn’t put importance upon it.
We live in a self-important society, and people give us what we are seeking and demanding. You desire a computer to be held in your hand, they give you the cellular smart phone at the tune of $1000 or more. You desire a quick fix for your health ailment? We will give you all sorts of medications, at the tune of thousands per month, which likely won’t help much and stand a good chance of creating more harm than good. You desire snacks and sweets? We will flood your grocery stores with those items, often making you think they are healthy, and in the background, creating an addiction. But, that is what you asked for, right?
If you are experiencing health issues, even just a lack of energy each day to do the things you desire, I encourage you to take a step back and really analyze your situation. Look closely at what you eat each day and the thoughts that go through your mind. Look at your daily schedule? How does it look? Booked solid from 6 am -9 pm? Barely any time for a lunch? Squeaking through the day by drinking heavily caffeinated drinks, energy drinks, or otherwise, loaded with all sorts of ‘junk’ that your body absolutely does not want or desire? Are you taking medications for blood pressure, anxiety, depression or otherwise? If this is you, it’s time to take a break and really contemplate. The problems are self-evident, and understanding can be gained from another, but the solutions lie only within you. No one can give you the solution, the remedy, or the cure. Only you can do that.
If you take a moment to breathe and focus, you will often note even a temporary period of relief from what ever is ailing or concerning you. This is due to your regaining control, even for that short period of time. The good news is that this state of self-control is even greater than you believe or can fathom. You have within you the ability to do all things, this I firmly believe.
The body is under the direct influence of your mind. A poor mindset will manifest in the body. Negative stress is a poor mindset. Being constantly busy and not paying attention is a negative mindset and both will impact your body. This lack of awareness, not paying attention, leads to other negative choices such as poor eating habits, not exercising, or even taking time out for ‘you’ and just going for a walk while the phone is off and you are listening to soothing music.
Through proper choices, a proper mindset, I believe the body can be restored to its original state of balance and health. When the body is well, the mind is well, but it works both ways. Is it just coincidence that a person in pain or discomfort is often depressed? Did the depression come due to the pain and discomfort, or was it always there, creating the second?
Most people that I interact with will recognize and resonate with this information, but despite acknowledging the connection, they fail to implement. The reason for most is inconvenience, feeling that they don’t have the time to pay attention to themselves on a higher level, don’t have the resources or the knowledge. Well, the fact is that you do have the resources and the knowledge. We are all the same, coming into this world with the same capabilities. I’ve been witness to some incredible recoveries both in people and animals, that far exceeds expectations and prognoses. If one can do it, all of us can do it. You just have to learn to look at the dashboard and see that ‘service engine light’. It’s blinking for most us, especially as we grow older, but it’s never too late to seek the mechanic and advice!
Author: Tom Schell, D.V.M, CVCH, CHN