Without your health you have…
We all know the age-old adage answer is “nothing”, and it seems these days that health is a pretty important topic. You only need to look at all the media hype. Magazines, TV, and the Internet all show advertisements galore for the newest diet regimen, the newest fitness routine, or a new magic pill will change your life forever. However, are these really the answers to making us healthy? I know we all secretly want a magical genie to transform our lives, so we tend to focus on new things to try to change our health and improve our state of being. But, I also know that our culture is missing the ball in trying to find new things to do. After taking care of people for over 20 years, I’ve come to a life-changing conclusion:
It’s not what you do that makes the most important difference, it’s how you think because changed thinking changes everything.
There are four key areas that, if you can dial in your thought processes, will completely change your relationship with your health and the choices you make, and these choices will lead to different actions.
Answer the question: what is your most valuable asset?
We all put a lot of energy into our finances, cars, houses, and other material things. However, are those really what’s most important? If you lost your car, if you lost your home, if you had to go to a different job, what would be the thing that you’d be grateful to still have? That’s right, your health. Our health should come first; it’s our most valuable asset and we need to take care of our own health and wellbeing first. Notice I said our own health, not someone else’s health. You hear it on every plane flight you take: put on your own mask first before helping others. Of course we care about our spouses, children, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. However, if we’re not healthy enough to be there for them, then we can’t be of service to them, and we also can’t enjoy our time with them. We need to take care of our own health first so that we can best enjoy time with our loved ones.
That brings us to the next question: what is health?
It is a very important question. If good health is our most valuable asset, what actually is health? If you watch any amount of television, or if you ask the average American, they will tend to say health is how we feel or how we look. This is a significant myth. Of the most serious health conditions like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, an extremely high percentage of diagnoses happen when a person has not experienced any prior symptoms but instead has had a health crisis. Cardiovascular disease is most often first discovered when a person has a heart attack that they would be considered fortunate to survive. This is why there’s such a big call to action for prevention and early detection. Taking care of your health means not waiting until you have an epic health crisis to decide to take action. Good health is not just about how you feel and it is certainly not just about how you look. For example, both Patrick Swayze and Farrah Fawcett had the best trainers, the best fitness advice, the best exercise, the best chefs and meal plans, and the money for all kinds of very expensive health regimens. They looked great and seemed to have it all so we were all surprised to learn that they both had significant health conditions that ended their lives too young.
This has happened to many of us: getting a call from a family member or friend who has looked good and seemed healthy only to be surprised by a catastrophic diagnosis. In my case, it was my grandmother whom I’d just seen a few months before. I remember seeing my grandmother at Christmas, and when I got a call in March, she had been diagnosed with cancer. The first thing I said was: “How can this be? She looked great when I saw her three months ago.” The doctors told me that the type of cancer she had took about 16 years to even get to a detectable stage, which means that she had been suffering from cancer for all those years, during all the times we had spent together. Something had been changing in her body and nobody knew it. Do you see how health is not in how you feel or how you look? Like in the case of my grandmother, good health is in how your body functions. You have to be functioning appropriately on the inside to maintain your health.
The World Health Organization defines health like this: “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Which brings us to the next question: if health is your most valuable asset, and health is determined by how you function, what controls how you function?
If you look at any anatomy text, it will tell you the brain and central nervous system controls and coordinates all of the function of your body. Most of us only think about our nervous system when we are in pain. However, only 7% to 10% of your nervous system is sensory; 90% comprises our autonomic and motor system. The weight of a dime can alter a nerve signal by 60%, and the majority of the time, people do not feel it. This miscommunication leads to incoordination, and these NeuroSpinal dysfunctions lead to weak or altered signals to cells, organs, tissues, or regions of the body. Altered or reduced nerve signals weaken areas of the body over time. The incoordination that stems from NeuroSpinal dysfunctions, know as dis-ease, is the root cause of many health concerns because altered function of the nervous system affects the rest of the body’s functionality. It’s vital to keep the nerve system at optimal, adaptable, and flexible performance to support the body’s in-born capacity to coordinate, self-heal, function, and perform.
Ask yourself this final question: If you were overpaying a bill or having too much money taken out of your paycheck, when would you want to know?
Today, right? Or, how about this question: If you were going on a road trip with low tread on your tires or a crack in your transmission, when would you want to know? Of course, right away. So, if you had something malfunction in your body that would cause a condition, problem, or trauma, 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years down the line, when should you want to know about it? Now!
Changing this area of thought is probably the most important thing you can do. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to health. People sometimes think ‘Hey, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ or ‘I already know I’m messed up, so I don’t want to do anything about it’ or ‘I wouldn’t want to know’. Remember, your health is your most valuable asset. Take care of your most valuable asset by making sure it can function properly to maintain good health.
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