Why Do We Get Sick?
When it comes to human health, one of the most predominant questions many people want to know is why we get sick. Understanding of the answer to this question can help keep us healthy and happy when we apply the solutions to the rationale in our lives.
Holistic Nutrition is the practice viewing the human body as a whole. As many of us are now aware, everything is connected! For example, you mouth is not separate from your heart. Sure, they exist in different locations of the body, but they both are a part of the body as a whole. This is why severe gum disease, for example, can induce a heart attack or a stroke. Gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) means the gums are infected. They are typically swollen, red, and bleed easily. This process happens from many strains of bacteria living under the gums. Bleeding gums allow the bacteria to travel throughout the entire body through the circulatory system. This process only takes ONE heartbeat to happen. The bacteria travel from your mouth, through your heart, all the way down to your toes, up to your brain and back again. With each heart-beat, the bacteria travel around and around and around. Everything is connected.
Applying the principal that everything is connected, let’s holistically look at the reasons why we get sick. There are four fundamental reasons. Each of these considerations impairs the immune system to adequately respond due to the lack of sufficient energy available in the body. Having a strong immune system is key to staying healthy. The four considerations are:
- Acidic Blood and Tissue
- Biochemical Misalignments
- Scar Tissue
- Emotional Charge
Different parts of the body are designed with different acidity levels. We call this pH. While some cells require high levels of acidity to work properly, others require the opposite. The opposite of acidity is called alkalinity. The blood and tissue require an alkaline pH for optimal function. Because pH levels are influenced by dietary choices, addressing nutritional deficiencies can help restore those imbalances.
Biochemical misalignments, such as slouching, can deprive the body of optimal oxygen inhalation. This is due to the restricted expansion and contraction of the diaphragm. Oxygen is the single most important nutrient we, as humans, need. Without oxygen, death occurs in only a few minutes. Compromised oxygen availability can contribute to a compromised immune system thereby leaving us susceptible to illness.
The human body has the amazing ability to heal, repair, and rejuvenate itself. When the skin is torn or cut, it can heal on its own. There are two ways the body heals wounds:
- Primary Intention
- Secondary Intention
Primary intention healing is when the wound edges are sharp, allowing the tissue to come back into its original position to heal. Imagine the blade of a surgeon’s knife cutting tissue. The tissue lines up perfectly and heals in that manner. These scars are often very thin in appearance.
When the wound edges do not line up perfectly, the body must create additional tissue to “fill in the gaps”. Imagine having a piece of paper that you tear in half but then rip a little extra piece off one half. When you put the two sheets of paper back together, there will be a gap where you tore off the additional piece. That area would need a secondary healing intention if it were skin. This type of tissue is often very thick and is called scar tissue. It restricts the flow of blood and immune cells through the body which can leave us vulnerable to sickness.
Most of us have heard by now that stress can take years off our lives and that it can keep us in a perpetual state of unhappiness. When we are unhappy, we carry around a negative emotional charge. Have you ever encountered someone and could immediately feel the person’s unhappiness? What you were feeling was that person’s negative emotional charge. That negative energy downgrades and lowers the immune system’s ability to work optimally. A compromised immune system leads to illness.
So what can we do? There are many things that we can do so let’s specifically address the four considerations for healing.
About 60%-70% of the immune system is located in the intestines (guts). Keeping the digestive tract clean and healthy is one recommended way to boost immunity. This can be achieved with probiotics, eating clean organic plant-based foods, and by cleaning out the colon with a process called hydrocolon therapy or a colonic treatment. These services can typically be found through the services of Naturopathic Doctors or Hydrocolon Therapists.
Body work such as chiropractic and massage therapy can help improve or correct body posture and biochemical misalignements. Being aware of your body’s posture along with daily proper body alignment can improve oxygen flow throughout the body. This will allow the diaphragm to adequately expand and contract thus allowing abundance of oxygen to circulate properly through the body.
Scar Tissue, formed from secondary intention healing, can be softened with internal and external applications of vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant which helps stimulates collagen production and softens the hardened tissue. Coconut oil, almonds, spinach, avocado, sunflower seeds, broccoli, and olive oil are examples of foods that contain significant amounts of vitamin E.
There are many ways to re-channel stress to help boost our immune systems performance. Physical exercise is at the top of the list. This doesn’t mean grueling workouts for hours on end at the gym. This can be a brisk thirty-minute walk around the neighborhood or cleaning up the house. Anything that physically allows you to transform that energy into something productive will work.
Another great way to alleviate emotional charge is meditation. This is the art of silencing the mind from the incessant mental chatter; that voice in the head that never seems to stop talking. The truth, however, is that all of the incessant mental noise is unhealthy. It prevents us from being in the present moment of life and that can be problematic because the present moment is the only thing that ever exists. When we do not live in the present moment we miss out on life. That life only happens in the now. Learning to silence the mind will improve mood, sleep, stress, anxiety, and depression. This will boost the immune system and help keep us healthy and mentally happy.
In order to get sick, we must be susceptible to the germs we come in contact with. Susceptibility comes from a weakened immune system because the body does not have the energy to fight off unwanted invaders. Imagine running a marathon and seeing the finish-line but collapsing before you get there because you physically can not go any further. The body is responsible for every aspect of keeping us alive; it runs a marathon every day. When we are deficient in nutrients, the body doesn’t always have the extra energy needed to easily get us over the sick- line. A nutrient dense diet provides that additional energy needed to keep our immune system strong enough to get us across the finish-line.