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Lifely Health — An Introduction
Revised 28 February 2020
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This post is intended to be an overview of our Lifely viewpoint about healthcare. It will probably be revised many times as we continue to explore the subject and apply it in our lives.
Like everything else in our lives, Larry and I are in the process of redefining health care according to lifely principles. This post is an overview of our current viewpoint on health care, which is continuing to evolve.
As I am writing this, my body is almost 65 years old. I’ve studied a lot about health and have survived several major health crises in my life, so I know a thing or two about the industrial medical system and the alternative health care system.
I’m not against modern medicine. Emergency procedures have saved my life and Larry’s. But it’s not about creating health. Disease is seen as a something to be attacked by drugs and surgery and costs are astronomical. With the healthcare system as it currently is, even if you have insurance that will pay for services, getting an appointment even with your primary care physician can be a challenge. If your doctor is not available, you have to go to urgent care where they don’t know you at all. And specialists are booked out a month in advance. I recently got a referral to acupuncture and it was a four month wait for group acupuncture and seven months for individual acupuncture treatments. This isn’t everyday health care.
Alternative health care is better, but still has its problems. While many integrated medicine practices have their roots in traditional practices based in nature, it’s not covered by insurance so it’s not an option for those who cannot pay the high costs. And it’s still about doing something—albeit natural—after the fact.
In ancient China, doctors were paid to keep their patients healthy, and not paid when they had to treat their patient for illness. I like that system better.
After many struggles with healthcare—both conventional and alternative—I’ve come to the conclusion that the best healthcare we can give ourselves is really good selfcare. I’m not just talking about the standard stress relief, eating good food, drinking enough water, getting enough rest and enough exercise and having social connections. No, I’m taking about each of us taking care of our bodies as our own primary care givers.
I think I’m the best person to take responsibility for the health of my own body. I care more about it than anyone else, I’m with it 12/7 so I can observe and monitor its condition, I can study whatever health practices I want to learn about and apply them to the best of my ability, and I’m available at a moment’s notice. While I still might use professionals, the more information I can give them the better, and we can work together as a team to bring my body to the best condition it can be.
Every time I’ve had a health crisis in my life, what got me through it was my own understanding of my condition (that went way beyond what doctors understood) and coming up with my own protocol for healing and doing it.
THE FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH
I want to tell you a story from my own experience.
About ten years ago I had a wonderful healthcare provider that was everything I could have asked for at the time. He was extremely knowledgeable in all kinds of alternative practices, focused on building health instead of treating disease, and really got to know me and my body. My body did improve in health under his care more than at any other time in my entire life.
But there was a point where it looked to me like we had failed. It was the summer of 2013. We had been working on getting my blood sugar down and suddenly everything we had been doing didn’t work any more and my blood sugar just shot up to a dangerous high. And he said, “This is an emergency. Go to your medical doctor and get insulin.” I followed “doctor’s orders” and did that. And I am still taking insulin seven years later. [That said, I also want to say that I am finally conquering diabetes. My blood sugar is finally in the normal range with insulin as a result of protocols I developed myself. Now the next step is to maintain the normal range without the insulin.]
Taking insulin just went against everything I believed in. I had and still have faith in natural health care.
What went wrong?
It took me many months to realize that it wasn’t natural health care that failed. I had failed.
We have an idea in our culture that we can live however we want to live and then “go to the doctor” and the doctor will fix it by giving us a pill. And though natural health practitioners use natural methods, in the mind of our culture it’s still the same model, only we get vitamins and herbs and homeopathic remedies instead of drugs. We still go to experts expecting them to tell us what to do—putting responsibility for our health into the hands of doctors and other healthcare practitioners instead of taking responsibility for our health ourselves (indeed, when I wanted to take more responsibility myself, instead of helping me do so, my perfect practitioner dismissed me as a client).
What I had failed to do was make sure I had in place the basic foundations of health. The problem with my healthcare wasn’t failure of the method or the healthcare provider, it was my own failure to take care of my own body at home, every day. It looked to me like I was taking care of my body, but in fact, I wasn’t doing so completely enough to get the result I wanted.
To me, the health care crisis we are experiencing in our country today isn’t about who can’t afford health insurance. It’s about each one of us creating our own health. Creating health is the best health insurance each one of us can have.
As I am now looking at things from the viewpoint of Life instead of industrialization, my idea of selfcare has changes dramatically. Since life is made up of spirit, mind, and body, so too should my selfcare include addressing all three aspects of my human life.
My viewpoint on spirit is that each one of us is a unique spiritual being, with all kinds of wonderful and powerful abilities [see Spirits Bright]. Chief among them is the ability to create and repair living organisms, including our own bodies.
So for me the first step is to use my own spiritual power to intend my body to be alive and healthy and have whatever it needs to have health. I have found that without intention, true healing doesn’t occur. I have experienced doing all kinds of physical treatments to no avail, yet when I intended for my body to improve, and held to that determination, it did.
I’m not talking about religion here. I’m talking about our inherent spiritual nature. It’s an integral part of our human nature and we should all learn to use our spirit abilities for our own good and the good of others. Including health.
Each of us has the inherent ability as spiritual beings to create our lives, including our health, exactly the way we want it to be. If we don’t create our health according to the ways of Life, what we get is default health that is the result of industrialization. We can do better than that.
There are many spiritual practices from the past that include care of the body by the spirit. I’ve been studying some of those and plan to study more. Before industrialization separated the human into a body that goes to a doctor, a mind that sees a psychiatrist, and a spirit that belongs to a religion, humans were seen as one spirit-mind-body unit that interacts with it’s surrounding environment for life, health, and healing. That would be a model of healthcare based in Life.
The mind is the connection between the intention of the spirit and the manifestation of the spiritual intent in the body.
In the best of circumstances, the spirit intent would flow right through the mind to the body. The problem is, the mind is filled with all kinds of doubts and fears, incorrect information, and wrong evaluations.
So the spirit might intend “body be healthy” but the mind jumps in and says “Oh, but your doctor says you have a disease and you need a drug.”
Part of being healthy is actually clearing the mind of any thoughts and emotions that interfere with our natural state of health as determined by spirit.
And then we get to the actual physical needs.
Just like any machine, the body has basic needs for fuel and oxygen and water and other raw materials, and it needs to perform certain functions.
But in our industrial culture we are not taught to know our bodies, we are taught to ignore our bodies and then go to a medical professional when something goes wrong.
As I am beginning my journey into living by the ways of Life, I’m learning that the spirit needs to take care of its body. The body itself is like an automobile. It exists but it won’t run unless there is a driver to turn the key and tell it what to do.
But what do we know about our bodies? Each one of us should know all our body systems, what they are supposed to do, what to do to keep them functioning well, how to tell when they are not functioning well, and what to do to repair them. We need to observe and monitor our bodies. They do have warning lights like our cars do…they are called “symptoms.”
I know this is an entire reorientation to our bodies, but if we don’t take care of our bodies, who will? We can have much better health than we have today.
Here are the basic selfcare things we all need to do on the level of body care.
Protect Your Body From Harm
The first thing to do is protect your body from harm.
This includes safety considerations like knowing how to handle a knife so you don’t cut your finger and looking both ways before you cross the street so you don’t get run over by a car.
It includes not being exposed to contagious diseases.
But most important is to protect your body from exposures to toxic chemicals.
Protection has two parts.
First, you need to eliminate toxic chemical exposures. If you don’t do this, you can go to the doctor all you want and take all the drugs or vitamins you want, but your body will never be well. Toxic chemicals are constantly attacking your body from every direction unless you do something to eliminate them. You need to learn where toxic exposures are and eliminate them from your life. There is a lot of information about doing this oil my book Toxic Free and at my former website www.debralynndadd.com.
The second part is to remove toxic chemicals from your body. If you are alive today, your body is a storehouse of toxic chemicals that are continuing to build up unless you are actively doing something to remove them. I’ll be writing more about detoxing your body on this blog.
But health requires more than the elimination of toxics. One of the mistakes I made was that I was so engaged with how toxics were affecting my health that I failed to look beyond toxics and see the other things I needed to be aware of and manage as well.
Stress plays a big part in health.
"Stress doesn't only make us feel awful emotionally," says Jay Winner, MD, author of Take the Stress Out of Your Life and director of the Stress Management Program for Sansum Clinic in Santa Barbara, Calif. "It can also exacerbate just about any health condition you can think of.”
I don’t like the term “stress management” because it implies that the stress is still there, you just can manage it better.
To me, reducing and eliminating stress is the best strategy. There are two parts to this.
First, take time to include things in your life like relaxing and fun activities, having caring relationships, doing things you enjoy doing, and having a spiritual practice.
Then learn how to solve problems. Identify things that are causing stress in your life and take action to handle the problems. If you don't have enough money, for example, and that is causing stress, figure out how to get more money and handle the problem.
Exercise is considered key to long-term stress management.
Move Your Body
Moving your body is vital to good health. Just find something you enjoy doing and do it.
I’ll admit this has been one of my downfalls all my life. I just don’t like to “exercise.” But part of it was my body was so out of shape that I couldn’t get through even five minutes of an aerobics class.
If you aren’t moving your body on a daily basis, just start moving it in whatever way you can. Wiggle your toes. Movement gets everything moving in your body. Your body can’t detox without movement. It’s essential.
I’ve found that it works best for me to incorporated movement in my daily life rather than taking time and spending money to go to a gym to aerobics class or swim in the pool. At one point I walked 45 minutes each way to and from work, and I loved every minute of it.
Larry and I also support each other in doing movement together. Yesterday we were carrying boxes from our storage unit to our tiny-house-in-progress. We also bought and learned to ride a tandem bike, which we love. We also often go for walks in our local redwood forest and in other parks around town. Combining movement with spending time together makes movement more enjoyable.
Nowadays I’m even moving lying in bed or riding in the car while Larry is driving and even while I’m sitting at my desk. I do little stretches that keep my body limber. Otherwise it stiffens up.
Do what you can do to move your body and you’ll need much less health care.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is so important to every function in your body.
Sleep is the time when you body “cleans up” after a day of activity and rejuvenates everything. Yet, National Geographic reported that only slightly more than one-third of all Americans get enough sleep (more than six hours).
Not sleeping well can be the result of so many things that I can’t even begin to list them here. But if this is a problem for you, do find out why and get it resolved so the healing benefits of sleep can contribute to your health.
Replenish Building Blocks Daily
And finally, you need to give your body the building blocks it needs to function and repair itself.
These are things that need to be replenished on a daily basis, like putting gas in a car. Without them, your body simply won’t run.
The first is food. Your body needs more than calories. It needs nutrition and life information and life force. But these are not found in industrialized processed foods. They are only obtained by eating real, whole, organic foods. Every day. This is so important that I am starting a whole blog about it at Wholefood Cuisine.
The other is water. I can’t say enough about the importance of water to health. Most people are so dehydrated that simply drinking enough water can relieve pain and make your body function better in every way.
You need to drink enough water, but you also need to drink clean water that is free from toxic pollutants. After many years of research, it’s my conclusion that every home needs it’s own water filter. Standard equipment, like every home has a refrigerator, every home needs a water filter. I recommend water purifiers from PureEffect Advanced Filtration. This is the best water filter I know of. I use it and have been recommending for more than five years.
And finally, we need to take every opportunity to harness the healing power of nature to our advantage.
Living as we do today, many of us are missing things like beneficial energy from the earth, oxygen from trees, vibrant living water, light from sunshine, and a full spectrum of nutrients and information from whole, organic, heirloom foods.
We are beings born of nature, and nature has much to offer our health.
YOU CAN DO IT
I know this seems like a lot, and it is. But it costs less than medical bills and allows YOU to be in control of your own health. And with all the good health you are going to have you can spend your time feeling good and enjoying life.
Just learn to take care of your body step-by-step. There is a lot to learn. But I can tell you—having the ability to heal your own body and have your health under your own control is worth the investment of time and money to gain this ability.
I’ll be writing more details about all of these points as I continue with this Lifely blog. Sign up for our newsletter and stay in touch.