A commonly accepted statement is that aging and disease are increased with stress. Some go so far to say that stress is the leading cause in all debilitating conditions and there is truth to that statement as well. But stress is a complex dilemma. While we can understand how our choices will increase or decrease stress, it is a process to understand the interwoven way that stressors affect the various systems of the body which in turn affect other systems of the body.
There is hope, however. For science and research are growing in their ability to demonstrate the relational quality of our systems that is much more than meets the eye. When we approach ourselves as a whole, instead of a number of parts, we can then make choices that honor the whole and thus decrease stress and the subsequent aging process.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you are diagnosed with high cholesterol, which could lead to serious conditions such as heart disease or hardening of the arteries. You may be prescribed a medicine to help with the one named diagnosis- high cholesterol. Great, right?! Well, not necessarily. Why?
Research is showing us that many medications that will help lower cholesterol also accelerate liver degradation. They will interfere with and even inhibit the production of enzymes by the liver needed to keep the small and large intestines healthy.
And more research is showing that the health of the gut is so tightly linked to the health of the brain that many with leaky gut syndrome or constipation are prone to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s over time.
That information may seem overwhelming but the opposite is true. Instead of sinking into a despair of feeling between a rock and a hard place we can turn away from dealing with our bodies in a linear, symptomatic approach and turn to the underlying causes of any condition we may be experiencing. This way we can approach out body as a whole instead of a collection of parts.
Turning back to our example above. If high cholesterol is the condition the best remedies would be a change in lifestyle. To learn what foods are healthy for our bodies and what foods are not, and to introduce exercise and practices such as meditation. These remedies not only have a research backed positive affect upon the cholesterol condition but they will also benefit every other system in the body instead of taxing it. Herein lies the hope for reversing the aging process.
We are simply touching the tip of the iceberg. Article by article I hope to introduce you to the simple understanding of the complex relationships going on in our bodies, minds and hearts.
Here are two action steps to take away from this article:
- Get Smart. If you have a health condition for which you are taking medication, inquire into the effect of the medication upon other systems of the body.
- Start Simple. If you have been wanting to make a change to your lifestyle. Choose one step you could take today. Keep it small so you do not overwhelm yourself, or sabotage your commitment. Choose to take a walk, or meditation, for ten minutes each day. Choose to let go one food you know makes you feel sluggish or unhappy. Choose to introduce one food you have learned is good for you.