Updated: Jun 3, 2022
As most of you now know, I’ve been dealing with intermittent “flare-ups” and autoimmune-like symptoms from what all my doctors tell me is PASC, aka. “Long Covid”. My symptoms include stabbing, sharp, or sometimes “crampy” muscle and joint pain, the sudden onset of crushing fatigue, different kinds of GI distress, numbness/tinkling of my extremities, and occasional bouts of dizziness. It’s beyond frustrating and at times debilitating. For days and even weeks, I will feel fine with exception of a couple of nuisance-like symptoms. Then suddenly, and without much warning, WHAM, it’s back!
As a gym owner and yoga lover, I’ve found this to be particularly challenging because I pride myself on clean eating, healthy living, and being in tune with my body. Thoughts of doubt go thru my head as to whether I am mentally and physically tough enough. My ego gets in the way and I start to worry about whether family, friends, or beloved gym members can trust my guidance when I can’t seem to fix myself.
It’s been a long, painful, exhausting, and even insightful battle.
Having said that, I refuse to believe this is happening without purpose or reason.
Every one of us experiences immense pain, struggle, and hardship in life. While I don’t subscribe to the belief that “everything happens for a reason,” I do believe there is reason to be found in all struggles.
The difference between these two mantras is simply mindset. While one mantra invites a game of wait and see, the other forces action on our part. Or to put it another way, it’s much easier to find the bright side while searching for it than it is to wait on the sun to find you.
To tell someone dealing with a catastrophic event, a life-threatening illness, or an untimely death, that it happened for a “reason,” never seemed to work for me. But when we seek clarity, seek knowledge, and seek reason, we often do find glimmers of sunshine in the forecast ahead.
As I continue to work through this, seeking that clarity of “reason” and purpose has now become my focus.
So, since I’ve spent 6 months now researching, learning, and living health experiments, I thought I’d share the four things that clearly stand out in the world of health and wellness.
Over the next month, in each week’s tip I will roll out one of the four key factors to achieving, optimizing, and even correcting our health.
But before doing so, we need a basic understanding of homeostasis, so let's start there as an introduction to the BIG FOUR health factors.
We live in a world today where the pace, diet, and environmental conditioning is disconnected from our natural state of being.
Homeostasis, as defined by the oxford dictionary, is a tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.
When it comes to homeostasis, as humans this balance can be wildly disrupted by too much or not enough of factors that are entirely in our control.
What in the world does this have to do with sickness and health you might ask?
You see our ancestors and many that walked before us practiced homeostasis with regularity and had a much better understanding of its importance than we do today.
Homeostasis is why a dog lets its tongue hang out when it is tired, it’s why animals flocked to salt licks, it’s why our bodies are finely regulated at roughly 98.6 degrees and it’s why cold-blooded animals use the environment to regulate their internal temperature.
But it’s doesn’t just stop there. It’s not just what’s happening within the part but instead how the part affects the whole.
Homeostasis explains why when glucose isn’t regulated the body’s feedback loop becomes broken and diabetes forms. Homeostasis is also at the root cause of MS, Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, IBS, Hashimoto’s, and nearly ever chronic disease of which we are almost 6x more likely to die of today than 100 years ago.
At the forefront of this epidemic is autoimmune disease.
Today it’s estimated over 50 million or roughly 1 in 6 US adults suffer from autoimmune disease.
So why are our bodies attacking ourselves at a time when our bodies and gene pool is stronger than ever?
You guessed it. At the root cause the answer is undoubtedly homeostasis.
There are 1,000,000 types of animals that walk, fly, and roam this earth. How many of them do you think struggle with obesity, tooth decay, and diabetes, etc?
The answer, though obvious, may seem shocking.
Yes it’s only humans and the pets we feed that seem to have the problems.
But it hasn’t always been this way adding more evidence to the fact that we’ve lost touch with the delicate balance within our own bodies.
Anthropologists that study our ancestors note a stark difference in the bones, teeth, gut size, and fats of those that walked before us. It’s only been in the last 100 years that industrial processes have dramatically changed our diets. It’s hypothesized that despite our genetic pool getting stronger, the dramatic changes to our diet without evolutionary requirement, have led our health astray.
So what can we learn from our ancestors that might help us find homeostasis today and heal ourselves?
There are 4 factors from all my research that align: Healthy Immune Response(Hormesis), Optimized Environment, Mindfulness, and Energy Production. For memory’s sake these will make up the acronym HOME.
Look for Factor ONE, Healthy Immune Response, in Monday’s Tip of the Week!