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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

How things that may be good for you may poison you

One thing that really bugs me is the way that prescribing in medicine ignores one of the most fundamental concepts of nutrition:

The Goldilocks Zone: Not too little and not too much

Too little of a nutrient will result in ill health.

Too much of a nutrient will result in ill health.

The key to prescribing is to get things just right!  The Goldilocks Zone.

Instead we see this continuously: "If one scoop per day of this nutrient is good for you, then let's give you 100 scoops!"  Its madness but it is what happens.  Take this case of prescribing vitamin D for example.

Its what you expect of teenage boys trying to bulk up with protein powder.  Its not what you expect of trained health professionals.

Cells are bathed in a nutrient rich fluid.  We nourish them by supplying a steady intake of nutrients.  The last thing a cell wants is a tsunami of a nutrient.  We would never, ever do that to plants in our vege garden would we?  We would kill the plants if we gave a month's worth of nutrients in a single hit.  So why do doctors do this to their patients?

Its madness.

Physiotherapy is similarly affected by this suspension of reality

When we prescribe exercise we apply stress to the body.  We give only sufficient stress to stimulate a strong compensatory response to build more robust structures.  This response takes from two to four days of relative rest to be complete. 

We therefore have the rule of consistently cycling between exercise and recovery: Basically one day of exercise, followed by two days of rest, then one more day of exercise etc.

If we break this rule and exercise hard daily, our risk of illness and injury skyrockets.  All serious athletes know this.  Apparently, many physiotherapists have never learned this, or have long forgotten.

With physiotherapy, it is common to have injured people instructed to perform sometimes strenuous exercise on a daily basis.  This is wrong.  A set of exercises are best performed every second or third day.  If one is to exercise in between, then it should be an exercise that stresses the body in a different way.  So if one lifts weights today, they should go for a walk or swim the following day - not lift more weights.

The only exceptions to this rule are activities like cycling, rowing, walking and swimming.  Lifting weights, stretching cords and running require at least one rest day between sessions.

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The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation.  Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.

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