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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Eight secrets for a long and healthy life

Few people realise that the body is in a constant state of renewal: It is said that your entire body is turned over every eight years.  Some tissue, like the lining of your gut is renewed every few weeks.  Think of hair, skin and nails - constant replacement.  The same goes for the rest of your tissues.

When a person asks your real age, the answer is "About eight years"

In sports medicine, we think of the body being in a dynamic balance between the forces of breaking down (catabolism) and the forces of building up (anabolism).  Its a bit like the comic book battles between "Good" and "Evil".  If the forces of catabolism predominate, we weaken, we tire, we fall ill and we sure feel "old".

Illness is best thought of as being times when the processes of rejuvenation are being overwhelmed by the processes that break down our bodies.  The progressive weakening and tiring that is associated with ageing is similar, if not the same: We gradually fall into a state of structural and physiological disrepair.  When it becomes totally overwhelming of the processes of rejuvenation, we die!

Degeneration into a state of ill health and eventual death can be driven by five factors:

  1. Poor nutrition leading to too much or too little of any of thousands of nutrients that provide the building blocks for cell regeneration and vitality.
  2. Infections that may go undetected or poorly treated for decades, such as infected gums or intestinal parasites. Infections, acute and chronic wear body and soul down, leaving it vulnerable to attack by other diseases.
  3. Stress that can be sudden or acute which disrupts the normal healthy balance of the adrenal and thyroid hormones and their influence on neurotransmitters.  Stress may be the sudden death of a loved one or years of putting up with an over-bearing boss.
  4. Toxins that poison the body by interfering with healthy cellular processes.  These may be toxic metals like arsenic in treated wood, cigarettes, chemicals in plastics, sprays on our food or many medicines. 
  5. Genetics.  We can't do anything about these at present and genetics actually play a minor role in most illness.  Even where there are strong genetic tendencies for some ailments in an idividual, our attention should be on the controllable factors (The above four).  What switches a gene "on" or "off".  The switch may be a toxin such as mercury?  Or chronic stress leading to a dysfunctional immune system.
What I am writing about here runs contrary to modern medical practice which largely ignores the body's innate capacity to heal.  Drugs employed today to treat most ailments associated with modern life, are actually poisons to the very processes that give cellular vitality and renewal (healing).  Instead, they seek to suppress the symptoms of disease and then call it a "cure", or "disease management".  Examples may be an antacid for digestive reflux which is caused by blood pressure medicine.  Or it may be surgery to remove gall bladder that is inflamed by toxic bile from an unhealthy liver.  Giving another medicine to suppress the toxic effects of another drug may give the appearance of relief but at what future cost?  Removal of the gall bladder gives symptomatic relief; but the underlying disease continues silently, causing damage that may turn out to be irreparable many years later.

Drugs-based medicine invariably uses chemicals that poison 

the body's innate regenerative processes

In so doing, they suppress symptoms while not treating the underlying causes of disease.  Drugs do not improve quality of life or longevity.

A good example is the use of so-called "Bone-sparing" drugs, such as Fosamax and Aledronate to halt osteoporosis.  Please read some of the articles here and be prepared to be shocked:

Modern medicine has much to offer, such as skillfully resuscitating a person following a heart attack, or setting a broken bone.  Where it fails us badly is when it comes to treating diseases associated with stress, inactivity, poor nutrition, toxic exposures and just plain getting old!  So - Modern medicine is great at resuscitating the heart attack victim but very poor at dealing with the underlying causes of the heart attack.

Graphic by Colin Livingstone

Eight secrets for a long and healthy life:

  1. Practice nutrient dense nutrition by going back to traditional diets that are, essentially, preparing meals from fresh, raw ingredients.  A good first start is to get rid of all the long life packaged foods, including the instant noodle and low fat milk.
  2. Supplementing with specific nutrients, not by blind guesswork, but by robust nutritional analysis.
  3. Identifying infection and disease in the body and treating it properly and completely.  This may be as simple as getting your teeth cleaned every six months by the dental hygienist, and getting dewormed if you have pets.  If you have a condition like diabetes or asthma, how about identifying the underlying drivers, rather than indefinitely treating the symptoms with asthma medication?
  4. Get rid of any toxins from inside your body and from your environment.  The first step, as with good nutrition, is to do some testing to determine your true status, so that you know what you are doing. For example: Blindly spending thousands of dollars on removing mercury amalgum from your mouth may be a waste of time on your health, unless testing confirms the presence of mercury in the tissues.
  5. Find non-drugs and non-surgical solutions to ill health.  A healthy person is a person who is free of of the need for drugs - regardless of age.  It is not unusual nowadays for even young people to be taking several different prescription drugs for ailments like asthma, anxiety, depression or diabetes.  Almost without exception, these drugs come with serious complications that creep up from behind like a mugger in the dark.  Finding healthy alternatives is best done with the assistance of a suitably qualified health professional and the process of weaning off drugs is sometimes a delicate one.
  6. Assess your health risk and take risk reduction measures. This includes being aware of your genetics, such as a family history of breast cancer.  You might be more diligent with breast screening from an early age, such as a yearly thermogram (not a cancer-causing mammogram - please!), and carefully supplementing with protective iodine and vitamin D.
  7. Get unnecessary stress out of your life.  Many people get so caught up in their stresses and 
    Bike Kiwi
    obligations that they may see no way out and will put up with debilitating circumstances for decades.   My advice is this: You only live life once and you don't know how long you have, so get on with doing the things you love, while progressively getting rid of the things that hold you down.  This requires careful strategic planning and sometimes taking really tough decisions.  Matters will only be made worse if you keep putting things off, so get on with it!
  8. Exercise daily, but in a way that is invigorating rather than exhausting.  A morning walk in the fresh air and bright sunshine, plus some relaxed gardening later in the day is about all one needs for optimum health.  Remember
    Swim Kiwi
    You are setting about nurturing the processes within yourself that give you energy and which heal.  How much exercise is "Just right!" is open to debate.  My opinion is that it does not have to be very much at all for most people.  Overdoing it may be just as harmful to one's long term health as is under-doing it.  The main rule is to be consistent with moderate exercise as opposed to big bursts of over-activity.

Excessive exercise shortens life  

Run Kiwi

Moderate exercise lengthens it

These eight secrets do not claim to "cure" a disease once it has taken hold; their principal role is prevention of the disease in the first place by nurturing the cellular processes of regeneration and vitality.  But it is not unknown for an ill person to fall into a state of "spontaneous remission" after concentrating patiently on revitalising themselves.  I have seen enough cases of the "incurable" being "cured" to be convinced that it works.  I say this with caution because there is probably no such thing as a complete cure - one must be forever diligent and protective of one's precious health.  

Kayak Kiwi

To finish this article, here is the link to an inspiring story of "spontaneous remission:

About this website 
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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