By Dr. Justin Marchegiani
It’s that time of the year again where everyone is trying to conquer their New Year’s resolution. These resolutions range from:
• Losing weight
• Improving health
• Increasing energy
• Enhancing relationships
• More free time with family and friends
• Developing an exercise routine
On average only about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution. If you are one of those people that want to be part of the 8% and improve their health in 2014 then this article is perfect for you.
Below is a picture I created called “the stress bucket.” This picture depicts how the cycle of stress accumulates over time and slowly starts to deteriorate your health. All of stress sum-mates (adds up) from all different areas of your life. It’s easy to see how a little bit of stress over a lot of different areas can add up in your stress bucket. Stress tends to accumulate in the following categories: physical stress, emotional stress, and chemical stress. Below are an example of a few common stressors that tend to affect the average person: If stress goes ignored your health will inevitably break down as you can see in the viscous cycle below.
This is the typical experience a medical doctor encounters with their average patient:
Medications: Prescription and over-the-counter drugs are notorious for causing mineral and vitamin deficiencies and putting an increased burden on the liver and kidneys. Many of these medications are also notorious for having side effects, as these side effects occur patients tend to go back to their doctors who prescribed more medications for the original side effects. As you can see in the picture above, this tends to be a vicious cycle where the root of the problem is never addressed and the stress in our stress bucket continues to overflow causing more and more symptoms eventually leading to disease.
Chemicals: There are many household chemicals including cleaners detergents soaps and personal care products that are loaded with toxins. One of the simplest things you can do to remove your toxic burden is to find safer household and personal hygiene products such as the soaps you use to clean your dishes, the sprays you used to clean your counter-tops and improving the quality of soaps and skincare you use on your body. Using the website www.EWG.org, is a great reference to refer to see if the personal care products you are using on your skin and hair are toxic. Your body absorbs more toxins and chemicals from your skin so the last thing you want to be doing is adding more chemicals to an already overburdened body.
Emotions: The root cause of many health issues actually stem at an emotional level. People that are dealing with toxic relationships bad bosses, being surrounded by energy zombies and difficulty with children can have a tremendous weakening effect on the immune system. When the immune system is weak our body’s natural force fields are lowered, this increases our chance of encountering an infection which can further weaken our adrenals and our immune system making us prone to a whole host of health issues down the road. Using simple techniques such as EFT or the body code can be very helpful to neutralizing these emotions at an energetic level. Feel free to Google these techniques for more information on them.
Toxic food: Many people’s diets actually consists of food that is toxic such as gluten, dairy products, legumes and refined sugar. These foods tend to be genetically modified loaded and loaded with pesticides and other chemicals that burden our detoxification systems. These foods are also known to be very inflammatory and can cause leaky gut issues as well. Especially when dealing with grains, these foods are very nutrient poor and actually rob nutrients from our body.
Heavy metals: According to the World Health Organization, one of the biggest sources of heavy metals actually comes from our mercury amalgam fillings. Some people may know these referred as silver fillings but they are actually over 50% mercury. The next common source we see is from vaccines, mainly the flu vaccines. These vaccines are recommended on a yearly basis and if you look at the ingredient label on the back of the vaccines insert (ask the pharmacist for it) you’ll see it contain about 50 µg of thimerosal. Thimerosal is a preservative consisting of 50% ethyl mercury, one of the most toxic Mercury substances known to man. If you are trying to avoid getting sick this winter season there are many other natural alternatives that can boost and enhance your immune system without adding a significant toxic burden to your detoxification system. Please see previous blog post titled “What to do when you get sick.”
Below is a great picture showing our body’s ability to adapt to stress. One interesting thing to note is that many people don’t go and see their doctor until phase 3. At this point the symptoms have been going on for years and prescribing a medication does not do anything to help our body adapt. Medications usually work by blocking and or suppressing physiologic pathways while doing nothing to up-regulate the body’s ability to adapt to stress and express optimal health.
To really address the underlying cause of why your body isn’t adapting properly is to go back and look in your stress bucket and see what areas of stress are starting to add up. As you start pulling the right stressors out of your stress bucket and supporting your diet, lifestyle, sleep and exercise your body will start to regain its ability to adapt. Many people need help to find out where to start and this is where it’s great to find a skilled functional medicine doctor who can figure out the best place to start while creating an individualized program for you.
Simple solutions to reduce your toxic load and help your body adapt to stress:
1. Eat whole foods: organic, non-genetically modified, free range ideally fresh should be the staple of your diet. Buying things in bulk help reduce the price and buying vegetables frozen can be very helpful as well. It’s very important you make your health a priority and this is the first place to start.
2. Get a good water filter: please see my partner page for excellent recommendations on some of the best filters out there. You can easily start with an affordable car top filter they can pull out pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, bacteria, and heavy metals. This really does a lot to help decrease your toxic burden. Look here for an easy solution…
3. Indoor air tends to be very toxic. Getting high quality air filter can also help reduce your toxic burden. Look here for an easy solution.
4. Movement: starting a exercise routine can be a great start. I recommend making a commitment that you know you can stick to such as working out three times a week for 30 to 45 minutes versus being overly ambitious and trying to work out every day for an hour. People that are very overly ambitious and can’t stick to their plan, tend to fold and stop altogether. You’re much better off setting a very easily achievable goal and once you’ve maintained it for a month then gradually increase your commitment.