~ Start with healthy living and holistic healing ~
Oftentimes lip service is paid to preventative health with broad edicts; few specific examples.
What follows is a simple guide containing basic examples that can be "put in play" to improve and maintain health. It demonstrates a few age-applicable practices that serve to remind us avoiding or overcoming acquired diseases is actually our natural birthright. We just need to return or advance to a more natural lifestyle where healing can take place.
The key concept for moving towards this understanding is "primal living." This is based on lifestyle and healing methods that focus on harmony with our biological, social, and spiritual nature. "Holistic" healing means improving all levels and aspects of our being while moving towards achieving greater harmony in our day-to-day life.
By applying these outlined methods towards rebuilding health, you're certain to improve, whatever the name of your affliction / condition. Rather than fighting a disease; focus resources on improving your health. This gives your body the best chance of resolving the condition on its own and you will have a very good chance of remaining healthy and fit right into a late stage of life.
Additionally, where you are faced with a demanding protocol of procedures – where the treatment itself is difficult on your body – focusing on improving your health and reducing the mental stress that the companies are giving the body the energy to deal with the rigors of medical treatments .
THE PATH TOWARDS DIS ~ EASE
These days most of humanity lives in reliably unnatural conditions traipsing across a minefield of technological and chemical health hazards. Even worse is the fact we are large unaware of the nature of these hazards. In order to live more "primally" we need to become aware of the main health hazards in our environment and learn to avoid or minimize them. If in doubt, try to envisage which condition or course of action is more natural and in harmony with our primal nature.
The main biological influences on our health are environmental factors, nutrition and exercise. Our health is also significantly influenced by our beliefs and emotions. Following the few basic canons below Touches upon all of these areas and will get you in a preventive mindset – geared towards whatever your age or level of ability.
Age-based, Long-term Preventative Practices
In your 30's – Ride the Elevator Down; sit with knees above hips when possible
Why is this preventative?
Yes, in your thirties! (I did say long-term.) Remember every step down is an average of 3-times the force of gravity. In nature, the knee does not encounter the "routine spacing" that becomes increasingly repetitive and cumulative with long treks down many levels. Over decades, this wear and tear takes its toll and can also contribute to sciatic nerve and hip problems.
The second point is not related to knees at all: it has to do with reinforcing and strengthening the natural muscle pattern in our backs. Our body was not designed to be in a shape consistently bent at the waist (with the knee parallel or even below the waist) as we sit. Standard chairs are a contemporary invention that actually works against the winding diagonal muscles that make up the musculature of the torso that supports the spinal column and connects the pelvis and the head.
As first identified in a paper by anthropologist Raymond Dart, there are two spiral lines – one on the right and one on the left. With the spiral line, though, these two lines cross each other to form a "double spiral arrangement" of winding diagonal muscles that permit our range of motion in leg and arm movement. Chair sitting for extended period begins to inhibit natural range-of-motion. (As well as possibly altering body chemistry – as reported in a February 2010 editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Scientists increasingly warn that sitting for prolonged periods – even if you also exercise regularly – can be extremely unhealthy.)
Additionally, a proper seating position has also been shown to help with another movement (with a facilitating preventive health benefit) related to a healthy digestive function: better bowel movement. Simply using a riser that sets in front of the toilet, when you place your feet on the riser (while sitting), your knees are well above the level of your hips. This makes for a squatting posture that is conducive to complete elimination. (More on digestion below.)
In your 40's?
Sit 50% of the time in the opposite direction of the lounge chair you might be using at the beach or pool-side by straddling the chair (facing the chair back) and having your feet on the ground.
Why is this preventative?
This is a continuation of the last point as the diagonal pull of your back's spiral muscle layers gives us flexibility and upright capacities; as these pulls may be likened to pulling on the bias (diagonal) of a piece of cloth it is important to continuous strengthen the weave of the muscles. Sitting reverse to the lounge incline direction of a chair – while sounding difficult – is actually made easy by your back's natural positioning. An added bonus: you can use the incline to hold something to read or even a laptop computer.
Also, walk every other week for a half-hour (or so) with a 3 year old and / or an 83 year old (or there about).
Why is this preventative?
This refers to the point that our health is significantly influenced by our beliefs and emotions. By striding between these two generational positions a tremendous amount can be absorbed related to living and learning in the earliest and last stages of life. Latching an arm or taking the hand of a wee one brings us into the flow and tempo of lives and experience that can help us appreciate what energy means to livelihood – be it an overabundance or a conservative amount.
In your 50's?
Stay out of the habit of using the arms of a chair to get up (refrain from pushing yourself up with your arms; instead use back muscles and proper positioning); invert as much as possible.
Why is this preventative? It's about keeping the core and back muscles strong.
With inversion you're strengthening the internal organs, draining lymph fluid from the lower part of the body, and flushing the brain and face with blood. All this is good to delay or reverse aging. When possible, in the inverted position, rhythmically tense and relax the muscles of the face and neck or sometimes the whole body. Partial or total inversions are both beneficial: so a slant board or inversion equipment that lets you hang upside down are acceptable methods.
Slant-boards are commercially available but it can be just as simple as a padded board from a bed or couch to the floor. Lie on it as long as you feel comfortable with your head just touching the floor. If yoga is a common practice: shoulder-stand, headstand or headstand against a wall. Try bicycling movements in the inserted position. And, remember invert only if your blood pressure is in the average range.
In your 60's is no time to slow down.
Although a move routine will need to scale to more low-impact, you should avoid taking sustained time off. A key is to maintain flexibility and prevent loss of stability is a program that focuses on coordinating the limbs of the body in a combination of balance and step training. Dynamic movement is where it's at; especially a program that emphasizes stepping with a bit of distance and alacrity.
In your 70's?
Tai Chi is wonderful as a preventive health practice. This Chinese martial art form consist of slow, rotational movements and weight-shifting that offers many benefits to improve walking, balance and strength.
Yet it takes some time to see the benefits of this preventive practice. After about three months you'll notice an improvement in strength, balance and flexibility. Best of all you'll be able to go through the basic tai chi routine with fluid, strong and steady movements.
In Asian Medicine it is believed that tai chi, when practiced regularly, helps the mind as well as the body.
In your 80's and above – Keep working on good balance and get your gait and strength assessed by an exercise physiologist, balance specialist or physical therapist. Mild, consistent training is the best preventative practice you can employ to make a huge difference in your quality of life.
Lastly, take good care of your colon and it'll keep you happy: literally! Did you know that 95% of that happy hormone (serotonin) in the body actually derives from the colon? It's true.
Source by Randy Eady