February 5, 2012

The Higher Health (Part 2).


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.

In the first post we discussed the possibility that higher health was possible, reaching beyond our current conception of wellness. Such an advance depends on two things. The first, which isn't new, is to comply with the current prevention measures that too many people ignore. The words "diet, exercise, and stress management" roll off the tongue so easily that one can learn to ignore them. Yet recent research only confirms how damaging poor lifestyle choices are.

(Read Part1 of this article HERE!

Even in the recent past prevention was focused on recognized lifestyle disorders like type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but now it is becoming clear that the body as a whole is being affected. Prevention has extended its reach to cancer, for example, and inflammation, although long seen as damaging to our tissues and organs, is being linked far more broadly to all kinds of possible disorders, including cancer. If you are not complying with prevention, there is mounting evidence that your choice to avoid exercise, ignore stress, and eat a diet high in calories and fat will lead to bad results over time.

The reason for this conclusion is more obscure than anyone ever supposed, and it leads to the second platform of higher health: working with your body's intelligence. The notion of the body's intelligence is more than three decades old, and it is based on the discovery of "messenger molecules," as they were originally called, floating chemicals that interconnect the brain with various parts of the body. The average doctor and patient don't think much about how cells communicate, yet three decades on, we know with a certainty that the human body is a vast process, not a structure. Every cell's outer membrane is a kind of antenna that constantly monitors what the rest of the body is doing, feeling, thinking, and processing. As the messages shift, so does the cell. The result is holistic and dynamic, which is to say, every part participates in the whole and no change can affect one cell without affecting all the others.

Here lies the real frontier of higher health. If you look on your body as a feedback loop within which are thousands of smaller feedback loops, the system must contain the following:
– Messages in and messages out
– Senders and controllers of information
– balancing mechanisms
– Flexible limits for action and reaction

The higher health amounts to gaining control over these parameters. They sound like abstractions, but they are the basis for how cells live, eat, and breathe. Forty years ago, cells didn't do much else. But now we realize that cells are participatory – everything you do, they do. This includes your moods, beliefs, expectations, fears, and dreams. Your brain registers the subjective side of life, yet the inner world includes trillions of cells that do not speak or think verbally. They participate through the dynamics of biochemistry, non-verbally but just as present in the moment – or stuck in the past – as you.

In practical terms, when you take a bite of food or get on a treadmill, you are talking to your cells, sending messages back and forth. You are adding to a sense of control or subtracting from it (i.e., allowing random and habitual messages to dominate). You are going into balance or out of balance. You are becoming more flexible in your responses or less. Ultimately, you are responsible, at the level of self-awareness, for maintaining a complete world as it expands or contracts, goes in and out of crisis, confronts challenges, and so on.

The fact that every road leads to the body's intelligence is crucial here, because it implies that you have more control (over input and output, balance and imbalance, flexibility or rigidity) than some mechanical agent like your genes or the involuntary nervous system. Because the body is a process, structures come second. This is a big reversal, since medical education has always been first and foremost about structures (cells, tissues, hormones), and the goal has been to standardize diseases, fixing each one in a tight, isolated cause-and-effect scheme. But if you look at a key system like the immune system, once described as a battle ground between the body and invading germs, it becomes evident that all kinds of common things – being fat, losing your spouse, getting fired, having inflamed joints – are inescapably linked to how strong or weak your immune system is.

In short, holistic health has become inevitable. A piecemeal approach to wellness doesn't fit how your body works. It is no longer "alternative" medicine that concerns itself with broad issues of holistic wellness. The need is universal, and the sooner we begin to lay down practical guidelines for living holistically, the closer we will come to higher health. In the next post I'll cover some proposed guidelines.

(To be cont.)

Published by The San Francisco Chronicle 

Write Your Comment

  1. Gudrun D

    I have been thinking about your article a bit more and keep wondering if vibrations might not be the link between body and mind. Emotions, both positive and negative, send out vibrations that affect the body. Music sends out vibrations as well. I don`t know much about music therapy but wonder if certain vibrations (through sounds in particular, but maybe also through colors/light and movement) might not also be used to systematically counteract - i.e. prevent as well as heal - "abnormal" cells or cell-clusters and thus the diseases connected to them. Maybe it is possible to measure the vibrations of cells in both healthy and not so healthy individuals and find out what the ideal vibrations of people sound like (it might be different for everybody). Maybe people who are primarily visual would respond more to vibrations caused by images (light & colors), people who are primarily auditory, more to sound vibrations (music, acoustic vibrations), and people who are more kinesthetic/tactile, more to vibrations caused through movement (dance, yoga poses), touch or almost touch (massage, reiki), temperature (hot bath) as well as smell (aromatherapy). I think animals, too, respond well to vibrations, in particular to acoustic vibrations (music) and to touch (petting) - and some of them respond WITH vibrations when they are happy: they "purr." (Not just cats purr but dogs and [some] humans too.)

  2. confused

    I have to say that reading this article made me confused about David Simon`s diagnosis and death; you referred to the "terrible cancer" that ended up leading to his death in your video tribute to him... did he have control over any stage of that disease process? He was so close to being "perfect" in terms of prevention and holistic health, so what happened??? WHY???

  3. heartphone

    Once one really understands that ones health has a correlation to every single thing in ones life, every step one takes becomes a step into the direction of love, respect and responsibility for ones own body as the temple of ones soul. And it is different for every One. Therefore the body is the field of all possibilities, the cells are our allies. The body has its own inherent creativity. Staying healthy is the greatest dventure to embark on, it also gives the most fulfilling results. This is the loving unconditional zealous energy guiding one on one`s path: TAOZEN. To me the most playful energy, full of fantasy and joy. A wonderful toy to be imaginative with and it guides me already for so long.... A story through the body with a playful mind :)

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