Categories
Be Healthy

Health Matters a great deal

Health matters a great deal. It has always mattered but for the past year and a half, it has become the topic of conversation in all circles of society and the subject of health remains at the center of every decision we make on a daily basis, where the medicals, the politicians, the economists, the lawmakers, and law enforcement people take their turn to opine, legislate and execute decisions that affect us all on a daily basis on based on our health. Health is at the center of everything we do today. This blog article is based on some extracts from Chapter 22 of my book “This Is Your Quest“.

Native American Theory of Existence “Everything on the Earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it and every person a mission.”

From the beginning of time, health mattered a great deal

Life in the Ancient World was a dangerous endeavor. For most of history, living was a dangerous occupation with most people at risk of dying from war, famine, disease, epidemic, or childbirth with the average lifespan much lower than it is today. In those days, people relied heavily on the good graces that their favorite Gods were willing to dispense over them in order to maneuver all those perils. People prayed and made offerings to their favorite Gods in order to keep them healthy. A healthy person was recognized as being in the “goods books” of the Gods; being sick on the other hand, meant that you were being punished by the Gods for some bad deed you did. In Greek society, the most favored God for healing was Asklepios. Sick people traveled for days to seek healing in “Asklepion” or sanitariums. These sanitariums were similar in some ways to the modern spa. Asklepions were located in remote and beautiful areas and provided baths, healthy food, and sanctuary rooms intended specifically for sleep and meditation.

Health matters a great deal. Never underestimate the power of ginger and lemon tea. Photo by freepik via freepik.com

By the 5th century BC, physicians started to develop and exercise a more scientific medical profession. Hippocrates, the most famous physician of antiquity, started writing medical textbooks. From such writings, we see that ancient physicians knew that draining and cleaning infected wounds promoted healing and they knew of certain herbs that had healing and disinfecting properties. Wild ginger for example and a particular clay found on the Greek Island of Lemnos was believed to be helpful for ailments such as dysentery. The clay contained elements such as kaolin and bentonite, which are used in modern medicines to treat diarrhea. During those times, healing was very much focused on the idea of a body-mind relationship. Hippocrates believed that the body and mind are in unity, and to affect one is to affect the other.

Health mattered a great deal for Hippocrates of Kos the father of Modern Medicine

Hippocrates of Kos[1] also known as the “Father of Modern Medicine” is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. Hippocrates is credited with being the first person to believe that diseases were caused naturally, and not because of superstition and Gods. He separated the discipline of medicine from religion, believing and arguing that disease was not a punishment inflicted by the Gods, but rather the product of environmental factors, diet, and living habits. Hippocrates conducted the first clinical studies by observing people and comparing their health habits. He noticed that bodies grow relaxed and sluggish through sedentary lives which led to various illnesses. Those who walked more stayed well longer. So, he often prescribed exercise. This was a very forward way of thinking coming from someone who lived in the Ancient World.

Health matters a great deal. Hippocrates the father of Modern Medicine. Photo by freepik via freepik.com

Fast-forward to today, this concept of walking every day to make you healthier has been vindicated through many studies; a recent National Cancer Institute study conducted on more than 650,000 people found that those who walk briskly for just 150 minutes a week, or 22 minutes a day, gained an average of 3.4 years of life expectancy.[2] No drugs required and so simple!

Hippocratic medicine was humble and passive. The therapeutic approach was based on the healing power of nature. According to this doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance and heal itself. Hippocrates was reluctant to administer drugs, the medicine he prescribed was very kind to the patient, treatment was gentle, and emphasized keeping the patient clean and sterile. His favorite treatment included fasting and the consumption of apple cider vinegar. He also used potent drugs but only when absolutely necessary.

Hippocrates meticulously examined his patients’ urine, stools, pus, and sweat; but he also observed their personalities, home environment, relationships, diet and even their facial expressions before diagnosing and treating them. He believed that it was impossible to understand illness without understanding the whole person.

Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food. The strength that is in each of us is our greatest doctor. Man must harmonize mind and body. It is nature that heals the sick.

Hippocrates

He recognized that when people ate mainly a fresh, plant-based diet, they developed fewer diseases. Hundreds of years later, this concept has now been proven clinically; a new study has shown that an intensive weight management program can reverse type 2 diabetes.[3] Hippocrates’ primary form of treatment was usually improving a patient’s diet.

Everything in excess is opposed to nature. The same remedy could heal in one dose but could cause harm in greater doses. Unless you have real evidence that a medical treatment was helpful, you shouldn’t use it. To do nothing could also be a good remedy, depending on the case.

Hippocrates


[1] Hippocrates of Kos (460 – 370 BC – Greece) – Physician. Best known for being the father of modern medicine. The “Hippocratic Oath” that newly qualified doctors take, bears his name.

[2] National Institutes of Health – Increased physical activity associated with lower risk of 13 types of cancer – 13 May 2016 – https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/increased-physical-activity-associated-lower-risk-13-types-cancer

[3] A new study – the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT) suggests that remission of type 2 diabetes may be achievable through intense weight management programs supported by routine primary care – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320274.php

And this, my dear friend, is your Quest.

Personal Note

DDI Chat – Personal Growth – One-to-one Chat with Joanne Reed

In addition to publishing my articles on my website, I have also been publishing on Medium. I have been working closely for the past months with Data-Driven Investor (DDI) Publication.  DDI has recently launched a new marketplace/platform where people can book a paid one-to-one session with an expert of their choice.  DDI asked me to join their panel of advisors/experts in the Leadership, Coaching, and Personal Growth category.  Here is my profile. If you wish to book a one-to-one chat with me you can do so on this platform.

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

Categories
Be Happy

Activate Your Own Fountain of Youth

The Fountain of Youth Legend

For centuries the Quest for eternal youth, immortality, or ‘just’ a prolonged life has been a topic of various myths, legends, and quests. The Fountain of Youth is a spring that supposedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters.

Alexander the Great searched for the Fountain in the 5th century AD and was said to have found a healing “River of Paradise.” In Japan, in ancient times and today, stories of hot springs that could heal wounds and restore youth are common. Similar stories were prominent among Caribbean people during the early 16th century, who spoke of the restorative powers of the water in the mythical land of Bimini.

Explorers and adventurers have long looked for the elusive Fountain of Youth or at least some remedy to aging. Has science found the map? It seems that this dream could be at least partly obtainable! Put on your explorer hat and follow me on this epic expedition to your own Fountain of Youth!

I have found the Fountain Of Youth!

First, a stop-over in the world of science to understand the aging process

Growth and Repair; Even after you are fully grown, your body is constantly working to replace or repair itself. The body replaces itself on average every 7 years or so but not every cell’s lifespan is the same. For example, the cells that line your stomach can renew as fast as every two days, since they’re often in contact with digestive acid. Cells that make up your skin are replaced every two to three weeks, your fat cells live a fairly long time — an average age of 10 years roughly the same as your bones which also regenerate about every 10 years. Brain cells don’t regenerate as you age, tooth enamel is never replaced, and the lenses of your eyes are also with you for life.

Enzymes are biological catalysts that speed up chemical reactions in cells. Enzymes play a huge part in the day to day running of the human body and are vital for the proper functioning of all human systems, e.g. the digestive system, the nervous system, etc. Some enzymes help break large molecules into smaller pieces, such as complex carbohydrates into smaller molecules such as glucose so that the body can use them as fuel. Other enzymes help bind two molecules together to produce a new molecule. Enzymes are highly selective catalysts, meaning that each enzyme only speeds up a specific reaction.

DNA; Every cell in our body contains DNA; DNA is the genetic material that makes each of us who we are. Each time a cell divides – for growth or repair, its DNA needs to be copied. Enzymes help in this process by unwinding the DNA coils and copying the information. Telomeres, from the Greek telos (end) and meros (part), are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protects our chromosomes. Telomeres, like the aglet at the end of shoelaces, can become frayed until they can no longer do their job. Telomeres are shortened as we age, but can also be shortened by stress, anxiety, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet and lack of purpose. When telomeres get too short, our cells can no longer reproduce, which causes our tissues to degenerate and eventually die.

Each one of us has a Fountain of Youth within us!

There have been many experiments which have shown to increase the maximum life span of laboratory animals. Science has found that it is possible to extend telomeres to help you live a longer and healthier life and discovered that there are 6 key triggers that can positively influence your telomere length. These triggers are:

  1. Good nutrition
  2. Exercise
  3. Happiness and gratitude
  4. Positive outlook
  5. Self-love and love
  6. Being in service.

Good Nutrition & Exercise

We all know that good nutrition and exercise is vitally important, but knowing without doing is like not knowing at all. Hippocrates[1] also known as the “Father of Modern Medicine” is credited with being the first person to believe that disease was not a punishment from the Gods, but rather the product of environmental factors, diet and living habits. He noticed that bodies grow relaxed and sluggish through sedentary lives which led to various illnesses. Those who walked more stayed well longer, so, he often prescribed exercise. Hippocrates’ medicine was humble and passive; his therapeutic approach was based on the “healing power of nature.” According to Hippocrates’ doctrine, the body contains within itself the power to re-balance and heal itself. Hippocrates is known for saying: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”

Gratitude & Positive Outlook

Be grateful and wake up happy every day, happy to be given another day, to be, to strive, to create. Be grateful for your family, your loved ones and the people around you. Be grateful for who you are and what you can do. Keep a positive outlook on life. Change the things you can change and stop worrying about things you can’t.

Love yourself and love others

Philautia[1], the Greek word for self-love. Self-love is in its healthiest form (not focused on personal fame, gain, and fortune as is the case with narcissism). It shares the Buddhist philosophy of “Self-Compassion,” which is a deep understanding of one’s own self, such that you feel comfortable in your own skin. Self-love is important, as Aristotle described: “All friendly feelings for others are an extension of a man’s feelings for himself.” You cannot share what you do not have, if you do not love yourself, you cannot love anyone else either. The only way to be truly happy is to first find unconditional love for yourself.

Being of Service

Being of service is critically important. Not having a purpose, waking up each morning with nothing to do or nowhere to go creates stress and shortens our lifespan. Conversely, studies have shown people who report a greater sense of purpose and direction in life are more likely to outlive their peers.  Older age, or retirement, is a time when we start aging very quickly and when disease and depression are more likely to set in. Having a purpose gives meaning to life, it doesn’t have to be saving the world or anything extraordinary or amazing, every person great or small has important work to do. It can be something very small indeed. Each one of us has our own path to walk and our own mission in life. Small things and big things are big in themselves.

Conclusion

The ‘secret’ path that will lead you to your own Fountain of Youth can be found within you. The ‘magic triggers’ that will show you the way is to eat well, exercise regularly, express gratitude, love yourself, love others, and be of service. Activate your own Fountain of Youth!

This, my Dear Companion, is Your Quest!


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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.


[1] For more information, please see my book “This Is Your Quest,” Chapter 19, Page 214


[1] For more information, please see my book “This Is Your Quest,” Chapter 21, Page 228 :