Being healthy is of primary importance to most people. Who doesn’t want vitality and a long productive life free of debilitating disease?
Unfortunately the clarity afforded the average person regarding what health really is, and how we can attain it is very poor. In our modern world of experts and limited time, many of us simply do not have the proper context to understand what our bodies are, and how we can take care of them properly. We need only look out into the world, at the present state of humanity to see this.
In our modern age we are conditioned to think disease is a random occurrence, that our bodies are destined to slowly deteriorate, and that cancer is an eventuality. The medical industry is an Allopathic institution. It does not understand interconnectedness. As such, a drug or treatment may attempt to solve a sore throat with antibiotics, and in turn destroy the immune system, leaving it susceptible to many other diseases in the process. We take 1 step forward and 10 steps backward.
Many of us develop habits in life which counter our goals for being healthy, and when we reach for answers, there are a whole host of medical quacks muddying the waters. I hope to bring some clarity to the situation by revealing what I have come to know over the years, in a simple and easy to understand way. There is a very simple philosophy behind being healthy; Holism and the recognition of interconnectedness.
There are deeply embedded Natural Law principles at work within truly healthy practices, the phrase: As Above So Below, As Within So Without, perfectly describes our relationship to the environment and good health. Organic Food, Earthing, Probiotics and clean toxin free water all are working to restore the harmony between ourselves and the world, and emphasizes a key concept behind good health; Holism.
As Without – The Environment
Within the past 10 years, more research has hit the mainstream revealing our bodies are far more interconnected to the environment than previously thought, yet this key point has been overlooked by the medical profession. There are 10 trillion cells within our bodies and only 5% of them are ‘human.’ What this means is that our human cells literally coordinate an entire community of other microbial life – like a Conductor in a Symphony. It is that coordinating ability which slowly gets destroyed by modern habits, from the individual, all the way up to society’s’ treatment of the environment. In essence this coordinating ability is the immune system, and as we’ll see it need to be well learned for proper function.
The food we eat has a total effect on our overall health, slowly changing our internal ecosystem to either support longevity and harmony, or cause deterioration. Dr. Max Gerson developed a treatment in the 1930’s, successfully curing thousands of people. He often said, the Earth is our external immune system, affecting our health profoundly. What this means is that the quality of our food, how it was grown, and the diversity of microbial life that was used to grow it, all affects health. There is a vast amount of research available suggesting many of the crops used in our modern day world have become denatured and lack the diversity needed to support health. Organic Food is far more nutrient rich than conventionally raised foods because the whole ecosystem must be healthy in order to grow the food.
Conventional and GMO crops use chemical fertilizers, pesticides and even genetic manipulation as an attempt to hermetically seal the crop from the environment itself; an Allopathic philosophy. Monocrops are not found in nature, instead nature produces holistic systems which work together to maintain overall health of all the organisms in the system; not just one.
In nature, where the best quality food can often be found, the environment acts as a holistic system, working to produce the right conditions for a healthy plant. Permaculture acknowledges this principle of holism. Often healthy plants are surrounded by other plants which work together to stave off commonly known pests. If holistic systems worked well for the whole of Earth history, why would monocropping be better? It isn’t, and any honest monocrop farmer will tell you, it takes a tremendous amount of energy and resources to do what nature does seemingly with no effort. In this sense, Permaculture is not only the best way to produce nutrient rich food, it is also the easiest.
As the saying goes: work smart, not hard. A well developed permaculture farm requires a fraction of the maintenance of monocropping, with a far more productive yield. And there is another benefit. Instead of the environment becoming more denatured over time, it gets more healthy over time, unlike monocropping which requires rotation to heal the soil, and artificial fertilizers to replace what was lost.
The key point here, is that over time we slowly destroy natures ability to grow healthy food using an Allopathic Philosophy. Each generation becomes more week and disease prone, requiring stronger pesticides and fertilizers as time goes on. This same concept applies to the human eco system, and each generations health is directly related to how healthy the previous generation was.
Lets apply this idea of holism to the human ecosystem, our bodies. Epigenetics is the study of genetic expression, which genes are ‘turned on’ and why. Bruce Lipton is a well known source of information, conclusively demonstrating that genetic expression is a product of the environment, unlike the modern day belief that our genes are hardwired from birth. These environmental factors include the material within the body – what we eat – as well as the emotional conditions from our beliefs and mental activities.
Essentially, genes are switched on when an environmental condition within the body sends signals to the cells via the cell membrane. This information passes into the cell and is received by the nucleus which is the storehouse of our genetic material. The vast majority of DNA within the human genome is found within other organisms, the so called ‘junk dna,’ and is inactive. But if certain conditions arise, they can be activated, affecting our health as a result. Hence, stress and a poor diet lead to disease and bad health.
Taking this even further, when a child is conceived, the present state of epic genetic activity is transferred to the developing fetus during conception. This is what gives rise to familial disease factors, which have confused modern medical professionals into thinking our genetic compliment is hardwired. During development in the womb, the environment within the mother’s body, her store of microbial life, is transferred to the child, and literally gives it the building blocks of microbes to make the body. This is where we get the other 95% of microbes which make up the human organism.
If health is poor in the parents, this will affect their genetic expression, which will be passed down to the child. In this sense, parents are the farmers whose habits determine the health of the fruit of their union; a child. As a result of progressive destruction of the environment and poor health habits maintained for thousands of years, the quality of human health has degraded greatly since the time we walked out of nature and into a civilized lifestyle.
Information and the Immune System
The immune system, the mechanism which unifies all of our bodies various functions, producing overall health. It can be likened to a database of knowledge, determine how each of our bodies system will work when something from the external environment enters our internal environment.
Even the defunct Medical Institution acknowledges that our immune systems have the capacity to store knowledge. Vaccination is based on the idea we can expose our bodies to a pathogen, which will develop an immunity to it, preventing future disease. While vaccination has been widely accepted as proven science, there is a great deal of flawed concepts within vaccination philosophy. I won’t attempt to debunk every point offered in this article, but as a result of understanding what the immune system really is, it should become clear how faulty the vaccination school of thought is.
There are many systems in the body, like the lymphatic system, which function to identify what substances are, so the body can produce the right compliment of compounds to process them. Eating food is an excellent example of this. The mouth and esophagus have several different lymphatic systems which identify substances in our food. Smell and Taste senses work using specialized cells called chemoreceptors, which analyzed the chemical makeup of our food much like 2 pieces of a puzzle fitting together.
This is an extremely precise mechanism, with millions of specialized receptors designed to locate specific chemical compounds and pathogens. In food there are thousands of different substances, which when combined in the right way, produce the overall sensation of taste or smell. The really amazing part, is that this extremely precise chemical analysis is transferred to our bodies various systems, preparing the perfect batch of enzymes and compounds needed to digest the food. Coffee is an excellent example of this. Caffeine takes approximately 4 hours to take full effect in our bodies, yet even the smell of coffee can cause us to feel its effects; a type of placebo reaction. This is because our immune system has detected the unique chemical signature of the coffee, and based on past experiences, prepare the body for its consumption.
Just like we learn to read a language slowly by studying the symbols and training our minds, the immune system learns about the environment by what we eat and drink, developing processes for the things it encounters. As a result, if we never teach the immune system about the environment, then when we encounter something unfamiliar, it over reacts, causing the fever response. A fever is an extreme reaction for the body, a type of last resort, where it changes the whole environment of the internal ecosystem, as an attempt to purge a foreign invader it lost control of.
Immunity to a disease is a learned response. The body has a working knowledge of what the pathogen is, and response to it before we feel symptoms. A cold floating around the office makes many people sick, but after someone has gone through it, they can be exposed to other sick people without risking reinfection. This is an example of a learned response. Its not that the pathogen is magically whisked away from our bodies like a force field, its that we can react faster and more efficiently to deal with the invader. Now this is where it gets really interesting.
Educating The Immune System
There are several different ways to teach our bodies about the environment. Vaccination is like using a sledge hammer, yes we may have hammered the nail into the wall, but we destroyed the wall in the process. Enter Probiotics and Living Foods.
Since our bodies are primarily composed of microbes, we can learn from the external ecosystem by consuming living foods. Modern day food production is influenced by this same Allopathic Philosophy, that everything must be cooked, sanitized and hermetically sealed. As a result when we finally consume the food it has nearly no living properties. Enzymes and microbes (probiotics) which are essential to nutrient uptake, and digestion, are destroyed by heating them over 50 degrees celsius, 120 degrees fahrenheit. Heating food over the boiling point of water also chemically changes the compounds into toxins called Heat Induced Food Toxicants. What this means is all of the information which is stored in the food, all the immuno knowledge from the environment it was grown in is lost.
To further emphasize this point, let’s consider breast milk. After a baby is born it’s immune system is largely a blank slate, it has not learned about the environment yet. Mothers milk is widely known for its health properties, and is a storehouse of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients. But there is something else is in breast milk that is not so well know; microbes and antibodies.
The living aspects of breast milk, most importantly the collective store of immuno knowledge within the mother’s body, is literally transferred to the child during feeding. The child’s immune system, via the digestive tract, identifies and absorbs the microbes within the milk, integrating them within the body. Additionally, the antibodies from the mother are decoded by the receptors in the lymphatic system, transferring that knowledge to the baby. This process of information transference continues for at least two years after the child is born. Breastfed children are more intelligent, healthy and lead more productive lives as result.
The key concept here is that our bodies come with systems specifically designed to gain knowledge about the environment, from the things we consume. Eating raw living foods, literally transfers the immuno knowledge within that food to the body. The immune system is the whole human organism working to create overall health. And when we consume dead food, the ecosystem begins to get out of balance, which leads to an overproduction of certain types of microbes. Candida is one example of this.
Dead foods, high in sugar, slowly destroy the delicate balance of microbial life in our bodies, eventually causing an outbreak of certain types. This leads to a whole host of poor health conditions such as bad skin, hair loss, rapid aging, mental deterioration, bone loss and cancer. Eating poorly is a double edged sword, as the ecosystem is destroyed and immuno knowledge is never gained.
Raw milk, even from cows, helps us restore the immune function within the body by giving it a crash course. But this must be matched with a diet that feeds our internal ecosystem what it needs to be healthy. Raw foods, and a diet rich in fresh vegetables and sprouted nuts, provide an excellent fertilizer for growing a healthy immune system. In this sense, the immune system like the garden of our bodies, and we are the gardner. What we eat, how much, and how often all play an essential role in tilling the fields of good health.
Knowledge is Power, If Acted Upon
In summary, the consistent theme of all my research into health is holistic knowledge. In our modern world, we are trained to eat food for emotional satisfaction and temporary gains, at the cost of longer term health. We unconsciously reach for things that taste good as the only thing of value when choosing what to eat. By developing a conscious awareness of the dynamics in our bodies, and how they work, we can begin the process of rationally choosing the best food for health.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates
This brings me to my last point; food addiction. I have redefined addiction to mean any habit or behavior which attempts to bring emotional stability, as a result of incomplete knowledge and action. In this sense, modern day eating habits have little to do with providing health, and more to do with feeding our addictive tendencies. The food industry knows this very well, and has been manipulating the denatured food it provides with chemical such as MSG to create a dependency. Sugar is another additive in food which literally creates an addiction cycle within the brain.
The average person eats a high sugary diet with no living properties, creating a body which is overrun by harmful bacterial balances. They feel low energy, poor concentration and deteriorating health as a result. The cure is simple, but requires strength of will.
The reason we crave these poor foods is we desire emotional satisfaction. Consuming food stimulates us much in the same way that sex does, and can be thought of as a tantric experience. As a result, we must begin the process of expanding our desires to be more active and creative in our lives. Lethargic habits, lead to low dopamine levels, which usually causes us to ‘get the muchies,’ a way of releasing the feel good neurotransmitter.
Proper health is therefore is changing one’s beliefs and educating one’s self about what healthy eating is. Then we can start the process of stimulating ourselves mentally with activities such as yoga, exercise, and walking in nature; Earthing. Rarely do people who are impassioned and lively reaching for munchies. The truth is in our modern world we use food as a supplement for an active, creative and holistically productive life.
As such becoming healthy is more than just eating a salad and drinking raw milk. It, like everything else we have discussed here, is a holistic process, a mind body soul interaction. The more we are able to feel bliss and satisfaction from our creative powers being used, the less we will reach for food and drugs to satisfy our emotional needs.
I hope my efforts to communicate some of these ideas were successful. Health of mind body and spirit is one of my passions, and I have learned a great deal from the research of others. Hopefully I have added to the discussion.
The human body contains trillions of cells and not all of them are human; in fact, many of them are microbial, organisms which are so minuscule that the human eye cannot detect them.
Microbes are made up of bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists and viruses, each of which have their own set of unique genes.
Together, these microbes are considered to constitute the “human microbiome,” a term that is still relatively new but is being used more frequently as research continues to emerge in this field of study.
The human body plays host to trillions of microbes that all play a fundamental role in many life processes. Scientists are beginning to learn that the collection of microbes that constitute the human microbiome are not random and are likely set up to complement each other and the human host, as described in a report from the American Academy of Microbiology.[PDF]
Hundreds of thousands of different types of microbes exist in the world, but only several hundred of them live on humans. Microbes are found all over the body, including on the surface of the skin, in pores and sweat glands, and in the linings of nasal passages, lungs, and digestive and urogenital tracts.
The body’s various microbiomes play a crucial role in health and disease
Understanding the way the microbiome plays a pivotal role in health and disease is very young science; however, research indicates that this ecosystem is very important to our overall health.
While there is not yet any evidence indicating that certain mixtures of microbes are responsible for causing specific diseases, research does suggest that they likely play an important factor, one that may have been previously ignored.
A disturbance in the microbial “community” may contribute to the onset of diseases. Such disturbances could be caused by a number of things, one of them being antibiotics.
For example, antibiotics can alter the gut’s natural microbiome, which may result in uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea and inflammation, and even set the stage for infections of such pathogens as Clostridium difficile, a bacterium that’s often accompanied by fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Asthma, diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease have all shown to be influenced by the microbiome. While the gut microbiome is widely known for its influence on health and disease, other microbiomes such as in the mouth, skin, vagina, lungs and stomach are also considered influential.
Where do we get our microbiomes?
Most of the microbial cells living on our bodies come from other humans. Newborns are coated with microbial cells when born vaginally. Infants born via C-section receive their microbes through human touch, both from the mother and contact with other humans.
It’s unclear if the mode of birth has permanent effects on the adult microbiome, but scientists do think early changes have lasting effects.
Infants are also exposed to microbes through breastfeeding. In addition to providing important nutrients, breastfeeding transfers many different kinds of microbes that populate the baby’s gut and help build the immune system.
The partnership between microbes and different forms of life
Humans aren’t the only ones with a microbial community, as they exist nearly everywhere in nature including the soil, the ocean and in plants and animals. The partnership that microbes have with plants and animals dates back billions of years where scientists believe microbes existed in every possible ecological niche.
Previously, knowledge of bacterial diversity was limited to 5,000 different species; however technological advancements have led scientists to estimate there to be at least 1 million different species of bacteria.
This diversity is the result of more than 3 billion years of evolution, during which time bacteria learned to exist and thrive in nearly every type of environment.
As scientists continue to unlock the secrets associated with microbes and their hosts, we’re sure to gain an even better understanding of the importance of natural health. Making sure not to disturb natural cellular