Did you know that according to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
* 7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases.
* In 2005, 133 million Americans—almost 1 out of every 2 adults—had at least one chronic illness.
* About one-fourth of people with chronic conditions have one or more daily activity limitations.
* Mental illnesses and chronic diseases are closely related. Chronic diseases can exacerbate symptoms of depression, and depressive disorders can themselves lead to chronic diseases.
* Chronic diseases are the most common and costly of all health problems, but they are also the most preventable.
* Four common, health-damaging, but modifiable behaviors—tobacco use, insufficient physical activity, poor eating habits, and excessive alcohol use—are responsible for much of the illness, disability, and premature death related to chronic diseases. (1)
So at least a whopping 70% of American deaths are preventable because they are lifestyle related! What are the reasons then that more Americans are acquiring and keeping their chronic conditions?
Mis-belief #1 You can consume anything (by digesting, breathing, hearing and seeing) and your body will somehow handle it.
Truth - Anytime people put things into their body that their body doesn't know how to handle, it causes a toxic stressor. A toxic stressor is anything that taxes the normal functioning of your body. Along life's road when you accumulate enough toxic stressors it tips the scale to physical breakdown. The total load of toxic stressors that finally tip the scale is different for each person.
"It is only when the total body burden of mental and physical stressors has been sufficiently reduced," observes Sherry Rogers, M.D., "that the body is able to reverse damages from years of overload, and heal…the lower the total load, the higher your total health."
Mis-belief #2 Your condition is hereditary and you cannot get rid of it, you can only manage it.
Truth - True, certain family lines carry inherited physical and mental weaknesses. But, families also pass on dietary habits and environmental exposure to toxins (i.e. mold in the house) to future generations. If mom and dad take no thought as to their body's nutritional needs more than likely their offspring will follow suit. Those toxic stressors as mentioned above, exacerbate genetic weaknesses.
Cells replicate just like little copy machines. If you have had experience with a copy machine you know that if you make a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, that last copy looks terrible and far from the original. But, if you copy superior quality copies every time, those copies will look exactly like the original. Give your body superior building blocks and eliminate toxic stressors and those cells will start to replicate superior cells. You'll not only be able to prevent a family weakness but may actually reverse one you've acquired. Heredity is not destiny.
Mis-belief #3 Your physician is responsible for the state of your health.
Truth – Your health is YOUR responsibility! Many people go to their doctor like taking their car to the automotive mechanic. If something is wrong someone else needs to fix it. The truth is only you have power to create wellness for yourself in the choices you make everyday on your own behalf.
It's not your doctor's body, or your spouse's, friend's or other family member's body. It's YOUR BODY! You will live with the consequences of your choices, although, the result of those choices do impact others. Your family or friends will end up listening to you complain, have to tolerate (or not) your crabby moods and/or take care of you. Those situations usually compound already degenerating health conditions. But, it is your responsibility to learn and make healthy decisions in nutrition, healthy habits, exercise and spirituality not anyone else's.
Mis-belief #4 You don't need to look at side-effects of medication because if a physician prescribed it it must be good for you or at least couldn't hurt you.
Truth - Have you really read the list of side-effects of even the simplest over-the-counter medication? Sure, we often feel like we don't have a choice but to take it. If we have let our health get to a point where it is an emergency life and death situation, that may be absolutely true.
But, where do you go from there? Have you started out with one small (you thought) chronic condition that lead to another and another because of the medication(s) you were on? How many medications did you end up taking? In mis-belief #3 you learned that your health is your responsibility. That includes everything you put into your body no matter who gives it to you.
Does what you're taking mask symptoms or get to the root of the cause? Sometimes the side-effects of the medication are the same or worse than that of the condition you're taking it for. Research of all your options and make an informed decision of what goes into your body.
Mis-belief #5 Conventional medicine always has your best interest at heart so you don't have to.
Truth – Buyer beware. Learn to step up to the plate and be your own advocate when talking to your health care provider. Be an active participant in your health relationship. Ask questions until you understand what you need to know. Consider consequences of proposed treatments and don't accept intimidation to undergo treatment.
Do your own research and bring up natural alternatives when talking to your physician. In some instances your provider may be banned by the group clinic they are in to bring up natural remedies to your chronic condition unless you mention it first. If your physician doesn't want to talk about natural remedies or other options ask for a referral for one who will.
Find practitioners who are willing to help you reach your wellness goals. They may include acupuncturists, chiropractors, dentists, marriage and family counselors, medical doctors, health and wellness coaches just to name a few.
Your participation in your health is vital to overcome your chronic health condition.