Organic. Not mechanical. That means we need to think differently when trying to fix problems in the system. Repairing a mechanical system is usually a straightforward, clear-cut, logical process.
Not so with living systems, which are elegantly complex and sometimes incomprehensible. We have a capacity for emotion, interconnected body systems, and strong survival instincts. No wonder it’s challenging to zero in on one correct thing to do when you have a health issue.
Last week I wrote about the dilemmas of too much information. It strikes me that too much information is like having too much choice. It complicates things, even though there’s a good side as well.
The paradox of choice caught my attention when I was teaching college classes about consumer issues. In the TED Talk below, researcher Barry Schwartz speaks about choosing consumer goods, but his findings can also be applied to health and wellness decisions. Continue reading →
Information overload combined with a lack of clear answers can be confusing, frustrating, and discouraging. It’s tempting to think it would be so much easier if life were black and white, if someone else could tell us the precise course of action to guarantee the results we want. But that won’t be happening any time soon.
And really, that isn’t the point of life, as far as I can tell. From my viewpoint, life is about learning and growing. And health issues certainly provide us with opportunities to do that.
So it’s on us to be conscious and engaged when making health-related choices. Here are a few thoughts to consider.
1. We are organic, not mechanical, systems.
Repairing a mechanical system is usually a straightforward, clear-cut, logical process. Not so with living systems, which are elegantly complex and sometimes incomprehensible. We have a capacity for emotion, interconnected body systems, and strong survival instincts. No wonder it’s challenging to zero in on the one correct thing to do.
2. It helps a lot to adopt an experimental mindset.
Because maybe there isn’t just one perfect answer. Maybe it’s a zig-zag path to where we want to be.
In this culture, we tend to look for a direct path to the right and perfect solution. This search can have the unintended consequence of preventing any action at all because you can never be really sure you’ve found the correct one.
On the other hand, an experimental approach allows us to be curious. It opens up possibilities and gives you a chance to learn what works and what doesn’t. It’s a time-honoured approach, as illustrated by this story from Thomas Edison’s friend and associate Walter S. Mallory.
I said to him, “Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?” Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: “Results! Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work!”
With an attitude like that, there’s no need to feel like a failure when you try something that doesn’t work. After all, you were just testing a theory, not staking your reputation for success on it.
3. You’ll be a lot more confident in making health decisions once you learn to access your innate self-knowing.
Self-knowing is the key to being able to rest easy with your decisions. It’s the aspect of decision-making that provides the greatest opportunity for growth, and the one that’s easiest to overlook.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore how you can marshal your resources to know what to do. In the meantime, here are The Delta Rhythm Boys to sing us out…
We are typically told that once a diabetic, always a diabetic—that is, diabetes can be managed but it is not reversible once you have it. Dr Sarah Hallberg challenges this viewpoint, based on her clinical experience using a high-fat diet. Her program has been highly successful in reversing diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Continue reading →
This is being posted on Valentine’s Day, when it’s traditional to acknowledge those you love. If you aren’t on your list of people you know and love, this is a good time to think about how to change that.
Meditation is a time-honoured means of learning to be present with yourself, to get to know and appreciate who you really are.
If you’ve ever had even an inkling of interest in meditation, this video is for you. Emily Fletcher started her career in theatre. When she refers to being able to dance, that relates to her 10-year career on Broadway, which included roles in Chicago, The Producers, and A Chorus Line. Continue reading →
This photo is not me having a bad-hair day. It’s how things felt inside my head before I stopped eating sugar and greatly reduced other carbohydrates. I managed to keep functioning and sometimes smiling, but it was hard work. And I’m not sure I fooled everybody, although I tried.
Within a few months of eating no sugar or grains, I realized my brain was feeling like this…
…and I began smiling more, even in a Canadian winter.
I’m not the only one…
A couple weeks ago, I posted about new research showing that Alzheimer’s can be reversed. The success of the program comes from using a whole-system approach to discover the causes of disturbed brain function in each individual. To do this, they look at 36 factors in the areas of diet, environment, toxins, activity, and stress. Sugar is one of those factors. Continue reading →
In this TED-Ed talk, William Li, MD presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases. It is anti-angiogenesis, which means preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumour. He says the crucial first (and best) step is eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.
Watching this reminds me of three things that are important and easily forgotten:
Just because conventional wisdom has not yet embraced a new idea, that does not make the new idea untrue.
What we eat does make a difference and it’s worth paying attention.
As Dr. Li says (at 19:00 minutes on the video), we can empower ourselves to do the things that doctors can’t do for us, which is to use knowledge and take action.
In June of 2016, Science Daily published a report describing initial results of a study underway at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. The title: “Pre and post testing show reversal of memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease in 10 patients.” It goes on…
This is the first study to objectively show that memory loss in patients can be reversed, and improvement sustained, using a complex, 36-point therapeutic personalized program that involves comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, exercise, optimization of sleep, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry.
Alzheimer’s reversed? Yes!
This is stunning in a healthcare culture where “everyone knows” that Alzheimer’s is a sentence to steady decline over a long period of time with no hope of recovery. Continue reading →