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Lifestyle Determines Health

“…if we remember the fundamental principle that the symptomatology of an illness is at the same time a natural attempt at healing….”  ~C.G.Jung, Collected Works

How would we relate differently to our achy backs and stiff joints, or instable blood sugars and heartburn if we honored the symptom as the body’s way of attempting to heal itself?  What Western medicine offers is valuable, but it is limited.  The approach to symptoms in Western medicine primarily is that of attempting to eradicate or control. If we review symptoms as a natural process of healing, then the question becomes “Is the obliteration or control of symptoms the optimal approach?”

Certainly relief from symptoms is helpful, even necessary and life saving at times, but where both the provider and patient loose in the end is calling it a done deal when the symptoms are controlled or eradicated.

Epigenetics, which is the study of variation in gene expression that do not involve changes to the original DNA sequence, but may result in variable expression in our physical bodies.  Epigenetic change is a regular and natural occurrence and is influenced by several factors including age, the environment, lifestyle, and state of health.   What the study of Epigenetics has revealed is each of us is much more in control of lives than we thought.  We are not at the mercy of our genes!

We can influence our gene expression based on our lifestyles, and lifestyle determines health, thus investigation of disease beyond the mere treatment of symptoms is key.  What is lifestyle?  Lifestyle includes not only what we eat, but how we eat it; not only if we exercise, but what is our attitude when exercising;, not only if we are in relationships, but are those relationships nourishing; not only how we act, but what are the underlying emotions that are the foundation of our actions.

Health is not determined by a series of negative lab or imaging studies, nor is determined by your doctor saying, “Everything looks great.”

While those are important, each person’s health is ultimately dependent on his/her daily behaviors and attitudes.  Do you have resentments from childhood or from yesterday that are still festering?  How do those resentments impact your relationships today?  What habitual ways do you have of interacting?  Are they of benefit to you and others?  Are you willing to look, take responsibility, and be uncomfortable?

Wishing you courage and honesty with your self upon the exploration of these questions.  Remember engaging a trusted friend, family member or counselor to aid in your exploration is invaluable.  All the best!

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