Also discussed is the new theory of the acidity of the body as a determinant of health. The more acidic our body due to stress, pollution and poor diets the more our body must protect itself by extracting minerals such as calcium from our bones to restore pH balance. Too little calcium causes major diseases like osteoporosis and cancer. A healthy pH balance requires good nutrition and digestion. Poor digestion and junk foods increases the oxidation in our bodies which damages cells and leads to aging and disease.

To help shore up our dietary health we should supplement with digestive enzymes, a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral supplement, antioxidants from vegetables and herbs and probiotics. Dicenso also recommends an alkaline diet of raw organic fruits and vegetables.

Disease is a process, and symptoms can often be misleading as to the true cause. We may think of an ailment as having a physical cause when it may be due to stress induced by a negative belief system. Therefore, just treating the physical body may not heal the ailment but only suppress symptoms. This is what traditional Western medicine does. It’s good at treating a crisis, but very poor at understanding health and maintaining it in the long term.

While the US led the world in health in 1900, it now lags other developed countries. Of the 33 industrialized countries studied by the WHO, the US was 17th in longevity, 23rd in survival of newborns, and 33rd in birth defects. Even animals are afforded higher health standards. Dog food, for instance, contains more minerals than baby food. [One wonders if Obama will really clean up corruption in the US, especially in the FDA, which in collusion with pharmaceutical companies is responsible for poisoning the american people].

The drug companies encourage us to put artificial substances into our bodies to heal them without asking why the body is malfunctioning in the first place. Pharmaceutical drugs can and do cause unforeseen and sometimes deadly side-effects. What we need is a broader approach to diagnosis that takes into account the whole person, not just the physiological body. Even when considering physiology a broader perspective is needed.

He gives an example of hypothyroidism, which is commonly diagnosed with symptoms of puffy features, weight gain, hoarseness, dry skin, fatigue, sensitivity to cold, etc. A broader perspective will consider the relationship of the thyroid to the adrenal and pituitary glands. This is a poor example because most decent traditional doctors would consider this relationship. And this example teaches us nothing of the relationship between the virtual self and the other 2 modalities, which is the real theme of new books on holistic healing, this one included.

That is, while our physiology, genes and environment are important, our attitudes, beliefs and choices also play a decisive role. Fortunately, this means we have a great deal of control over our health as we can control and change our thoughts and belief system. The relatively new (historically speaking)  school of cognitive therapy runs parallel to new age thinking as to the ability to become aware of and change our thought patterns and reality.

By increasing our self-awareness we are less vulnerable to the subconscious manipulation of advertising and peer pressure. Thoughts become intentions when focused in awareness, which move us to action. What we ultimately choose to focus our attention on – our intentions – determines our character and how we behave. This can leads us to make choices (ie: exercise, healthy diet, etc.) that are good for our health. Good health begins with the way we have been taught to think and feel about ourselves, which pervades our physical and biochemical selves with unconscious messages. Change the way you think and you will change the biochemistry of your cells. Change the way you think about things and the things you think about change.

So we must acknowledge the thoughts and emotions that may be contributing to poor health and disease. Without this, all the medication and dieting in the world will have little impact as we have not touched the source of our dis-ease and it will return in one form or another. [Sounds like Freud wasn’t so stupid after all. Many people fail to see the profound connection between Freud’s writing and the birth of cognitive therapy, seeing Freud as lost in 19th century conceptions of science and the unconscious. But his talk therapy is really a direct precursor to cognitive therapy, the difference being the different focus on the impact of the talking. Freud saw it altering our unconscious emotions while cognitive therapists see it altering our thought patterns, a chicken and egg semantic debate. But regardless, talk is talk and often helpful.

People must determine for themselves their present situation, what they want to achieve and how to get there. Every path to healing is unique and requires a personal approach from each individual to succeed. You must first have a strong desire to change your life that comes from within (not from the expectations of others). Then you must increase your awareness and focus your attention on exactly what you want to achieve. The more you are able to focus on and imagine your desired outcomes, the easier it will be to manifest them in your life.

Staying focused is the key. Commit yourself to change and be willing to make sacrifices to achieve your aims. Find ways to make the process enjoyable: eat healthy foods and find types of exercise and (outdoor) activities you really like. [Get out and get some sun. Move.] Forcing yourself to eat foods and participate in sports you don’t enjoy won’t bring lasting results. Moderate drugs, alcohol, caffeine and animal products, get adequate sleep, eat more fruits and vegetables, and be grateful for the wonderful life you have been given. Becoming aware of how much you have to be thankful for will shift your focus in the right direction. Then just follow the yellow brick road.

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