I have vivid memories of my first ride, a metallic green Schwinn bicycle. As an 8-year-old kid riding around the neighborhood, my status was my bike. No helmets required in those days, just hop on and ride. A favorite trick was to ride with no hands. I fancied myself a daredevil as I attempted to make a turn with my hands raised high into the air — and then down I went! This memory is etched into my mind because of the skinned knees, hands, elbows, and chin. A serious case of road rash. However, the memory stands out for another reason: My dad’s words still ring in my ears a few days later as I was picking at a scab trying to form on my knee, “Leave that scab alone! Let God do his work!”
In our world of much needed health advice, my dad’s words have never been truer. Have you ever noticed that our perception of healing is different from injury to the outside of our body versus illnesses formed inside of our body? My dad’s advice to speed the healing of my skinned knee had definite overtones of “leave your knee alone.” He said, Mother Nature will do her job and heal your knee just fine. The key ingredients to healing the abrasion on the outside of my body were air and sunshine. “Leave that scab alone!”
Conversely, our paradigm shifts when we have an ailment on the inside of our body. Illnesses within our bodies usually warrant a different game plan: Go to the doctor. Get a shot. I cannot miss work.
But wait! Why isn’t the healing mindset that Dad imparted to us concerning the knee abrasion still valid for an ailment such as a viral or bacterial infection? Certainly, all illnesses will not require prescription medication. Why don’t we let Mother Nature take over and let our immune system do its job? Why can’t we just clean out our body, give it water, air, sleep, and sunshine, then, let our body heal itself? It sounds too simple. However, that was the very process that healed my road rash!
We should all long for a healthy immune system to be self-limiting, meaning that your own immune system will usually kick in and fight the sickness. The key to our wish may lie in understanding your gut health. Your gut is extremely important to your mental and emotional health and plays a key role in your immune system’s ability to fight many diseases.
Fortunately, there is a new trend of “de-prescribing,” or keeping patients healthy by getting them off unnecessary drug prescriptions. One such doctor that de-prescribes is Victoria Sweet, M.D., who wrote the book, “Slow Medicine: The Way to Heal.” She describes the current system as, “Take the pill, fix the symptom, move on.” However, “slow medicine means taking the time to get to the bottom of what’s making people sick — including medications in some cases — and giving the body a chance to heal.”
My question then becomes elementary. Why don’t all health practitioners start their diagnosis with pertinent questions directed toward the patient’s gut health? The questions could include: How is your diet? What have you been eating that you know you shouldn’t eat? Are you food bingeing? How is your water intake? Are you eating enough real vegetables? How many fast food meals do you average per week? What are your sleep patterns? Are you under stress?
Dr. Michael Ruscio stated in his latest podcast, “Health, Nutrition Functional Medicine,” that some illnesses are even misdiagnosed because not enough attention is paid to the patient’s gut health first. “It’s a great place to start.”
While healing your gut, why not complete the acronym BIG?
- Balanced blood sugar.
- Inflammation reduction.
- Gut health.
Hippocrates said that all disease begins in the gut. Even if his premise was only half correct, wouldn’t the gut be the first place to start the healing process?
I can hear Dad telling me to stop drinking sodas and drink more water. Stop eating so much candy, and eat more fruit. Trade your fast food for more green veggies. Go to bed early. Drink plenty of water. Put the games down and go play outside. Actually, he was just telling me that given half a chance, my body will heal itself!
Joey Williams is a Plexus ambassador. To learn more about Plexus, contact him at (956) 648-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit plexusathlete.com. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @plexusathlete.