My most authoritative “credential” is a testimonial about my own heart health. In 2005, I was diagnosed with “very high risk factors for heart disease.” This was noted in a simple blood lipid profile test that costs less than $100 and is part of your annual physical. Of course, I hadn’t had a physical for 15 years. After age 50, it’s important to get an annual physical!
I had very high trigylcerides, low HDL and later on I found out I had Pattern B type LDL. None of this was good news. I decided against medications. Intuitively, I just said NO to drugs. I hadn’t taken pharmaceuticals in over thirty years and wanted to know how to make these needed changes in a holistic way.
There is something about personal responsibility involved in our health that is often dismissed as incidental. I am not saying all medications are bad but as a society, we are over-prescribed, over medicated and put way too much trust in “maintenance of disease” or turning down the volume on what our bodies are trying to tell us, shutting off the natural processes that tend towards health and healing, and compromising for short term relief.
Medicine tries to mitigate symptoms with pills but does not treat the cause of the pain, discomfort or disease much less look at the whole person. Other medical practices such as acute care, emergency care, advanced life saving skill of surgeons are a whole other story and American expertise in this arena is absolutely superb. So the gap in Western style medicine is being filled in with various types of holistic practices: Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Ayurvedic, Chinese herbs, Homeopathy, super foods (vitamins and supplements) and good old fashioned exercise.
For basic health matters, I chose rather to use natural supplements and learn about lifestyle changes that I could make.
I chose a highly concentrated, pharmaceutical grade Omega-3 and was able to lower my triglycerides by 300 points in 90 days. I lost some weight and learned about exercises I could do. I use time release Niacin (B3) supplements to increase my HDL and move my Pattern B to Pattern A. I eat whole, rolled Old Fashion oats every morning. I cut out high glycemic, sugary carbs and junk food. I stick to protein, vegetables, lots of vegetables, beans and legumes. I learned the difference between macro nutrients and micro nutrients. Americans, generally speaking are well fed with the macro and not so much with the micro nutrients, and this could be the turning point in leading a healthy lifestyle.
I kayak, hike in nature and do intervals for aerobic exercise. When the weather is dreary, I have a personal rebounder I use (a mini trampoline, like NASA astronauts use to train), great for engaging the lymph system! I began practicing yoga, very instrumental in helping me to center and balance my mind state, a key to holistic health. I learned about deep breathing and the importance of breath to overall health.
What difference does it make if we practice self-care or just use pharmaceuticals drugs to mitigate symptoms? To me, it makes a huge difference in the quality of life and there is a reasonable expectation that the practice of holistic self care, will cause an increase in the number of healthy years. What’s the difference between dying in an unhealthy manner in your fifties or sixties and living a healthy, robust life well into your eighties or nineties? I can’t answer that for you.
It’s a matter or personal belief and personal choice. In the movie “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” one of the shocking aspects of the interviews conducted in the documentary was the low expectation for a life after sixty. Truly amazing. While the national average is now about 78, and accomplished in large part by the use of pharmaceuticals to prolong life through disease management, there is a significant number on the low end of the scale that will not make it passed 70. Yet, many live well into their 90s. Just think it over and make your own decisions about health. Be skeptical about information you find on the web and be skeptical about pharmaceutical drugs that are advertised wholesale on TV telling you that the side effects include death, suicidal thoughts, weight gain and liver damage. You are welcome to be skeptical about my story as well. You don’t have to believe a word I say.
I took the CPR class from the American Heart Association in 2007 and just renewed it in January 2013, and still carry that card with me at all times. If you haven’t taken this course you should. It’s worth 3 hours of time and about $70 in fees. In the state of Washington, CPR is taught in every high school. The state of Washington has the highest rate of heart attack survival in the country. A testament to what can be done with foresight and awareness.
I earned a certification from my local gym and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of American (AFAA) as a group fitness instructor. I enrolled in a year long certification program with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the largest nutrition school in the country. I graduated in October 2012 with a Holisitc Health Coach Certification and credits from Purchase College, NY. I applied and became board certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
Today, I run a dietary supplement company and practice a form of intuitive counseling helping my clients find holistic health solutions through food choices, exercise choices and dietary supplement choices. I work with a circle of holistic health counselors, integrative medical doctors, osteopaths, naturopaths and can refer my clients to a wide range of professionals to help people live healthier lives.