[Full Review] Wellness Essentials, Chronic Illness and Physiological Adaptation

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Wellness Essentials, Chronic Illness and Physiological Adaptation

Health is not the absence of disease. It is a balance between physical health, mental health, emotional health and spiritual health. Most of us are born physically healthy with the potential to learn and achieve emotional, mental and spiritual health and balance. Unfortunately, our environmental stressors and choices made when growing up, leads us to struggle expressing the emotional, spiritual and mental health we are capable of achieving. In chiropractic, we acknowledge this disharmony between ourselves (internally) and our environment (externally) as subluxation. In Chiropractic, we recognize the nervous system is our internal coordinating system that regulates and coordinates cellular function throughout the body. It is this system that is constantly changing based on our personal choices and environmental surroundings. The environment that we live in today is more stressful  because of the toxic overloads in our food, water and air that we constantly are adapting to every day. 

We are physically sick, depressed, anxious, angry, bitter, ashamed, greedy and we all feel lost which results in our body expressing a state of physiological adaptation. Since it is so common culturally, we just accept these multi-faced illnesses and less than perfect treatments that mask symptoms and never deal with the roots of the problems. Yet, it is in our power to prevent all these illnesses, or physiological adaptations, and live a healthy, long and happy life.

In this video Dr. James Chestnut provides an excellent explanation on why we are so sick and how our physiology is chronically adapting to our unhealthy society: 

Physiological Adaptation Statistics and Chronic Illness Research

Physiological adaptation from environmental and lifestyle stress has been shown to impact our health negatively in many different ways.

Regarding this heart health research study, Between 2013 and 2016, 121.1 million adults suffered from some form of heart disease which killed 840,678 people in 2016 alone. Heart disease is caused by obesity, which is caused by movement deficiency, toxic food overload and environmental traumas and related stress over a chronic period of time.  

In reference to blood sugar adaptation physiology, the CDC research study showed that 2015, 30.3 million adults had diabetes and at least 100 million people had diabetes or prediabetes. This is caused from a consumption of refined sugar overload, lack of physical activity and coincident insulin resistance. The body is not designed to have blood sugar dysregulation, but a bioaccumulation of bad choices over time.

In 2016, about 75 million people had high blood pressure according to the CDC research results. As a result, many of these people(estimated 7 in 10 adults) are taking blood pressure medications instead of changing their lifestyle. If blood pressure in the body is in a state of constant adaptation from high levels of environmental stress, then there is no way that medications can address the root cause of high blood pressure. Witnessing traumatic events can increase the physiological adaptation load, or allostatic load, which leads to an increase in physiological blood pressure expression. To artificially lower the blood pressure in the body doesn't build health emotionally, mentally or physically. Another great explanation of the science of physiological adaptation can be learned here.

In 2016 50 million people had some form of autoimmune disease. In 2019 it is estimated there will be at least 1.7 million new cases of cancer according to this CDC physiological adaptation research study. Cancer is also (like many other diseases caused by chronic physiological adaptation) a result of chronic stress, chronic inflammation, decreased immunity and insulin resistance.

In 2018, 16.2 million adults were diagnosed with depression. Nearly 40 million people suffer from an anxiety disorder in any given year. These are just a few of the many preventable lifestyle diseases affecting the nation and they are not affecting adults only since more and more children are being diagnosed with these diseases. With more awareness people can prevent these diseases in their communities.

Wellness Essentials: The Causes of Physiological Adaption, Diseases by Lifestyle  and Preventable Illnesses 

Diet plays a major role in health yet urban dwellers do not have much control over what they eat since they do not grow their food and depend entirely on their supermarkets. Unfortunately, intensive farming methods supply food that is nutrient deficient and full of agricultural chemicals. Worse still, most of the food that people consume daily is processed and filled with chemicals that preserve them and enhance flavor and has been deprived of nutrients during processing. The combination of poor nutrition and harmful chemicals contributes significantly to poor health and diseases. Added to that, people eat large quantities of carbohydrates and sugar which add to weight and the high incidence of diabetes. It is no wonder that there are so many chronic diseases. If urban people want to prevent all these diseases, they must develop awareness of their diet and learn to grow or purchase healthy foods.

A sedentary lifestyle has contributed to obesity, bad posture and poor health. Sitting at work and sitting for too long watching television at home and driving/riding everywhere means that many people hardly ever exercise. With more awareness of the importance of fitness people can begin to move more, lose weight and become fit.

In this insightful video, Dr. Eric Goodman, the founder of Foundation Training explains how sedentary living is leading to complacency, or physiological adaptation, chronic illness and what we need to do and think to adapt appropriately.

The use of chemicals that started in the 20th century has contributed a lot to diseases. There are synthetic chemicals in all household cleaners, air fresheners, laundry products, personal care products and also at the workplace. Then there are chemicals fumes that are released by various industries and motor vehicles that have affected air quality to the extent that some urban areas are covered in fog. People breathe in that polluted air and they develop respiratory and other diseases. Industrial chemicals are spilled into waterways and they affect the quality of water and affect water life which people happen to eat. Through drinking polluted water and eating fish people get the chemicals into their bodies.

In this video, Dr. Dan Pompa explains the most common hidden toxins in our household environment and how our body will adapt physiologically: 

The chemicals also end up in the sea where they affect fish and other creatures that people eat. Looking at urban life, one can see that the people are exposed to too many chemicals and it is no wonder that they suffer from so many diseases. People need to develop awareness of the importance of a clean environment so that they keep it clean or campaign against companies that pollute it. With awareness they also avoid polluted foods and make wiser choices.

Electromagnetic Interference is a new form of Environmental Pollution

Living in urban environments exposes people to electromagnetic fields that are created by power lines, and cell towers. In many urban homes there are too many gadgets such huge televisions, DVD players, cable boxes, gate motors, alarm systems, innumerable remote controls, routers, computers, microwave ovens, smartphones, tablets and games boxes. Many of these are also present in many workplaces. All these gadgets listed above, especially the last six, emit dangerous radiation that is causing cancers and other diseases. The science explanation attached here, entitled "Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth's Surface Electrons", relays the reality that we, as humans have a natural reserve of free electrons circulating in our body that is depleted from electromagnetic fields. This is because inflammation, is understood as reactive oxygen species, which are positively charged and neutralized by our negatively charged free electrons. Since we are chronically inflamed, the human body is depleted of its natural free electrons so it is encouraged for all of us to reconnect our body with nature by connecting with natural environments. For example, swimming in rivers, barefoot walking on soil, hugging trees and lying on the beach are earthing activities we can use to regain free electrons from these rich resources.

Again, people need to develop more awareness of these dangers so that they can take steps to reduce exposure and protect their families. 

Perceptual Adaptation is caused by Accidents

Accidents also contribute to poor physical and mental health because they affect our perceptions of what could happen on the road. People who live in urban areas are prone to accidents when they travel work, commute and play sports. Recovery from injury is long, painful and costly. The pain may end up being chronic which may lead someone to constant consumption of powerful painkillers for extended periods of time throughout life. The damage caused by accidents may lead to limited mobility which affects work and play and may lead to inability to work and depression. Some of the problems of chronic pain and limited mobility can be solved by chiropractic care but most people are not aware of how adjustments can affect perceptual adaptation. As the body changes, so does the mind and how people understand their reality and potential to change it. Awareness needs to be raised in urban dwellers so that they can take advantage of the services provided by chiropractic doctors around them.

Stress causes behavioral adaptation

Stress, or anxiety, or depression, is another factor that contributes to physical, emotional and mental health. There is too much stress caused by working several jobs, job loss, financial difficulties, bad relationships, abuse at home, illness, and continuous bad news on television. Stress causes a long list of diseases. Awareness of stress management strategies can go a long way to reduce stress or the effects of stress. In this video, stress is explored in a conscious way that is empowering because it places the responsibility and ability of stress to have both positive and negative effects in each and every one of us: 

Emotional traumas and Drug Addiction can lead to Psychological Adaptation 

Various traumas are experienced as neglect, abandonment, alcoholism, sexual, physical and emotional abuse and other problems. These moments in life can lead to a lot of anger, anxiety, depression and personality disorders that can affect people throughout the rest of their lives. All these emotional problems affect physical health and can create psychological adaptation to avoid certain situations, express hyper arousal in special circumstances and living in a state of altered psychological processes due to previous experienced traumas. Urban people who are aware of their past hurts should develop awareness of the negative effects these have on their health and seek some form of therapy to undo the damage.

Addiction is another problem that leads to disease. The many emotional problems that people have can manifest in the form of addiction. People’s lives are being destroyed by addiction to alcohol, illicit drugs, painkillers, gambling, technology, love, sex, and food. According to NSDUH statistics, 19.7 million American adults suffered from some form of substance abuse in 2017, and in the same year 1.7 Americans suffered from substance abuse linked to opioids and 47,000 people died from prescription opioid overdose. Opioid abuse begins with either acute pain or chronic pain caused by illnesses (some of them listed above) or injury. Despite the many problems that addiction cause, only 7% of the addicts seek treatment. Again, part of the problem is awareness. While people cannot help some of the problems that they face especially in childhood, they can find help if only they could have awareness.

Resources for Help are Available

People need to develop awareness that they do not need to be wealthy to be healthy, but that they just need to make wise choices in all areas of their lives. Most of the illnesses that urban people suffer from are either preventable or treatable. The problem is that people are not equipped with knowledge that can help them to lead healthy lives or to overcome their problems. They are not even aware that they do not need to be wealthy in order to be healthy so they think that if only they had money, they wouldn’t be sick. They need to be taught about societies that are poor (when compared to the West) but who lead healthier and longer lives because they eat whole foods that they grow and they are active all their lives because they have to work hard to survive.

Urban people need to be taught and shown what resources are available to them in their city in terms of therapists, parks, training and gyms. With such knowledge they can develop life strategies that can help them to live healthy, happy and long lives in their environment. 

It is useless to teach old people who are already set in their ways and are already sick. Young people, irrespective of their ethnic background or level of wealth, should be targeted and taught about health and the available resources in their cities. They should also be taught how to build a healthy community. With this knowledge they can develop life strategies that involve making the right choices in all areas of their lives. With the right choices they can develop positive habits and attitudes that enhance health and fitness for their communities.