Dr. Daniel Bettiol
The 7 Essentials To Health
The 7 Essentials to Health are a summary of human activities which we either consciously or unconsciously perform each day. In some way or form, we perform each of these Essentials as part of our daily routine.
It is very simple actually. For those of us in diseased or "dis-eased" states, the choices we make concerning each Essential are NOT the options which yield Abundant Health.
If you are in doubt as to what the Healthy Choices are concerning the 7 Essentials, let me guide you to a Source of Abundant Wisdom------Nature.
Nature flows in different rhythms and patterns. These rhythms can be measured in days, months, seasons, years or millenia. For instance, the seasons of the year mark times of birth (planting), growth, rest (harvest) and renewal. One can even break down their day into such rhythms: Awakening (Birth), Productivity (Growth), Relaxation (Rest) and Sleep (Renewal).
We humans are a part of nature. Or should I say, that nature is a part of us. The Sun's Rhythms affect our activities far beyond when we arise and when we go to sleep. Our seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer) are determined by the tilt of the Earth's Axis in relation to the Sun as we make our yearly orbit around this huge MegaStar.
The Moon not only influences the rise and fall of the daily Earth tides, but it also regulates the Female Menstrual Cycle on a 28-30 day Rhythm.
So, I wish to remind you to look to Nature for the Source of Health Options.
We have all heard the phrase, "The best things in life are free." So let us inventory what Healthy Options that Nature provides:
It is only when humans choose to live against Nature's cycles that we find many of the causes of Human Disease. When we choose to be out of the Flowing Rhythms of Nature we generate devastating levels of stress in our lives. This stress impacts four predominant areas of our existence: Physical, Emotional, Mental and the Spiritual.
So here is a thumbnail sketch of the Healthy Choices YOU can make when it comes to living your 7 Essentials to Health each day.
A Healthy Plant-Based Diet is Optimum. Please understand that I am not telling you that you MUST be a Vegetarian. Remember, these are choices YOU make and I am recommending ways to avoid the Physical stresses that accumulate from a Poor Diet. So what is a healthy plant-based diet? I always cite page 90 of John Robbins' The Food Revolution for the ideal description (with some additions by me):
Moderation is the key word here. We will address this Essential in more depth in Future Newsletters. Just know that "Extremes" will not be preached here. Let's face it, in some instances the Mental/Emotional benefits of Chocolate will outweigh the Physical benefits of a Salad.
What did Nature provide in regards to this Essential?
Have I made myself clear? There is another drink I strongly recommend as part of your Daily Drinking routine: Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Juices. Emphasis upon the word FRESH (Bottled, Boxed or Canned Juice is NOT Fresh or Vitally Alive. It is Dead from the Pasteurization heating process). This means the Juice from Whole Fruits and Vegetables (preferably Organic or Locally Grown) which is obtained from a Juice Extractor---not a Food Processor. In my kitchen, our Juice Extractor is our #1 Countertop Appliance and is used Daily (without exception.) Dr. Norman Walker's book, "Fresh Vegetable and Fruit Juices-what's missing in your body" and Cherie Calbom's "Juicing for Life" are THE BEST sources for outlining the benefits of Juicing and also for revealing Juicing remedies to many illnesses.
Limit your intake of Cow's Milk, Soda, Alcohol, Sugar Water (aka Orange juice) and Morning Caffeinated Drinks. For those of you who prefer Coffee, look for Organic, Decaffeinated Coffee. Again, Moderation is the key.
Did you know that 85-95% of the U.S. Population is Dehydrated? Remember, you are dehydrated long before you are Thirtsy. It is not only How Much Water you drink that is important, but When you Drink it that is also vital. My Water Bible is Your Body's Many Cries for Water by Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. We will quote extensively from his book and outline his drinking regimen in the next Newsletter.
Here is an Essential which has been prominently emphasized over the last 20+ years. And for good reason---our bodies were designed and built for movement (and not sitting behind a computer screen for hours and hours). But you do NOT have to go to a Health Club to get your daily exercise. You don't even have to leave your neighborhood if you choose not to. The BEST Exercise is Drum roll, please ..The Exercise which you enjoy doing every day (or at least four days a week). Here are a list of Healthy Options from which to choose: Walking (in the woods or in Nature is Optimum); Yoga, Tai Chi, Biking, Swimming are the TOP FIVE. All five do NOT excessively burden the joints of the body and each has Aerobic (Oxygen-producing) benefit. Other exercises include: Aerobics, Weight Training, Martial Arts, as well as hobby sports such as Golf, Tennis, Racquetball, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, etc.
Duration should be for at least 30-45 minutes per day. What is that word I want to emphasize again? Moderation, yesssssss. Extreme-Noooooo. If you want to take off 2-3 days or a week, ENJOY THE BREAK. Just don't stretch it to a Decade.
Remember when we talked about Nature's Rhythms? Rest (and Relaxation) is among those natural rhythms. But we humans "don't have time for that." This is THE ONE ESSENTIAL that is violated daily by the majority of Northern Americans. Have you noticed that we (as a society) are constantly "on the run"? We hit the ground in the morning running. We rush through Breakfast and hurry the kids off to school. We speed to work to avoid being late for a meeting. We sprint to lunch and inhale our meal so we can hustle back to work for afternoon meetings and deadlines. We battle "Rush Hour" on the way home, then run the kids to afterschool activities before we blaze home for a "quick" dinner. We sit down in front of the TV to watch Commercials cleverly designed to "heighten" our senses.
And then we expect to sleep peacefully. This is why Stress-Induced Insomnia should be classified as an EPIDEMIC. We Americans live in a perpetual state of Jet Lag. And worst of all, this routine is considered N-O-R-M-A-L.
Here is the cure for this Epidemic in 7 words: Live in the Present Moment MORE often. We too often live each moment thinking about the regrets and guilt of the past OR the fears of the future. But we do not enjoy the PRESENT MOMENT. The Indian Yogis have mastered this art. And they laugh at our "advanced" society which places such MONUMENTAL IMPORTANCE on the most Trivial things/actions/happenings. For thousands of years, the Asians have Meditated to relax and to tap into their Spiritual Source. Many Asians also walk (everywhere) or perform Yoga or Tai Chi EVERY DAY. Each of these activities gets them out of their petty, mindless thought patterns (Regrets, Guilts, Fears) and into the Present Moment. Others may find Sky-diving or Rock-Climbing as activities which bring them into the Present Moment (because their life depends upon it). My grandparents relaxed by working in the Garden. All are great CHOICES. What activity do you love which brings you into the Present Moment? Practice it each day for at least 5-15 minutes and wave goodbye to poor sleep patterns and accumulated stress. Eckhart Tolle's book, The Power of Now is a must-read on the subject of Present Moment Consciousness.
Another toughie, I know. How many ways can I say Fresh Air, Clean Air, Purified Air, Dust-Free Air, Filtered Air, Oxygen-Laced Air?
Recommendations: If possible, walk in Nature each day and Breathe as Deeply as possible for the duration of your walk (Now THAT, my friend, is Aerobic Exercise); Get an Air Filtration system for your house AND change the filters every SIX weeks OR Purchase an Electric Air Filter for your Living Room and for each additional level (story) of your house (and change the filters as recommended by manufacturer); Pinch at least one window open per side of your house (no less than an inch) all year. 5. For those of us in the cold climates, turn off the heat in the winter for one hour and open at least a front AND back door (or four windows) over that short period of time. Do this DAILY to circulate Fresh Air throughout the house and vent out toxic Air particles from Household Cleaners, Perfumes, Carpet/Furniture Chemicals and Dust ; For those of us in Air-conditioned workplaces, get outside during breaks and deep breathe (hopefully you are not standing above or near a vehicle-infested roadway; and finally, adorn your home, workplace and life with HOUSE PLANTS-----Nature's best Oxygen-producers.
Not only is What you Breathe important, but also How you Breathe. For centuries, we have heard to keep our chest out and our belly in. Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. Lay a newborn baby on its back and observe the rise and fall of its belly as it breathes. Nature (and that little baby) knows that belly-breathing ( also called Diaphragmatic breathing) is the most efficient and effective way to FULLY OXYGENATE the Physical body. Belly-breathing allows the lower lobes of both lungs to fill with air---which is something Oxygen-starved Chest-breathers cannot accomplish. Again, we shall cover this again in future newsletters. But for now, just know that when you take a deep breath, Let that Belly expand OUT----and be proud of it!!!!! I show off my expanded Belly to everyone I meet---even as my wife runs away in horror.
A reporter once asked the late, Nobel prize-winning Doctor Albert Schweitzer, "What is wrong with people today?" After a brief pause, Schweitzer said, "People simply don't think." Schweitzer was highlighting what University research has shown over the past 60 years---Humans use less than 5% (some say 2%) of our Brain's capacity. There are vast realms of our mind's capacity from which we Humans have never tapped . Quantum Physics has clearly shown that just concentrating one's thinking upon an object changes the electromagnetic and chemical components of the object and its immediate surroundings. However, the vast majority of us use this Amazingly Complex Supercomputer for nothing more than simple, mindless, habitual, routine activities.
I consider What You Think as, by far, the most important individual Essential out of the Six we have covered. Mind/Body Medicine, admittedly, has barely scratched the surface as to the POTENTIAL for Health and Healing which is presently locked away in the mysteries of the Human Mind.
Thinking is the Highest Function of the Human Being. I once heard in a play the following line, "The only thing about a Man (read Person) that is a Man is his Mind. Everything else can be found in a Pig or a Horse." How true this statement is. Throughout history, the great Wisemen and Teachers, Philosophers and Prophets have disagreed with one another on many different topics. It is only on one point that they have been in complete and unanimous agreement. Earl Nightingale's book, "Earl Nightingale's Greatest Discovery" called it The Strangest Secret and it can be summed up in words--We become what we think about.
You see, your mind can be compared to a garden. The land will return whatever has been planted in the soil. Your mind acts much like the land. It will return to you what thoughts you think into it. The ancient scriptures summed this concept up very nicely, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap." Modern philosophy would say, "Garbage in, Garbage out." In terms of your Health---If you think unhealthy thoughts (in conflict with Nature's Rhythms), you are certain to be unhealthy. The Law of Cause and Effect never fails. We shall fully explore healthy and unhealthy thinking in future Newsletters-----I promise. For now
I highly recommend FIVE books which will get you started in discovering just how important your Thinking is to your Health. These are Essential additions to your own Health Library. Most of them are between 40-100 years old and have stood the test of time and critical review. But their wisdom is timeless. Speaking in relation to your five fingers, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy is the Index finger which points to some of the hidden powers of your mind. Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol is the Middle (Longest) Finger which can show how far one can go if they believe in the powers and potentials of their own Mind. Both Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Phyllis Diller credit this book with launching them from obscurity to international fame. Do It! Let's Get Off Our But's by Peter McWilliams is the ring finger which shows how the commitment to following basic mind principles can lead to abundant health and prosperity. His description about the five aspects of our Comfort Zone and how it limits our life (health, family, prosperity) is alone worth the price of the book. AS A MAN THINKETH by James Allen is the pinky. It may be a small (and short) book on the Cause and Effect of our Thought Processes, but it contributes mightily to the Punch. And finally, Ernest Holmes' The Science of Mind is the thumb which wraps the foundation around the other four. It is the quintessential book on Physical, Emotional, Mental and Spiritual Philosophy.
Your Health at this moment is the sum total of your accumulated Health Thoughts (and subsequent Health choices) up to this point in time. Please memorize that.
This Essential involves balancing your life. It includes balancing the other 6 Essentials (not concentrating on mastering one essential and dismissing the rest). It also involves how you balance: Work commitments with Family obligations; Work time with Leisure (Relaxation) time; Spousal support with Friend support; Spouse quality time with Children quality time; Home service with Community service; Alone time with People time; Education time with Non-Education (TV) time and on and on.
I have struggled with this Essential for what seems like forever. I still have my biggest challenges with my Balance Essential. But I have found the solution in the The Four P's to Balance. Now, if I am struggling with a challenge, I go directly to The Four P's.
The Four P's are: Perspective, Purpose, Priorities and Promises.
Your Life Perspective can be summarized in how you finish the sentence-Life is . It is your choice. Some say "an exciting adventure" while others may say "dull boredom" I bet you could tell me who is healthier.
Your Life Purpose can also be completed in a sentence---My purpose in Life is to "help others", "make money", "bear and raise children", "travel the world", "get married", "stay single." Again, it is your choice-and remember-your Health depends upon it.
Your Life Priorities can be summarized in a list. Gale Sayers, the Hall of Fame running back for the Chicago Bears Football team credited his priorities with his phenomenal success. Sayers' priorities were: 1- God; 2- Family; 3- Himself (his Health and his Work). Others may choose 1- Family; 2- Friends; 3- Country; 4- Work; 5- Their own Health needs. Still others may say 1-Make money; 2-Make more money; 3- Work 12 hour days; 4- Make even more money. I would remind them that Balance is the name of THIS Essential.
Finally, your Life Promises are Verbal Commitments you make (in harmony with Your Perspective, Purpose and Priorities) to Yourself AND to those close to you (Family, Friends, Co-Workers). These are Promises which you vow to KEEP, regardless of Life's Opportunities or Tragedies. Rare exceptions are granted by written permission ONLY.
Thank you for joining me today on the road to Abundant Health. This First Newsletter will be a constant referral source for you and me from now on. Come back to it from time to time just to see how you may be progressing along your own personal pathway to Health and Longevity, Happiness and Success.
I wish you All the Best in Health and in Life.
Dr. Danny Bettiol
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