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The Whole Health Picture

By Camille Gallinger, CN

This week I had the opportunity to share with a dear friend my reasons for emphasizing lifestyle strategies and mindset in addition to nutrition (health-promoting foods, beverages and supplementation) for health and vitality. She is very health-conscious and takes great strides to eat healthfully, keep a largely chemical-free home and cook and store foods in safe pots, pans and containers.

Because of all this conscientiousness, she was highly frustrated that a member of her family still had high blood pressure.  I shared with her that since I believed there is more to us than just a physical body (3 parts- spirit, soul and body), I believe that it is crucial to account for emotional/mental stress and pressure that may affect physical health even after all that she had “done it all right nutritionally”.

 It turned out that her family member does work in a high pressure, high stress job that warrants incredible grace and skill to handle.  It may explain the high blood pressure, at least in part.  She was happy to receive insight on how the autonomic nervous system responds to stress and how to support it along with the stellar nutrition that was already in place.

How about you and your loved ones? Are you working diligently to eat and supplement healthfully yet are still struggling with issues like catching colds frequently, headache pain and inflammation, moodiness, difficulty losing weight and fatigue? It may be necessary to devote care and attention to the thoughts (which are things) of your mind and your emotional responses.  Even the functional medicine community is taking this into account.

Recently the Institute of Functional Medicine sponsored their wonderful AFMCP –Applying Functional Medicine in Clinical Practice, a patient-centered education program that embraces the whole person philosophy for health and the prevention of disease.  Many healthcare professionals address how you think, how you respond to stress and the strength of your social support networks as they assess and create your overall health plan.  This is wisdom. This is whole health.

 

Wisdom Source: Bright eyes gladden the heart; Good news puts fat on the bones.  Proverbs 15:30 (NASB version)

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