Natural Health Care is a wonderful science and art which goes back to the beginning of recorded history. In ancient Greek, Roman, Hebrew, Egyptian and Asian writings, there are many reference works on natural healing and herbal medicine. The first natural food supplements used in human history were medicinal herbs. The Bible and many other historical documents recommend the use of herbs, a healthy diet, and fasting (cleansing) to help prevent and overcome disease. These written records go back to about 2,000 B.C. or 4,000 years ago!
The famous saying, “Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine your food, and there is a healing power inherent in nature,” was quoted by Hippocrates – the father of ‘modern medicine’ and the father of ‘medical literature’ – in about 400 B.C.
TWO MAIN FUNCTIONS OF THE CELLS
Understanding the two main functions of the cells is foundational to understanding how the human body works, and where a person has to start in order to have a successful health and fitness program. Some people might know more about how their lawnmower works than how the human body works. This introduction provides a clear and simple foundation on which you can build a successful health and fitness program.
To start, the body has a program, and it is cellular based. The function of the body as a whole, and the function of each individual part is dependent on what happens in the cells. The 2 critical functions at a cellular level are: 1) the absorption of nutrients by the trillions of cells in the body; and 2) the elimination of wastes and toxins from the trillions of cells in the body. The cells are designed to pump nutrients in, and pump waste products out. All other body processes, and all of life depends on how well these 2 pumping actions work! The health of our body as a whole is directly related to the health of each individual cell. Therefore, it is important that we know what our cells need in the area of nutrition, and how we can help them to cleanse or detoxify efficiently.
Balanced nutrition is important because then the cells have a balance of cleansing foods, and building foods, which provides the optimum mix for the health of the cells.
Nutrients such as water, oxygen, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are delivered by the bloodstream to all of the cells of the body, and the cells absorb these nutrients with a pumping action through their permeable cell membrane. Next, the nutrients are metabolized (burnt up as fuel) by each cell, and this provides energy for the cell to function and perform its duties in the body. By burning nutrients for energy, waste products are produced by the cells. These waste products are removed by the cell with a pumping action through its permeable cell membrane, and put into the bloodstream and lymphatic system to be removed from the body through the 5 channels of elimination (lungs, liver/bowel, kidneys/bladder, lymphatic system, and the skin).
To summarize, when nutrients are absorbed efficiently by the cells, and waste products are eliminated quickly by the cells, the body is healthier because the cells are healthier! This is foundational information, and is perhaps the most important concept for a person to understand if they want to appreciate how the human body works, and how they can build a healthier, stronger, and more youthful body.
THE 8 NUTRITION CATEGORIES
Balanced nutrition supplies a balance of cleansing and building nutrients to the trillions of cells in the body. We could outline 8 basic categories of cleansing and building foods.
The 1st and most cleansing category is pure water.
The 2nd category would be herb teas, raw vegetable and fruit juices and vegetable broths.
The 3rd category is vegetables, fruits, and sprouted seeds. These first three categories are cleansing and alkaline, and low in protein.
The 4th category is grains (millet, spelt, wheat, kamut, oats, rye, barley, quinoa, etc.), and also legumes or pulses (dried beans such as kidney beans, lentils, chick peas, navy beans, etc.) Grains contain 4 of the 8 essential amino acids, and legumes contain the other 4 of the 8 essential amino acids. Grains and legumes are called complimentary proteins, because together they make a complete protein that our bodies can fully utilize.
The 5th category would be raw seeds and nuts. Categories 4 and 5 are protein and starch combinations, and have both cleansing and building properties. Since the beginning of recorded history most people in the world have had their protein needs met by combining category 4 and 5 foods to make a complete or complimentary protein that is very healthy.
The 6th category is dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, etc.
The 7th category is eggs.
The 8th category is fish and meat. Categories 6, 7, and 8 are animal products, and are considered building foods, and are a complete protein on their own because they contain all 8 essential amino acids.
Incorporating periodic ‘cleanse days’ will give our cells the cleansing breaks they need to catch up and clean out. A ‘cleanse day’ is a day when we reduce or eliminate protein for that day. This gives the whole digestive system a rest, and helps the channels of elimination cleanse and rejuvenate.
The only way to improve our health, and overcome health problems is to get to the root of the problem, and not just mask or treat the symptoms of the problem. The way to do this is to help the body to detoxify so that it can function the way it was designed to. The body is much smarter than we are, and if we treat it properly and give it what it needs to work with, it is self-healing and self-repairing.
A popular cleansing program is one ‘cleanse day’ per week, and three ‘cleanse days’ in a row once a month, and seven ‘cleanse days’ in a row once every three months. Remember, a cleanse day is simply reducing or eliminating protein for that day. The body gets protein everyday from our diet, and when we don’t eat protein, the body looks for protein sources internally within itself. Instead of using healthy tissue, the body consumes bacteria, viruses, dead cells, diseased cells, parasites and other wastes products in the body to meet its protein requirements. Fasting or cleansing has been practiced since the beginning of recorded history in all cultures around the world, because of the health and cleansing benefits it provides. There are proven health benefits from giving our bodies the opportunity to do their necessary ‘housecleaning’. The largest organ in the body is the liver, and it is a ‘master chemist’ performing over 500 functions! On a cleanse day, the liver is not busy digesting heavy foods, so it can turn its attention to detoxifying the body.
If you look back at the Nutrition Categories, you will see 8 different categories of nutrition. A cleanse day would usually involve eliminating or reducing category 6, 7, and 8 foods, and focusing on category 1, 2, and 3 foods. Some people might want to start their cleanse days more gradually, and include foods from the first five categories, especially if they have been big meat eaters.
The above suggestions must be adjusted to the individual person’s needs, and health condition. Generally, all detoxifying should be done very gradually. In most cases it took many years to develop this backlog of toxic material, and it should be eliminated very slowly and gently. To do so quickly could do more harm than good.
Dr. Sir Arbuthnot Lane M.D. said, “There is but one cause of disease. Poison and toxemia, most of which is created in the body by faulty living habits and faulty elimination.”
ONLY ONE CAUSE OF DISEASE
Natural Health Care is about 4,000 years old, and treats the cause of disease, not just the disease symptoms. Natural Health Care teaches that there is one main cause of disease, especially degenerative diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, liver, and kidney disease, and it is called ‘toxemia’. Toxemia is described as a build-up of wastes and toxins in the body, which can interfere with healthy body functions. Anything which makes the body more toxic, can add to the problem of toxemia.
Natural Health Care gives you the power and knowledge to take responsibility for your own health, and to apply the appropriate self-health care. Natural therapies have been proven to be safe, effective and in harmony with the body if used wisely and appropriately. As we have mentioned, our bodies are designed to be self-healing and self-repairing, if they are given the right treatment and the right tools to work with.
What a rich and wonderful legacy we have in Natural Health Care. So many people have studied, researched and practiced over the centuries, and we can benefit from all of this today. We should preserve this heritage for future generations. It is our priviledge and our duty.
Your journey to better health starts with your commitment to wanting to be a good steward of your body. This means re-thinking what we put into our body and how we treat it, and also developing a balanced fitness and health plan so that we can maintain healthier bodily functions. Remember, your investments in education, effort, and time in your family’s health and fitness program are the best investments you can make.
Next month in Rural Route we will be looking at the exciting benefits of using a professional massage chair at home. Massage chairs have come a long way in the last few years by providing the user with the benefits of total body massage!
Disclaimer: Information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat for a specific condition. If you have a health concern you should seek professional advice from your health practitioner.