Let's go back to the 1950's and have a look at the jolly people from Roseto, Pensilvania. A conventionally 'unhealthy community' of Italian immigrants living in America. These guys were heavy smokers, who abandoned the Mediterranean diet for deep fried meat balls, soft drinks and a lot of red wine. Despite their somewhat debauterous lifestyle, the Roseto community had nearly no heart attacks between 1954-1961. This, of course, corsed for much speculation by western doctors and multiple studies were conducted but the only notable conclusion drawn was not about their physical health but more on their emotional and environmental health, as it certainly had nothing to do with their diet or genetics.
The Rosetians lived a Osho-esque lifestyle in a sense where everyone lived in a more primitive, tribal style community, sharing responsibilities of parenting, daily chores and finances. Everyone knew each other and lived in an 'open door' neighbourhood, stopping by afterowrk for a chat (with a few vinos), these people simply never experienced loneliness. They lived a life of love, feeling connected and like they belonged to a soul community that understands each other. These guys were actually really onto it! Here's a community smoking unfilterred ciggarettes, eating lard and slogging away all day in slate quarries yet defying all odds and duying of old age as a-pose to chronic disease like the rest of the American society.
When you live in a state of love your body releases oxytocin and endorphins that activate the bodies self repair meconismns. You know that feeling when your freshly in love and your bursting with energy and feeling like you can take over the world? Yep, that's oxytocin. And a few other things of course. Loniness is one of the most significant risks to our physical health, it's even been shown that lonely people are more at risk to being sick that those who smoke. But when have we ever been told to consider our relationships as a part of our health program?
Even the healthiest societies, with hordes of people who drink green juices, eat salads and have personal trainers still suffer from chronic disease and mental health issues. When we live a state of poor mental health, with no attention to our spiritual, sexual, or emotional health, our body is more often in stress response and therefore more susesptable to illness.
"No amount of kale is going to counter balance the poisonous effects of chronic repetitive stress responses in the body." Lissa Rankin, M.D.
We've been conditioned to trust someone in a white coat, who supposedly knows our bodies better than we do our own, to provide us with health solutions. We believe that our bodies aren't our business. We treat our bodies like we treat our cars. When they break down we take it to the mechanic to get fixed. But actually, it's never just one part of the car, it's the cooling system that's been affected by the water that you put in it that has gradually made the radiator stop working (OK, I'm not a car pro!). But mechanics aren't going tell you all that! Just like doctors don't always advise on the bigger picture.
Please don't take this the wrong way, I am by no means saying that western medicine doesn't have it's place and there is absolutely good intention there. But there is so much more to understand than what the doctor prescribes, and the real solution is more often than not, something outside of our physical health.
Our bodies know best and will instinctually tell us what is right for us. When you really start to listen to yourself you'll learn that maybe you don't actually need to lose 10 pounds, you need to let go of the destructive relationship\relationships in your life. You don't need to stop eating sugar, you need to start incorporating more self love into your life. And so on.
Lets try diagnosing the real reason why your sick. OK so let's say you've caught the flu. We can diagnose and treat that, easy. Lemon, garlic, raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey and all day in bed. But what about diagnosing the reasons why you have it in the first place. Where were you when you picked up the virus. What was happening at the time? What situation were you in that casued the suppression of your immunity and made you susceptible to infection? Did you have a run in with someone close to you? Were you going against your intuition and doing something you didn't want to do? Gain awareness around this.
It's not rocket science that we all need to decrease our stress responses, but how about we start looking at how we can increase our relaxation responses instead. We can do this by daily meditation, being in nature, having healthy fulfilling sex, expressing ourselves creatively, playing with animals and finding our soul community.
Ask yourself "what does my body need to heal?". Ask yourself "what is my body saying no to?". If you can answer that then you can write your own prescription. Learning to listen to your intuition is seriously powerful tool to have in your tool shed.
We can become victims of illness and let our illness control us. But we have the opportunity to learn from our illness, because illness is an opportunity for awakening. Maybe not straight away, your ready when your ready so be mindful to be kind to yourself and trust your timing.
"you cant force a rose bud to blossom with a hammer" Rachel Naomi Redding.
At the end of the day, it's important to relax with it and understand that it's about doing everything what we can and then surrendering as divine will always have the final say. Many of you probably know Kris Carr and her work with Crazy Sexy Diet and Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Here's a woman who is doing everything right and she still has stage four cancer!
The moral of the story is, you can eat all the salads in the world and still be unhealthy. Lets start re evaluating the food pyramid and start to incorporate other factors such as spirituality, relationships and career as these foods are just as important as what we put on our plate. Listen to yourself! You know! I know you you know! Because your body, is your business.