The Six Pillars of Health
Whenever someone tells me that they’re healthy because they run 4x a week, and go to the gym on their rest days, I want to know what the rest of their life looks like. To me, the six pillars of health all work in unison, but they also require a little bit of common sense.
Are you healthy if you eat clean 100% of the time, to the point that it’s an obsession?
What about if your kid is addicted to computer games, and is still playing Call of Duty by the time you head off to bed?
To be truly healthy, I believe that there are six pillars of health that we need to keep in check. Now, let’s be clear… nobody has this nailed at any given time. Balance to me is a fluid state in which you teeter around an “ideal” point. But the aim of the game is to work on all these six areas so that they’re ALL improving, rather than focus on two while the other four are desperately crying out for some attention.
Brain – Body Connection
This, to me, is the foundation for all else. Your brain and body communicate through your nervous system. Everything you perceive in the environment comes into your body through the sensory nervous system. Every automatic function of your cells, tissues and organs – the stuff you don’t have to think about – is taken care of by the autonomic nervous system. Whenever you move a muscle, you guessed it, controlled by the peripheral nervous system.
To have a clear brain – body connection, you need a clear nervous system. Chiropractic is concerned with correcting subluxations that interrupt that connection. Basically, getting adjusted improves your brain-body connection, making you better equipped to respond appropriately to the world around you, and to shine like the amazing being that you were born to be.
We’ve all been told the importance of sleep in general, but in terms of healing and restoration, it’s often overlooked. Take a look at any newborn baby and you’ll see the miracles that sleep brings. Developmental milestones all come after a period of excessive sleep. Why could that be? Perhaps because the brain needs that down time in order to reorganise itself. Same thing when a baby is clearing out some sort of illness. The body has this wonderful intelligence that tells our little ones to slow down and rest. What do we do? We stay up late to watch another episode of Shooter on Netflix (guess who!).
Sleep is good for the mind, body and soul.
Your body requires (and deserves!) real food, real nutrients and real benefits from what you eat. You don’t have to be “perfect” but nourishing your body isn’t that difficult. Imagine if we were able to look at our food choices and pick something with the intention of creating healthy cells, rather than picking the sugar laden junk.
Here’s one of the reasons diets fail… because the food manufacturers know that your body is designed to crave salt, fat and sugar when you’re stressed. What’s the best way to stress you out? How about going and getting weighed every week in front of a bunch of strangers, and linking your self-love to the number on the scales?! (I hate these programmes, can you tell?)
You can change how your body works through thought alone! There are so many people creating research in this area, but my favourite book on the subject is The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton. Through meditation, affirmations, visualisation, people heal from conditions that they’ve been told are incurable. The pharmaceutical industry have known this for years, but there’s no money in it, so they dismiss it as meaningless.
Know this – the placebo is the most powerful drug on the planet – and it’s free! If you work on your mindset, you’ll see a massively positive impact on your health. You’re totally worth it.
90% of the brain’s stimulation comes from movement in the spine. This means you need to get moving your body to boost your brain! Movement isn’t just fitness. It’s not running a marathon or competing in the CrossFit games. Movement is getting out of your seat and going for a walk on your lunch. It’s playing football with the kids or going to a baby yoga group.
When you move your body, your brain lights up like a Christmas tree. Healthy brain = healthy body.
Relationships and connection make the world go round – relationships with your spouse, your kids, friends & family, nature and even food. Relationships can lift you up and allow you to take on the world, or they can shrink you and dim your light. I believe you were born to shine, and one of the biggest things you can do for your health is assess the relationships you cultivate.
This is seen so easily when a woman is pregnant. Her birth team can literally make or break her. Who’s on your team? And are they lifting you up or putting you down?