Do You Know Your Health Destiny?
Can you change your health for the better?
Posted Jun 14, 2015
While most people would like to have better health, we struggle with understanding how to improve our health. Recently I interviewed Eva Selhub, MD, author of a new book, Your Health Destiny about this very topic.
1.What is the core philosophy of Your Healthy Destiny?
The philosophy of Your Health Destiny is essentially that we all have the ability to change the destiny of our health for the good. Our genes and the diagnoses we’re given do not dictate how healthy our body can be, but rather, our choices (such as how we think, eat, move, sleep, socialize, etc.) do. The body has an incredible, intelligent, natural capacity to heal itself. But this capacity, this power, is diminished when it is not fueled in the right way, given love, nourishment or rest. The body cannot tap into its natural healing resources when the stress load overrides the body’s fighting power. When we take care of that stress, when we change our thoughts and our lifestyle choices, we instead ignite that healing power. The idea that we are not stuck but have some control or wiggle room in creating a better future for ourselves is really exciting!
2. A lot of people wonder what impact their genetics have on their health. Can you talk about that?
Epigenetics is a relatively new field of science that studies how genes can express themselves differently without actually changing their DNA sequence, in different environments.
Experts in epigenetics believe that environmental factors—what we eat, lifestyle choices, behaviors, sleep habits and possibly even our way of thinking—not only affect how our genes express themselves in our own lives, but how they will be later expressed in our descendants (same goes for us now—that how our genes express themselves now has been influenced by the environmental factors our ancestors were exposed to previously)
What this field of science is essentially showing us is that our genes, or rather, how our genes express themselves is under more of our control than we realize. We can choose to smoke and turn on a cancer gene, or choose to lead a healthy lifestyle so that gene stays dormant your entire life, for example.
3. A lot of my patients feel that it is a personal failing on their part if they get sick. Is there such a thing as perfect health?
When we assume that there is a perfect state of health, we don’t allow for the ebb and flow of the body’s processes—it’s like saying nature isn’t allowed to have seasons, or that natural forest fires shouldn’t happen. The body sometimes needs to be exposed to viruses or other stresses, get a little sick, so that it can then bounce back and develop resistance and ammunition if you will to be stronger in the future. The body is meant to have periods of rest and recovery. If we expect the body to be strong and perfect all the time, it can lead to ignoring the signs and symptoms that the body might need help, rest or support. It can lead to taking a medication when you need healthier food or coffee when you need to sleep. The body is meant to give us signals when it is in need. Just like stress is part of life, so is the body’s need to need part of life.
4. You use the P.O.W.E.R. acronym throughout Your Health Destiny. What is it and why is it important?
Your Health Destiny is about inspiring readings to know they have the power to thrive, to transform themselves, their lives and especially, their health for the better. Of course, there is a process involved in getting there, one that involves taking a time out if you will, or “Pause”, to quiet down or slow down so that you can pay attention to the body, what it needs, what it is asking from you. To use the time then to “Optimize” your awareness of the body, its anatomy, what its functions are and what can go right or wrong and what you might want to learn from the ancients or wisdom traditions (much like how physicians learn about the body or any expert who learns their trade). You want to then learn to “witness” the physiology of your body—how it reacts under stress and what emotions or beliefs your need to “examine” that are adding to your symptoms or complaints. Once you have done so, you are ready to release and relieve your body any blocks or issues that are leading to problems or putting you at risk, and follow the associated prescriptions to restore your mind and body back into balance.
5. If you were to name the three most important things people can do to improve all health problems, what would they be?
The basic theme to hold to is ‘nature and nurture”, or in other words:
- To become aware of and understand the nature of your emotions and your body. Pay attention to what you are feeling or sensing in your body. Notice how your emotions, activities and thoughts play out in your feelings and bodily sensations—how the body is often letting you know what it needs and doesn’t need.
- Nurture yourself and your body in a way that fuels you to be at your best. The big one here is diet---You want to start looking at food as fuel, not as comfort or punishment. The majority of health problems can be prevented and often treated simply by removing toxins, sugar or processed foods from the diet and eating what nature has created for you to thrive on.
- Most people think that in order to be successful, to thrive, they have to work harder or push harder. Even high level athletes have discovered that their performance is improved when they balance their workouts with periods of rest and recovery. When you learn to really nurture your nature, you learn that your body needs rest and recovery—it needs it to be better able to cope with life’s stress, think clearly and most importantly, to allow the body’s healing capacity to replenish itself. Rest and recovery come in the form of sleep, relaxing with friends, or meditation.
Dr. Eva Selhub's book is available in bookstores. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Dr. Selhub!