Mistakes. We all make them, yet for some of us these mistakes feel irreversible. We ultimately experience damage, at least to some degree. Damage comes our way in the form of physical, emotional and spiritual selves as a result of choices, accidents, injuries, surgeries, toxins, drugs and environmental influences. Experiences and interactions with our environment, family members, and humanity can also take its toll on our health. What are some of the most common mistakes people make? What can we do about them to have a healthier life?
The Five Most Critical Health Mistakes
Processed Food – Perhaps the most important aspect of healthy living is offering supportive, restorative nutrients in the form of whole foods to our bodies. Basic cellular replication, immune function, sleep, energy level, mental clarity, performance, growth, repair and vitality all depend on what we feed our bodies. Yet one of the most common mistakes is consuming processed foods – the ones with preservatives and additives, mysterious ingredients that are hard to pronounce. Processed foods were designed to have a long shelf-life, fit into packaging, transport easily, and have an affordable price-tag. Cheaper ingredients that are not locally sourced fit the qualifications for many store-shelf items. The effect on the body is not completely understood, but we are seeing a disturbing trend of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and other chronic diseases increasing yearly at an alarming rate in the United States – a country that seems to boast the most expensive in health care with a not-so-healthy population. (* and ** below)
Toxins – Pesticides, heavy metals, flame retardants, plastics, chemical additives (in foods, personal care products, cleaning products, fabrics, and more) pervade every aspect of our personal environments. Once we become aware of these toxins, we realize it’s difficult to avoid them. The biggest mistake with toxins is our lack of awareness, and perhaps even our lack of willingness to do something about our personal toxicity. We all have a toxic burden of heavy metals – even if it doesn’t show up in a medical test for heavy metals. Heavy metals hide in body tissues, deep in the bones (osteoporosis), deep in fatty tissue that we have a hard time “losing”, and other not-so-obvious places. Toxins interfere with every body function including the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, the brain’s ability to think clearly and sleep well, muscle and joint flexibility, the viability of the immune system, and gut health.
Over-vaccination – Historically humans have had a long-standing fight with microbes. The fight against germs became well-documented with the discovery of the microscope and with the early biological tests of Pasteur, Salk, and Jenner. Now, it seems, we’re being pushed more-and-more toward a type of preventative health care that relies on vaccinations, a kind of artificially induced immunity that in itself may cause more harm than good. In fact, before the age of 6 years, it’s recommended or required that children receive nearly 40 doses of vaccines. (*** below). Many of these vaccines are administered in the first months of life – just when the immune system is developing at its own logical rate.
How did we stray so far from the simple, natural functioning of a healthy immune system? It feels like some of the newer vaccines target unlikely microbes, intimidating parents through guilt or fear should their child become stricken due to lack of caring enough to vaccinate. Though I’m not totally opposed to some vaccinations, I do believe we’ve reached a point that’s beyond ridiculous to a degree of deep concern for the deliberate injection of heavy metals (mercury, aluminum), other toxins, preservatives (formaldehyde), MSG, and antibiotics.(**** below).
Depletion. In a fast-paced culture it might be easy to overlook and even justify NOT taking care of ourselves. Parents, teachers and caregivers, as well as many other folks, are natural nurturers. We give, give, give, often at the expense of our own health. The result can be disastrous in the form of stress, anxiety, worry, mental health challenges, loss of sleep, loss of energy, and a compromised level of overall health. Depletion can manifest emotionally and spiritually as well as physically. We become depleted of vital nutrients absent in our foods. We become depleted of energy as we become even more connected to electronic devices that separate us from the natural atmospheric ions and magnetic energy of the earth. We become depleted of human interaction in a world that supports separation – of race, socioeconomic differences, gender orientation, cultural and religious preferences, and politically-influenced beliefs. Our depletion leads to fear and self-preservation as a priority of our egocentric nature, rather than wholeness, prosperity and abundance.
Narrow-mindedness. We live in an ever-changing world filled with marvelous discoveries and technology. Yet, the companies and government agencies that seem to say they want us to be healthy may be suffering from corruption in the form of skewed priorities – money and profit over natural health and wellness. We see this in genetically modified crops designed to be tolerant of pesticides – a plan that helped increase yields, but further poisoned our foods with pesticides and foreign genes. We see this in expensive designer drugs which treat symptoms without helping to balance body systems. We see this in marketing which promotes ill-begotten trust in a medical system that forgot about the basics of healing and doing no harm. Narrow-mindedness is on my list of most critical health mistakes because we, as a culture, most often choose to follow blindly what we’re fed through television ads and deception. Modern medicine doesn’t have all the answers, and I’m not sure they ever will.