A Balanced Lifestyle is the Key to Living Longer and Healthier
by Guest Contributor Jamie G. Phillips, DC
Like me, you may be wondering whether or not our human search for longevity has suddenly been replaced by a quest for immortality. Presumably, you’ve been reading a lot lately about the miraculous heart benefits of red wine (resveratrol), the amazing memory retention benefits of coffee (caffeine), and the countless benefits of a horde of exotic supplements that, in one way or another, “guarantee” to reduce or prevent all known causes of mortality.
Let me clarify, first of all, that I believe in taking supplements and take them, myself. Secondly, I would like to be candid and say that I am a person who appreciates a glass of red wine. Therefore, the suggestion that it might genuinely be beneficial to my health, particularly my heart, merely adds to my enjoyment. And, if something as simple as drinking coffee could actually eliminate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, then I’d be tempted to give up my practice and open a Starbucks.
However, before perhaps, acting irrationally, and haphazardly adding another cup of coffee to your morning habit, an extra glass of red wine to your evening meal, or an extra outlay of your hard-earned cash on exotic herbs that promise to make you live forever, let’s rationally think about a couple of things.
For instance, let us consider the human condition. We are dynamic, biological beings, free to enthusiastically participate in life. We have not been restricted to a cage all our life, and we have not been bred to “unnaturally” incur the age-related afflictions that lab animals do, disease and debilitation that is then “eliminated” by resveratrol, caffeine, or some “amazing” supplement.
Furthermore, we are far more than the sum total of our parts. We are dynamic and biological, not “mechanical, conscienceless devices.” We are biologically individual, i.e., we react in a uniquely individual ways to internal irritation factors and external environmental influences. Case in point, though smoking cigarettes is commonly unhealthy, there are a few people who are able to smoke, so it seems, and live to a ripe old age without any apparently-related problems.
The outcomes upon which scientific research and testing are based upon the isolation of a particular variable. It is this method that gives scientific inquiry its legitimacy. However, since tests related to human health issues occur through this very method, and are most often done on lab animals, when it comes to human beings, the effects are very likely to be quite different. In fact, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, what might benefit some of the people all of the time, most likely won’t work for all of the people all of the time (and sometimes won’t work at all!).
Everyday you make considerable choices that affect both your health and longevity. Decisions such as what you’ll eat and how much exercise and rest you’ll get will either be good for you, or not so good. Obviously, your unhealthy choices are not beneficial for your long-term health. And, even though you know, by the way your individual body responds to certain things, you may often ignore these important health messages.
Then, a report comes out asserting that researchers have finally found the “missing link” between we, humans, and immortality, that they’ve uncovered, in fact, THE THING that has the amazing power to reverse all of the overindulgent and unhealthy things you may have been doing to your body on a daily basis, and you, like many others, may want to jump on the bandwagon. Talk about “magical” thinking!
The elegantly balanced system of your body (homeostasis) is highly responsive and intricate. This delicate system becomes “off balance” when you live an unhealthy lifestyle. Eventually, the imbalances nurtured through poor health choices, result in diseases.
As a chiropractor who supplements daily, I suggest that you supplement, too, if they help you to feel vigorously healthy. I agree, as well, that if it feels like the thing to do, an extra cup of coffee might actually be personally beneficial for you. And, if it truly feels healthy, have a little more red wine. Just keep in mind, however, that the only authentic way that you can prevent or reverse age-related health problems is by changing an unhealthy lifestyle. You won’t become healthier or live longer by waiting for the discovery of a “magic potion.”
Dr. Jamie Phillips, a Santa Barbara Chiropractor, has been in private chiropractic practice for 24 years. She is also a consultant for Bloczone Marketing, a chiropractic internet marketing company specializing in chiropractic websites that attract new patients. She can be reached at (805) 985-9502