The bigger concept of health has been on my mind recently. What does optimal health entail? The following are not in order of importance, nor are they completely independent of the others. They are what I consider VERY important pillars to being in optimal health when it comes to your physical body.
Preface: These are what I consider important regardless of personal disabilities or physiological uniqueness (hormonal issues, activity level, etc.). If these things ARE in good working order, you’re well on your way to becoming the optimal version of yourself.
Nerve Function – If a muscle or organ does not have healthy, unrestricted nerve signaling, it will not perform optimally. To improve: proper alignment through bodywork (chiropractic, massage, etc.). Self maintenance includes maintaining good posture, muscle balancing through prescriptive exercise, and use of joints/area.
Blood and lymph flow – If nutrients and waste products cannot enter and exit organs/muscles/etc effectively, optimal function will be impeded. Best addressed through balanced exercise, but bodywork can also assist blood and lymphatic movement.
Mobility – If there is excessive fascial buildup (scar tissue, fascial thickness due to disuse/injury, etc.) surrounding/within a muscle/organ, it will not function optimally. This is usually best addressed initially by a professional in fascial and scar tissue work, and maintained through a personal mobility practice such as yoga or pilates.
Nutrition – If you are unaware of what foods your body can and cannot use, you could be exacerbating inflammatory processes that both tax the body, and decrease performance. Despite what many believe, there is no “one size fits all” diet. What works perfectly for me, might be an inflammatory diet for you. Get some bloodwork done to figure out what foods you should NOT be eating. Ignore your friends to try a magic diet. Send me a message if you’d like references on who you should see, or what you should be looking for.
Emotional State – Our physical body seems to respond to our mental state – if there is excessive mental chatter, or negative self talk/image, it tends to decrease performance. Consider starting a meditation practice, and take time to listen to the voices that go through your head. Are they positive, reassuring voices? Are they self critical? Challenge your inner critic.
Agree? Disagree? Let me know.