Five Steps to Health


Health is a lifestyle choice and this is what this series of blogs is all about. Natural medicine does not offer a quick fix. You become responsible for your health and your body does the healing. This takes commitment and time, and is not for everyone.  But taking the decision to embark on a natural health programme could be the best decision you ever made. Not only does it put you in control of your health, it decreases the risk of degenerative disease and boosts energy and well-being.  Contrary to the old joke that living healthily makes it feel as if you are living longer, good energy and health enables you to pack more into your life and to remain active well into old age. Keeping out of a care home, which can cost between £30 and £50,000 per year, is incentive enough for me! Here are the five steps:


  1. Think yourself healthy
  2. Drink yourself healthy
  3. Eat yourself healthy
  4. Exercise yourself healthy
  5. Cultivate a healthy environment both inside and out.


The first step, Think yourself healthy was covered in my previous Blog ‘Everything you need to know to heal yourself naturally’.  where you can read about the importance of good emotional health.  In my earlier blog ‘Don’t Medicate – Hydrate you can read about good hydration and drinking pure water.  And in my next few blogs, we are going to look at different diets and what eating healthily really means.


Your body has an innate intelligence designed to keep you alive in the face of challenges such as starvation, stress, toxicity and so on.  Your body is also capable of healing itself but may not be doing so because today there is a negative balance between what your body needs and what challenges it.  As a result, most of us are in a maladaptive state, or abnormal homeostasis.  As your body works around stressors such as toxicity and poor nutrition, compromised health becomes the default.  Your body can remain in adaptation for decades. But this takes a lot of energy and can eventually result in adrenal burn-out (which is measurable by laboratory testing) and the development of degenerative disease.


In order to maintain homeostatic balance, your body is constantly changing. Here are some examples of homeostasis at work:


  • If you eat something nourishing your body responds positively
  • If you are dehydrated, your body draws water from the stool which could cause constipation
  • If you eat too much sugar, your insulin levels go up so the sugar can be removed from your blood stream and stored as fat.


Abnormal homeostasis occurs when the body is forced to work around a problem.  For instance, if you are low in minerals – as most of us are today – heavy metals may be substituted instead.  If you shallow-breathe, your body adapts to a state of hypoxia, and this can provide the ideal conditions for the growth of anaerobic microbes.


The reason it is important to understand the principle of homeostasis is because it is not advisable, or even possible, to jump start a body from maladaptive (unhealthy) homeostasis to normal function in one leap. Transitioning slowly is the secret so your body can ‘unadapt’, gradually moving you towards more efficient function so it can then let go of symptoms. Remember, a diagnosis is only a name given to a collection of symptoms (adaptations). Whatever your diagnosis, working at the body’s pace with an unshakeable conviction in your ability to heal, is the gateway to health and has the power to reverse or prevent disease.  What is needed is a shift in mindset from the simplistic, pharmaceutically-driven, disempowering paradigm of ‘a pill for every ill’ to the realisation that your goal is health and not just the absence of a diagnosis.  And you start the healing journey by focusing on health rather than what is wrong with you.


Introduce one change at a time.  In my practice, I have seen patients who dive headlong into a new diet and lifestyle, only to fall by the wayside a month later having found the changes too much – both practically and physiologically.  It is far better to continue as you are and take time reading and getting your head around any dietary or lifestyle changes.  Invest time into preparing a firm foundation, familiarising yourself with alternative foods.  Stock up with ingredients. Have foods you can grab so you don’t get caught out during busy times.  After all, if you were new to exercise, you wouldn’t start by running a marathon.  And, of course, taking things slowly is also better on your pocket.


Work with your body, and your body will work with you.  But most important of all, enjoy the journey!