Wednesday, February 23, 2011

7 Steps to Recover Your Health

If you've been ill for sometime, recovering health will probably involve the entire body. I think of this process as somewhat of a full-body overhaul -- or rebuilding your health from the inside out.  It will cover all the body's major systems (e.g., digestion, metabolism, and hormonal). The exact process can differ slightly for each person, such as the length of time it takes, the type and amount of focus on each body system, and the techniques used -- but the underlying principles are often required for everyone -- to one degree or another.

Many of the strategies I recommend on this blog come from my own journey to back to health, and from my work and experience as a nutrition scientist and health educator.  As a result, I've developed my own unique program for healing that's described here.

Some of my strategies, however, come from others I've learned from, such as Mark Hyman, M.D. and his book: The UltraMind Solution (Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First) and The Blood Sugar Solution.  Dr. Hyman is one of those amazing doctors who understands the big picture of the healing process and what is needed to really recover health.  He had to recover his own health as well.

Below is a brief outline of the steps that I offer strategies for when I help others rebuild their health. The beginning steps are often done simultaneously, and then as the body strengthens, the later steps are undertaken:

1) Balance Digestion. Even though all the body’s systems are vital, healing the digestive tract, especially the small and large intestines (the gut), is crucial for setting the stage for all other improvements. If the gut is not functioning well and unable to make and absorb important nutrients, the negative effects on the body are widespread.

2) Improve Nutrition. In chronic illness or disease, digestion is usually compromised, which means vital nutrients are often deficient -- which then perpetuates the ill condition. Improving the diet and getting needed nutrients, even if this is the only change made, can make dramatic improvements in health.  Using food as medicine, in fact, becomes extremely important in the healing process. 

3) Balance Hormones. Many of the body’s important functions are achieved with hormonal messengers. If hormones are deficient, or not functioning well, then many glands and systems will be compromised, especially the adrenal and thyroid glands.

4) Decrease Inflammation. Inflammation can be a result of other processes going on in chronic illness, which then contribute to the illness. Getting rid of inflammation can help stop the cycle of chronic illness or pain and open the doors for better functioning.

5) Increase Energy Metabolism. The body’s energy begins at the cellular level – with each cell’s mitochondria generating needed energy. Easy ways are available to increase energy production in a healthful way, not only through foods but supplements as well.

6) Remove Toxic Load. The body is naturally equipped to screen, filter, and remove any toxins that get in. But too many toxins can cause an overload situation, which then can contribute to the causes of chronic illness, and prevent recovery. The liver and gut are key components for reducing toxic load.

7) Alter Lifestyle. Years of living a stressful lifestyle can cause, contribute to, or prevent recovery from a chronic illness. To keep health vital and energetic, lifestyle changes may be needed, such as reducing stress at all levels, finding ways to achieve a feeling of well being, finding ways to move the body, and making whatever other changes are necessary to recover health.

Having a health practitioner to work with on some of these things is often pretty helpful, especially one that either has the big picture, has been through the process, and ideally -- both.  If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.  I offer nutrition and health consultations of all kinds.  Please contact me at:

Adele Sonora
Nutrition and Health Educator
B.S., Nutrition Science

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