This episode further explains the meaning behind the new tagline: "Were it's all about maximizing your health potential in body, mind, and spirit, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively."
What You'll Learn...
Scroll through the text below to read the full transcript.
David Sandstrom 0:00
Welcome to the Holistic Health Matters podcast where it's all about maximizing your health potential in body, mind, and spirit, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. I'm your host, David Sandstrom, Naturopathic Doctor and Biblical Health Coach, and this is episode number three.
If we're going to pursue health and wellness, it helps to have a good idea of what we're actually pursuing. I think you need to have a clear picture of what real health actually looks like, because we'll stand a much better chance of reaching our goals. If we have that picture in mind. I want to help bring into focus what ideal health actually is, although perfect health is not attainable, and no one ever executes perfectly. I believe that we should be doing everything within our power everything that is within our ability to control to pursue health, and eliminate those things in our lifestyles that serve to hinder our healthy pursuits. In other words, we shouldn't simply roll over and accept our health outcomes as some kind of pre determined lucky roll of the genetic dice. There's a lot we can do to be proactive and has some influence over our health outcomes. For starters, having a better picture of what we're capable of what our health potential is, will serve our health building efforts. You see today, I think we've come to accept a lot of symptoms as normal, when they're actually not. Our bodies are designed and built, wired for health. We shouldn't be experiencing any symptoms whatsoever. Things like poor sleep or body aches or headaches, digestive difficulty, those kinds of things. They they are often very common, but they're not normal. That's not the way we were made. We're not designed to go through life with those kinds of health challenges. This episode is a continuation of the full meaning of the tagline, where it's all about maximizing your health potential in body, mind and spirit, so that you can pursue the abundant life more effectively. So this is I didn't plan it this way. But it's basically the third installment of laying the foundation of what natural and holistic health actually looks like. So if you haven't already, you may want to go back and listen to episodes number one and two, especially Episode Two. That was a masterclass and a deep dive into how the relationship between our spirit mind and body is interconnected, and interdependent. In other words, what changes one aspect of our being will by necessity alter the others we can expect health and body without addressing our health in spirit and our mind our mental emotional condition as well. So if you haven't listened to already, I encourage you to go back and listen to episodes one and two. As I'm sure you're aware, this is a relatively new podcast. And it's a work in progress. And I've been trying to think of a way to refer to you the listener in a little bit more personal fashion than just calling you the listener or the audience. So I thought about the name, Holistic Health Matters. And the first letter of each word is h. HHM. Now HHM doesn't flow off the tongue very well. So I've decided to shorten that up a little bit and refer to you as the double H M community or the double H M friends. That All right? I hope so. In this episode, I not only want to help make your picture of what real health looks like much clearer and much more in focus. But I also want to give you some motivation because information without motivation doesn't do us a lot of good. No knowledge and failure to act on knowledge have the same result. So I'd like to give you some motivation to help you help move you along the way towards the pursuit of health and wellness. I want to whet your appetite so to speak, I want to warm you up to the idea of pursuing health in body, mind and spirit to maximize your health potential. It's a paradox that often we spend the first half of our lives spending our health, chasing wealth. Sadly, for many of us, we spend the latter part of our lives spending our wealth, chasing health. Steve Jobs, when he was dying of cancer with all his money, he couldn't buy his health back. He would have gladly given his entire fortune up to to get his health back, but he couldn't do it. So I would suggest that we need to be proactive. When it comes to our pursuit of health. We shouldn't wait for the crisis. According to Web MD, upwards of 85 to 90% of all doctor visits are stress related. And that's actually pretty good news because If what brings people into the doctor's office is brought on by stress? Well, we can do something about stress. So we can reduce our need for medical services by reducing the amount of stress we have in our lives. And I would suggest that we can do that on all three levels of the human condition, we can reduce our physical stress, we can reduce our mental emotional stress, and we can reduce our spiritual stress. And that's what this this episode is really all about.
Now, some stress is a very good thing. Exercise, for instance, is a good form of stress. But our bodies are not designed to stay chronically in stress, were designed to press into stress and then back out and kind of ebb and flow to it. When we experience chronic stress, that's when health challenges tend to present themselves. One of the things I noticed when I had my health coaching practice is that most people are not motivated to make any meaningful change until they experience some kind of a health crisis. It's easy to take our health for granted. When the body works the way it's supposed to and the way it's designed to work, it kind of fades into the background and goes unnoticed. This is just human nature. When everything's working right, and we're not experiencing any pain or any symptoms, we are not consciously aware of our bodily functions. I used to be a camera operator at our church. And I didn't know anything about video production when I first got into that. But we have some really good award winning professional video producers at our church and I learned a lot from them. And they taught me how to operate the camera and what goes into a good video production and there's a lot more there than you might you might expect. And because I have a behind the scenes look at what goes into video production now. I now know how much I took for granted the video crew when I was watching a TV show or movie or commercial, whatever. When the crew is doing everything right. We don't even notice them. They kind of fade into the background. But when something is wrong, we notice right away, if the cameras is out of focus or the lighting is not right, or the camera operator is not smooth or jerky with their motions, we noticed that right away. In the same fashion, when our bodies are working the way they should, all the complexities of our bodily functions fade into the background and we don't even notice them. The same is true when our symptoms resolve. When I had my health coaching practice, this was a another strange paradox. But someone may come into the office complaining of let's say, knee pain. And I'd say all right, well, let's get you off of some of the known pro inflammatory foods. And let's get you on some supplements, for instance, some proteolytic enzymes that will help with your inflammation. Let's give that a whirl for a couple weeks and see how things go. And the client will come back in after two to four weeks, and I would always review my files before the before a visit. And I see this person complained of knee pain. So I'd ask them, so how's it going with your knee pain? And often, I would hear them say, What knee pain? Well, I have here in my notes that that's why you came to see me. Oh, yeah, that's right. I haven't even thought about that in the last couple weeks. So when health is working with it just tends to fade off into the background. It's it's an interesting phenomena. You know, there was a song back in the 80s, Joan Jett had a hit, it was called, you don't know what you got till it's gone. You don't know what you got. You don't know what you got till it's gone. It's a good thing. I don't have to make my living off of my singing voice. But man, is that so appropriate when it comes to the way most people approach their health? We really don't know we don't appreciate our health until it's not working right. So I would encourage you not to To wait for the crisis. When I do speaking engagements talking about health and wellness, I'll often ask the audience, what is the number one first symptom of a heart attack? And someone will raise their hand and say, chest pain? Well, that's not it. Someone else might say, a pain radiating down the arm. That's not it either. Someone might say shortness of breath. That's not it either. According to Web MD, the most common first symptom of a heart attack is sudden death. So, you may if you're waiting for the surgeons to take care of you after your heart disease, if you think that bypass surgery is going to fix the problem, or a stent, or maybe they can do the roto rooter inside your arteries. That's not a very good approach because you might not live to tell about it. You might not have any symptoms until your first symptom is sudden death. So My recommendation is that when we're feeling well, we take the steps to build some health margin into our lives, so that we have more health than we need. And we can handle the curveballs that life inevitably will throw at us in the form of an accident or illness. So when we have health margin, just like a business needs to have a profit margin leftover at the end of the month in order to survive, we need to have some health margin in order to thrive. When we have health margin, it acts like a shock absorber in our car absorbing the bumps in the road, and we can more easily handle the health challenges that come our way.
Real health is far more than the absence of disease. Just because you haven't been to the doctor in a couple of years doesn't mean that you're really healthy. It doesn't mean that you've maximized your full potential for physical vitality. I like the way Herbert Armstrong, founder of the world White Church of God puts it when it comes to our physical vitality and our physical potential. He says, quote, "You may not be actually sick or in pain. You may have no specific disease or disorder, and yet fall far short of that state of real bodily power and vigor and energy, which is everyone's right." Unquote. I couldn't agree more with that statement. So let's talk about what health and body actually looks like. Health and body is physical vitality. When we have health and body we'll have natural beauty will have bright eyes our skin will be glowing, radiant, our hair will be lush, shiny, not brittle. Truly healthy person will have strong teeth and gums that don't rot. When you go to school, you'll go to the dentist for cleaning, but you're not going to be diagnosed with gingavitus or have to break out the drill to take care of a cavity or worse yet a root canal. Healthy people have strong teeth and gums. Your body will be flexible, graceful and fluid. You'll have pain free movement. A healthy person will have strong bones toned muscles. They'll have healthy connective tissue that protect us from injury. And if you do get hurt, you'll recover from injury more quickly. A truly healthy person will have a vibrant, satisfying sex life. We should all be capable of giving and receiving sexual pleasure. A truly healthy person will not experience digestive difficulty. They won't experience bloating or gas or acid reflux. They'll have regular elimination. They won't experience irritable bowel syndrome where one day you're constipated, and the next day you have diarrhea. digestive difficulty is quite common. And even though it's common, doesn't mean that it's normal A really healthy person will have great energy. Not too much energy, not too little, just the right amount, kind of like the Goldilocks thing. Our energy should be something we're not consciously thinking about kind of like our breath. It's just there for us all day long. A truly healthy person will have effortless, productive, enjoyable sleep. They'll be able to fall asleep quickly and wake up in the morning without an alarm clock feeling refreshed and ready to face the day without stimulants. Yes, I said it. We shouldn't need stimulants to get us going in the morning. Our bodies have a way of waking up by releasing cortisol to help get us started to jumpstart us in the morning. We shouldn't have to be dependent upon energy drinks and coffee. A truly healthy person will have effortless weight control. Kind of like our energy, something we don't think about just kind of fades off into the background. It's something our weight should be something that we rarely consider. Kind of like our breath just there for us. A truly healthy person does not count calories or weigh their food. They eat until they're fully satisfied and they don't feel deprived. They eat according to their appetite, and they're never ravenously hungry. And a truly healthy person doesn't struggle with unhealthy cravings. A truly healthy person will have a strong immune system, they rarely, if ever gets sick. And if you do come down with a cold or a flu, the symptoms are not severe, and you recover more quickly than the average person. And this is a big one. A truly healthy person will experience graceful aging. Now I know time waits for nobody we're all getting older; the clock is ticking. The anti aging industry wants to sell us creams and lotions and surgeries so that we appear to age gracefully. But a truly healthy person actually will age gracefully. I believe that we really need to shift our mindset as to what old age should look like. The Bible says in Genesis chapter six, then the Lord said, "My spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh. Nevertheless, his days shall be 120 years." So if someone lives to let's say, 90 years old, we say, Oh, they had a good long life. Well, according to that passage, a person died about 30 years prematurely. So pursuing health and wellness is not only about life extension, although that's part of it. I think we should be adding years to our life and life to our years. And I don't think it's realistic to expect anyone to live to 120 years old today, our world is far too toxic. And our lives are far too stressful for that. But we can experience much more activity and mental clarity well into our latter years, and then we should, we should deteriorate quickly and then die peacefully in our sleep one day. I don't believe anyone supposed to die of heart attack or cancer. Those things are not normal. They might be ordinary, but they're not normal. A great metaphor. I wish I came up with this, but I didn't The first time I heard this was from my good friend, Reed Davis, the founder of Functional Diagnostic nutrition. And he said this, our lifespan should be thought of more like a candle as opposed to a flashlight. For most of us. We think of our vitality like a flashlight. When you first turn it on with fresh batteries. It's shining nice and bright, and it stays pretty bright. But then, slowly over time, those batteries start to weaken and the light starts to dim and then gradually, one day the light dies. That's kind of the way most people view the aging process. But Reed suggests that we should look at we should expect our vitality to behave more like a candle, light, a brand new candle and the flame shines bright. And it continues to shine fully bright, until a candle is almost gone. And it's really short, even when it's short is still shining brightly. And then it flickers a few times and goes out. That is more like were designed. That is the way we're supposed to function. But sadly, most of us don't experience that. So again, a truly healthy person will naturally age gracefully. It happens by default.
You might be saying, Dave, I might not have the genetics for that my grandfather died from a heart attack at age 55. Well, that's another thing that needs to be readjusted. In thinking, yes, we all have a genetic predisposition. But we don't have to accept our genetics as the final verdict on our health outcomes. That thinking is called genetic determinism. And it's been largely debunked in recent years. There's a whole field emerging called epigenetics. And basically what that field says is, there's a complex program or blueprint to our genetic programming. But our cells don't need to read all of that genetic programming to do their jobs. Our genes are contained in the nucleus of the cell. And the nucleus is surrounded by a protein sleeve, and that sleeve has gates and channels. And based on the environment or in and around the cell, those gates and channels will either open and close, exposing the portion of the genetic code that the cell needs. So that's the difference between genetic programming and genetic expression. What we're concerned about is how our genes are expressing themselves. And that is largely within our control because we do have influence over the environment surrounding ourselves. In the last episode, we had a masterclass on what holism actually means what true holism actually is. Again, if you haven't listened to that episode, go back and listen to it, I think you'll enjoy it. In that episode, I talked about the complexity of the Spirit, mind, body connection. And every one of the three parts to our being is interconnected and interdependent. What changes one will alter the others. So we not only need to consider health at a physical level. If we want to maximize our health potential, we've got to consider health, and our, mental, emotional level, and a spiritual level as well.
So what does health in mind look like? Well, a truly healthy person has mental clarity. They have alertness, they're keenly aware of the surroundings. Have you ever been walking into, let's say, a grocery store, and there's an elderly person in front of you, and they open the door themselves.And they as you're trying to go through, you kind of expect them to hold the door for you. But they just let go of the door and walk through. Well, I don't think it's because they were trying to be rude. It's because they were just unaware of your presence. They they lose their peripheral vision. And they just kind of develop a lack of awareness as to what's going on around them. I would suggest it that is not inevitable. Health in mind means that we'll have the ability to focus and concentrate. We won't experience a A-D-D you'll be able to remember someone's phone number without writing it down. A truly healthy person in mind we'll have willpower. They'll be able to say no to unhealthy stimuli. Health in mind means that we'll be optimistic and happy, maybe not all the time. But that's more or less what we enjoy. We'll be at peace and not anxious. Again, most of the time, a truly healthy person in mind will feel like smiling for no particular reason there's a spring to their step and they're a pleasure to be around. Health in mind means that we'll be capable of critical thinking and analyzing will experience reflective thought, as well as self examination. Health in mind means that it will have creativity will be capable of constructive dreaming and planning. Goal setting will even be able to if we want to learn how to play an instrument or use a software program. Now of course there's varying degrees of talent and an ability there and passion. But if you put your mind to it, you should be able to do either of those things. A truly healthy person in mind will be able to identify and correct faulty thinking and beliefs. Our belief system should be based in truth. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, "We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God. And we are taking every thought captive." So what this passage is telling us is that our minds should have a gate or a checkpoint. Think of going on international flight and having to go through customs and immigrations. When you get to the immigration desk. Before they let you into the country the officer is going to ask you a few questions. He wants to know a little bit about you. He's going to obviously ask to see your passport and he wants to know who you are and where you came from. Ultimately, what they want to know is if you have any ill intentions while you're in that country. They want to know if you're planning on engaging in any illegal behavior. In the same fashion, we should ask ourselves, where did this thought come from? And what is the likely outcome if I follow that thought through to its logical conclusions. This will let us know if we should be entertaining that that idea or thought or if it needs to be rejected, so we should have a gate gatekeeper on our minds. Health in mind also means that we can process emotions effectively. We should never experienced emotional constipation. emotions were meant to be felt, and processed, we should ask ourselves, what were what we can learn from that emotion. What's this emotion telling me? But then generally speaking, we need to let it go. That's how we process our emotions, with the possible exception of love, joy and peace. I think we can we can dwell on those emotions as long as we want their health producing. But when it comes to negative emotions, susch as anger, bitterness, jealousy, envy those kinds of things that need to be processed, and then we need to let them go. We should not experience emotional constipation. Our thoughts should help our health building pursuits and not hinder them. That's health in mind.
The third part of being healthy is health and spirit. So what does health and spirit look like? When it comes to health and spirit? We do well to consult The Bible without a biblical framework, our pursuit of spiritual maturity can get kind of kooky at times. We've all heard people talk about Mother Nature. I think there's people out there they start to worship Mother Nature and they go full tilt into recycling, or maybe they're totally into climate change and climate change for them becomes like a religion and they see the enemy of the human race as carbon emissions. So they pursue things such as eliminating cars and jet aircraft, they want us to go back to horse and buggy days. Or, in order to save the planet, we must eliminate cows because cow flatulence has way too much methane gas. These ideas or suggestions can get a little kooky, but they're based on the idea that they're worshipping the wrong thing. When it comes to worship, we need to consult The Bible. Now, yes, we should conserve our natural resources. We do have a stewardship responsibility to the planet. But we can't dream up our own ideas as to what spiritual growth looks like. We may end up worshipping the wrong things. We need to consult God's word and see what he says about spiritual maturity.
Our approach to spiritual health starts with the idea that God is our Heavenly Father. Romans chapter 8 says this, "For you have not received the spirit of slavery leading to fear again. But you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out Abba, Father." And as any loving father would, God wants what's best for us. So he offers us guidance and protection. Psalm chapter 25 says, "Good and upright is the Lord. He teaches the humble his way, all the paths of the Lord our loving kindness and truth." He's not into restricting our freedoms. He wants to maximize our joy. john chapter 15. Jesus speaking: "These things is spoken to you, so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." The flip side of that coin is that when God tells us to avoid something, it's for protection. It's as if we're on a dangerous jungle safari. God is our seasoned guide. He knows the way and he gives us guidelines and cautions in order to keep us safe. We see this in the book of Proverbs chapter 2, "My son, listen to what I say and treasure my commands, then you will find the right way to go. wise choices will watch over you, understanding will keep you safe." So when we come to the place where we humbly surrender to God's goodness, we experience rest and peace. Matthew chapter 11 says this, "Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. What a promise. All right. So when we start our spiritual formation there, we see that the Bible teaches that spiritual formation spiritual maturity is all about relationships, our relationship with God, our relationship with one another, and our relationship with ourselves. Matthew chapter 22, verses 36 to 40. Jesus was asked, What is the greatest commandment? And he quoted from Deuteronomy chapter six and said this, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you should love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole law and the prophets." So in other words, what Jesus was saying is you can sum up the entire Bible Old and New Testaments on these two commandments. Love God, love others. So we need to get our focus on God. We've got to stop chasing shiny objects with our worship. God says, worship Me and Me alone, and the rest of your life will fall into place. So when we get to that place where we surrender to God's goodness, we enjoy peace with him, will experience conviction when we do something wrong, we'll never experience condemnation. We'll be at peace knowing that God is in control that we are loved. And our lives will produce more fruit of the Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 "For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control against such things that there is no law." So think about that list for a minute. Is there anything in that list that fruit of the Spirit that will hinder your healthy pursuits?... No, not at all. In fact, everything on that list will be health enhancing, not health, hindering. That's what it means to nurture your spirit so that you can maximize your health potential. And that's why the Bible says in Proverbs chapter three, verses seven and eight, "Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your body, and refreshment to your bones." That's how we nurture our spiritual condition in order to maximize our health potential. I know that that's a lot and you might be thinking yourself right now. Yeah Dave, that sounds great. But I don't know if I can do all that. I don't know if I'm going to be able to implement all the things that are required to enjoy health at that kind of level. here's the here's the takeaway. Going through life with compromise, health is far more difficult than making the changes. I'm going to recommend. I've laid out the ideal, but 100% compliance is not necessary. And no one ever executes perfectly. But I want you, my listeners, the double hm friends to understand the truth. And we just take one step at a time moving towards that truth. And we enjoy the peace and the health and wellness that comes along with it. We don't we shouldn't get caught up with 100% compliance that's only going to produce stress and make things worse. Well, I think that's a good place to wrap things up. You've definitely got enough information to chew on until next week. Once again, thank you for listening. I appreciate you and I enjoy serving you. If you enjoyed this episode, it's a really good chance you'll enjoy my book "The Christians Guide to Holistic Health." It's available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and Audible. And don't forget for more, you can always go to my website DavidSandstrom.com and there you can find links to everything I've mentioned. In the episode, as well as a full downloadable transcript, or you can read and listen online there, and you can leave me a comment there as well. Once again, thanks for listening. I'll talk to you next week. Be blessed.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai