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  • Writer's pictureDr. Chung

What Most Holistic Folks Get Wrong - Human Resiliancy


the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. The human body under normal circumstances is a robust and resiliant healing machine. Many of the physiological mechanisms within the body have evolved to make the body stronger in response to stressful environments. - Bones are harder and stronger in response to exercise and gravity - Immune cells develop memory in response to attack - Digestion improves with greater exposure to bacteria - Muscles grow when you lift and tear them little by little. The examples can go on and on. Now this doesn't mean that we need to go out of the way to abuse our bodies and intentionally do things that we suspect will cause harm (see Supersize Me). I'm just so tired of taking care of people that feel like if they break from their perfect natural bubble, that their bodies will far apart. It means that we shouldn't subscribe to dogma when making lifestyle decisions. It means that we shouldn't feel pressured or scared into needing vitamins, magic cancer curing mushrooms, or avoiding gluten without an allergy or sensitivity. I'll even take this into my own profession, in saying don't be scared into needing constant spinal manipulation. You and your genes are only here today because your ancestors developed the ability to survive famine, plague, harsh winters, and sweltering summers. The human body's ability to continuously adapt has likely made us stronger as a species. If you have a health condition that requires routine treatment and intervention, then that's what you need. But if you are predominantly healthy already, there are times that we just need to let our bodies be. When we take away the belief that our bodies are resiliant, we learn to rely on fads, potions, juices, diets, and products to improve our lives, when in reality it may be making us weaker. A great example of this can be found in a couple of places. The hygiene hypothesis of allergies says that more people are having asthma and allergies because over sanitation is preventing our exposure to normal exposure to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. While this is great in reducing infectious illness, it is also disrupting the function of our immune system.

What Should We Do About it? I think this is a unique perspective, and it's only really directed at healthy people, but the answer is this:

Live Stop trying to live inside of a perfect gluten-free, MSG-free bubble if it's limiting your ability to have a social life. Stop trying to make everything a simple cause of sickness and illness, when the causes for sickness and illness are dynamic and complex. Stop looking to the latest fad as the next tip for longevity. The people who live the longest in the world weren't the ones that had a secret juice or lived ascetic lives. They just lived and happened to keep going Let your body be exposed to stress and danger once in a while, because you never know how much stronger it will get because of it.
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