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 Keys to Wellness: A Systems Approach to Wellness  
 

Finally, for a disease to actually manifest, there needs to be not only susceptibility but also a trigger. For example, in the case of an infection, the trigger (a bacteria or virus) is easy to recognize. But while removal of the trigger (e.g., with antibiotics) is easy (and the basis of our current disease-treatment system), resolving the susceptibility, i.e., improving the weakened immune system, is far more important and virtually always ignored.

The Routes to Total Wellness
Seven underlying, health-sustaining systems of our body must function effectively to ensure our well-being, prevent disease, and allow a full life: the immune system, the detoxification system, the inflammatory system, the metabolic system, the regulatory system, the regeneration system, and our life-force (or spirit). Weakness in any of these seven systems results in susceptibilities that allow most common diseases to develop. Follow the recommendations below, strengthen all of these seven systems, and total wellness is yours.

Strengthen the Immune System
Pathogenic bacteria are always on our skins and in our throats and intestines. We are exposed to new pathogens every time we contact others, eat, or breathe, and every day, our bodies produce about 300 cancer cells (more if we are exposed to carcinogens). The healthy immune system quickly and effectively recognizes and destroys invaders (viruses, bacteria, fungi) and abnormal cells (cancer). When the immune system is not working well, however, the result is frequent or chronic infections, chronic fatigue, and, eventually, cancer. Optimal immune function can be attained by recognizing and eliminating those factors that damage the immune system and by strengthening it with specific nutrients and herbs. If an infection does become established, many natural therapies are available to help fight the infection. Chapter Four discusses the immune system in detail.

Decrease Toxicity
Not only are we exposed to a large amount and wide variety of pollutants in our environment (especially in cities), but our regular metabolic processes produce toxic metabolites as well. Normally, the liver and other detoxification processes efficiently neutralize and remove these poisons before they can cause damage. However, excessive exposure, incomplete metabolism, and a dysfunctional detoxification system result in toxicity. When toxic, our bodies build up inappropriate or excessive levels of chemical poisons or incompletely processed metabolites, microbial toxins, heavy metals, and other adverse influences (e.g., electromagnetic radiation, radon, and so on) in cells, tissues, and fluids. The build-up of such toxins manifests as toxic headaches, chemical sensitivity, chronic fatigue syndrome, and acne, and contributes to most chronic diseases. Lifestyle changes, special detoxification diets, hydrotherapy, and other detoxification procedures combined with herbs that strengthen the liver will progressively eliminate the toxic burden. In addition, some nutrients directly neutralize toxins before they can cause harm. Chapter Five explores toxicity in depth.

Normalize Inflammatory Function
Inflammation is a crucial part of the process by which the body removes damaged cells and tissues and begins the repair process. In addition, inflammation is used by the immune system to attack pathogens and cancer cells. For most Americans this system is out of balance with a tendency to an excessive inflammatory reaction to damage whether that damage is physical, immunological, or chemical. This can be due to overly sensitive inflammatory mechanisms, inadequate inflammatory controls, or excessive inflammatory stimulation. Problems with the inflammatory response commonly manifest as allergies and chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and eczema. Dietary changes and key nutrients will normalize the inflammatory response. In addition, once an inflammatory process is well-established, several herbs can be used to quell the inflammation and help the body restore normal balance (see Chapter Six).

(Excerpted from Total Wellness: Improve Your Health By
Understanding the Body’s Healing Systems)
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 About The Author
Joseph Pizzorno NDA leader in the field of natural medicine, Dr. Pizzorno is a practical visionary. His uniting the healing traditions of natural medicine with the rigors of the scientific method has resulted in major advances.......more
 
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