(By Grace Rollins, MS, LAc) It's worthwhile to contemplate why some individuals get sicker than others. Let's intentionally set any kind of judgmental attitude-- toward others or one's self-- aside for the sake of exploration. How much we do to take care of our health, and "how well," is always relative. My own personal day-to-day health maintenance practices are as imperfect as those of my self 20 and 30 years ago. However, each day I am making my best effort to advance my knowledge, discipline and efforts, while also practicing self-compassion.
That being said, we do have a great deal of power over our health through our personal actions. How to generate health states is something our mainstream culture perhaps surrenders too much. Instead we often focus on the "bad luck" aspects of genetics, trauma or infectious disease.
Do some healthy people get a difficult case of COVID due to simple genetics or bad luck? Possibly, we truly don't know at this point. But there are some things we do know. On average, COVID (and many other "bad luck" diseases) tend to hit people harder who don't exercise, who are overweight and who have weakened immune systems, all factors that usually relate to one's overall state of health. It's therefore highly likely that other aspects of health cultivation (how much we sleep, how much stress we suffer, the condition of our microbiome, our nutritional status, etc.) also relate.
States of illness or degeneration are rarely 100% due to genetic destiny or horrible luck. Our ability to cultivate a state of health in our day-to-day life has a significant impact on the way our genes are expressed; it directly steers how quickly and easily our tissues age or repair themselves; it has enormous implications for our mental wellbeing; and it significantly impacts how well we fend off and recover from infectious disease.
Something I see time and time again with my patients is the expectation that one can live according to modern norms but not develop modern health problems. The answer to getting better is often a simple one, but requires going against the grain of the mainstream lifestyle (overworked, over-stressed, under-slept, highly sedentary, compromised posture and mobility, relying on inflammatory, nutrient-poor processed food, and over-exposed to artificial chemicals, drugs and screen-based stimulation).
If you're ready and able to make space in your daily lifestyle for cultivating health, here are the categories I recommend looking at to make a personal assessment:
It's not necessarily comprehensive but these are a few of the very basics, the ABCs. If there's anything on that list above that you see is lacking, then there's no huge mystery about what you can do right now to advance yourself toward a state of greater health, which is key to resolving existing problems and preventing future ones. Cultivating one's health on a daily basis can be used as a mantra to aid in fending off "bad luck" health problems, not the least of which is a certain famously capricious viral infection.
Sometimes, of course, we know exactly what is lacking, but we need help to implement new habits or break the old ones that don't suit us. Or sometimes you have the ABCs in place and are ready to aim higher.
Cultivating a state of health is what we do, friends, and we look forward to helping you cross that bridge.
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