(By Paolo Propato, L.Ac.) “Our attitude towards life counts more than our ancestry.” I can’t remember who told me this but it has always stuck. Many patients attribute their health issues with genetics, whether rheumatoid arthritis, IBS, migraines... the list goes on. This attribution relinquishes not only responsibility but in a way, hope. At any rate it is probably premature in most cases.
If you take the seed of a healthy plant and place it in a harsh environment it may survive, but not thrive. The better the environmental quality, the more that life or Qi can expand outwardly. In healthy soil with appropriate light and water, the plant will be able to blossom, attracting bees and butterflies.
When I was growing up, many times I saw my grandfather replant a tree or bush that someone else had pulled out and discarded due to its appearing unhealthy. With gradual nurturing it would again flourish. (And later he would sell it!) In this day and age, surrounded by so many toxins we can't control, it’s especially important that we do our best to give ourselves a healthy soil to thrive in.
A few years back I went to the Horsham township meeting over the concern of water contamination with perfluorooctanioc acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulonate (PFOS) from the Air Force base. The room was packed like sardines with people from various townships venting their concerns.
One man spoke about his lymphoma, questioning whether perhaps it was caused by drinking a gallon of powdered iced tea made with tap water daily for thirty years. Though he was rightfully concerned about the water contamination, I also couldn't help but think of what that much sugar or artificial sweetener in the ice tea powder had done to him. Another woman spoke about her hormonal issues as she cooled herself with orange soda. People talked over cookies and cupcakes, and some were outside smoking and vaping. The purpose of the meeting was to inform the public about unknowingly taking in toxins, but in the meantime many were voluntarily taking in toxins.
This is not a judgment, simply an observation about where we put our energy. Genetics and infectious disease play a big part in our health, our constitution’s relationship with its environment determines the manifestation of illness.
My grandfather said if you hang out with thieves, eventually you will steal something. If you ingest sugars and chemicals day in and day out, eventually your body will manifest the energetic nature of those toxins. Although we cannot protect ourselves from every toxin, awareness of what we can control will help ease the toxic load in our body. By doing so we may begin to cultivate the nutritive soil that our bodies need to thrive.
I can't help the fact that I grew up drinking water saturated in PFOA and PFOS, but I can help myself in many other ways. Cutting out sugars, processed foods, chemically raised produce, and chemically raised meat and fish that contain hormones, pesticides and antibiotics is a great start. We are lucky that we live in an area where free range, quality meat without all the chemical use is available, as well as access to farms that sell clean produce.
The biggest toxin of all to avoid is being overly stressed. That is the one toxin that always seems to be a major culprit in bringing people into the clinic. Chronic feelings of fear, guilt, anger, and constant worry are toxins that need to be released. Deal with these toxins the way you deal with other toxins: acknowledge that they are there, and that’s OK but today you are going to try something different. Instead of that cookie, I’ll have an apple. Instead of yelling at the guy that cut me off I’ll be grateful it wasn’t an accident and say thank you for reminding me to practice some deep breathing.
In time the vibration of change will reach your core and transform your whole being. The thinking mind stops being the ruler and begins to serve the heart, the way it was intended. Avoiding toxic build-up can prevent or lessen illness that may be in our genetic predisposition. You will no longer be only your ancestry-- you will be YOU, a being made up of the past but determined by the present.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.