The Road to Perfect Health

On March 11, Deepak Chopra begins another free meditation session that I am inviting you to sign up for. This one is called Perfect Health and has the addition of daily words of wisdom from Oprah. I loved the last meditation session that he gave, and I am looking forward to this one as well. Thinking about it has made me think about perfect health. Just the words themselves make me feel somehow inadequate. Perfect Health. Not good health or optimal health, perfect health. Wow! How difficult is it to achieve that? What I’m hoping is that the series will focus more on the small things we can do every single day, that taken over a lifetime, can contribute greatly to our overall health. There are the obvious ones I have written about in previous posts – a whole foods diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, avoiding chemicals, nurturing relationships, connecting with your spiritual self and taking charge of your own health.
But I thought I would just mention a few that came to mind that most people either don’t think about doing regularly or just avoid.
The first is looking after your teeth. It’s such a simple thing to do – brush twice a day and floss once a day and getting regular professional cleanings, but many people just can’t be bothered. Good dental health isn’t just important for your looks or your breath, it can actually make a difference to your general health. Most people suffer from some gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gum tissues around the teeth, especially in hard-to-reach areas of your mouth and between the teeth. Problems arise when the inflammation becomes chronic and then starts to involve the bone beneath your teeth. This produces irreversible damage, tooth loss and possibly even worse damage to your body, as chronic inflammation (of any kind) has been linked with digestive disorders, heart disease, skin and muscular conditions and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
The second simple thing we can do is avoid the noon-day sun. Recent research has shown that slathering ourselves with sunscreen is not the healthiest thing for us as many of the active ingredients in sunscreen are harmful chemicals which can be absorbed into our bloodstream right through the skin. Trying to avoid being out in the noon-day sun, wearing a hat, sitting under an umbrella and scheduling your outdoor chores in the early morning or early evening can all help to avoid too much sun exposure. Having said that, it is very important to get some exposure. We need 20 minutes of sun to 40% of our bodies every single day in order to get the Vitamin D we need. If you do not get this amount of sun, or if you wear sunscreen, you must take Vitamin D supplements. Getting enough Vitamin D if you live in the northern hemisphere is the single most important thing you can do to prevent disease.
The third simple thing we can do is have a yearly physical exam by a medical doctor which includes having a blood work-up. Having an actual number of what your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure is, can mean the difference between complacently going along thinking that everything is normal, and finding out that your levels are a little high, then doing something about it – such as losing weight to drop your blood pressure or eating more fibre to lower your blood cholesterol. The key is to be informed so you can make changes in your lifestyle to prevent a small problem turning into a big one.

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