Embrace the Self-Healing Powers of Your Body and Mind

Your Body and Mind Will Take Care of You If You Let Them.

It is good to remind ourselves so now and then of the tremendous self-healing powers or our body and mind.

Without even noticing it, the trillions of cells our bodies are always striving toward harmony and health.

We are hard-wired to grow and become stronger every minute of our lives from the moment of conception until we get beyond our reproductive age around the age of forty. Even though our bodies experience a gradual decline in strength and performance after forty, the ability of our bodies to heal themselves remains, albeit at a slower rate.

Automatic programs, comparable to those that keep our hearts beating and our bodies at the right temperature, constantly work in the background breaking down and renewing and repairing body tissue.

Aside from these systems that operate entirely on their own without us being aware of it, another system, our immune system, works 24/7/365 to disarm and remove invaders from our bodies that otherwise could have caused serious harm to our health.

It is an amazing ability of our bodies to do whatever it takes to restore and maintain health after injuring ourselves or contracting an illness. Sometimes, the impact of the injuries or the force of the attackers is too much for the body, meaning that we have to call in the help of doctors and modern medicine to help our bodies to overcome the threat.

It is good to keep in mind that, although we perceive it often differently, doctors and modern medicine don’t actually heal our bodies; they create the optimal circumstances for our bodies to do their healing work.

We have been granted stewardship over our bodies. This means that we have the responsibility to let the automatic defence and healing programs in our bodies do their work, to support them and to refrain from doing whatever interferes with their good work.

Staying Healthy, Energetic and Strong Our Entire Life

We support our bodies in the first place with eating food that is biologically correct and therefore recognized by the billions of bacteria and other organisms that live in our gut. These bacteria and other organisms are collectively known as our microbiome or gut flora and play an important role in the processes of digestion, assimilation, immune function and brain health.

Biologically correct food is organically grown, raised without the use of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics and prepared for consumption without chemicals to enhance taste, color, smell and shelf-life.

The effect of hormones, antibiotics and food chemicals is that it harms and diminishes the gut flora and otherwise leads to harmful effects in the body.

We also support our body by performing activities that get and keep our muscle system in good condition. The reason for this is that our muscle system forms the centre-point of good health because it pulls all other body systems forward in their function.

The third way we can support our bodies is by maintaining a state of relaxation as often as possible since this is the state our bodies need for healing and recovery.

Stronger muscles lead to stronger bones, tendons and ligaments, and a stronger cardiovascular and respiratory system. Examples of other body systems that benefit from a strong muscle system are the digestive system, the nervous system, the hormonal system and the lymphatic system.

Many people in our modern society have lost the connection with their body, meaning that they preferably choose for food that tastes good and gives comfort in the short term without ever wondering whether what they eat really benefits their internal body systems.

They don’t link responses from their body with the food they have been consuming, with their physical activity, or lack thereof, and their overall mental and emotional state. Instead of recognizing pain and discomfort as a signal from their body that an issue needs to be addressed, they ignore the issue or suppress the symptoms with painkillers or other types of medication.

If something is out of alignment, meaning our body is not functioning properly, we can take for granted that somehow somewhere we throw sand in the normally smoothly operating programs that keep our bodies healthy, strong and energetic.

And here is the good news…

Our bodies are very forgiving, meaning that even though we may not have been treating it optimally, it improves all its healing and repairing abilities almost immediately the moment we take the steps that create the right environment for our bodies to the work they are hard-wired to do.

Eating healthy, exercising properly while maintaining an overall state of relaxation are the tools we have at our disposal and can use every hour of the day.

If we do it consistently, persistently and patiently, we can see our physical, emotional and mental health gradually and dramatically improve in a matter of months.

Knowing all this is one, actually doing it is another. If you realize that you keep falling back into habits that don’t serve you despite your best intentions and hard work, I suggest you send me an email and see how we can work together to get you moving forward again.

Let’s do this. Visit my website patrickstreppel.com to tell me your story and get your questions answered.


3 Wonderful Tools to Create a Successful Life

Healthy Lifestyle
A Healthy Lifestyle is the First Condition for a Successful Life.

This blog, 3 Wonderful Tools to Create a Successful Life is the fourth in a series of four that explains how the three tools; healthy eating, safe and effective exercising and maintaining a state of relaxed awareness can help us to get the most out of our lives.

Follow this link to read the first article about Safe and Effective Exercising and this link for the second article on healthy nutrition and this link for the third article on stress and the benefits of maintaining a state of relaxed awareness (all three open in a new window).

This blog is bringing it all together and describes how balancing the three tools can form the foundation for a healthy physical body and mind, ready to play its part in creating the life we want.

The image below makes visible how the three tools interact and why it is important to give them all three your full attention to get the most out of the three tools individually and as a whole, forming the Triangle of Health.The first blog is about Healthy Nutrition. Health or disease begins in the gut. Eating food that is biologically correct, meaning that it in harmony and recognized by the body and the billions of bacteria and other organisms that together form our microbiome is the first and most wonderful step you can make for your body. All physical, emotional and mental processes that occur in our body depend on our microbiome in the first place.

Eating food that is loaded with excessive sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, chemicals to give it the desired look, smell and taste and delays natural decay is like shooting yourself in the foot, to say the least. Sadly, this is what the majority of the people do, especially in the industrialized part of our world.

Thinking of how quickly people are in our modern society with suing one another for even the most futile affairs, if our bodies could act and come up for their own, most of us would spend the bigger part of our lives in court and jail.

It is just a thought.

Eating healthy is great, but if our internal systems are weak and underperforming, it will be difficult for our bodies to digest and assimilate the food we eat optimally. Here is where exercise enters the stage. Preserving our muscle tissue and keeping it in good shape helps all other internal systems to thrive. This is what I wrote about in my second blog.

Being physically active is an indispensable element for keeping the body as a whole in good condition. On average, 25 percent of a healthy female body and 40 percent of a healthy male body is muscle. It really pays to give that the attention and care it needs.

The thing is, it needs more than just being physically active to keep your muscles in good condition. Especially after the age of 35, our body begins to break down muscle tissue. It is a natural process, totally in line with the rhythm and cycle of life. For thousands and thousands of generations we were bound to die around that age, if not earlier. The fact that, thanks to technology, we can live much longer doesn’t change the rhythms of nature.

Keeping our muscle tissue in good condition means that we have to take over the steering wheel from Mother Nature and do what is necessary to keep us healthy, strong and energetic. Doing what is necessary begins with getting a basic understanding of our muscle body system and the role of endurance and strength muscle fibers. It clarifies, for instance, that it takes different types of physical activity to keep them both in good shape.

Not understanding this aspect is what I often see in people after forty when they decide to finally get in better shape, buy running gear and see it as a goal to complete a half-marathon or more within a certain number of months.

They couldn’t be a bigger disservice to their body.

The natural process is that we lose on average 6.6 pounds of muscle tissue every decade after the age of 35. When the body has lost that amount of muscle tissue, it means that there is a lot less support for spine, joints and bones in general, with all ensuing consequences. Moreover, the constant bouncing doesn’t benefit any of the internal organs including the entire digestive tract either.

Nasty other side effect is that with long distance running, people only activate their endurance muscle fibers and not their strength muscle fibers, that way signalling the body that they apparently don’t need the strength muscle fibers. The result is that the body begins to break down the so important strength muscle fibers. The reason this happens is that the body is wired to preserve energy and not to waste it. In other words, it is not going to carry around body tissue that is not needed and already consumes costly calories to only maintain it.

If you like to run, by all means, do so but don’t overdo it and be sure to push and pull iron or otherwise work your muscles against a meaningful resistance on a regular basis. Doing this signals your body that you need that precious body tissue to support your spine, joints, bones and your body as a whole.

And yeah, it hurts so now and then because nothing grows in your comfort zone.

Healthy nutrition and Safe and Effective Exercising; one hand washes the other. There is no working around that, regardless of the mind games people use to play to convince themselves otherwise.

What a great bridge to the third tool; a supportive mindset. What can come of healthy eating and regular exercising when the mind is not supportive? This is what New Year’s resolutions look like. Men and Women with the best intentions work hard to change their lives for the better, not realizing that the most powerful part of their brains rejects everything relentlessly that has not already been ingrained and therefore recognized as known and familiar.

Our brains are wired to learn and to consolidate what we have learned into automatic brain patterns or habits. Once a certain behavior has become firmly established through repetition or through the intensity of the experience, it is there. It is a very helpful feature to survive and thrive. Once you learn how to use a bow and arrow through repeated practice, you won’t quickly forget it, and learning that fire is hot is something you learn in a split second.

It looks like that change is the last thing our brains are interested in, but this is not really true. Things constantly change in our environment and our body can effortlessly adapt. It is a matter of being able to tune in into those changes and adjust accordingly consistently. For this, we can use another part of our brains that can observe, reflect and direct like a conductor in front of an orchestra.

Timing is of the essence. Not being aware of the changes that are happing in and around us all the time means growing out of alignment with ourselves and our environment. The result is pain that one way or another manifest in our physical, emotional or mental body.

The part of our brain that plays an important role in storing the automatic brain patterns I just mentioned also harbors a mechanism that is wired to move us away from danger or pain to safety or pleasure as quickly as possible. Back in the days, it meant feed, fight, run or hide to stay alive. Nowadays we don’t just eat but can choose our favorite food, painkiller, movie, gadget or any other form of instant gratification that gives us the pleasure and comfort we seek.

We have become so accustomed to this behavior that we don’t realize how short-lived those pleasures are and the effects they have on our long-term health and wellness.

We can tune-in into the real needs of our body and meet those needs if we develop and train the part of the brains that enables us to do so. This part goes through life with various names. To give some examples: intellectual brain, conscious mind, reflective brain, logical brain and thinking brain.

Developing and training that part of our brains means that we are aware of the true needs of our body as a whole and take the right decisions to live a rewarding and fulfilling life for ourselves and our loved ones.

It means, for instance, that we make the right food choices and exercise regularly to keep our physical body in good condition.

But that is only the beginning because taking care of our physical body means that we create the optimal conditions for our brains to stay healthy and improve their functions.

Success in life, regardless of how we define it, depends on the condition of our brains, and it is largely up to us how healthy our brains are and consequently how successful we will be in life.

We stumble and fall, and we never get it right, and we never get it done, and it hurts so now and then because nothing grows in our comfort zone.

No matter where we are in life and regardless of our age, gender, genetic background and whether or not our big toe hurts, we all can make the baby steps that gradually and eventually get us closer to the life we choose to live and the greater cause we need to pursue.

I hope that this blog, together with the previous three, give you some insights to put yourself on track toward the successful life you want or make it even better than it perhaps already is.

Even though the blogs were a bit lengthy, know that I only scratched the surface and that I have much more to share with you.

Let’s begin a conversation to find out how you can align or better align the three tools I talked about in this and the previous three blogs and experience life at a higher level.

And if your thoughts go to other people who would like to change their lives for the better but feel for some reason they can’t, please let me know too.

Whether the people you think of are your employees, members, patients, clients or friends; we can talk and take it from there.

Visit my website patrickstreppel.com and scroll down a bit or click on “Contact” at the top of the page to find the space where you can type and send your message.

This could be the beginning of something magical.

Talk to you soon!

Patrick Streppel.

How Healthy Nutrition Supports Our Belly Bugs and Our Life.

Good health is the foundation of everything you do in life and especially for making positive changes.

Think of it. When already dealing with physical, mental and emotional challenges, it will be very difficult to take on another challenge such as changing an aspect of life we don’t feel happy with.

To improve and maintain good health, we have three tools to our disposal; healthy nutrition, safe and effective exercising and keeping a state of relaxed awareness to notice, welcome and accommodate all the events that come on our path every day.

This Blog is the first in a series of four in which I will talk about the role each of the three tools plays in our overall health and how they relate to each other.

This first blog is about healthy nutrition. The next blog will be about safe and effective exercising, the third about brain health and in the fourth blog, I will bring it all together.

For this first blog about healthy nutrition, I would like to look at the area of our body where what we eat and drink ends up in the first place which is our gut.

Our gut is a very special and delicate area of our body for two main reasons.

The first reason is that it harbors our Enteric Nervous System or second brain. It is formed from the same tissue as our Central Nervous System during fetal development. Both are connected through a nerve that serves as the primary channel of information between the hundreds of millions of nerve cells in the Enteric Nervous System and the Central Nervous System.

The second reason is that our gut and intestinal walls are colonized by trillions of bacteria and other microbes, collectively called our microbiome or gut flora. Each microbe contains its own DNA, and we interact with these organisms and their genetic material. Because the state of the microbiome is so key to human health, it can be considered as an organ of itself, as vital to health as our heart, lungs, liver and brain.

We have a very close relationship with these microbial inhabitants. They have participated in shaping our evolution and have lived on the planet for billions of years before our emergence.

Here are eight points that explain the important role our microbiome in our gut and on the intestinal walls;

  1. They help in the digestion and absorption of what we eat and drink
  2. They form barriers against potential invaders such as bad bacteria, harmful viruses and parasites
  3. They work as a detoxification machine; a second liver.
  4. Influence the immune system response; the gut is the biggest immune system organ.
  5. Produce and release important enzymes, chemicals for the brain, including vitamins and about 90% of the happiness neurotransmitter serotonin.
  6. Help handle stress through its effects on your hormonal system
  7. Assist in getting a good night’s sleep
  8. Help control the body’s inflammatory pathways, which in turn affect risk for virtually all manner of chronic disease.

Think a moment about what can happen if our microbiome can’t do its work properly.

With all the research that has been done, it is clear that our belly bugs play an important role in whether we are fat or thin, experience allergies, asthma, ADHD, cancer, diabetes or dementia. Our gut flora impacts our mood, libido, metabolism, immunity, whether we feel energetic or lethargic and even how we perceive the world and the clarity of our thoughts.

Hippocrates knew what he was talking about when he said: “all disease begins in the gut”.

The Russian biologist and Nobel Prize winner Elie Mechnikov was pretty clear too when she stated: “death begins in the colon”.

If you want to improve and maintain health, you need to take care of your microbiome in the first place, meaning that you need to eat food that is biologically correct, ready for your gut bacteria to work with and thrive on.

What our belly bugs or microbiome don’t like:

  • Chemicals present in processed food such as preservatives, emulsifiers, taste enhancers and colorings
  • Sugar because it turns good belly bugs into bad belly bugs
  • Gluten, present in grains because it damages your microbiome
  • Chlorinated tap water
  • Antibiotics either from the meat or medication
  • GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms. GMOs have been developed to produce pesticide within their own tissues or become herbicide- and/or pesticide-resistant to withstand direct application of pesticides. These chemicals leave traces of its residue on the food we eat which in turn harms our microbiome.

The best advice I can give to support your health is to eat organically produced whole food; food that is produced without the use of GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones and with respect for the environment.

If you have a hard time finding organically produced fruits and veggies, then at least stay away from the most harmful ones as listed on the “dirty dozen”. You can read more information when you follow this link (opens in a new window)

And if you want to eat meat; no compromises here. Find a local farm that can provide you with meat free of antibiotics and hormones. Period.

Organic food may be more expensive, but you can work around that by looking for promotions. And by the way, did you price cancer lately?

The big take away; if you take care of your belly bugs with healthy nutrition, your belly bugs will take care of you.

Paying for eating low-quality food with suffering health and low energy and then trying to repair that with painkillers and other forms of medication looks like grabbing a hammer, hitting your thumb and then managing the consequences with bandages, painkillers and avoiding the use that part of your body for a while.

We can do better than that. Here’s to making wise choices that improve our health, that improve our lives, that help to improve the life of others, and eventually contribute to making the world a better place for everybody.

If you want to hear me talk more about this and find out how you and your audience can benefit? Follow this link, scroll down on the page, send me a message and let’s start a conversation.

I look forward to talking to you soon.