The Missing Nutrient for Complete Health: Vitamin L (Love)
The body is a physical structure and usually what we do physically plays an important role in how healthy or unhealthy we are. Food, supplements, proper breathing techniques as well as movement and rest all represent important elements in the never-ending journey of well-being.
Still, the suggestion that all we have to do is leverage these types of somatic strategies to maintain our health is not entirely accurate. While it is obvious and beyond dispute that nutrition, exercise, relaxation and respiration are important components of maintaining our corporal condition — as is stabilizing blood sugar and employing correct digestive strategies — our emotions and thoughts are just as significant! And, the foundation of healthful thoughts and emotions is self-kindness!
The physiological benefits of self-kindness are rooted in the human neurology of the 10th cranial nerve which starts in the brain and travels throughout the body, affecting various structures and organ systems. Known as the Vagus nerve, this neurological pathway can be consciously harnessed via self-talk for numerous physiological benefits including lowering blood pressure, strengthening the heart, supporting digestion, stimulating growth and repair, enhancing creativity, and boosting the immune system. The relationship between seemingly imprecise emotional aspects of wellness, and the functioning of the Vagus nerve is so clear-cut that scientists have learned to measure self-kindness by monitoring vagal activity.
You can always tell if someone is being kind to themselves by how they treat others. Kind and loving internal dialogue will manifest externally as loving relationships and a healthy body, while hostile self-talk will show up in relationships and a physical body that are out of ease. The inner self is innocent and guileless like a small child. Try taking control of your inner dialogue and talking to yourself as you would to a baby or a child. If you like, you can even use baby talk at least for a little bit!
Treating oneself with gentleness and understanding is an indicator of inner strength, as well as a sign and precursor of good physical well-being. On the other hand, lack of compassion and self-compassion are always rooted in insecurity, uncertainty and angst, and subsequently leads to the protective posture that results in the defensive (inflammatory) response that is the ultimate cause of all disease.
The bottom line is physical health results from more than the physical; it’s just as dependent on our thoughts and emotions. Be kind to yourself and others! It will reflect in your body vitality and quality of life.
380 Trillion Viruses Live In Us; How Do We Live Symbiotically With Them?
Interest in the microbiome has been steadily increasing over the past decade or so, and for good reason. The role of our internal ecosystem (gut flora) is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our times, offering an insight into how we heal, fight off disease, and stay healthy — even in difficult times. In “Immunity and the Microbiome,” microbiologist Compton Rom presents a compelling argument for why we need to pay attention to the ecosystem of good bacteria in our digestive system.
Once we realize the great implications of how remarkable the microbiome within us can make or break our state of health, then we can boost our immunity over viruses, bacteria, and infections.
While the term “immune system” is relatively common in our daily vernacular, Rom does not limit it to the body alone. Rather, he has a holistic vision and ties the health of all life on this planet with the health of the Earth, including global warming, as well as the nature of disease-causing organisms. This holistic approach allows us to appreciate our unique role as conscious beings existing in various ecosystems that need to be recognized and respected.
Rom discusses historical evidence, showing that humans have evolved to live symbiotically with the life not just around us, but within us. This becomes particularly relevant when discussing the role of our virome, or the trillions of viruses and phages that live within our body and its cells. This he says is a major facet in maintaining proper health, by promoting symbiosis with viruses, so they don’t cause disease and illness.
We can optimize our virome and microbiome by introducing probiotic fermented and anti-inflammatory herbs, as well as a diverse diet of fruits and roots, to lower risks of infectious disease. In fact, the bacterial cells within our microbiome outnumber our human cells by tenfold.
Rom suggests our immunity from illness, as well as our relationship with the planet, begins at home. The best place to start our journey to optimum health and ideal immune function is by improving our diets, meditating, doing breathwork, exercising, and most importantly, proactively diversifying our gut microbiomes.
Compton’s philosophy is to take a non-chemical and non-pharmaceutical approach to healing, using natural herbs, and oils to eliminate pathogenic bacteria.
Our bodies, he notes, respond “best to natural compounds that have evolved alongside us for millennia. Synthetic compounds are singular in nature, while whole earth compounds carry numerous micronutrients and co-factors necessary for growth, many of which scientists have yet to discover.
This is why natural compounds are so much more effective. Modern medicine has yet to use them because they are impossible to patent; synthetics can be sold at a much higher profit than naturally derived and sustainably harvested herbs.”