4. Here’s The Solution: Find The Truth, Open To New Possibilities

Get A Completely New Solution

The solutions to our health issues aren’t waiting to be discovered—they already exist. If that’s the case, why doesn’t everyone know about them already? There’s a bazillion reasons why, and they can be narrowed down to a few main causes:

Information overload

1. Information Overload Makes It Very Difficult To Know The Difference Between What Works And What Doesn’t.

  • There’s too much health-related information to sort through
  • The information often contradicts itself
  • Much of the information out there isn’t true
  • Even healthcare professionals can’t tell fact from fiction
  • Opinions and dogma commonly masquerade as fact
  • While the truth is true, it’s not always popular
  • Just because it’s in a book doesn’t make it a fact
  • Profit motives and marketing powerfully shape opinions and policies

The solutions exist, but they’re buried under an avalanche of information and opinions. Government guidelines and popular healthcare personalities commonly push agendas that are anything but sound, and following the advice of the masses has led people to being sicker than ever before. We’ve all heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over while expecting a different result. I don’t feel the real problem is that people are insane. People are doing the best they can to navigate their way to lasting health, but have to find their way through so much information and misinformation that it’s almost impossible to arrive at the solutions they’re seeking.

Information overload and all that comes with it makes it hard to make lasting changes. How can you make changes when the majority of the health-related information you’ve heard your whole life isn’t actually true? I mean it, it’s not true. Think about it. In order for you to make lasting changes, you’ve got to first unlearn a lot of what governments, companies and experts would have you believe is true. But before we get down to sorting out truth from fiction, there’s another point we’ve got to look at first.

Part Two Of The Solution

Open door

The 2nd part of the healthcare solution is opening up to different possibilities. This is a lot easier to do once we realize that much of what we’ve been led to believe isn’t true, and is actually dangerous to our health. To make lasting changes, we’ve got to do things differently, and that requires us to open our minds to new ways of going about things. Changing your life begins by changing your mind, and that’s both the hardest and most helpful thing you’ll ever do.

2. Opening Up To Different Possibilities: Going Beyond The Familiar 

  • We usually don’t realize that change is necessary
  • We wait until problems develop before make changes
  • We have no idea how much better things can be
  • Change happens at the speed of pain: once it hurts, willingness develops
  • It can be scary to let go of our opinions and beliefs
  • It’s easier to follow the status quo than to be a trendsetter

Straightforward solutions to complex health issues already exist, but it’s hard to know what’s what with all the information and misinformation out there. Figuring out the difference between what’s helpful and what’s harmful can be crazy making, especially when opinions are so intertwined with facts that they become indistinguishable.

Breakthroughs Pave The Way, But Have To Be Sorted Through

Once and for all becoming and remaining healthy takes work, but it’s not an impossible journey through scorching deserts and frigid high mountain passes. If it were easy, everyone would have done it already, but the solutions are available today in ways they’ve never been available before. There have been breakthroughs in the sciences, psychology, technology, innovation and spirituality that have completely changed the way that healthcare can be practiced today. It’s an exciting time with untold possibilities for those who’re open to a brave new world of possibilities.

These new possibilities stem from breakthroughs in many fields. But breakthroughs don’t magically turn into entirely new fields of healthcare that provide the solutions we desperately need. For all the incredible information that’s exploded in the last 20-odd years, relatively few practitioners are incorporating it into their practices, and many patients remain wary of stepping too far outside the box. It all comes down to a mind that can open to new possibilities rather than remaining stuck in the status quo.

Focus On Possibilities, Not Problems

Open Your Mind, Open Your Mind, Open Your Mind….

Almost everyone I talk to believes that the solutions will come from taking the right supplements, exercising and sticking to a balanced diet, and it’s just not that way. What I noticed in all the years I’ve been working with patients is that the ones who change their lives most are the ones with open minds. All healing begins with opening your mind to seeing things differently. Who you are has to change. Changing your diet while remaining stressed out, angry, tired, overworked, unforgiving, unable to let go of the past and afraid of the future won’t get you very far.

You—the person you see in the mirror and talk to all day—you have to shift and change into a person that supports health, wellness, happiness, acceptance, love, gratitude, introspection, growth, awakening, and so forth. If you’ve ever wondered why diets don’t work, it’s because the person on the diet has to change their life from the inside out. So long as a person remains stuck in the same old patterns, changing their diet can only yield limited results.

We’re a lot more than what we eat. We all know that diet is important, but what’s eating us is even more important. You have to fundamentally change your life, and this begins with changing your mind about everything that causes you to be stressed, sick, upset, depressed, angry, afraid, unwell and unhappy.

Overcome Information Overload, Open Your Mind, Then The Next Steps Are:

Be Honest With Yourself About Your Current State Of Health

Honest with self sticky note

This is such an important step, and it’s one I’ve seen thousands of patient’s dance around. We’ll go to incredible lengths to avoid acknowledging the painful truth that our health isn’t that great. It’s hard to accept that we have problems, especially when we’ve tried so many things to resolve them without experiencing relief. If you have health issues, an important step in resolving them is to recognize them for what they are. Once you’ve done this, it’s possible to find the help you need—which we’ll get into soon enough.

Stop Minimizing

A client, who happened to be a structural engineer, came to me for help with degeneration of his lumbar spine. He was in pain and facing another lumbar surgery—the first one hadn’t proven effective. He’d also had hip and knee replacements. I remember explaining in detail how force is transmitted through the spine and body, and that if he didn’t reestablish the curves in his spine, for example, no amount of surgery will ever take care of the problems and the degeneration would continue to worsen.

Being an engineer, he was able to easily understand this. He was responding well to care, but was nowhere near being healed when he informed me that while he felt a lot of improvement, he didn’t think it was necessary to continue. My inner Freudian analyst was agape as I explained that he desperately needed to reestablish proper alignment in his body, that he needed to give himself a chance to heal, etc., or he was destined to have surgery after surgery. I specifically remember him telling me that his problems weren’t really all that bad, and that he could always have another surgery if things got worse. Minimizing is common, and it only allows our conditions to progressively worsen as we turn a blind eye to our health.

Learn To Recognize The Health Issues You Already Have

This is a biggie. Millions of Americans already have significant health issues, but have no idea how serious their conditions already are. If you’re not feeling as well as you once did, if you’ve lost a step, if you’re tired, don’t sleep well, rely on caffeine and sugar, if you can’t lose the extra weight, if you have circles beneath your eyes, if you have chronic aches and pains, hypothyroidism, hormone imbalances, autoimmune issues, gut issues, digestive issues, etc., you may be developing health issues that are a lot bigger than you realize.

Develop Big-Picture Orientation

Looking glass perspective

Health is more than lab tests, more than eating organic foods. Healing requires getting to know yourself a lot better on all levels of your existence. It’s the ability to say yes and no, to get in touch with and express your feelings, to enjoy your own company, to understand and relate to others, to forgive yourself and let go of old hurts, to become a lot more free than you currently are. It’s essential to learn how you go about life and honor yourself for who you are, just as you learn to honor others for who they are. All of this becomes a major focus of the healing blueprint, because your overall health and wellness depends on it.

Develop big-picture orientation. Don’t just focus on labs, working out and counting calories. Go beyond the body. What you are is so much more than just the physical. Pay attention to the physical place, by all means, but learn to pay attention to what life is really trying to tell you…which is always far more than just healing your body.

Do Enough To Help Yourself!

Once your health slips a notch, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to get it back. If you’re carrying extra weight and can’t get rid of it, if you’re fatigued, if you’re hypothyroid or dealing with Hashimoto’s, if your hormones are imbalanced, if your lipid panel is off, if you’re stressed out, if you’re not sleeping through the night or experiencing other chronic symptoms, get help now. If you rely on Ibuprofen, if you need coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon, there are underlying issues that need to be addressed. Don’t wait. Don’t assume that it’s not big deal and that it’ll go away on its own. Do enough to help yourself.

And don’t accept the standard solutions. What are standard solutions? Standard solutions include prescriptions for thyroid supplementation for your hypothyroidism, a CPAP for your sleep apnea, NSAID’s for your inflammation, analgesics for your pain, Lipitor for your cholesterol, Metformin for diabetes, Prozac for your stress and depression…you know the game. Standard solutions aren’t solutions at all. They mask your health issues, allowing them to insidiously worsen. Standard solutions don’t address you as a person. They focus on the problem, and the problem worsens and gives rise to even bigger health issues down the road.

One of the most powerful insights I’ve gained from working with so many clients over the years is that almost everyone stops short of doing what’s necessary to get their health back on track. I’ve fallen into this trap myself a few times along the way, so I know how easy it is to do: it’s very easy. It’s so easy to talk ourselves out of doing what’s necessary to get back on track. Sometimes it’s more about not knowing where to get the help you need. Sometimes it’s not knowing how far you’ve slipped. Sometimes you’re worn down by the negative comments you hear about the “weird” things you do to remain healthy, and you slowly stop doing the things that set you free. Sometimes you minimize the severity of your issues, and sometimes you just have no idea how to interpret what your life is trying to tell you.

Here’s the bottom line: if you’ve got health issues that aren’t going away, you’ve got to do enough to work through them. If the things you’re doing aren’t helping, seek out more creative solutions. 

Here Are Some Of The Do’s And Don’ts Of Doing Enough To Help Yourself:

  • Do enough to get yourself back on track
  • Don’t do just a few things and stop there if you know something’s still off
  • Don’t stick with practitioners who are still doing things the old way
  • Don’t accept the standard solutions when more creative ones exist
  • Do focus on healing yourself as a whole person
  • Don’t assume that practitioners have done their research: those who have don’t do what every other practitioner is doing
  • Do know that once problems arise, there are other issues to deal with as well
  • Don’t compartmentalize your health issues
  • Do know that you can heal and learn to trust your inner healer
  • Do be patient—healing takes time
  • Do pay attention to what works and what doesn’t
  • Do your own research—but don’t mistake opinion for fact
  • Do become your own advocate
  • Don’t believe that no symptoms = no problems
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions
  • Do be open to answers other than the ones you’re familiar with

Stop Spinning Your Wheels

Woman on wheel

It’s no use spending time and money on things that aren’t helpful. If you’ve really given something its due and it’s not helping, learn to let it go and seek solutions that will work for you.

Get Insulin, Leptin And Blood Sugar Under Control

So long as insulin and leptin signaling are impaired, regaining your health is impossible. It’s that simple and it’s that critical. Keeping your blood sugar within a healthy range can’t happen until these master hormones are balanced.

Optimize Your Thyroid Function

Thyroid physiology is wildly complicated stuff. Both conventional and alternative treatment methods typically don’t address the true, underlying causes, relying instead on either synthetic or natural thyroid replacement hormones. Unfortunately, this only masks the real problems, which are rarely of the thyroid gland itself. 

Heal Your Gut

Having efficient digestion and a healthy gut are unspeakably important, and darn near everyone’s digestive system could use some help. The gut performs many other functions besides just extracting nutrients from what we eat. For example, healing your thyroid is impossible so long as your gut isn’t working properly.

Diet: A Four-Letter Word

Diet

Religion, politics and diet are subjects that divide families and give rise to war. When it comes to diet, there’s a lot of opinion, but very little fact. The more popular diets and movements have their own advertising campaigns, organizations, numerous books and zealous promoters, but who actually has the data to show that their beliefs aren’t just dogma and are actually valid? Skip the fads, skip the hype and stick to what works.

If your diet doesn’t heal your gut, if it doesn’t heal your insulin and leptin sensitivity and help to bring your blood sugar into balance, it will inevitably lead to health issues that could have otherwise been avoided. Tragically, many people think their diet is healthy when it’ll only lead to blown adrenals, fatty liver, metabolic syndrome, thyroid issues, inflammation and all sorts of health issues.

Figuring out a diet that works is one of the most essential things you’ll ever do for yourself, and it’s one of the more confusing and contentious issues this world faces. While the healing blueprint takes an incredible amount of things into consideration, helping you settle on a diet that solves your health issues rather than compounding them is a main focus.

Heal Your Liver: NAFLD & Metabolic Syndrome

People look bewildered when I describe NAFLD and Metabolic Syndrome. It’s a mix of disbelief, seriousness, surprise and not quite knowing if I’m joking. I’m not. It’s shocking to learn just how pervasive liver damage is in industrialized nations like the United States. People are even more surprised to find out that they’ve been doing most of the things that lead to liver damage—and they’ve been doing them their entire lives.

NAFLD is the acronym for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and it affects nearly 35% of Americans. NAFLD is liver damage that’s indistinguishable from alcohol-induced liver damage. What causes it? Two key contributing factors are eating a healthy diet and taking on too much stress. That’s correct, eating what’s considered a healthy diet leads to NAFLD; eating an unhealthy diet spells disaster.

NAFLD is the hepatic (liver) component of what’s known as Metabolic Syndrome. Metabolic Syndrome is a collection of symptoms commonly found in industrialized peoples and includes the following:

  • Insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia (too much insulin)
  • Dysregulation of blood sugar (too high and/or too low)
  • Dysregulation of cholesterol and triglycerides
  • High (or low) blood pressure
  • Inflammation and overproduction of adipocytokines, e.g., TNF-α and IL-6
  • Weight around the midsection that won’t go away
  • Sodium and water retention
  • Fatty depositions in the liver

You have Metabolic Syndrome if you have 3 or more of the above health issues. In my experience, once you put weight on around your midsection that’s hard to get rid of, you’re already developing fatty liver, and Metabolic Syndrome is in the process of developing.

How Common Is NAFLD?

Nearly 35 percent of all U.S. adults and 50 percent of those 60 years of age or older were estimated to have Metabolic Syndrome in 2011-2012, according to a study in the May 19, 2015 issue of JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

What Are The Problems Associated With NAFLD & Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic Syndrome greatly predisposes us to developing diabetes, kidney disease, atherosclerosis and stroke, and of course liver damage. It also predisposes us to cancer and every other chronic disease. What’s more, there’s no known cure for NAFLD and Metabolic Syndrome.

Even though there’s no known cure, the healing blueprint is the cure for these major health issues. Bono quipped in a song back in the late ’80’s, I don’t believe it when they tell me there ain’t no cure. I don’t believe it, either, because there is. “No known cure” means that a pharmaceutical company has yet to bring a drug to the market to “solve” these issues, although they’re breaking their necks to do just that. And once they do, both NAFLD and Metabolic Syndrome will become household terms, right along with the medications to cure the problems that can all be avoided by making simple lifestyle changes.

If you’ve already developed some of the signs of metabolic syndrome, you need to make significant lifestyle changes now, not later. If you experience sleep problems, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, poor energy levels, anemia, gut issues, poor digestion, depression, chronic illnesses or chronic stress, prediabetes/diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis, kidney or other significant health problems, you need to take action. Even though the public doesn’t know about NAFLD and Metabolic Syndrome, these issues are forecasted to cripple and even bankrupt the healthcare delivery system due to their prevalence and severity.

Sleep

Sleep fatigue icon

If you experience sleep issues, you’ve already developed numerous health issues that you need to deal with before your health spirals (even further) out of control. There are innumerable factors that interfere with a restful night’s sleep, and many of them are listed in the above paragraph.

Sleep issues are very serious. Western approaches tend to compartmentalize health problems and treat them as though they’re unrelated occurrences. Sleep issues can’t be healed separately from adrenal and thyroid issues for example, and to not mention chronic stress in a conversation about sleep problems is blasphemous. If you’re dealing with one health problem, you’re almost always dealing with another. They’re not separate, they’re all happening simultaneously.

Common Sleep Issues Include

  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless leg
  • Insomnia
  • Narcolepsy
  • Delayed sleep phase disorder (DSPD)
  • REM sleep behavior disorder
  • Teeth grinding

Inflammation: Begin Reducing It Today

Inflammation man

Everyone’s heard of it, virtually everyone’s dealing with it, yet almost no one knows what it is and what causes it. Whenever you’re dealing with inflammation, something is off with your health. Inflammation is more than just swelling in a joint that causes discomfort and reduced range of motion. It’s an indication that you’ve developed health issues and they’re progressively getting worse.

By now you’ve picked up on my overarching theme that to heal one thing, you’ve got to heal everything, and you’ve got to do it all together. And so it goes with inflammation. It’s impossible to “treat” inflammation as an isolated event. Inflammation is always an effect of multiple causes. Treating arthritis, which is inflammation, by taking pain medications and NSAID’s, is a classic case of spinning your wheels, because the underlying causes remain unaddressed. The inflammation continues to occur, and the medications do nothing to heal it.

Some Of The Main Causes Of Inflammation Include:

  • Imbalanced Omega 3:6 ratios
  • Gut issues and imbalances
  • Digestive issues
  • Stress, worry, anxiety, fear
  • Sleep issues
  • Toxins
  • Diet: excess carbs, gluten, casein, alcohol, processed foods, sugar, fast food
  • Medications

Eliminating inflammation isn’t as hard as you might imagine. It involves getting your diet nailed down, optimizing thyroid function, hormone balance, regulating your sleep cycle, healing your liver and gut, optimizing digestion, eliminating small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), eliminating toxins and inflammation-causing foods from your diet, optimizing insulin and leptin signaling, normalizing blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides, minimizing stress levels, healing adrenal issues and the list goes on.

The challenge is that we’ve been duped into believing that we can go right on doing all the things that have caused inflammation and chronic health issues, but take a revolutionary new supplement that will magically remove all our issues. And it’s just not that way, and it’ll never be that way. The truth of the matter is that inflammation, like other health issues, won’t and can’t go away—and shouldn’t go away—until we change our lives. Eliminating inflammation isn’t as hard as you might imagine. Once you address all the right issues, it fades away of its own accord.

Get To Know Yourself A Lot Better

Who am I

Who are you? Have you deeply contemplated it? Why are you on this planet? Where do your likes and dislikes come from? Why do you do the things you do? Getting to know who you are is a crucial part of becoming a healthy, integrated person. Most westerners place a disproportionately large focus on their physical experience, ignoring their mental, emotional, spiritual and social selves. Take the time to find out more about yourself; it’s the greatest gift you’ll give yourself and the world.

Take Action. Don’t Wait

When would now be a good time to make the changes you know you need to make? Don’t wait until little things become big things or until the big things explode into a terminal illness. Deal with your health issues now. Trying to get your health and life back on track once things get out of hand is to do things the hard way, and sometimes it asking the impossible.

Know That You Deserve To Be Healthy And Happy

You’re worth it. You’d be surprised by how many people don’t step into themselves because they haven’t learned to value themselves. People are often so focused on being there for others that they put off taking care of themselves. Know that you matter, too. You deserve the same love and support that you freely give to others.

Improve Your Posture And Eliminate Spinal Degeneration

Forward head carriage

Most people are unfamiliar with spinal degeneration, but it’s a serious health issue that can wreak havok on your life before you even know it’s happening. The research studies show that more than 50% of people over 18 years have significant degeneration in at least one region of the spine. Poor posture and spinal degeneration lead to devastating health issues as the vertebrae and discs progressively deteriorate. As the spine degenerates beyond the point of no return, there’s nothing you can do to turn it around, and a lifetime of pain and immobility is the result.

It’s common for spinal degeneration to progress rapidly before you even know it’s happening because there are no pain receptors in the discs. Your discs can literally be disintegrating and you’ll have no idea it’s occurring.

Like all health issues, there are innumerable underlying causes of spinal degeneration. One obvious cause is poor posture, and it’s a relative rarity when a clients presents for care with good posture—even those who do things like yoga and pilates. By now you may not be surprised to find that things like NAFLD and thyroid issues strongly contribute to spinal degeneration—even in children.

If your posture could use some help, or if you’re dealing with other health issues as well, you’ll benefit from giving your spine some love. Even though I commonly see postural issues and spinal degeneration in those who regularly do things like yoga, their spines are generally healthier than those who don’t make time for these practices.

Make the time to do yoga, and if you’re a hardcore gym rat, be advised that some of the worst posture I see is in those who are workout fanatics and Cross Fit junkies.

Some Do’s And Don’ts Of Taking Care Of Your Spine:

  • Do yoga
  • Don’t do power yoga. Don’t overdo it…it’s counterproductive
  • Do exercise
  • Don’t stress your body to the point where you add insult to injury
  • Do receive things like low force chiropractic adjustments and energy work
  • Don’t receive high-force adjustments
  • Do stretch regularly
  • Do make time for regular massage and acupuncture

Be Okay With Not Feeling Your Best For A While As You Change

As decades of accumulated toxins and old habits begin to release, you might find that you’re a bit (sometimes a lot) wonky. Healing isn’t linear, and it’s common to feel a little worse and a little off balance in the process of righting your ship.

Don’t Take Advice From People Who Don’t Know What You Need And Who Aren’t Healthy To Begin With

I call them feet greasers. You know who they are: they’re the people who want you to doubt yourself, who tell you that what you’re doing is wrong, but they’ve no idea what health is or how to attain it. These people are often your friends, family and coworkers. Learn to trust yourself—you’ll always have your own best interest in mind. 

Only Rely On Practitioners Who’re Walking Their Talk

Have you noticed how many healthcare providers don’t look all that healthy? What’s up with that? Do you really want to take their advice so you can look like them? Be discerning. Find practitioners who walk their talk and take their own advice.

If I Had A Rocket Launcher

Health, wellness and healthcare are about as complicated as launching a rocket into space. It’s not possible to read a few websites, build your own rocket and have it orbiting earth a few days later, anymore than it’s possible to solve the world’s healthcare issues no matter how much studying you do. There are very few people on the planet that can build and launch a rocket, and thus far no one’s been able to figure out solutions to the world’s healthcare issues.

Healthcare, like rocket launching, is pretty complicated stuff. It can blow up in your face unless you’re really knowledgable. This doesn’t mean that you can’t begin turning your life and health around all on your own—of course you can. If your health is in pretty good shape and you’re resourceful enough, you’ll figure out what to add, change and delete. If you’re at a point of really needing assistance, or if you’re having a hard time figuring out what your next step is, by all means send me an email at drsteventeagarden@gmail.com and we can talk about workable solutions for you. I’m here to help.

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