What is health? Homeostasis is the scientific word, but all it really is is balance, or, as we’ll refer to it, normal function. For some of you, this balance is simply health and disease, but there is more to it. The body, as a whole, has 3 states: normal function, dysfunction, and disease. There is ebb and flow within those states. Your body was built for normal function, and that is the best place for it to be. Oftentimes we spend a lot of time in the dysfunction state before moving to the disease state. Nobody worries about the state they are in until they reach the disease state. I’d like to see all my patients and all of you in the normal function state the majority of the time. The body was built for health.
How do we get away from normal function? What gets us in the dysfunction state? Inflammation. Seems simple enough, right? But where does inflammation come from? The Three T’s: Traumas, Toxins, and Thoughts. They get in our life with in all sorts of ways like fender benders, pesticides, sodas, food allergies, fast-food, and stinkin’ thinkin’. Life is full of stress on the body and stress on the mind. It’s everywhere! A little bit of inflammation won’t make a huge impact on normal function, but if you’re bombarding your body every single day with it you’ll move further and further away from normal, and into a state of dysfunction.
From Health to Dysfunction
The dysfunction state is where the most confusion is. Most people would agree that if you have no symptoms then you are healthy. So, what do most people do? Continue living their lives the way they have been, symptom free, until they wake up one morning full of symptoms. It’s easy to live with your bad habit while there are no consequences.
“Doc, I’ve been fine until I woke up this morning and my whole arm was numb.” “I get heartburn every time I eat, but as long as I have my acid blockers, I’m fine.” Uh, neither of those sound fine to me, and both are things I hear frequently. Wouldn’t you rather find why you experience heartburn, and prevent it from happening in the first place? Wouldn’t you rather get your spine checked regularly, and not wake up in so much pain you can’t move? You can continue to put a band-aid on the symptom, but the problem will be present until you address WHY it happened in the first place.
Dysfunction is the state between normal function and where symptoms show up. You can be in this state for a long time and not know it unless you are properly tested. Alternatively, you could wait until you’ve moved into the disease state, and you’re, in a sense, on fire. The reason why we are so sick today is we jump back and forth between those two states, never landing back in normal function. Our entire health care system reflects this. If your MD runs a test, they’re going to be testing for disease, and treating your symptoms. Your tests look fine until one day you show up and you have cancer. They then treat your disease with a drug and push you back into dysfunction.
What Happens When You Just Treat Symptoms?
You’re just revolving between symptoms and no symptoms. You are spending the majority of your time in dysfunction because our current medical system is just addressing your symptoms. If you’re spending 10, 20, 30+ years living in these states, eventually you may end up camped out in disease state full time, finding it impossible to get to normal function on your own.
Your Body Was Built for Health
The Wellness Way doctors don’t test like that. We test looking for where the dysfunction is in your body and create a roadmap for you to follow to get where you would like to be. Where the map ends is really up to you. Are you content with living without symptoms, or are you looking to live your life within normal function? If you’re simply looking to be symptom-free, then you can keep buying the supplements it takes to keep you there. That’s fine with me, you can sponsor putting my kids through college. Sounds harsh, but I want you to know getting your body to function normally is in your hands. It’s not in mine and it’s not in the hands of the doctor who is just addressing your complaints. If you are experiencing symptoms than you have been sick for awhile. You just didn’t know it until they showed up.
What I really want for you is to see you thrive within normal function. The Wellness Way doctors want two things from you: we don’t want to see you in our office all the time, and we don’t want you to have to take fifteen different supplements every day. We want to help get your body to normal function and let it do what it was meant to do. Your body was built for homeostasis, or normal function. That means it was built for health.
Written by Dr. Jeremy Maxwell