Posted on 03-21-2015
Building a Foundation for Healing
In the last 15 years as a practicing doctor I’ve seen a lot of people who did not get better.
That may not seem like something a doctor would like to admit but it has made me work tirelessly to figure out why so many patients still suffer under ‘the Best Health Care System in the World.’ And now I can blow the cover off the medical establishment’s inability to support patients with chronic conditions. I can explain why the medications used to manage inflammation and hormones and neurotransmitters will never fix the underlying problems. This information would send the pharmaceutical companies to bankruptcy.
To Have a House Requires Building a Foundation…
I remember in church when I was young, hearing the story of the wise and the foolish man and how one built his house on sand. SPOILER ALERT! He wasn’t very happy. Due to his choice of foundation he lost out in the end. This is an important comparison to how we approach health. Are you going to bet on your body healing when the foundation is only as stable as sand?
The Three-Legged Stool of Healing (The Stable Foundation)…
I firmly believe and have proven in my daily practice that for people to get healthy, they must have all three legs of what I call the three-legged stool of healing. If one leg is missing, the stool will not work and your time, money and efforts as a hopeful patient will be diminished and potentially wasted. This, I believe, is where most well-intended practitioner’s treatment plans and hopeful patient’s efforts fall short.
The first leg (in no particular order since every leg is EQUALLY important in function) is NUTRITION. This addresses everything including diet and supplementation. If we practically think about it for a moment, your GI tract has to deal with our environment more than any other tissue. Let me explain…
On a daily basis we put things in our mouth. Pardon me for being crude but once we put it in our mouths it remains in a long winding tube until it comes out the other end of the tube, hopefully within a day. (For many of you it takes much longer than that to eliminate which is a huge toxicity problem.) This tube is assaulted by pesticides, plastics, aluminum and literally thousands of other toxins or allergens. We have ~35 trillion cells in our body and there are nearly 350 trillion non-human organisms that live in our body and especially in our gut. If you didn’t already think that the interaction of our gut lining with it’s contents is the single most consistent assault on your body you will now. Our immune system, which happens to be super active in our gut has to fend off nearly 9 to 10 times the number of organisms living on or in us as compared to the number of our human cells. Kind of makes you want to support your immune function, doesn’t it?
First and foremost is making sure you have an anti-inflammatory diet (another topic all in itself) full of good nutrients and a net anti-inflammatory effect on the body. This also includes the supplementation I prescribe. I am often asked if we really need supplements and my answer is always the same. If we all lived balanced lives with appropriate amounts of work and play, ate a 100% organic diet that is not processed and comes from unpolluted and mineral rich soils, drank pure, uncontaminated water, breathed in fresh air all day long, got plenty of sunshine, laughed a lot, got one hour of exercise every day, had fulfilling and meaningful personal and spiritual relationships, was born by a mother and father and probably grandmothers and grandfathers who also did the same so that your dis-ease genes have not been upregulated, then PERHAPS we don’t need supplements. In all other instances, you probably need supplements to achieve and maintain health and you certainly don’t need more medications before we address this NUTRITION leg of the stool.
The second leg is Lifestyle. This includes exercise of the right type and duration (again, another article in itself). I make sure it includes interval cardio, resistance training, stretching, core and balance/proprioception. A healthy lifestyle must also include meditation of some sort. The lifestyle leg is really about making choices every minute of every day which support your health and wellbeing. It even includes avoiding unnecessary exposure to cell phones and other radiation pollution. It is WAY OF LIVING that honors LIFE and promotes vitality. And it includes everything from parking farther away or taking the stairs every chance you get so that you get a little more movement, to planning ahead and making sure you are not in situations that will not allow you to choose wisely (such as parties and social situations). In short, it is a way of embodying and BEING health and I personally found that as I became healthier from my Auto-Immune Thyroid condition I naturally wanted to go to sleep earlier and was attracted to healthier habits and exercise.
The third leg is structure and energy. This includes the need for regular chiropractic, massage, energy work etc. We all need support, even if the other two legs are perfect. No one can do it all for themselves and we must honor the fact that in order to be healthy we need to seek other people’s services. I personally get massage, acupuncture and chiropractic on a regular basis. Psychological counseling and/or spiritual practice and even breathing exercises to reduce adrenal hormone stress falls into here as well.
Currently Your Environment Doesn’t Support Efficient Function of Your Body…
There are 3 types of nutrients that we eat that contain any nutritional value at all. Alcohol is excluded from this group of fats, protein and carbohydrates. Let’s briefly discuss each.
Protein – has two uses in the body; 1. Converted to energy, and 2. Building block for muscle/organ/tissues in your body among other uses
Healthy Fat – has two uses in the body; 1. Converted to energy, and 2. Building block for cell replication/hormones/neurotransmitters in your body among other uses (Saturated fat most healthy)
Carbs – I can’t say much for carbs; 1. Converted to energy but any excess of this particular nutrient will be stored as abdominal adiposity and ruin your health
We have heard time and time again that during the deepest levels of the sleep cycle is when our body repairs and regenerates. And for the most part we need ~3 sleep cycles per night to build up resources for the next day. But why does the story end there? It doesn’t!
After this nearly 8 hour period of repair and regeneration lasting let’s say on average from 8 PM – 4 AM what happens with the waste products from all the repair and regeneration activity? Well your body wants to use the next 8 hours from 4 AM – noon to eliminate them. This is why many of us want to eliminate in the AM not too long after waking. But there’s a huge problem…
The things we traditionally eat in the AM are carbs and caffeine. So during our most important detoxification time we are storing unneeded abdominal fat and ruining our intestinal environment. We have to consume vegetable fibers and maybe some low-sugar fruit (berries) to support the elimination of wastes and toxins.
Then that leaves the noon – 8 PM time period to bring into your body the nutrients that will support energy production and provide the building blocks for the coming night’s repair and regeneration phase. If you refer above you’ll see that protein and saturated fats are the superstars here. Carbohydrates simply do not have a leading role in these processes and so should represent only a small part of our daily intake.
This is not normal, everyday American life, I know. This is what I do. This is what I teach my family to do. This is what I train patients to do. You may be a rebel, but you will be a long-living, healthy and vibrant rebel like me.
By Dr. Matthew Flory CCFP
Portion adapted from Dr. Brandon Lundell, D.C., Dipl. Ac., N.E., C.A.C.
Bio: Dr. Flory practices in St. Louis, MO. He holds certification in Family Practice by the Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders, and is completing a Diplomate as a Chiropractic Internist (DABCI). He does practice and clinical consulting and lectures for various groups and organizations on multiple topics including Auto-Immune, Thyroid, Gastro-Intestinal and Methylation Disorders and Functional Medicine. Dr. Flory can be reached at his office at or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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