Posts tagged: preventing disease

Soy Products & Breast Cancer: Do They Increase or Decrease My Risk?

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s revisit a common question as it relates to soy products and breast cancer.  You can also  join us for a Free Educational Webinar on the Future of Breast Cancer Awareness to get any other questions you may have answered regarding breast cancer prevention.

Are soy products good for your health or do they increase your risk for disease?  Do soy products protect against breast cancer or increase your risk for breast cancer?

In the last few years there has been a lot of information in the media questioning the safety of soy.  Let me address a few of these concerns, particularly as it relates to breast cancer.  First off, it’s important to note that soy can be a staple to a healthy diet and has been show to help prevent a wide variety of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and many cancers–including breast, colon, and prostate cancer.[i],[ii],[iii] When you take a closer look at the nutritional profile of soy, it makes sense. Soy is a high-quality, alkaline protein source. It is also rich in fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, all of which play an important role in protecting the body from long-term illness. With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the benefits of soy, and then we can discuss the concerns that people have regarding soy and breast cancer.

The Benefits of Soy

There are two main benefits of consuming soy products as it relates to breast cancer.  To begin with, many epidemiological and clinical research studies have found that soy products help reduce the risk of breast cancer.[iv] For example, a recent study in 2008 at the University of Southern California found that women who consumed an average of one cup of soymilk or ½ a cup of tofu a day had a 30% lower risk of developing breast cancer, relative to women who consumed little or no soy products.[v] Not only is this study consistent with a well established and growing body of scientific documentation showing soy’s protective effect on breast cancer, but it’s also consistent with my clinical observation in evaluating the nutritional profile of nearly 40,000 female patients in my career.  It’s important to note, however, that the protective effect of soy products on breast cancer have been most notable in individuals who consume soy products earlier on in life and in adolescence, as breast tissue is forming.[vi],[vii]

The second benefit of soy is that it has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence for those previously diagnosed with breast cancer.  For example, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association–following over 5,000 women previously diagnosed with breast cancer–showed that women who regularly consumed soy milk, tofu, or edamame had a 32 % lower risk of recurrence and a 29% reduced risk of death.[viii]

Why Do Some People Believe Soy is Unsafe?

Despite the clinical research that suggests otherwise, it’s common to hear from time to time that soy products may be unsafe as it relates to breast cancer.  So what is it that people are concerned about?  The concern is typically around the isoflavones, also known as phytoestrogens, that are found in soy.  Since increased estrogen levels in the blood have been associated with higher levels of breast cancer, some people have speculated that the plant-based estrogens (phytoestrogens) in soy might increase the risk of breast cancer as well. At the surface, it sounds like a reasonable theory.  However, when you take a closer look at the science, this theory doesn’t hold up.

Interestingly enough, the impact of the phytoestrogens is just the opposite. Phytoestrogens, which are significantly weaker than human estrogen, have been shown to inhibit estrogen’s effects on the body when estrogens levels are high.[ix] What happens is the phytoestrogens can attach to the body’s estrogen receptor cells, and block endogenous and exogenous estrogen from attaching.  Endogenous estrogen is human estrogen produced by the body.  Exogenous estrogen is synthetic estrogen that can come from hormone replacement therapy or from exposure to synthetic chemicals–such as pesticides and heavy metals that make their way into our food supply–that have estrogen-like effects on the body.

I like to tell my patients that it’s kind of like a game of musical chairs.  When the music stops, and someone is already sitting in your chair, there is nowhere for you to sit.  In this case, the phytoestrogens are already sitting on the estrogen receptor sites, and keep the more harmful estrogen from attaching.  In this way, the phytoestrogens can protect the body against high levels of endogenous and exogenous estrogen in the blood stream.  This is one of the mechanisms by which many researchers believe soy products and the phytoestrogens in soy reduce the risk for breast cancer.

In Summary

So what’s my overall recommendation on soy?  Soy products can play a healthy role in your nutritional program–particularly as part of a plant-based, high-fiber, low saturated fat, phytonutrient-rich, antioxidant-rich, alkaline, chemical-free nutritional plan.  My clinical observations are consistent with epidemiological studies & clinical research that show that soy can help prevent breast cancer as well as reduce the risk of other long-term illnesses such as prostate cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.  Keep in mind, when choosing soy products, be sure to emphasize organic, non-GMO, minimally processed soy.  For example, tofu, soy milk, and soy yogurt, as well as fermented soy products such as tempeh, natto, and miso are all great options for including soy in your diet.  Products that are heavily processed, commercialized, and filled with soy-protein isolate–such as some of the fake meat soy products–are probably not your best dietary sources of soy.

Looking for further information on soy and your health?  For those that are interested, I like to refer to my patients to a great article put together by PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine), which elaborates on some of the studies referred to in this article and further discusses the topic of soy and your long-term wellbeing.  You can access this article at http://pcrm.org/search/?cid=145


[i] Badger, T. M., Ronis, M. J., Simmen, R., & Simmen, F. A. (2005). Soy protein isolate and protection against cancer. Journal of the American College of Nutrition , 146S-149S.

[ii] Pipe, E. A., Gobert, C. P., Capes, S. E., Darlington, G. A., Lampe, J. W., & Duncan, A. M. (2009). Soy protein reduces serum LDL cholesterol and the LDL cholesterol:HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B:apolipoprotein A-I ratios in adults with type 2 diabetes. The Journal of Nutrition , 1700-1706.

[iii] Koh, W. P., Wu, A. H., Wang, R., Ang, L. W., Heng, D., Yuan, J. M., et al. (2009). Gender-specific associations between soy and risk of hip fracture in the Singapore Chinese Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology , 901-909.

[iv]Badger, T. M., Ronis, M. J., Simmen, R., & Simmen, F. A. (2005). Soy protein isolate and protection against cancer. Journal of the American College of Nutrition , 146S-149S.

[v] Wu, A. H., Yu, M. C., Tseng, C. C., & Pike, M. C. (2008). Epidemiology of soy exposures and breast cancer risk. British Journal of Cancer , 9-14

[vi] Korde, L. A., Wu, A. H., Fears, T., Nomura, A. M., West, D. W., Kolonel, L. N., et al. (2009). Childhood soy intake and breast cancer risk in Asian American women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention , 1050-1059.

[vii] Shu, X. O., Jin, F., Dai, Q., Wen, W., Potter, J. D., Kushi, L. H., et al. (2001). Soyfood intake during adolescence and subsequent risk of breast cancer among Chinese women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention , 483-488.

[viii] Shu, X. O., Zheng, Y., Cai, H., Gu, K., Chen, Z., Zheng, W., et al. (2009). Soy food intake and breast cancer survival. JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association , 2437-2443.

[ix] Wiseman, H., O’Reilly, J. D., Adlercreutz, H., Mallet, A. I., Bowey, E. A., Rowland, I. R., et al. (2000). Isoflavone phytoestrogens consumed in soy decrease F(2)-isoprostane concentrations and increase resistance of low-density lipoprotein to oxidation in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , 395-400.

Change Your Stress, Change Your Life!

Did you realize that with a simple change in the way you look at stress, you can change your life?

In this 3-minute clinic we talk about a universal principle that applies to all of us:  “When you change the way you look at things, what you look at changes!”

Is it possible to use the stress in your life as a stepping stone to getting stronger—physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually?  Is it possible to look at stress, not as debilitating force that takes the fun out of your life, but as an opportunity for personal growth and healing?  Is there room for personal or professional breakthroughs in all of the ups and downs you may face in your day-to-day life?  Usually there is!  Check out this video to learn more!

“Welcome to the three-minute clinic on Wellness Planning, where we go over strategies that empower you to stay well and be well for the rest of your life. Today’s subject is stress reduction and how to reduce stress–specifically, the way your attitude relates to stress. But let’s back up a little bit, let’s talk about stress. Now remember, being well means vitality, happiness, fulfillment–in other words, keeping it light is part of being well! Well the opposite of keeping it light is being heavy; and that’s what stress is. See stress is burdensome, it’s overload, it’s when you lack harmony with yourself and your environment; and it’s everywhere. To me, the state of the union is one of stress. As a matter of fact, the other day I had a youngster in my office, a nine year old–we we’re talking about her allergies and I said “how do you feel?”, and she said she’s stressed. A nine year old telling me about stress means we live in a stressful society. So let’s face it, okay? Stress is a way of life in our society today, but it’s not healthy. Here’s what you need to know, this is very important–prolonged stress, unresolved accumulated stress, long-term stress leads to illness–and that’s why it’s so important. Because we’re into Preventive Medicine here, we want to see people be well, we want to see people thrive, and we want you to be able to reduce your stress levels so you can stay well. So let’s face it, the opposite of keeping it light is being heavy, and that’s what stress is! Now what do we want to do about it? A lot! We want to do a lot about it! Why? Because stress can hurt your immune system, stress can cause you aging, stress can cause damage to your organs, stress can make you ill–so hey, we don’t want to have accumulated stress, we want to keep it light. Now one of the keys in keeping it light is your attitude. We have a saying in our clinic–change your attitude, change your life. Well let me extend it to this–change your attitude, change your stress level! That’s right, an attitudinal shift will create an attitudinal healing and give you a whole different approach to stress. Now here’s the secret, see your life’s stresses–whether they be at work, or home, or financial–see your life’s stresses as an opportunity for growth. See them as a gift to help you improve your life and improve the quality of your life. When you look at something as stressful, it’s going to make you more uptight. We have an old saying in the clinic–when you change the way you look at something, what you look at changes. When you see stress as an opportunity, when you see stress as a gift, when you see stress as a vehicle to improve the quality of your life as opposed to a burden–you can make significant changes in getting stronger. Now remember health is about strength, health is about personal growth, health is about your ability to face adversity and conquer adversity. So that’s what it’s about! So start with the little stresses, find attitudinal ways to look at them as opportunities to grow, and little stresses will enable you to–when you handle them–to handle bigger stresses. The tip for today is this–don’t get stressed out by your stress! Learn how to change your attitude and see stress as an opportunity for growth. Make appropriate adjustments in your lifestyle–it will reduce your stress and protect your health–and that’s the tip for today.”

Orange: The King of Citrus

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the role that nutrition plays in our day-to-day lives.  It impacts the way we feel, the way we look, our energy, and our mood–and that’s just the begining!  Our nutrition can help prevent disease, initiate a healing process, combat stress, and more!

Do you know what makes the mighty orange a particularly important part of a smart nutritional program?  Let’s take a closer look.

Notable Personality Factors:

Oranges have long been the icon of the citrus fruits. For this reason, I like to think of the orange as the “King of Citrus.”  Oranges promote alertness and confidence, increase energy levels, invigorate, and are good for circulation. That’s why they are so great to start off a day with.  They brighten spirits, boost mental attitude, and bring hope. Fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning is truly an eye-opener.

Therapeutic and Healing Powers:***

The flavonoids and bioflavonoids in oranges, combined with their high vitamin C content, make the fruit a strong ally of the immune system. These phytonutrients and antioxidants play an important role in fighting off degenerative disease, slowing the aging process, and maintaining the immune system’s infinite potential to self-govern, self-rejuvenate, and self-repair.

Oranges’ assortment of phytonutrients and enzymes are also of particular benefit to the prevention of upper respiratory infections. What I’ve learned over the years is that oranges have a detergent action, loosening mucus in the upper respiratory passages (the exact opposite effect of mucus-forming milk and dairy). When your upper respiratory system is backed up with mucus, it can create an environment for bacteria and viruses to spread.  That’s why oranges are an essential nutritional tool in the treatment and prevention of bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, and sore throat. I regularly prescribe this citrus to combat common bacterial infections as well as viral infections such as the cold and flu. A glass of fresh squeezed o.j. goes a long way in helping to treat and prevent such nasty bugs.

It’s also important to point out that oranges are good for the arteries. They keep cholesterol low, prevent plaque buildup in the blood vessels, and are beneficial to blood pressure.

Nutrient Value:

As mentioned above, the vitamin C, bioflavonoid, and phytonutrient content of this fruit make it a standout. The orange is also endowed with respectable levels of folic acid, vitamin B1, and carotenoids. Finally, its important to note that its pectin content has cholesterol-lowering value.

Selection and Care:

The orange originated in southern China and Southeast Asia, and has become the leading fruit crop in the United States. I prefer thin-skinned California Valencia oranges for juicing, because they’re sweeter and less sharp than other varieties. For eating, use thicker-skinned navels and Florida oranges. Tangerines and tangelos have similar personality traits to their sister citrus.

Select oranges that are heavy for their size. Avoid spongy, soft, puffy, or indented oranges. Surface scars and mottling are not important, so don’t fret over these superficial flaws.

Optimal Use and Combining:

Oranges are best used for juice or cut into segments as part of a fruit salad. They combine well with other citrus fruits, such as grapefruit or pineapple. Bananas and papayas also match up. But avoid mixing oranges with melons and other alkaline fruits. Citrus and melon are a poor food combo. And although oranges agree with strawberries in smoothies or fruit salads, they don’t get along as well with apples, grapes, and other sub-acid fruits. For a gratifyingly crunchy snack, mix oranges with nuts, especially almonds, or with high-protein granola.

Finally, as with all fruits, oranges have the highest therapeutic and nutritional value when they are fresh and whole.  In other words, fresh squeezed orange juice is far superior to orange juice from concentrate, which has been overly processed and devitalized of much of its phytonutrient content.  Similarly, fresh, living, raw oranges are going to deliver far superior health benefits than oranges from a can.

***This article is not intended to treat or diagnose any type of health condition or disease. Any nutritional considerations for any health complication should be discussed with your physician or healthcare provider.

How to be Healthy & Happy: Do You Own the Habits of Happiness?

The one unifying principle among all folks from all walks of life, all ages, all cultures, and all around the globe is we all want to be happy.  What’s interesting is this innate drive to be happy has a huge influence on our health.  In other words, happy people are healthy people!  Do you have the habits of happiness working for you in your life or do you have the habits of restlessness, anxiety, nervousness, and depression wearing away at your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing?

In this 3-minute clinic we talk about the importance of emotional nutrition in maintaining your long-term wellbeing and what you can start doing today to develop the habits of happiness.

“Welcome to the three-minute clinic on Wellness Planning—Wellness Planning 101— where we go over strategies and themes that will empower you to stay well, be well and live a life of wellness. Now we’ve talked a little bit this week about the forces of self-care versus the forces of self-wear—in other words, what it really comes down to is positive living habits versus negative living habits or, the habits of self-care versus the habits of self-wear. So today I want to talk about the habits of happiness; your emotional living habits. You know, I don’t think that people realize how important being happy is in terms of your wellness. As a matter of fact, of all the things in life—good nutrition, exercise, happiness, I mean it’s got to be at the top of the list. So the habits of happiness are very important. I’m very concerned these days; that for those of you that study health care and medicine might know this fact—last year, 116 million prescriptions were written for anti-depressants. Now that’s a little shaky when you think about the fact that we’re trying to get people to take care of themselves and be happy. So what does depression do to people—it’s self-wear. In other words, when you have the habits of happiness versus the habits of depression, the habits of happiness invite youthfulness, the habits of happiness invite freedom, the habits of happiness invite wellness, whereas the habits of depression invite aging and disease. So it’s very important for you to understand that emotional nutrition is an important component of self-care. We talked about physical nutrition and exercise, we talked about bio-chemical nutrition of food, and today we’re talking about emotional nutrition and the importance of happiness. So the habits of nutrition are very important. Really, happiness is a very individualized thing, and what it comes down to is a lot of self-exploration, a lot of self-discovery. And bottom line, I remember writing my original book, The Del Mar Diet and people would ask, “what is that book about?” It’s very simple, find out in life what turns you on, find out in life what really floats your ship, find out in life what really excites you, what gives you a thrill, and then go after it! That’s what being happy is about. Being happy is about being involved, being interactive, about being involved with a cause, with a purpose, doing things for others and making a difference. So the key for today is that, when you look at the forces for self-care, a person that’s powerful, well adjusted and happy is going to have anti-aging forces going for them. On the opposite extreme, those that are not having the habits of happiness and are unhappy, or have chronic depression or long-term habits of self-defeating emotional patterns—these things work against your health and your lifestyle. So let’s pick out one tip; how do you stay happy, how do you sustain your happiness? Well we mentioned one thing, getting involved in things that really turn you on. Another thing is be flexible; learn the rhythm of one step back, two steps forward. In other words, it’s called emotional rebounding. If things don’t go your way, find a way to make things work. Have perseverance, have cause, have steadfastness—stick with things. In other words one step back, two steps forward. And the way you do that is by seeing things as opportunities. If things are making you unhappy, if things are stressing you—ask yourself what will it take to make you happy, what will it take to reduce your stress, and use the force, the energy, the intensity of your emptiness or your disappointment or your sadness, use that energy to propel you forward! Two steps forward! One step back, two steps forward. But keep in mind, emotional nutrition, physical nutrition, mental nutrition, spiritual nutrition and biological nutrition are the keys to self-care. Self-care versus self-wear—when you get involved with self-care you can stay young and vital, prevent the forces of aging, and prevent disease. That’s your tip for today: emotional nutrition empowers you to be well.”

The #1 Industry Secret to Fighting Off Aging & Disease

I find it interesting, and encouraging, that everywhere you turn, people are looking to find ways to make their life better.  After all, who can blame them? Everyone wants to enjoy their life.  Let’s face it, we all share a common desire to be happy–just ask any parent what they want for their kids!  Unfortunately, there are some things in life that can be waiting just around the corner that can get in the way of and disrupt our pursuit of happiness.  In fact, if you don’t know what I’m going to share with you in this article, there’s something that can, and typically will, get in the way of living your dreams. More specifically, if you’re not well prepared to fight off aging and disease, at some point in your life–and that age is getting younger and younger for most folks–these degenerative forces can impose serious limitations on your ability to live, love, laugh, and enjoy life.

So how do you know if you are prepared?  I like to tell my patients that when you’re taking steps to being stronger and wiser each and every year–physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and immunologically–it’s only natural to have the energy, vitality, enthusiasm, and Immune Power you need to create balance and abundance in all areas of your life, and to fend off the forces of aging and disease.  Unfortunately, this is an ideal that has become lost in the shuffle of our fast-paced, high-tech, high-stress lifestyles.  As we get older, our lives are no longer being defined by strength and wisdom.  For most folks, age brings all sorts of health complications that get in the way of our ability to recreate, play, love, support our family, serve our community, and further our cause.  Fatigue sets in, the mind slows down, the body starts to break down, and eventually long-term illness–such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s–catches up with 80% of our population by the time we retire.

Today I want to help clarify how you can go through life without having to suffer from these kinds of illnesses and long-term diseases that most people have to face.  It’s important to realize that you don’t have to become another one of these statistics; you don’t have to turn your long-term health and happiness over to the forces of aging and disease. You can take steps, starting today, to make sure that you are a vibrant, passionate, whole, Well-Being–throughout your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond!  In order to do so, however, you need to be prepared.  It’s important to be clear on the faculties and resources you need to have in place to grow older without illness.  With that in mind, let’s take a moment and reflect on the following question.

  • What is the single most important ally you need to have on your side to protect the long-term wellbeing of you and your loved ones?

a.       Is it having a good insurance plan?

b.      Is it having access to the best doctors, medicine, and diagnostic technologies?

c.       Is it you, your lifestyle choices, and your ability to create a powerful wellness plan?

While all of these certainly play an important role, the idea behind this question is to get you thinking about who and what plays the primary role in protecting you from the long-term illness and disease that most people have to face.  Is it your doctors?  Is it your insurance plan?  Could it possibly be you?  Let’s take a closer look at the different options.

Your Doctors and Traditional Medicine

You can’t underestimate the value of having access to the best medical doctors.  For example, whenever you get sick or have a medical emergency, your medical doctors are well trained to make sure that you are taken care of–usually by providing means of intervention such as drugs and surgery.  For this reason, sometimes I like to refer to Traditional Medicine as Intervention Medicine.  Intervention Medicine and our advanced medical technologies, surgical procedures, and miracle prescription drugs, I’m proud to say, are very effective when it comes to urgent / acute care, treating infectious disease, and diagnosing illness.  For example, you break your arm and need to go the emergency room, you’re experiencing chest pain and need to know if it’s something more serious, or you develop an infection and need to have it treated.  Whenever a medical emergency arises, you can rest assured that you will get the help that you need.  As valuable a role as Intervention Medicine plays in all of our lives, relying solely on our doctors to keep us well is an incomplete approach to protecting our long-term wellbeing.  As we’ll discuss in more detail in this article, this strategy isn’t very effective when it comes to:

1.       Empowering individuals to prevent illness to begin with, and

2.       Treating chronic or degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and type II diabetes

With this in mind, one of the main points I want to share with you today is we’re not meant to rely on Traditional Medicine for our health–only for giving us medical support when we are sick.  Said another way, our traditional medical doctors aren’t necessarily there to teach us how to be well and prevent being sick to begin with; they’re trained to take action once disease or markers for disease have already presented themselves.  In this way, I like to think of Traditional and Intervention Medicine as a means of disease-care rather than a means of health-care.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not trying to minimize the value of medical doctors.  As we’ve discussed, it’s obviously invaluable to have access to the best disease-care possible if you or one of your family members ever faces a serious health challenge.  This is one of the reasons our government’s current healthcare reform policies are primarily focused on improving both the affordability and the accessibility of this kind of disease-care.

The problem is, as we’ve prioritized disease-care as the central focus of our healthcare delivery model, we’ve started to rely on disease-care for our health–a function it was never intended to do.  To put this in perspective, relying on a system of disease-care for our health is the equivalent of relying on our military to balance our fiscal budget; or looking to your tax accountant to redesign your website.  It just doesn’t work!  Our military is there to defend our freedom, not to work on public policy.  Your tax accountant is there to ensure you are correctly filing your taxes, not to work on rebranding your internet business.  In the same way, Intervention Medicine is there to help us when we’re sick, but it can’t be relied upon to keep us healthy in the first place.  It can’t be relied upon to fight off the forces of aging and disease.

In other words, as we’ve dedicated our energy to improving our model for disease-care, we’ve lost sight of the importance of having a health-care plan in place that works proactively to prevent disease and keep us vibrant, energetic, youthful, and well.  As we’ve immersed ourselves in a world of high-tech diagnostic technologies, advanced surgical procedures, and new pharmaceutical drugs, we’ve lost touch with the non-drug, non-surgical, low-tech, day-to-day care that keeps us well to begin with.  In this article I’m going to make the case that a low-tech, day-to-day wellness plan is by far and away the most important thing you can do for your long-term wellbeing.  Even though all the attention of our current healthcare reform focuses on the quality, accessibility, and affordability of disease-care, I’d like you to consider that the steps that you and I and our loved ones take to prevent illness to begin with are the biggest assets we have in protecting our long-term health.  Said another way, I’d like you to consider a healthcare strategy for you and your loved ones that prioritizes the merits of Prevention over Intervention; a healthcare model that, first and foremost, relies on the principles of Preventive Medicine to keep us well and turns to Intervention Medicine for support when we’re ill.  Let’s take a closer look.

Prevention or Intervention?

Were I to ask 100 patients whether they would prefer Prevention or Intervention, all 100 of them would say they would have preferred to prevent the complication to begin with if they had the opportunity.  Who wouldn’t?  Think about it for a moment.  Would you prefer Prevention or Intervention (drugs & surgery) when it comes to the health and wellbeing of you and your loved ones? Fortunately, whether we realize it or not, we typically have a choice in the matter.  Interestingly enough, the vast majority of health complications can in fact be prevented–whether it’s upper respiratory infections, ongoing indigestion, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or chronic illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.  How so?  Through a simple wellness plan!  In other words, when you eat right, exercise regularly, find effective means for managing stress, and develop your immune system’s infinite potential to ward off disease, the overwhelming majority of health complications can be prevented!

Unfortunately, due to a lack of wellness education within our current healthcare delivery model, most folks aren’t aware of the steps they need to take to develop their Immune Power and prevent illness.  As a result, we end up with a disease-care model that only offers Intervention when symptomatic disease arises, and our opportunity to choose prevention is lost in the process.

To make matters worse, when it comes to chronic illness–such as cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes–once symptoms arise it’s oftentimes too late.  You see, drugs, surgery, and Intervention Medicine have limited effectiveness when it comes to treating chronic and degenerative disease.  The symptoms of these degenerative illnesses can be managed in some cases, and modern medicine can often prolong life in a morbid or chronically ill state, but the underlying conditions are very difficult to cure through Intervention Medicine.  While there are certainly exceptions, once chronic illness becomes symptomatic, the great majority of cases go on to significantly undermine the quality of the patient’s life.  They start imposing serious restrictions and limitations on our pursuit of happiness.  This has become particularly problematic given that 4 out of 5 Americans are diagnosed with at least one chronic illness by the time they retire, the average American has 2 to 3 chronic illnesses by the time they are 65, and bodily decay and markers for long-term disease are starting to show up in our 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.

That’s why developing a wellness plan is so important.  Without some simple wellness planning, it’s unlikely that we can protect the long-term wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones from the epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease.  Without a commitment to some basic, low-tech, non-drug, non-surgery, day-to-day care, we leave our wellbeing exposed and vulnerable to the forces of aging and disease.  In the process, we narrow our healthcare options to the limitations of Intervention Medicine, and are deprived of our opportunity to prevent illness to begin with.

What About Insurance Companies?

So far we’ve talked about the role that our doctors, drugs, and advanced medical technologies play in protecting our long-term wellbeing.  What about insurance companies?  How do they figure into the equation?  Insurance companies are essentially there to help fund disease-care.  Whenever you are sick or in need of a medical emergency, it’s important to have an insurance policy in place to help pay for the care you are receiving.  In other words, having an insurance plan and having access to the best disease-care possible go hand in hand.  What a lot of folks don’t necessarily think about, however, is when they’re buying their insurance policy, they’re not really buying health insurance.  So what are they buying?  They’re buying disease insurance!  In fact, true health insurance can’t be bought at all!  Fortunately, even though it may not be for sale, health insurance is still available to each and every one of us.  What exactly do I mean by that?  When you empower your immune system with a positive mental attitude, nutrient-rich foods, the habits of happiness, and physical fitness, you’re creating the only true form of health insurance available on the market–a powerful wellness plan!

In Summary

At the beginning of this article we wanted to come to terms with who and what plays the primary role in protecting your long-term wellbeing, so you don’t have to turn your health and happiness over to the forces of aging and disease.  Now let’s take a look at what we’ve learned so far.  Our disease-care system, as it is currently structured, is not set up to help you prevent long-term illness.  In other words, our doctors and insurance companies, for the most part, are designed to action once disease or markers for disease are detectable.  They’re not necessarily there to provide us with the health-care resources we need to prevent the chronic and degenerative disease that has become epidemic in our society today.  While this is cause for concern, there’s a lot we can do to resolve this predicament.  Fortunately, as we’ve discussed, the great majority of disease and chronic illness can in fact be prevented.  How do you go about doing that? By building Immune Power; by taking some simple steps on a daily basis to create nutritional, emotional, metabolic, and immunological balance.

Does that mean that doctors and insurance plans aren’t important?  Absolutely not!  But it’s important to recognize that they don’t play the primary role in regulating your long-term health.  They need to be viewed as a support system.  At the end of the day, it’s up to each and every one of us to take responsibility for our health and be the primary line of defense when it comes to our wellbeing.  In other words, in order to ensure the best possible health-care, we all need to build a powerful immune system and develop our natural ability to fight off aging and disease.  We can then look to our traditional medical doctors and Intervention Medicine for support, if and when we are ever in need of disease-care.

That means that we all need to take a more proactive role in creating self-enriching living habits that build-up, protect, and sustain our health and happiness.  We need to embrace the principles of Preventive Medicine and the low-tech, low-cost, non-drug, non-surgical, non-invasive, day-to-day care that we can all incorporate into our lives to stay well.  What happens when we get into trouble?  In those instances, we have our doctors and insurance plans to support us through any health challenges we may be facing.  That is the essence of a truly integrated healthcare delivery model.  As individuals we are educated and empowered with a wellness plan that builds our Immune Power and enables us to take primary responsibility for our wellbeing; meanwhile, our doctors, insurance plan, drugs and surgery are there as a back-up system or a secondary line of a defense.

Said another way, the #1 industry secret in fighting off the forces of aging and disease is the steps we take every day to build, protect, and fortify the infinite potential of our immune system–our body’s built in mechanism for self-governing, self-repairing, self-rejuvenating, and fighting off disease. Our safety net, however, is making sure we have access to the best disease-care possible if a health challenge happens to arise.  Together, working side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, we can have the health-care and disease-care resources we need to protect the long-term wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones.  With that in place, we can make a newfound commitment to growing stronger and wiser-as individuals, as a healthcare delivery system, and as a society.

Do you have a wellness plan in place to build your Immune Power and secure the long-term health of you and your loved ones?  Interested in getting started?  Let us know how we can help!