What is good health? At any given moment of our day, there are literally trillions of physiological processes occurring interdependently inside each of us. When MOST of them are working MOSTLY well, we get the experience of health: energy, mental clarity, absence of pain, capacity to function well and do what needs to be done. Where does this come from? Simply put, the overall well-being that comes from healthy function happens when our biological systems are well-nourished and given opportunity and support to recover from the inevitable stresses of living. Sadly, this statement is much simpler to make than to do. And we know that when the human biological system is not properly cared for, it begins to break down in small ways that accumulate over time and lead to illness and disease. While we humans are far more complex than our cars, the analogy works: a well-designed car that runs beautifully will break down and quit working if not maintained — much sooner than one that is taken care of!
Quite a lot is known about what is needed to be healthy. We all have mountains of information at our fingertips via the internet on healthy eating, the importance of movement and rest, how to reduce stress reactivity and much more. Yet more than half of all American adults have at least one chronic illness condition, and many of these are on the path to becoming worse. Why is this?
We are subject to a daily unrelenting onslaught of pressures and influences toward unhealthy behaviors. Advertising through all channels conditions us to consume to excess. Our patterns of work combined with financial pressures lead to levels of chronic stress that expose our systems to a steady wash of stress chemicals that have widespread negative effects on our wellbeing. Sadly, many of us sustained trauma in early life that itself becomes a major factor for development of chronic illness when untreated.
Beyond the cultural and economic forces working on us, the American healthcare system is geared to illness. We spend more per person on health care in the United States than any other country in the world — two and a half times the average of other high-income countries. The U.S. system is known for over-testing and over-treating, everything from CT scans and MRIs, knee replacements to coronary bypasses. Yet despite our heavy investment in health care, the U.S. sees poorer results on several key health outcome measures such as life expectancy and the prevalence of chronic conditions, including heart disease, than other wealthy countries. The pharmaceutical industry has a major influence in this illness-orientation. Nearly 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two, Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center researchers say.
The cumulative effect of these cultural factors is that we Americans live with much greater influence toward our health-eroding habits than health-supporting ones. Nurturing our health is in many ways going against the stream. It takes work and commitment and support to live our daily lives amidst these influences and make the moment-by-moment choices that support healthy physiological and psychological function. And it’s a life-long journey.
There is good news! You are constantly changing. All those trillions of processes we mentioned earlier are the ongoing activity of all your cells living and working together. Most of these only live for a few weeks or months. When they die, they are replaced by new cells, and this cycle continues as long as you live. Scientists have suggested that we each replace about 1% of our cells each day. 1% per day amounts to 30% per month, which in turn implies that in the period of 3 months, about a season, you get a whole new you. Further, we now know that the brain has the ability to change through a given person’s life via neural plasticity. This ability of our living tissue to regenerate and change means that with new and healthy inputs, we can absolutely alter the trajectory of our health in good ways. And that is precisely the principal underlying Plum Spring Clinic holistic wellness programs: to provide support, expertise, and curriculum that will fundamentally alter the function of your physiological and psychological systems to bring about your health and well-being.
While we encourage you to maintain a positive working relationship with your primary care provider for your routine screenings and acute care, your mainstream physician is not equipped to vigorously support your health and well-being. Our holistic wellness programs are designed to provide you with robust support and expertise for your wellness journey.
Our programs are built on:
- functional medicine diagnostics to determine your vulnerabilities to development of illness
- Nutritional expertise to help you understand the right diet for you and coaching positive eating habits
- Expertise for addressing unresolved trauma and reducing or eliminating that as a driver for illness.
- Techniques for building stress resilience
- A curriculum of accurate and well-researched information you need to know to maintain health and well-being
- A belief in the crucial importance of relationship and connection for restoring and maintaining health. Our team is with you all the way.