To be young youthful, vibrant. The dictionary says vitality is "the state of being strong, having energy."
To me it is the very definition of life. Your body can have vitality and all the energy it needs to perform all of its work or it can be sluggish. I fall in love with this concept because of my appreciation and love for cellular biology. Learning about this incredible community of living beings that make up our body has been one of the highlights of my education thus far. I just can't get enough of these little beings and yet we take them so for granted.
I'm currently reading a book right now called The Song of the Cells. It's a fascinating account of how we learned our knowledge about cells from the first discovery up to present day. In this book the author makes a statement that a cell's "autonomy is due to their anatomy". What he is referring to is that is basically their ability to maintain what is called homeostasis through all of the parts that make them up and their ability thrive separately, but as a unit.
Homeostasis provides a sense of stillness and wholeness within itself and yet the biggest thing that captivates me is that only if they are in this secure state of autonomy "singleness" can they perform the best in the community of which they make up. No single cell is in and of itself the body but the multiple thousands of them form the fingernail, the organ, the gland. And it is in the viable capability of each of them that the organ, gland, or tissue is capable as a whole.
Now what does this have to do with the question from our client, "What should I do if both of my parents died of cancer?"
I would say, dear client, that it doesn't matter what the NAME of any said disease is, but the level of vitality within the cells. I would create health behaviors that move towards the best vitality of your cells, so they can be as lively and capable as possible. Just as you would for your children, of whom you want to provide with the best so they can optimize and be the most successful in their lives, look at the individual cells that are the community that make you up. Loving serve them so they can serve you.
This means examining the toxins you bring in, both through food and breath and air, but emotions and mindset as well. It means looking at your life as one of love and gratitude, connection and significance.
The statement the author made about the anatomy creates the autonomy is interesting because he talked about the state of homeostasis that which the cell always tries to remain or return to.
Homeostasis means a sense of balance a stillness at one with what is. Instead of the phrase that says don't just stand there do something it relates more to don't just do something stand there and how on a very cellular level this is important to life, AKA vitality. We are so busy jumping from one activity to the next, breathlessly scurrying about our day that we pay little attention to following the example of the tiniest parts of us. This idea of being still and returning to balance. Perhaps it is this innate desire that causes us the anxiety we feel when we're not in a state of stillness. Perhaps you need to carve some stillness time into your life and focus on providing this basic need to your cells.
4. You could have genetics testing done like those we offer at ANMC Little Falls, MN. This can help you evaluate your risk and provide suggestions of health behaviors specific to you. However, be determined in the reality of "epigenetics" as well, which acknowledges that the environment influences the genes (and thus, your health outcome).
The Idea of Community
So within the very tiny individual of EVERY cell in your body is a community. The community is of these cellular beings working together and how they accomplish this is quite fascinating. It's not the only community we have in our body. We have multiple communities: for example the little bugs in our microbiome. Our gut has colonies of these, our brain has colonies of these, our skin tissue has colonies of these, our mouth, et cetera.
Extending out from our internal single body, we join and make up communities in our family groupings, the communities we create within our work relationships and that dynamics among our friends. For any of these relationship communities to be functioning there needs to be a sort of homeostatic balance within them as well. Even with the pandemic and pulling apart we still were able to create communities. Communities of support popped up all over online. Being able to do your business in Group coaching situations started popping up, telehealth and learning in Group settings. These community supportive organizations have become a norm now. It's not business as usual, person to person anymore and there is a place for that as well. But I remember years ago thinking that paying for an online service was so out there. Now it's not uncommon to get your support from a community online in whatever sense that is: learning how to grow your business, learning how to work from home, having group health coaching et cetera.
Needing to find alternative ways to form communities is an innate human desire I believe. And I think it helped pave the way for a natural shift in our health care systems by necessity. I believe people need and want changes in their health care. Therapeutic long term relationships need to be a priority rather than the one off WellCare visit once a year if we are to hope to learn health behaviors that can be practiced, providing a shift in our health outcomes.
I believe this is true as I hear more and more clients like our client who asked this "what if, cancer" question. We'll call him "Mark".
When he emailed and asked me what do I do for his own health when both of his parents died of cancer, he was really asking, "How inevitable is it for me?"
In this case he had a specific goal. He wasn't suffering from any symptoms and he just wanted to know what to do to improve his health. My goals is not to try to prevent any illness but what I would like to offer instead is how do we best support the vitality of the cells?
So we set out to construct a long-term therapeutic program where he would spend a number of months with us. We provided his EXTERNAL community. We would work on the functional challenges of his body and bring them back into the homeostasis and balance his tiny individual cells desire so that his organ systems would function to their optimum. In this way, we provided for his INTERNAL community.
We go through a 4 phase strategy plan, starting with which we work to have an agreeable nervous system and learn how to build resilience in the things that can change the nervous system.
We work on breath and mindset and we follow through with the support principles we learn in phase two namely: having an appropriate functional diet for his particular metabolism, encouraging eliminative function, supporting the endocrine and energy systems, and having the proper movement and hydration.
Once his cells are showing high vitality with low inflammation we move into the Streamline Phase which is a proactive maintenance place where life becomes a practice of purposeful action without fear or trying to prevent but with confidence in working towards a intentional direction of well-being.
We were able to do all of this with Mark, who lives four hours away, through an individual customized program. If you've so far thought it was odd to sign up and pay for online systems I'd challenge you to rethink that hindering belief. Students have been learning skills for their professed professions for a long time. Now they do it online just as often as in person. It makes sense that if you want to learn and practice something new you would set up a system of support with like minded individuals. I don't know where I would be without my online mentoring communities. I have one for my business leadership and advisory, one for my nutrition practice chock full of other nutrition practitioners, and one for my personal wellbeing.
There are things you can do right now if you feel the same as Mark.
As we mentioned, you can:
1. Get a genetics test and see what actually might be in your genes. The cells will tell you everything you need to know and there are multiple ways this can be monitored. You can see what the cells have to say through a bioenergetics assessment or a breath metabolic assessment. From there you work with a qualified practitioner or team of professionals to help you structure a system that's right for you and can support you in streamlining it. These professionals will help you develop a plan so that you know each action to take. Lastly, don't go into it with a mindset of trying to prevent anything. Go into it with the idea that your life and how you feel about your life is of number one primary importance. Work to build resilience so that when stressors or emotions come up you handle them at the time so that they don't store needlessly changing the message the nervous system then sends to the cells. And of course, build a community of support for YOU so that you can build a community of vitality WITHIN.
Learn more through our website at anmcholistichealth.com
Amanda Plevell, PhD, MSCN, NMD, CNHP is a Board Certified Natural Medicine Practitioner and Clinical Nutritionist. Together with ANMC’s team of support professionals, she’s bringing the pieces of nutrition, the mind, and therapeutic ongoing relationships to the healthcare continuum. ANMC combines curated education programs with personalized plans that make it easy for anyone, anywhere to benefit from. Find out more here: anmcholistichealth.com
“Our unique offer fills in the gaps to complete your picture and provides a powerful therapeutic relationship for a complete whole health solution, because I know that our clients want to have all the pieces, education, and trust so that they can make informed decisions for themselves.”