2011-04-08 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

Achieving Wellness
By Dr. Nancy Gahles

DR. NANCY GAHLES DR. NANCY GAHLES An achievement is marked by the progress that you recognize has occurred from the hard work and effort you put into realizing a goal.

Achievement requires active participation in goal setting and goal attainment. The stuff in between is where the rubber meets the road.

As Spring has sprung, I already hear the foreshadowing talk about allergies and the plight of heat and summer infestations of bugs and all manner of irritabilities that the season brings. Achieving a state of wellness starting now, can yield a symptom free springtime and beyond.

A state of wellness is one where you live in your environment without becoming sick in response to any of the changes it brings. Wellness infers that you are capable of weathering the storms of change. No one likes change albeit a fact of life. It is one of the unerring facts of life. The only thing we can be certain of is change. From one breath to the next, we change.

In a state of wellness, change is welcome. A healthy person has a plan for his or her life, accesses it, puts it into motion and goes with the flow, adapting to the changing circumstances as they arise.

Living in a state of wellness doesn’t mean that you never encounter situations that are challenging, that test your mettle, that try your patience, that make you sick or sad. Living in a state of wellness simply means that you handle it, that you recover from those challenges and that you grow from them and become a better, stronger person. The old adage says that whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Achieving wellness is a process of optimizing the levels of functioning of your being. We are body, mind, emotion and spirit. We are whole persons that react in very specific ways to our environment. When the stimulus or stressor is overwhelming, we react in a way that will preserve our life. This is usually a noticeable symptom. One that will call our attention to it immediately. Symptoms of severe pain or shortness of breath are examples of acute symptoms that require immediate attention. There are also chronic or recurrent conditions that are always present at a low level or come and go. These we often ignore. These conditions are likely to become overt diseases over time.

Achieving wellness is a proactive plan to address the underlying causes of your discomforts and to take the action necessary to remedy them. The field of psycho-neuro-immunology (PNI) addresses the relationship between emotions, thoughts, beliefs and diseases. All manner of stress impacts the PNI axis, as it is called. How many of us think of this when we experience a symptom? If it is in our physical body, we tend to dismiss the association of thoughts or emotions as causative factors. Yet, the Center for Disease Control states that upwards of 80% of chronic disease is emotional in origin. One cardiologist said that 100% of his cases are emotional in origin.

There are several areas of medicine that are focused on achieving health through the neuroimmune connection. Physical medicine addresses this through chiropractic, massage and cranial-sacral therapy. Energy medicine addresses the neuroimmune connection through homeopathy and acupuncture. Thoughts and emotions are addressed through cognitive behavioral therapy and homeopathy. There is also spiritual counseling. There are many avenues to explore that will reduce your stress burden so that wellness becomes an achievable goal. These are only some of them. The key is to think outside the box. Try it this spring. When you start to have watery eyes, runny nose and itching palate, think of the stressors in your life. Think of what you are eating, how you are sleeping, how happy you are in your job, your relationship. Imagine all the “irritants” in your life. Then imagine a life without those irritants. Recognizing your sensitivities to your environment in all areas of body, mind, emotion, spirit and then taking action to address them is a courageous act. It is an act of change. It is an act that will help you to achieve wellness. Wellness is a state of peace. We all aspire to that. As Amelia Earhart said, “Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace.” Be courageous enough to take that first step to wellness. It all starts when you go within, breathe deeply and sit in the stillness. Silence creates space. Space is necessary for healing. Focused, illuminated space will allow a being to come into right rhythm with himself and ultimately with all others. Listen for guidance. Be courageous enough to follow through. Don’t rush for the first symptom suppressor that comes up. You can only shut the body, mind, emotion, spirit up for so long. It will always come back, even louder or more dramatically, unless properly addressed. Seek the advice of one of the aforementioned disciplines that resonates with you, be it chiropractic, homeopathy, acupuncture or psychotherapy.

Begin with meditation and gentle yoga if you like until you become centered enough to make an informed choice of a professional partner.

Achieving wellness is an act of courage. And, as I am fond of saying, “It’s not for the faint of heart!” It’s time for rebirth.

It is the season of new growth.

All life awaits you!

May The Blessings Be!

Consultations, classes and Tele- HouseCalls, askdrnancy@aol.com.

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