As we progress through what we’ve termed the “Wellness Revolution” there are a lot of belief systems about human health and wellness that need to evolve and change to deliver a wide-angle approach to embracing Lifecycle Health. We’ve chosen the term, “Lifecycle Health” to signify a more comprehensive view across the complete human life cycle. None of the other terms used today in the fields of Healthcare and Wellness are comprehensive enough, either in scope or time frame.
“Integrative”, “Functional”, “Lifestyle”, “Allopathic”, “Naturopathic” all speak to methods and modalities of diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and adjustments people make to their lives to prevent, treat or recover from illness and enable improved health. They each tend to focus narrowly on the current time frame of the person’s life.
Enhancing How We Are Born, Live and Die
Lifecycle Health uses a much wider lens with an extended depth of field. It considers the full range of factors that impact our health and wellness through all stages and cycles of life, including our genetic history, as well as the life conditions of our ancestors. Understanding and applying Lifecycle Health ensures that the next generation will have a more solid foundation for managing their health and wellness. It also enables us to die and transition out of this life with more vitality and dignity, including less pain, discomfort and fear.
The Five Strengths of Wellness
To fully understand the concept of embracing Lifecycle Health, one needs to consider the range of human health factors that we call “The Five Strengths”: Physical Strength, Intellectual Strength, Emotional Strength, Spiritual Strength and Wisdom Strength.
We are each endowed with these strengths as core components of human nature. How we choose to view and use these strengths (or neglect to use them), has fundamental impacts on our health and the pursuit of wellness.
The Five Strengths can best be understood by asking one deep, but simple question related to each strength:
- Physical Strength – What do you do?
- Intellectual Strength – What do you think?
- Emotional Strength – What do you feel?
- Spiritual Strength – What do you believe?
- Wisdom Strength – What do you know?
Applying the Five Strengths
The Physical Strength question is perhaps the easiest to answer and tends to be the primary focus of most current health care modalities: What do you eat? How much exercise do you get? How well or poorly do you sleep? What is your previous illness and surgery history? What diseases did your parents and siblings have and how did they die?
However, even in the Physical Strength category, allopathic physicians rarely ask or explore important questions related to our health histories: Were your born naturally or via Caesarian Section? Were you breast fed or bottle fed as a newborn? Were you on track or behind schedule with growth and cognitive milestones as a child? Did your physician prescribe many antibiotics in your childhood? Have you had any major physical body or head injuries? What were you fed growing up? Were you active or sedentary during the earlier stages of your life? How have any of those factors changed over time or recently? What does your genetic profile say about your body, health and receptivity to specific treatments? What patterns of illness and death are prevalent in your ancestral family history?
Beyond the Physical Strength category, there are a wide range of factors that are essential to our physical, emotional, and psychological health that are largely ignored by the allopathic medical community. Eastern medicine, native wisdom and classic philosophy traditions have all known and taught for thousands of years that intellectual thought, emotional well being, spiritual beliefs and our concepts of wisdom are all inextricably intertwined in human health and healing.
For instance, we’ve all perhaps known people who feel or believe they are going to die or not recover from disease and that’s exactly what happens to them. Conversely, we’ve probably also known or heard of people who have been diagnosed and labeled with a statistically fatal disease, yet recover completely because they feel, believe or know they will; despite the prediction of their doctors.
The Human Body’s Unlimited Capacity to Heal
Functional Medicine practitioners and therapists who have chosen to believe in and specialize in modalities such as acupuncture, hypnosis, kinesiology, energy healing, sensory therapies, meditation and prayer are tapping into millennia of knowledge, belief and wisdom about how best to optimize human life and wellbeing. They understand that the human body and mind has unlimited capacity to heal itself if we understand how our bodily systems were built to work. They also understand how to prevent or eliminate toxic chemicals, thoughts, feelings and relationships that can diminish or destroy our health.
Patients, caregivers, patient advocates and practitioners who understand Lifecycle Health use it as a whole health framework that asks and answers the full range of questions about our Five Strengths. They then use that full-range profile to advise and direct protocols for the restoration and building of strength in all five areas … fully leveraging the assets of our body, intellect, emotions, spirit and wisdom to prevent disease, cure illness and achieve sustainable health.
Note: this article originally appeared at MindBody Talent and is republished with permission of the author.
About the author: Rich Hoffmann is co-founder, COO and Managing Director of the Strategic Solutions practice for MindBody Talent, as well as the Editor in Chief of the Wellness Wisdom Journal. Learn more at www.MindBodyTalent.com. Also see his article, Fueling the Healthcare Revolution.
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