Making the Best of Your Life: The 20s and 30s

Making the Best of Your Life: The 20s and 30s

Making the Best of Your Life: The 20s and 30s

In a time with nothing but bad news, pessimism, and doom and gloom around the subject of health, I have decided to lighten things up. Imagine how your life could and should be if you were taking care of yourself and had all the health and life energy you wanted. Of course, there are extenuating circumstances, environmental issues, and factors outside your control that may be preventing this, but what would your health look like at its best?  How would this feel? This is not a pointless exercise. Nothing in your life is likely to change until you decide what future you want. I have seen my patients take control of their current health situations and become closer to the ideal picture of what they envisioned their health and their life to be. You can do this at any age and at any time. Envision your life the way you want it to be right now.

Your 20s and 30s

(I may do more posts for different age groups, but if you are older than 40, read this description of the 20s and 30s to get a better idea of how you arrived at your current health.) Ages 20 through 39 is the time of your life when you should be experiencing all things new. You may be in college or graduate school or pursuing a new job challenge. You may be newly married or beginning your family. At this time of your life, your health should be vibrant and your energy abundant as you move and grow and change. In this period, you should be eating a balanced diet of excellent quality fruits and vegetables and lean, organic, non-processed meat, keeping processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, and sugar to a bare minimum.  You should be exercising 3–4 times a week to keep your energy up and your body in shape and sleeping at least 7-8 hours per night.

Children and Families

This is when many women choose to start families and may go through pregnancy for the first time. Pregnancy should be a unique and amazing part of a woman’s life.  A new person is coming into the world! A family is created to bring joy and new little people for the family and the world. Pregnancy should be a time of hope and expectations and a time when a woman cares for herself and her future little one. She should be balancing her work and her family life in a way that brings joy to herself and others. OK, I realize this might sound like a fairy tale! I imagine this is how a balanced healthy life should be. It isn’t how it is or was for most of us, but think how much better it would be if this were the reality. If you haven’t had a family yet, think how wonderful it would be for you to plan YOUR ideal situation and create it! I wish I had. I would have made some changes! During pregnancy, you and your body have exceptional needs. Specific supplementation for moms, recommended by an alternative or functional medicine professional, will enable you to keep your energy up and spot any deficiencies before they become a problem. Pregnancy can be very hard on a body, especially one with a lot of previous stress. Help from a qualified health practitioner can make the difference between a joyful and healthy pregnancy and one that takes a negative toll on the body, possibly even causing future health concerns. After your baby arrives, you and your family are overjoyed. Now is the time for you to pass along the same healthy habits you practice to your new child and family. Eat processed foods, fast foods, and sugar products infrequently, if at all. Use whole foods and natural sugars for baking and in drinks. As you live through your 20s and 30s, you can start to see the fantastic things you can create as a woman, at home, and in your career.

Careers and Success

If you do not have a family, the 20s and 30s are often a time when you are focused on creating a career and a name for yourself in your area of expertise. Ideally, you are sleeping and eating and balancing work and life in a way that gives you joy and fulfillment. If you are in a stressful work environment, take time to balance yourself. Notice the stress you’re under and do something practical to address it. You’ll be more productive and happier in the long term. In this balanced scenario, you’d work hours that allow you to exercise. You’d eat healthily. If you’re in college or graduate school, you’d take care of your body and eat and sleep the proper amount so that you can keep your immune system healthy and robust. College, graduate school, and new jobs can be very stressful times of life, so good sleep habits, healthy food, and specific supplementation to support extreme levels of stress are particularly important.

Planning a Well-Lived Life

Taking time to plan out what a balanced life looks like and how you can achieve it can be a life-changing decision. Looking back on my life, I realize I went into many situations with no planning, knowing I would “handle it” — and in many cases, I was “handled” by the situation instead! Maybe this is the way of youth, but when taking your next big step in life, understanding and seeing—really seeing—what you want your life to be like can be invaluable. I wrecked my health in graduate school, and it took me years to recover. I will always have a weakness in my adrenal glands as a result. What a difference it would have made for me if I had understood that while school was undoubtedly going to put me through the wringer, I would come through the stress with my health intact if I ate whole foods, stopped the junk food and sugar, exercised and slept. Instead, I ate whatever I wanted, with no thought of what it could do to my body. I ate pans of brownies and bags of Doritos and drank extreme amounts of coffee and soft drinks. I had completely unrealistic standards for myself for my grades and my life. I did not exercise, and I constantly stressed about my grades and classes and projects. I was sick after final exams every quarter and lost a relationship that meant a lot to me during this time. These times can and will shape you, and the results of your choices will be with you, perhaps for your entire life. These are the foundational years of your life and your health. Treat yourself well. Know there will be stress. Eat healthily, exercise even if you are stressed—especially if you are stressed. Find ways to handle stress, even if that means taking a quarter off or fewer hours at work if your health is suffering. Finishing college or graduate school quickly or getting that promotion isn’t worth it if you lose your health in the process.

The Danger of Perfection

Being a perfectionist is the way to early burnout. Being a perfectionist is the recipe for unhappiness and more stress. Take it from a perfectionist! You cannot ever be perfect, and if hearing that makes you cringe, you need to take some time right now to realize that trying to control your own life or someone else’s within your concept of perfection will not make you happy. It is a sure route to unhappiness. What I have learned after many years of being a perfectionist is that living that way hurts. It hurts everyone around you, but mostly you. You may never lose that urge to be perfect, but you can learn to love the imperfections. You can let go and let the world and your actions be imperfect sometimes. Yes, you should have high standards, but you have to let yourself fall short of them sometimes without self-recrimination—or for some of us, self-flagellation! As we see the world through our lens, we often see others the way we see ourselves. Expecting a loved one to respond to life the way we do and treating them the way we treat ourselves when we make a mistake is not healthy and puts the same heavy burden on them that we put on ourselves. Relationships with friends or others often can’t withstand this type of pressure. You can choose a different way! Choose the path that creates more sanity and more joy. You can find it because it is in you. Make your plan and include a lot of love and patience for yourself!

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Vaccination: a Fightin’ Word

Vaccination: a Fightin’ Word

Vaccination: a Fightin’ Word

Vaccination is a four-letter word these days. I am an alternative health care practitioner, a doctor of Chiropractic who runs a holistic nutrition center in Atlanta, Georgia. For someone like me, discussing the subject of vaccinations can be a no-win situation. For many in my line of work, being against vaccinations comes along with the territory. My profession, holistic health care, has a skepticism of the mainstream health care system, which is often not misplaced. But right now, if I were to state any misgivings at all about a particular vaccination or ask for more transparency, I risk the label of “anti-vaxxer” and “crazy.” On the other hand, someone who fully vaccinates their kids become the “enemy” and supports the “evil empire.”

There are many things that modern medicine has right. The technology of imaging, diagnosis of disease processes, and correction of damaged body parts with surgical procedures and emergency medicine are second to none. However, some very pointed weaknesses exist in the medical system. Being in the field of alternatives, I am very often able to supply some of the pieces that our healthcare system is missing, especially regarding chronic health conditions. I utilize safe and straightforward solutions to a variety of health concerns often overlooked in many medical settings.

Despite the weaknesses and strengths of medicine, I do not think that a conversation about vaccinations should be a forum for name-calling and abuse. We are about as divided on vaccinations as we are on politics and unable to speak about either safely.

What’s Wrong with Medicine

Our current healthcare system is very much in partnership with pharmaceutical companies and large corporate structures that were created to make a lot of money. Many of these companies have failed the trust we placed in them and in the medical system they serve. The doctor-patient relationship is, for me, a sacred honor. Patients rely on me to help them in some of the most challenging times of their lives, and I need them to be honest with me so I can give them the best possible advice. In conventional medicine, there is this same requirement. There must be trust for patients to be helped, but in many cases, this trust is violated.

The public is losing its trust in medicine as a whole. The perception that the medical model is driven by profit and not by the patient’s needs or health concerns is becoming more apparent.  When you see the inflated prices of a hospital stay and what the hospital charges the insurance company for aspirin, it is hard to remain idealistic in the face of sheer insane overcharging. In our current healthcare system, a third party often makes the decisions, not the patient and the doctor. Prescription drug prices are skyrocketing, and patients don’t always believe that the procedures recommended are in their best interest. Patients may be treated as a number, and patient care suffers in the face of corporate profit.

Distrust

Added to this distrust are the racial bias, fraud, and medical malpractice perpetrated on minorities. Medicine has a checkered history to overcome. Examples: the infamous Tuskeegee study where doctors let black men die of syphilis, and the case of Henrietta Lacks, a poor African-American woman whose cancer cells were used for decades without her permission.

I see many minorities in my practice. Often I am the only healthcare provider they will agree to see because of deep distrust in the “system.” This year alone, I have referred at least three patients in some stage of kidney failure, a breast cancer patient, and numerous others who needed medical intervention for severe diabetes or unmanaged blood pressure—but who were afraid to seek medical care. In many cases, they would not have gone but for their trust in me as their doctor. Because they trusted me, they were able to receive the medical intervention needed that they had been afraid to seek because of distrust of the system.

Vaccinations, like any health care, must be safe, effective and above all, trusted. Polls done this past May showed only about 50% of Americans are willing to get a coronavirus vaccine. Right now, especially now, there is distrust in government and the science that that government represents in the form of public health initiatives.

False Information

Possibly because of this distrust, we’re experiencing an explosion of “at home experts.” These are people who mistake their internet “research” for the professional opinions and advice of the actual experts who spend their lives studying and perfecting their art and science.

The internet and social media are a constant source of misinformation and outright lies, and many people can’t tell the difference. Confirmation bias is the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories. In many cases, people only see and recall proof that supports their ideas. For example, if one believes that vaccinations are harmful, one only searches for this type of data and for studies that back up their beliefs on the subject. The more one finds people and articles that confirm this belief, the more that belief is bolstered and strengthened. People tend to ignore information that contradicts their existing beliefs.

It’s embarrassing to be wrong. If you have believed in a flat earth or a cheesy moon for your whole life, it’s going to be hard to admit to being wrong on these subjects, especially if those around you still believe it. Often, it is how we grew up, where we went to school, or in what church we had our upbringing; but by the time we reach our 20’s our world views have been formed and are difficult to change. I see this in friends I grew up with who never moved outside their small towns and belief systems. I also see it in health associates I went to school with, who were indoctrinated in a particular philosophical belief system. We are all the sum products of our nature and our nurture.

Looking At Both Sides

Opinions of vaccinations are subject to a person’s previous experiences as well. What you think about vaccinations and whether or not your kids are vaccinated probably has everything to do with what your education was on the subject and what your closest friends and family thought. You probably already have an opinion—perhaps a really strong one. I want to suggest a little experiment: whatever your belief, find and study ideas and content that is in direct disagreement with what you hold to be true.

When I was young, I came to realize that if something was true, I could examine it. If it still turned out to be true for me, then I’d consider it actually to be true. Do not be afraid to look and examine and ask questions and doubt. If your eyes are blue, you can examine it up and down, and no matter what you do or who you talk to, your eyes will still be blue.

With a belief, though, you do have to be brave. Your eyes being blue is different from a belief. Beliefs are, by their very definition, changeable. Be brave and be humble and be willing to examine information that is different from your previous experiences. Be willing to be wrong.

Do Your Research

If you think all vaccinations are safe, go to the CDC and read the ingredients and the side effects of childhood vaccinations. If you feel all vaccinations are harmful, read the efficacy rates and the rates of immunity for a particular immunization. Read how polio and smallpox affected our world when they ran rampant and what happened after we developed vaccinations for these diseases.

To counter confirmation bias, you need to study and read ideas and content that disagree with your stated belief. But you would have to have your mind open to learning and to possibly seeing something new. I don’t want to convince you one way or the other. Instead, I’m offering the possibility of broadening your experience.

The source of the material you read to get your information is essential. Reputable sources that use real science are the best places to get information. Personal experience and stories are just that—someone’s experience. They don’t add up to everyone’s experience and can’t always be extrapolated out to the population at large.

Public Health Needs Public Relations

I lay the responsibility for demonstrating and proving vaccination safety at the feet of our public health servants and other scientists. It is these professionals who should be safeguarding the public regarding pandemics and epidemics as well as vaccination safety. Certainly, these health officials desperately need a reputation makeover to handle the distrust that much of the public feels for their public health institutions—and vaccinations specifically.

A definition of public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private communities, and individuals. Public health is achieved by promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and detecting, preventing, and responding to infectious diseases. So much of our lives benefit from public health initiatives like hand washing and hygiene, seat belts, and safe water, to name a few.

Vaccinations are part of public health, supposed to prevent disease and sickness. If someone believes that vaccinations will kill or damage themselves or their families, they won’t get vaccinated.

Lies, Truths, and Science

Winston Churchill said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. “ This certainly describes vaccinations. Mixed in with the lies are half-truths and urban legends, often creating confusion and misunderstandings. Churchill also said, “People always find lies more exciting and thrilling than the truth. Lies are like a virus that spreads easily around and contaminates the truth, making it impossible for people to separate actual facts from malicious rumors.”

Science is something one can see and can experience. Vaccination science is real science. In a fantastic turn of events, we humans can inoculate our bodies with a substance and create an immunity that is long-lasting and, in some cases, life-long. It’s a miracle and a fascinating story. My opinion is that public health advances in our world have been nothing short of miraculous, and to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” as many have advocated in regards to vaccinations rings particularly hollow.

In any application of medicine and with any drug, and especially vaccinations, we must demand transparency and safety. We must require this to improve our world with more and better science, not negating progress made and especially not lumping all vaccinations and scientists into a group intent upon harming the population. There is a real concern for the state of our healthcare. We have a “sick care” system, not a “well care” system, and that needs to change for all of us. We can do better than this. But do we want to go backward to a time when we had no vaccinations and no control over some pretty nasty diseases? To a time when our grandparents feared polio and smallpox? We are privileged not to have these fears and not to lose our loved ones to these incurable diseases.

We will have a vaccination soon for Covid-19. What will you do? How will we know if it’s safe? There is a lot to cover regarding vaccinations. I can’t possibly address all the pros or the cons right here. This is a post to encourage dialogue and discourse. If you cannot see how anyone could distrust vaccinations, read a book by Dr. Sears or talk to someone who has these beliefs—and really listen.

There are many organizations dedicated to educating people on the efficacy of vaccinations. If you think vaccinations are the devil’s work, find a doctor you respect and see why they think the way they think. You may find some interesting information from your asking. Be willing to learn and, at the very least, be ready to see another’s point of view.

There are rigid and structured steps to developing vaccinations. Nothing should be skipped, and one’s observational skills should be employed when examining data and evidence for or against vaccinations.

We have a lot of coming together to accomplish in this area, and I can only hope for more data and fewer lies and innuendo from both sides of the immunization issue. This could make a real difference in all our lives moving forward.

 Find Out MoreEvectics Book Cover

Here is a free booklet with the story of how I developed my techniques and how those techniques work (practical information that shows how your body works and how to start recovering your health for the rest of your life).

Want Some Help?

Complete this Online Evaluation: Your First Step to Ending Severe, Long-term or Frustrating Health Problems

If you answer the questions on this symptom evaluation, we’ll be able to answer these questions for you:

  1. What areas of physical stress in your body are most likely creating your problems?
  2. What could be done to help your body recover from this stress?
  3. What are our recommendations to start you back on the road to health?
 

Start Your Symptom Evaluation Here:

Specific symptoms are clues to the underlying stress causing them.

  • We DO NOT share your email with ANYONE, and that's a promise.
  • We do not sell or misuse Email addresses or personal information... not ever