THE effects of what we call 'ageing' are in fact the accumulation of the environmental effects we expose our bodies to. The most common of these are the food choices we make and our ability to digest. This concept is what NTA Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioners refer to as the "Hallway of Life".
Our health is built upon certain biochemical foundations. As functional nutritional therapists, we believe that a properly prepared, nutrient dense diet of whole foods provides us with the ultimate foundations, leading to optimal health. These foundation are: Digestion, Blood Sugar Balance, Mineral Balance, Fatty Acid Balance and Hydration.
We understand that weaknesses in these foundations can lead to the degenerative health problems that plague our modern world. Ancestral wisdom has much to teach us, and one must raise the question: how, as a society, did we manage to go so terribly amiss with our food? We traded our mineral rich, whole food, natural diet for the modern, packaged and processed foods of commerce; the effects of which are so unmistakably apparent in the degeneration of health in today's society. This brings us to the discussion of The Hallway of Life.
As a culture, our whole outlook on health is defined by the common belief that the natural order of progression is set in stone and irrevocable.
It looks a little bit like this: we are born healthy and are in perfect health. Move forward a few years and we begin the development of symptoms (headaches, energy loss, joint pain, irregular bowel movements and so on). Move forward a few more years and the progression of these symptoms initially leads us to a doctor and a diagnosis of some line of pathology. Our diagnoses are perceived as irreversible and permanent and most of us just 'live with it' under the impression of 'well this is just me; this is what happens as we grow older'.
Very succinctly, medicine is the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Medical doctors are taught to diagnose, and once they have a diagnosis, the aim is to keep people from dying from disease, and often, the impact to quality of life is considered secondary. Therefore, modern medicine does its best job from the time you have a diagnosis. Medicine, drug and food companies imply that it is inevitable that we succumb to disease as a natural outcome of ageing.
But what if there is another pathway we can choose towards optimal health?
If only we would take the path back to health; take an alternate direction and defy the inevitable consequences that are so ingrained in our culture. Throw away the perception of 'only medication can fix symptoms, not food' and work towards taking charge of our own health through the natural healing powers of real food. Take control of our symptoms and understand why they are happening, before they become a diagnosis.
Our best window of opportunity for health is not based on us not waiting to succumb to a diagnosis, but being proactive, listening to our bodies, treating them with respect and honouring the gifts of life, love, freedom and joy that they provide.
Morgan is a graduate FNTP of NTA Australia's Class of 2015. From North Queensland, she is part of the team at Pure Core Nourishment in Townsville.