By Joanna Rachins (January 2013)
Health is a fluid, ever-changing state. There are so many variables, so many unknowns. I’ve been studying health since my twenties, and I’m still very much a student. I’m constantly discovering new things about myself and don’t profess to know about anyone else.
One thing I have learned, though, is that maintaining wellness is dependent on the ability of the immune system to do its job. In today’s world, with all its pollutants, our poor immune system needs some help. This immune system is the boss of the body, the micro-manager of everything that goes on in there. It monitors the progression of pathogens. When an immune system is overloaded, these pathogens run amuck like an army of undisciplined children.
The very act of living in our bodies in this world presents dangers to the immune system. We endure so much personal stress: Worries about everything from the size of our waist to the size of our bank account to the size of our house. Bad food, bad air, not enough exercise, toxins in every form everywhere you turn. And ignorance. Even if we wanted to make healthy changes, most of us simply don’t know where or how to start, or are too busy to begin to replenish and support this amazing immune system. Hence dis-ease, degeneration; what we call illness and aging.
I am committed to doing whatever I can to feel good as I age, otherwise, what’s the point? What fun would aging be without energy, enthusiasm, clarity of mind, accomplishment, fulfilling purpose in my life, all with a lot of love in my heart? So I made a deal with my body that I hope it agreed to. I said, listen, body, if I take care of you in whatever way I can, I expect you to repay me in kind.
I have learned to treat my body with great respect. I try not to abuse it. I try to listen to it and discern its needs. Here’s some of what I do:
Meditate. Studies show that 20 minutes of deep meditation is equivalent to a nights sleep.
Take nutritional supplements. There’s no way food alone can do the job with all the chemicals that are used to leach out nutrients.
Engage in physical exercise. Three times a week, if I’m lucky.
Of course, I’m not perfect but I try. I eat organic plant-based food. Perform selfless service… Perform selfless service because it makes my spirit feel good. Smile. Breathe consciously. Practice kindness to myself and others and the environment.
In the New Year, a series of events on Health & Wellness will be presented at the Ebell. Experts with a variety of perspectives will address our areas of concern with solid information and experience. From traditional western medicine to more alternative routes to health, we hope to present the most up-to-date, cutting-edge information. Please join me in welcoming these experts and also in shedding some light on a subject dear to all of us: feeling good in our bodies.
Joanna Rachins started her lifetime commitment to health and wellness in the late ‘60’s. She has taught and practiced meditation since then and continues to study and explore many avenues of conscious living.