Let’s change perspective: disease prevention from a holistic perspective is the promotion of health. In this sense it applies to our life 24 hours a day. There are many factors that contribute to a healthy body and soul. Hippocrates [460-375 BC], the father of medicine, taught: “Regularity in life is a sign of health. Irregular bodily functions or irregular life habits create unhealthy conditions.”
Cutting-edge research of chronobiology demonstrates that all bodily functions follow an exact rhythm. To maintain a healthy and resistant body we should respect our inner clock, our physical limits, and treat our body with love and care. Jobs and occupations which require night shifts, irregular working hours, or regular trips into different time zones, have a considerably higher risk of cancer than the rest of the population.
Research shows that sleep is a significant predictor of reduced immunity and susceptibility to disease. The body regenerates during sleep, the immune system provides for the smooth cycle of organ functions, and cleans up ‘defective’ cells and potential cancer cells. Our natural rhythm requires about eight hours of sleep. The natural sleep cycle, starting with darkness and sleep before midnight, is deemed particularly beneficial for the body and soul. A quiet and well-ventilated sleeping room without electric radiation [TV, or radio], and a rather empty stomach that is not straining the digestive tract, allow for optimal rest and recovery. A regular midday nap, the well-known siesta, encourages our general health and well-being.
You can probably fill entire libraries on healthy food, but generally fresh and organic foods are the best base for a nutrient-rich diet. In my medical practice, the so-called food combining diet has often proven to be effective. As different food groups — such as carbohydrates [cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes] and proteins [meat, cheese, milk products] — require different digestion times, it facilitates digestion if they are eaten at separate meals.
LIFE IS MOVEMENT
Life is movement — children demonstrate this. They have a natural need to be outside and move around in nature. Nature is not only wholesome to the body, but the energy of the plants, earth, water, and air also nurtures our mind and vital force. We can prevent many diseases and conditions through sufficient exercise: walking, all sorts of sport, dance, etc. Endurance training, as it reduces stress hormones, offers quick relief; also, our brain activity is stimulated by regular exercise, especially when done in fresh air, or at least in a well ventilated room. Bodywork and movement therapies enhance our body-awareness and, at the same time, centre our mind. Especially rewarding are techniques that combine movement with mental focus, as it brings us to the ‘here-and-now’ leading to awareness through movement, as Moshé Feldenkrais put it.
If we lack contact with our own self, our body will eventually rebel. In movement the intelligence of the body unfolds. In shamanic healing rites dance helps to get in touch with the higher self. In dance we can express our feelings, embody them, and translate our emotions into motion, and thereby deepen our awareness of the body, free our flow of energy, and embrace life.
Dance therapy is a successful method in working with handicapped people and cancer patients, as the famous Anna Halprin, who healed herself from cancer, has impressively demonstrated in her expressive arts healing movement. Also, ta’i chi, qigong, yoga etc., and meditative techniques raise our energy levels and give us the feeling of being one with the universe. The real experience of the present moment is full of ‘happiness hormones.’
Our bodily state is controlled by our emotions. If we withhold or suppress them, in relation to others and ourselves, they block our vital energy. It is important to take responsibility for our own emotions and inner processes, as it is the first step in dealing with others and ourselves, in a more careful and conscious manner. It improves our interpersonal relationships, creates confidence, and inner peace.
LAUGH & LOVE FOR GOOD HEALTH
In German, we have a proverb: “Laughing is the best remedy.” Meanwhile, it has been scientifically recognised —even by conventional medicine — that laughter is preventive and therapeutic, and is used in treatment [Clinic-Clowns]. Laughter yoga is also thriving, as laughing is effective stress relief. It brings our attention to the moment; and the positive vibes boost our immune system and strengthen the body — we use an incredible amount of muscles when we laugh. Creative ideas that are put into reality — be it painting, singing, playing an instrument, acting etc., — are an inexhaustible source of energy. We can clearly observe a rise in our energy levels if we allow our inspiration to be expressed — it is like breathing in and breathing out.
In German, we have a proverb that explicitly shows the relation of ‘hurting’ or ‘wounding’ words and illness, or dis-ease and disease: Was kränkt, macht krank [What grieves, makes ill]. For the sake of health, we should choose our words carefully and draw the line when people try to offend us.
The famous water scientist Masaru Emoto, with his amazing photographs of water crystals, has demonstrated how words, and also sounds, influence and leave their imprint on the structure of water. His photos clearly show the reaction of water to different vibrations of words. Love and gratefulness produce wonderful patterns, whereas offending and ‘hurting’ words generate pictures of chaos and destruction. If we consider that our body is made up of 60-70 per cent water, we can imagine the effect of words on our biological system. Loving thoughts and words ‘nurture’ the body and soul.
Personalities like Jesus and Buddha, who had a lasting impact on humanity, gained their insight when they withdrew into nature, and found stillness, and listened to their inner voice. Jesus said: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
My homeopathic teacher, Prof/Dr Mathias Dorcsi repeatedly referred to love as the highest remedy. Love towards ourselves and towards others has an outstanding healing effect. It is, in fact, the basis for real, good health.