Why we should strive for optimum health - Preparing you for the future of work.

Why we should strive for optimum health

Statistics taken from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that:

 - Chronic diseases are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths each year and treating people with chronic diseases accounts for 86% of health care costs in the US;
- Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world's population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%;
- All countries face major challenges to ensure that their health and social systems are ready to make the most of this demographic shift;
- More than one-third of Americans are overweight or obese;
- As of 2012, 117 million Americans had one or more chronic illnesses, which account for 75 percent of all healthcare costs in the US; and
- In 2012 alone diabetes caused 1.5 million deaths. Its complications can lead to heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.

I believe that now more than ever, especially based on the above statistics that our health should be our Number 1 priority. We need to start taking better care of ourselves and go back to using nature as it was intended. Our focus should be on prevention rather than cures. Voltaire wisely said, “Doctors pour drugs of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, into human beings of whom they know nothing.” It’s about breaking that vicious cycle, using drugs to treat one condition, side effects creates another condition, additional drugs required to treat new condition, possible life-long dependency.

In essence, our bodies are the vehicles taking us through this journey we call life. How we take care of and treat our bodies will determine whether our journey will be bumpy or smooth. Attaining optimum health is not illusive and it is not only available to a privileged few; it is attainable by all who are willing to work for it.

The World Health Organization defines health as, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. Being “healthy” therefore, is not defined by how we look, how much we weigh, what we eat or by our exercise regime – it is about our total mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

The absence of disease or infirmity does not indicate the status of one’s health, and it certainly does not mean that you healthy. This concept of optimum health is highly individualized and as a result, remarkably different for each and every one of us. It focuses on the individual as a whole and incorporates various approaches and the help of various healthcare professionals to get one to that level. One definition of optimum health states that, “it is an individual person's physical, emotional and mental health abilities. That is, it is the health goals that a person can realistically achieve to feel their personal best. No two people's health goals are the same, that's why optimal health is such an individualized matter. There is no right or wrong when it comes to optimal health, really, it's just a matter of finding what best suits you and your abilities.”

There are various natural health alternatives from both the east and west that one can choose to follow and incorporate into their everyday lives in order to achieve and maintain optimum health. These alternatives have proven to be very effective not only in my life, but in the lives of countless others who have used them at various stages in their quest of achieving and maintaining optimum health.

Modern medicine as we know it today originated from doctors in ancient times using plants and herbs to treat and cure diseases. Since we are now living in the 21st century, one can safely say that the use of natural alternatives has worked and continued to work as evidenced by the survival of the human race thus far.

It was during my quest for optimum health that I came across a stone I coined “The Wonder Stone”. This “wonder stone” is in fact called tourmaline, which is a gemstone, a semi-precious natural crystal stone. It is also known as the electric stone because of its ability to generate negative ions and far infrared rays (FIR). The stone also has the ability to convert the moisture in the air into negative ions and generate weak electric current – piezoelectric (the name comes from piezein — Greek for “squeeze”) and pyroelectric effect. The properties of the stone was discovered by French physicist Pierre Curie and his older brother Jacques in 1880 when they found that putting pressure on various crystals created electricity. They also discovered that when tourmaline was heated, it carried a weak electric charge called pyroelectricity and piezoelectricity was also produced when pressure was applied to its surface. Research in Japan later confirmed that tourmaline produced a faint but constant electric charge of 0.06mA, which is why tourmaline continues to be known as "the electric stone," especially in Asia. This electrical charge enables tourmaline to produce far infrared photon energy, negative ions, and alpha waves. Japanese researchers also found that no matter how small tourmaline is ground or crushed, it is still capable of conveying an electric current.

About now you are wondering what exactly are negative ions and FIR (Far Infrared Rays) are. Negative ions are sometimes known as air vitamins. They are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. These environments include mountains, waterfalls and beaches. In the bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin and are thought to have multiple healing effects on the mind and body. These negative ions produced by tourmaline are completely safe and natural and have no negative side effects.

Here are five benefits of Negative Ions:

1) Boosts energy;
2) Strengthens the immune system;
3) Improves blood circulation (dilation of vessels);
4) Purifies the blood (increase in alkalinity); and
5) Enhances heart function.

Far infrared another key component of tourmaline was also being studied extensively by medical professionals, as is evident by a study published in the US National Library of Medicine in 2012. The study in an article – Far infrared radiation (FIR): its biological effects and medical applications states that: All living organisms are subjected to the natural electromagnetic radiation reaching the earth from the sun. Living organisms experience the beneficial as well as adverse effects of it at all levels, starting from sub-cellular organelles and ending with the whole body. Thermal radiation (or infrared) is a band of energy in the complete electromagnetic spectrum and it has been used effectively for millennia to treat/ease certain maladies and discomforts. With the development of better technology to deliver pure far infrared radiation (FIR), the benefits from its effects have widened.

Nowadays, specialty FIR emitting heat lamps and garments made up of filaments (fibers) impregnated with FIR emitting nanoparticles are becoming used to deliver these thermal radiation effects … as a promising treatment modality for certain medical conditions.

As a gem stone, tourmaline comes in various colours and bears different significance depending on the colour. Here are three benefits of each colour.

Blue Tourmaline

1) Used to treat motion sickness;
2) Promotes living in harmony with all aspects of one’s environment, a good night’s sleep, insightful dreams and vivid dream recall; and
3) Powerful healer for sadness and grief.

Green Tourmaline

1) Relieves anxiety;
2) Increases your sexual energy; and
3) Attracts success.

Red Tourmaline

1) Soothes the nervous system and may be useful in treating hysteria, depression and obsession;
2) Used for harmonizing the feminine energies; and
3) Helps neutralize the harmful effects of microwaves, computers and other electronics.

Black Tourmaline

1) Dispels the electromagnetic vibrations given off by cell phones and computers;
2) Provides an excellent shield against environmental pollutants; and
3) Provides pain relief and assists with strained or torn muscles, numbness, arthritis, and scar tissue.

Yellow Tourmaline

1) Eliminates intestinal and liver problems;
2) Balances emotions; and
3) Relieves headaches.

White Tourmaline

1) One of the cornerstones of power within the gem therapy;
2) Connects the emotions and the mind, to enable you to see what you are feeling more clearly; and
3) Enhances your creativity.

Tourmaline as a gemstone is worn as jewellery by many and can also be incorporated into many different products. This is done by converting the tourmaline into a fine powder and then infusing it accordingly into the products. The potential and benefits from the use of this stone are tremendous and can certainly play a big part in our quest for optimum health.

Ms. Peggy Weekes is the author of the new upcoming book, A Mix of Two Worlds: Nature's Best from the East and the West for Optimum Health.

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