Many students want advice and direction about how to stay healthy; they know performing is hard and demanding and health is vital. They seem to be tired of the struggle to maintain well being as they cope with colds, flu, allergies, and various undiagnosed conditions from sinus respiratory to lethargy and aches. Above all they want to feel good, free to really perform at their best.
My approach is to first question and demystify germ theory. Although it was highly significant hundreds of years ago when first introduced, we have clung to it and not put it into a larger perspective. Indeed germs, or pathogenic microorganisms, cause sickness yet we can see it is not the whole picture if we also know that germs are everywhere; in us, on us, around us, in our homes, offices, schools – they are truly ubiquitous. Yet not everyone is sick all the time. Doctors and nurses are around these germs daily and do not get sick each time. Parents care for sick children and do not always get sick. School teachers are around these kinds of germs and do not always get sick. From this we can determine there must be more than just being exposed to germs.
That’s when I introduce the natural violence we each have inside us: our kick-butt, get-out-of-here, killer immune systems which are our body’s protective military! Keep your army healthy and they will defend you and destroy all the ‘non-you’ microorganisms that want to invade and take you over.
Nutrition is key, that’s why it is number one. We eat; we put substances in our bodies, daily. If those substances aren’t real food, are not nature based, they are going to cause trouble for your army. Your marines want wholesome food- nature based, lots of plant and animal (if available) that is not tinkered with but is bio-compatible with our digestive, metabolic system. Tinkered foods are experimental in nature- we haven’t had nearly enough time or enough research to really know what the long term ramifications are of eating processed, man-made, synthesized, genetically engineered kinds of substances. What we do know does not appear promising but rather compromising to our immune system- the very thing we want un-compromised and extraordinarily resilient.
First and foremost is to take care of our guts! Ironically as performers we want to act from our guts too! We want gut-instinct and gut-reactions to drive our spontaneous performing (I wonder if because so many folks have compromised guts if that causes difficulty relating to gut instinct?). Our guts house the foundation of our green berets- feed the army there! And feed them prebiotics and probiotics. Find kicker probiotics in pure unadulterated yogurt (no sugar/sweetener) and make your own (it is so easy to do). Also be sure to eat lots of fermented foods and drinks. For prebiotics seek garlic, bananas, flax, asparagus, among others. . . I am simply pointing the way here, and like with my students, I ask them do their further research about these issues and make their own conclusions and get to the deeper understandings and knowledge. In short, your guts need your love! Antibiotic prescriptions are now known to be a problem as they kill not only the “bad” bacteria but also the “good” bacteria we need! So if you must be on an antibiotic be sure to offer your body a defense against them in the form of probiotics.
In our epidemically sick nation today we must do all we can to stay healthy, keep our health care costs down, and breed healthier microorganisms, foods, and genes. What we eat, how we rest, how we move, and our attitudes and moods all change our DNA at epigenetic levels. We at Ruhala strive to help young people sort through the din and keep it simple utilizing these 4 basic principles for health.
Here’s wishing you happy eating, resting, moving, and spirits!