Who is responsible for our health and our body? In case you missed it, our government and politicians have U turned on their importance of child obesity and health. They have stopped the ban on junk food advertising and multi-buy supermarket deals. Jamie Oliver is a chef and campaigner and led a protest with a large Eton Mess to downing street. We all have a responsibility as an adult, but the truth is unless you are reading, researching and getting the right literature form non biases and non-profit making companies, you are sold false health and quick fixes. As I have always said for years, we never make money from healthy people, but do make money from sick people. We are driven through media and marketing to reach the feel-good factor through consumerism. We are sold, like Jaime has shown, poor quality processed foods that causes a weakened immune system, disconnection to both body and mind and disease. Once we are in a rut, the solution is yet more pharmaceutical drugs.
As Rudolf Steiner said: “We will eventually be soul-less.”
I am still gobsmacked as to why building a resilient and strong body was not a number one priority over the last two years. Yes, I keep repeating this, but what I am witnessing is more injury, inflammation, more weight gain and cancer. No media outlets shouted out about breathwork, hydration, nutrition, sleep, movement and mindset…..
Well what has this got to do with Pilates and movement? This is thing: health starts in our childhood. Our environment, schooling, peer group and education are everything. We cannot build a healthy body and mind from poor quality substances. What happens when you put diesel in a petrol engine? It breaks down. Inflammation is showing up younger and younger in children with all sorts of chronic conditions. I regularly get calls from parents asking about skin conditions, behavioural issues, gut issues and injury.
Why is this?
This is connected to our gut/brain axis. Our gut is our second brain, however I think of it as one integrated system. In very simple terms the lining of your gut is everything. As we eat poorer quality foods, unsuitable processed products, experience more stress and toxins, the lining start to weaken, enabling the food particles to bypass full digestion (mouth to anus). The food particles go into the blood stream undigested (called inflammatory cytokines). The body then has its own way of coping with this. And this can show up in childhood or later on in life as one of many inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. People tell me that food doesn’t matter. However, short term you may not notice, but long term you will. Nutrition is one part of the puzzle; we also have to assess the physiological load on the person.
My experience with running studios over the last 30 years has taught me a lot. I have no medical qualification, but I do have common sense and experience. As most of you know, I prefer to take a holistic (meaning whole body) approach. Pilates and movement can definitely aid many chronic conditions including arthritis, but other aspects need to be addressed.
A gluten rich diet can trigger painful arthritis in many people, as the blood brain barrier has weakened. Then when we come to do any sort of primal movement pattern in class or change the Pilates apparatus, there is so much arthritis in the hands, knee and hips that this becomes impossible and extremely frustrating for the client. Everyone wants to change, but no one wants to be changed. If what we are doing is working in life, why are we the sickest and have such a high rate of childhood obesity? Improving and easing arthritic symptoms can be done by addressing nutrition and healing the gut wall. This is easier said than done. We talk about mental health, depression and anxiety. But we can’t change our output till we change our input. Food is either our medicine or our poison. We are all different and have different needs.
Now let’s go even deeper, by looking beneath the surface of not what is presented, but what’s behind the story of the story. Yes, we can use broths, glutamines or pre/probiotics, but the gut itself is connected to the brain through the vagus nerve. When the brain is inflamed, inflammatory cytokines get into general circulation. This means other barriers and protective mechanisms in the body will breakdown, including the blood brain barrier and the lungs.
This is why the CHEK approach is different. We address the clients physiological load, by addressing the Dr. Quiet. That is reducing the amount of stress on the HPA axis, increasing insulin sensitivity, increasing leptin sensitivity, increasing thyroid hormone sensitivity, increasing cortisol sensitivity and the whole thing can add up to be anti- inflammatory, aiding the body in healing the gut and the brain.
Doing things such as working in exercises, zone exercises, tai chi, chi king, getting into nature, touching nature, breathwork and some gentle style of yoga will reduce the physiological load. What you are doing at a physiological level is flooding the body with oxygen, chi, prana and in other words life force, by reducing the stress system on the body.
Oxygen has been shown to be antagonist to adrenaline, meaning upregulating the body’s ability to be sensitive to all these mechanisms that have been turned down or turned off due to the body’s responses.
This is why you have to heal the brain as well as heal the body. To get to the root we must learn to respect and honour our body in a new way. It’s hard to move Dr. Quiet into our lives, as we have not been taught to take time out – overdoing seems to be celebrated. We feel guilty about taking care of ourselves to heal our physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and intuitive body. At a deeper level it helps to heal the mechanisms that show up in our body.
The body that we sit in is just a bio feedback for our consciousness. Having a parent with dementia has made this very clear to me. What part of you makes you feel that you are not worthy to heal? Has this come from someone else’s values that you have been subscribing to this belief system for many years? Some of the ancient practices of movement done in a mediative state will brings things up in the body, including the physical and emotions. The things that creep up on us such as a hurt shoulder or even brain inflammation is an indicator to dig deeper and change our habits. You can heal and coach your own body with the right tools….
Paul Chek blogs
Jatorre Pierre blogs