Most people don’t know how poorly they feel until they feel better. In fact, most of us don’t recognize that fatigue, digestive problems, aches and pains, allergies, headaches and more aren’t just annoying symptoms. They are early clues to impending diseases that can disable and kill us.
How can we address problems that we don’t even know we have?
The answer lies in the revolution happening in medicine today. That revolution is called functional medicine. I call it UltraWellness. It provides a way of understanding all the influences on our biology that are at the root of illness and how our lifestyle and environment interact with our genes to create the imbalances or balances that are the real determinants of disease or health.
We need to understand that the body is an ecosystem and is part of a larger ecosystem. Understanding how all the parts relate and what disturbs our ecological balance is more important than naming the disease, blaming the name for the problem, and thinking a drug will fix the disease.
This is the promise of UltraWellness — the opportunity to cure or dramatically improve chronic problems that are poorly addressed by conventional medicine, and to discover vital, vibrant good health at any age.
There are seven fundamental new principles or concepts that help me navigate to the underlying causes of disease and that will help you achieve UltraWellness.
We must understand:
1. Everything in our environment interacts with our genes to create health or disease, especially our diet and nutritional status. Air, water, microorganisms, exercise, trauma, psychosocial factors, environmental toxins and radiation also affect our genes and our health.
2. Our hormones and brain chemistry influence nearly every aspect of our health, why they get out of balance, and how to get them back in balance.
3. Most of us have smoldering hidden inflammation that will kill us until we learn how to control it.
4. Our digestive system is at the core of our health, why it breaks down, and how to repair it.
6. Energy — how we make it, why we lose it, and how to create more of it.
7. The mind interacts with the body to influence and affect each of our other systems, which are not really separate systems. They are part of a web of function and physiology that is at the root of both health and disease.
In my Gaiam blog, I’ll share highlights from wellness programs I’ve developed based on my own experience with a serious health condition and with patients looking for holistic ways to finally, truly feel better. See how my nine-week program can help you at home; check out the online UltraMind Solution Club.
To your good health,
Mark Hyman, M.D.