"Terrain is Everything" are said to be the words of Dr. Luis Pasteur on his deathbed.
Dr. Pasteur, revolutionized how disease was viewed and treated through his discovery of germs.
The natural healing paradigm holds the terrain of the body, in other words how the internal environment interacts with the external environment, determines health ad wellness.
Natural Health Paradigm
1. Germs are the result, not the cause of disease
2. Terrain determines health of the individual
This is why, Naturopathic Doctors focus on prevention and health maintenance - not suppression of symptoms while treating patients. Any condition is treatable with naturopathic medicine, by treating the terrain.
What exactly is terrain?
If you picture a rotting log - this is terrain of the tree at the end stage of life. Fungi do not decompose living trees, they live in harmony with them. The process of decay only happens in parts that are already dead or dying in the tree (cut off from that which gives life - oxygen, nutrients, waste removal etc. )
The same is true for all living things: germs are the result of, not the cause of disease. Germs will thrive in an environment that is already damaged or diseased. For example, if you cut yourself with a garden tool, it is important to disinfect the wound because the tissue is damaged and hence vulnerable to infection.
Conditions which allow germs to thrive are found in cells and tissues that are already malfunctioning or disrupted. The terrain, which is constantly interacting with the external environment, in order to maintain balance.
Terrain and Environment
Our internal environment is made of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the thoughts we think, the media we consume, medical and dental treatment we have received, quality of sleep, our physical activity level, our relationship with our body, structural imbalances, injuries, surgeries etc. etc. all these factors shape the terrain.
What disrupts terrain?
What builds a Healthy Terrain?
Maintaining and Building a Healthy Terrain can be seen as an investment in your health.
The factors which undermine terrain - or disrupt the balance in the body are largely due to daily choices we make, which once altered, can have a huge impact on improving health and preventing illness.
1. Poor nutrition
Nutrition is not just what goes into your body as food: What you consume, eat, absorb, assimilate and eliminate and all the functionality of all the organs associated with this process, can be included in the definition. This includes water as minerals, a nutrient are best consumed through water.
Unrefined, whole, organic, non-gmo foods, seasonal and local where possible
balanced according to your activity level and body type will help maintain your nutritional terrain.
2. Mal-illumination (poor lighting, a deficiency of light frequency)
LIght exposure sets your biological clock - upon which all systems function
Poor quality lighting and lack of full spectrum lighting affects physical and mental health.
See this video for more infromation on the secrets of your biological clock
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEkjNgaCCu4. Studies in the UK have shown a significant reduction in senile dementia when full spectrum lighting was introduced to nursing homes
3. Hypoventilation (under breathing, shallow breathing)
Inhaling brings in oxygen, air and “prana”. Deep and slow breaths ensure more life-force enters the blood and more toxins are eliminated through the lungs. Did you know the lungs are considered the “second kidney” this is because whatever toxins remain in the lungs have to be excreted by the kidney - which is more taxing to the body.
4. Inactivity (lack of exercise)
Everyone is talking about sitting being the new smoking - taking a 5 min movement break for every hour of sitting, can help re-set your metabolic rate to a higher level. Prolonged sitting does the opposite - it downshifts the metabolic rate - which in terrain terms is like a stagnant pond of waste accumulation inside tissues and cells.
5. Electromagnetic pollution (the effects of 60 cycle current, microwaves, etc.)
In Sweden being electro-sensitive is now being recognized as an illness (like multiple chemical sensitivities) and the government of Sweden financially supports these individuals so they can live in less electromagnetically polluted areas. For more info: www.es-uk.info/info/sweden.htm. Elsewhere in the world the impact of electromagnetic pollution goes unrecognized. Microwaves damage the delicate carbon - nitrogen bond found in all proteins - rendering food and non-food (destroying it’s nutritional value). Microwaving plastic (wrap, containers, lids, baby bottles) causes harmful hormone disrupting chemicals to leach into the food - which can wreak havoc in the body.
6. Environmental toxins (primarily man-made chemicals and heavy metals)
Nickel allergies are on the rise via skin contact / exposure through tablets, and phones and other electronic devices, especially in children. There was a recent report of a boy who developed a nickel allergy from his tablet. Cadmium, Mercury, Lead and Aluminum are common heavy metals. Heavy metal exposure can be determined through hair mineral analysis and detox protocols are designed to treat specific toxicity. Did you know that individuals with a deficient diet or malabsorption (Crohn's, colitis, IBS etc) are more at risk for heavy metal toxicity? This is because of molecular charge and size. The body will absorb the most similar molecule to the one it needs in a defficiency state. This is true for radioactive elements as well.
7. Negative thoughts/emotions
A thought or feeling has a neuro-chemical structure. Molecules of emotion and thoughts circulate in our internal environment and influence our biochemistry. Anxiety and stress caused by these internally generated thoughts can impair biological functioning - for example, when under stress the blood flow to the liver is decreased by 30%. The liver is a major chemical processing plant for toxins, less blood flow means those toxins hang around longer, waiting to be processed and causing cellular damage in the process.
8. Structural Imbalance
Imbalances in muscle development due to overuse, or repetitive use as well as underuse of opposing muscles can set the stage for injury and inflammation, which can lead to degenerative conditions, impaired or restricted movement and other complications. Natural mean using homeopathy and herbals as well as bodywork can significantly help reduce the likelihood of complications, without side effects or toxicity. Did you know that over the counter pain medication (aspirin, ibuprofen) impair liver function and cause kidney damage with long term use?
Where there is no rest, there is no healing. During the deepest parts of our sleep cycle, cells are restored and repaired. Just think of how well we look after a few good nights sleep in a row!
Lack of sleep has been linked to many serious conditions. The obvious being mood and depression as well as increased anxiety, brain fog, memory issues and difficulty concentrating. Increased weight gain and inflammation have also been linked to poor sleep through adrenal hormones.
10. Insufficient elimination of waste
Elimination is as important as taking in food. Basically for every meal, there should be a poop. If there is not, or if you are not fully evacuating, then you are not eliminating properly. The Yellow Emperors Classic of Chinese Medicine is a classic text which has been referred to for over 2000 years. It states that your stool should be long and well-formed like a banana and easy to pass. I agree with this reflecting healthy elimination.
Toxins accumulate due to impacted fecal matter from chronic constipation. Did you know you can potentially store up to 35 pounds of fecal matter in your colon? I cannot emphasize the importance of elimination in maintaining healthy terrain.
A healthy terrain is one which is functioning optimally on all levels,
it is possible to accomplish, with naturopathic medicine - for a lifetime of health!
Next week, we will look at the subtlest form of healing - through dreams
Angeli Chitale ND
Inspired by Nature to Heal