Dr. Mark's 7 Pillars of Health

 
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Bringing it back to the fundamentals. All the fancy therapies in the world aren't worth a dime if you aren't following these 7 key fundamentals to health. Although we may have heard them a million times it's always nice to hear a reminder. 

 

1-Eat a well-balanced, “real food” diet:

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants."-Michael Pollan
  • Try as best you can to eat organic, local, “real foods”. “Real foods” means things that your grandparents would only have access to that grow in the ground, come from trees, bushes or real animals: vegetables, unprocessed meats, fruits, nuts, seeds.

  • Increase berries (high in antioxidants) and fiber (bowel health). Make sure you are having 1-2 well formed BMs per day with little to no gas or bloating.

  • Limit sugar, dairy, grains, alcohol. Avoid processed, GMO foods. Be mindful of GMO soy and corn. GMO foods tend to be high in glyphosate, a potent toxin used as a pesticide.

  • Add in fermented foods (Ex: Kombucha, Sour kraut, non-dairy yogurts. These foods are high in healthy probiotics which help to balance your gut microflora)

2-Water

  • Try drinking about half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Add in more if you’re consuming caffeine or alcohol. Black coffee and plain green and black teas are high in powerful antioxidants and have been shown to increase longevity but they can also dehydrate us.

  • If you drink coffee or tea a healthy upper limit for coffee is up to 3 cups per day and for tea up to 8 cups.

3-Sleep

  • Consistently getting the proper amount of sleep for your body. When do you fall asleep naturally? When do you wake up naturally? Try sticking to a consistent schedule that works for your body.

  • How many hours do you need to wake feeling rested? Most people need between 7-9 hours per night

  • Sleep is very important for detoxifying the brain and clearing the glymphatic system (the lymphatics for the brain and nervous system)

  • Sleep Hygiene-Avoid stimulating blue lights (computer, cell phone) before bed. These can inhibit the release of melatonin, your body’s natural sleep hormone. Create a “wind down hour” right before bed.  Journaling your thoughts and activities for next day can be helpful to calm a racing mind.

4-Exercise

  • 3-4 times per week, minimum of 15-30 minutes each session of getting heart rate up (walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming). Weight lifting is good for strengthening bones and maintaining muscle mass as we age. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is best to build cardiovascular strength and muscle mass.

  • Tai qi , Yoga and Pilates are great tools for maintaining balance, flexibility and coordination as we age

  • Do something fun that you enjoy. The most important thing is that you’re getting your heart rate up and increasing respirations.

  • Cold showers can also be a great way to stimulate circulation and lymphatic flow, increase energy and even boost testosterone. Try ending every warm shower with a cold 20 second blast. 

5-Mindfulness

  • Most people think meditation has to be difficult but this can be as simple as 15 min per day of sitting in a chair comfortably and watching your breath. TM (Transcendental Meditation) or other formal structured forms of meditation are great as well. Smart phone apps such as Headspace are fantastic tools as well to get us focused into our bodies and out of our heads.

6-Connection

  • Connection means creating a sense of community for yourself so you don't feel alone and have a network you can count on in times of need. It also means connecting with a higher power or higher sense of purpose for your life. 
  • We can achieve that by fostering a sense of connection with nature. Ex: Forrest bathing, Earthing, Simply hiking in nature.
  • We can also achieve that by fostering a sense of connection with other people. Spending time with friends and family, joining community groups, volunteering, church groups, meditation groups and Buddhist sanghas.

  • Finding a connection through sex and sexual health are also vitally important. The ultimate expression of sex is a genuine connection with another person and being able to share the energy of pleasure with one another. Sex strengthens and enhances bonds and solidifies the sense of connection between two people (or more). 

7-Detox and Drainage

  • We live in an extremely toxic world. From the air we breath, the water we drink, the food we eat and the EMFs we are exposed to our bodies have a lot of detoxifying to do in order to maintain health. We can support those pathways periodically throughout the year and help the body's own garbage system work more efficient to take out the trash we are putting in.

  • A medically supervised period of detoxification and drainage at intervals throughout the year can be vitally important to maintaining a healthy body and properly functioning emmunctories (our organs of elimination: liver, kidney, skin, bowels, and lymphatic systems) (Great detox and drainage products -Pekana, Soluna, Unda. Milk thistle, glutathione, GI detox binders, Detox IVs, etc).

  • Intermittent fasting, Juice Cleanses, Water fasts

  • Skin brushing, Castor oil packs, Hydrotherapy, Sauna, Epsom salt baths, Coffee enemas, Colonics