Friday, June 3, 2011

Vital Premises

I have done a lot of thinking over the past year about how to define a proper framework for understanding the human body and how to deal with it in health and disease. I have looked into the Hippocratic writings; I have read and listened to materials about subjects such as evolutionary medicine, and functional medicine. I have had the opportunity to listen in on what a wide range of practitioners who adhere to different modalities and philosophies have to say.

A strong conviction that has been reinforced through my studies is that it doesn't matter how much technology, money, time and effort that we throw on health care (or just trying to be healthy) if we don't have certain basic premises right.

Interestingly the debate about the basic premises of health and medicine go back thousands of years, and is coming to an important inflection point right now as evolutionary thinking is applied across all the domains of biology, including (100+ years after Darwin) human health.

Here are some of the basic defining premises that govern what we do at VitalObjectives:

1) The human body is perfect. That is, your body can be assumed to be perfectly able to heal itself and stay healthy when exposed to the right environment, including the correct types and levels of exposure to stressors and intakes of nutrients. (The burden of proof lies on those who propose that chronic disease, premature aging, physical- and mental suffering, and unhappiness, are normal states of the human condition - we don't believe that they are.)

2) All disease and dysfunction stem from the presence of external- or internal stressors and/or mal-nourishment which hinder the body in its perpetual strive for self-maintenance.

3) Health, function, beauty and longevity result from the body's successful strive for self-maintenance, which is enabled by the absence of pathogenic stressors, and the presence of appropriate nourishment.

3) VitalObjectives looks for root causes. Symptoms are merely clues to functional imbalances caused by external or internal stressors or the absence of appropriate nourishment. Symptoms generally represent the body's attempts at curing itself. (Many medicines and remedies that focus on symptoms attack the body's own curative actions while leaving root causes untouched - VitalObjectives opposes this approach on ethical and practical grounds.)

4) The person who wants to achieve and maintain health must find and eliminate external and internal stressors and provide appropriate nourishment to the body through protocols and regimen.

5) A protocol is an intensified nutritional program designed to safely restore normal function in the body as fast as possible. A protocol is attached to a time limit and objective criteria for evaluating success.

6) A regimen is one's daily practices that support the body in maintaining balance and health.

7) VitalObjectives helps clients find external and internal stressors, define and implement effective protocols to restore health as well as designing and implementing a personalized, and sustainable regimen that maintains health.

8) VitalObjectives works with clients who value their health as a highly prized possession and their bodies as works of art (albeit works in progress). Our job is to make the process practical, enjoyable, and affordable, yet with a stern eye at the objective reality revealed by the person's health complaints, health history and laboratory test results.

9) VitalObjectives doesn't pretend that achieving health requires little investment in effort, time, or money, or that health mustn't at times be made one's top priority. We lend our vocational skills, experience, and other lessons learned, to helping clients make the best possible choices in regard to health in the short term and in the long term.

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