YOUR HEALTH DESTINY: How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to Overcome Illness

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Author: Eva Selhub, MD
Publisher: HarperCollins
Book Publication: 2015

Over the course of her career, internist and Harvard Medical School lecturer, Dr. Eva Selhub, has come to believe that “for most people health, happiness, and strength are often a direct result of the affirmative choices we make, despite what life hands us, our genetic make-up, our environment, or the things that happen to us.” The key phrase here is “choices we make.” By making the right choices, we have the power to transform our minds and improve the functioning of our bodies. We can choose to be healthy.

In Your Health Destiny, Dr. Selhub shows what we can do to achieve that goal. She uses the word ‘Power’ as an acronym to describe how we can take charge of our health destiny, determine why our body is out of balance, and what we can do to rectify the imbalance. She advises we begin by attending to the whispers (of our bodies) before they become screams.

First, we Pause to clear and open our minds, to set the stage to learn about the anatomy of the body. Optimizing awareness involves understanding how the body functions; what problems can arise and why, so we can either prevent or arrest their progress. The next step is to Witness our body’s language and physiology to understand how our particular body speaks to us. Next is Examining our deeper emotions and beliefs that may be exacerbating stress on the body. With this knowledge we can then begin to create outlets of Release and Relief (from negative emotions, beliefs and stress) to Restore balance to both body and mind.

Selhub explains there are a number of actions we can take to empower our ability to be healthy: eating healthily, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and adopting a positive attitude. Others stem from Eastern wisdom traditions: breath awareness, meditation, tai chi, yoga, acupuncture, and “opening our heart to experience love and oneness.”

Several chapters are devoted to the body’s systems: immune, heart, lungs, gastrointestinal, musculo-skeletal, spine, and the brain; applying the ‘Power’ concept to each one.

Sections break down as follows: a lesson in anatomy and functions of the system; a table of current research facts, a list of ‘red flags’ which require immediate medical attention, a discussion of what wisdom traditions say regarding that particular body system, a patient’s story, breathing and awareness exercises, a deep examination of emotions and beliefs, and finally how to best support the system physically (exercise, nutrition, sleep) and emotionally/psychologically/spiritually (meditation, healthy relationships, and a trusting positive attitude).

Here are just a few takeaways from Your Health Destiny:

– A University of Kansas 2010 study found that “optimism was a significant predictor of positive physical health outcomes.”
– “Your immune system is a circulating nervous system. It thinks. It’s conscious.”
– “Cherries reduce post-exercise pain and inflammation.”
– When you let go of distrust and fear you are helping your brain to function better because “you are lowering stress-response reactivity and therefore ridding your brain of toxins, improving oxygenation, decreasing oxidative stress, enabling access to higher brain so that you can think more clearly and make wiser [healthier] decisions…”

Elegantly combining spiritual wisdom with the latest medical research, Your Health Destiny is wonderfully illuminating. It’s also a toolbox to support you as you take the future of your health into your own hands – fully appreciating as well, perhaps for the first time, just how marvellously intelligent and resilient your body really is.

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