Last week for the first time I had the privilege of working with Chiropractor Dr. John MacPhee to detect patterns of subluxation in my nervous system. I had never been to a chiropractor before and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Admittedly there was a lot I didn’t know about chiropractic. I gained a wealth of exciting knowledge but i’ll have to save that for another post.
During my first consultation, prior to getting started with the “Insight Subluxation Station” technology, Dr. Macphee asked me a question that I was surprisingly unprepared for. With all of my years working in the fitness and health industry I had never been asked this question and quite honestly at the time I didn’t have any thought out answers to give. The question was “what does perfect or optimal health look like to you and how is it expressed?” My first thoughts were along the lines of being a healthy weight, not getting sick, sleeping well etc. but I quickly noticed that these aren’t my thoughts at all but a conditioned, default response to a question I had never thought out before. Dr. MacPhee was prepared with a follow up homework assignment. My task was to think of what optimal health means to me and write down 10 ways it could be expressed. In other words if I could wave a magic wand right now and have perfect health, what would that be.
I thought about it for a few days. The obvious responses came up like “feeling great” and again “not getting sick” but that didn’t seem right. How is feeling great expressed? Is it simply the state we’re in when we aren’t feeling bad? Have sickness and health become synonymous in our culture? The definition of health by the Oxford Dictionary is the state of being free from illness or injury. It’s almost as if health doesn’t exist. Sickness exists and health by definition is the absence of it. Our well-being is defined by sickness, nothing more.
The human body and spirit deserve way more credit. We are capable of being more than just free from symptoms of illness. To quote TheWellnessGroup “We believe that every human being is designed to be extraordinary”. If there were no obstacles in your way, what 10 expressions of perfect health would be on your list? Dr. MacPhee mentioned being able to play on a play structure with your grandchildren or great grand children or living to 130! Here is what I came up with:
10 Expressions of Optimal Health:
1. Be able to out wit any 20 year old when I’m in my 90’s
2. Be able to move through full range of motion and maintain relative strength until my last day
3. Fall asleep easily, sleep deeply and wake up with abundant energy every night
4. Be physically able to embark on adventures for the rest of my life. Watch out for the grandma climbing base camp everest and scuba diving in the Maldives.
5. Have bulletproof self-esteem
6. Be able to handle stress effectively and bounce back quickly
7. Be able to feel and express full range of emotion in a productive way. Self-awareness.
8. Experience superhero memory, critical thinking and clarity
9. Have clearly defined purpose, values and goals
10. Have healthy relationship with food. Eat when I’m hungry, stop when I’m full, full-fill my bodies requirements for nutrients.
Initially, choosing 10 expressions of health was difficult. Narrowing them down and identifying things that weren’t related to symptom relief was a surprising challenge. At the end of the exercise I had twice as many things to include that encompassed physical, intellectual, emotional, social, environmental and spiritual health.
What if we viewed health as the optimal expression of our existence? Would we be more inclined to take action to achieve it beyond the presence of sickness? Would we think differently about the choices we make? About the lives we want to live?
What does optimal health mean to you and how is it expressed? Within reason, (i.e. you can’t grow wings or tell the future) brainstorm what your 10 expressions of optimal health are. Don’t let perceived obstacles or limitations cloud your list. This exercise can be a powerful tool in gaining perspective, clarity and motivation.
Dream big, think outside the box and enjoy the process.
Please feel free to post your list in the comments below to share your inspiration and ideas!
Thanks for reading! – Jules