- Definition: What is Natural Wellness – Natural wellness is just one of multiple terms or phrases used when referring to analyzing, restoring, and taking care of one’s whole health, using natural and alternative approaches.
- Is It Possible to Achieve Wellness Naturally? It IS possible to achieve wellness naturally. But I think one of the reasons people don’t realize this is because they have the perception that because it’s “natural” it is not potent enough, or it doesn’t work fast enough.
- Is Natural Wellness Only About Supplements? Natural wellness encompasses far more than just taking natural products.
- Conventional Medicine vs. Natural Wellness – Here is where the field of functional medicine and natural wellness gets really good! In fact, this is what continues to amaze even me.
- Where Traditional Medicine and Natural Medicine Diverge – Conventional medicine looks at symptoms, maybe some lab values and gives the diagnosis a label and a drug. The functional medicine practitioner continues to dig for the root cause.
- When Do I Seek Care From a Natural Wellness Practitioner? – if your objective is to get to the root cause of the disease, then by all means seek care from a natural wellness practitioner like a functional medicine doctor, a chiropractic internist, a naturopath etc.
- Other Components of the Natural Wellness Picture – There are 5 foundational pieces that, in 70-80% of the time, are the direct root cause of the chronic degenerative pieces that are plaguing our country today: rest, water, exercise, good nutrition, good nerve supply.
As I continue to experience natural wellness, both personally, and professionally, I continue to be in awe of this amazing way to take care of our bodies naturally, by getting to the root cause, and restoring our bodies back to good health using natural approaches. And yet the majority of people still don’t know much about this life-giving discipline of natural wellness. My hope for you today is to perhaps shed some light on what it is, and how you can implement this amazing discipline into your life, so you and your family can lead long, healthy lives minimizing sickness, disease, drugs and surgeries.
But first, let me say that I believe the main reason more people don’t know about this way of life is because they have been misled and deceived about what it is, and more importantly, its effectiveness. I know this may sound harsh, but it’s the truth. I have had many, many conversations over the years; I observe and see what is going on around us; and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, people simply don’t know what they don’t know. Well I’d like to shed some light for you today, so now you’ll know!
Definition: What is Natural Wellness?
Natural wellness is just one of multiple terms or phrases used when referring to analyzing, restoring, and taking care of one’s whole health, using natural and alternative approaches. Other terms you might hear are:
- Functional Medicine
- Wholistic (or Holistic) Health
- Natural Medicine
- Natural Health
- Alternative Medicine
In general, these terms are fairly interchangeable, with perhaps simple difference that we don’t need to worry about for now.
What is important is the core value that sets natural wellness apart from traditional medicine and that is, its primary objective – to get to the root cause of the problem, and restore the body back to good health using natural approaches. It is very important to grasp this objective – and this difference. If you don’t, you will eventually find that you have been “leaning your ladder against the wrong wall!” I like what Stephen Covey says “if the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” You might be thinking you are working towards health, but if you are not pursuing the true natural wellness approach – getting to the root cause and restoring the body back to good health naturally – you have your ladder leaning against the wrong wall. You will end up sick and possibly diseased – the wrong place for sure!
Is it Possible to Achieve Wellness Naturally?
Yes! It is possible to achieve wellness naturally. But I think one of the reasons people don’t realize this is because they have the perception that because it’s “natural” it is not potent enough, or it doesn’t work fast enough. But perhaps the biggest reason is because it has been so suffocated by the pharmaceutical industry, the medical profession, corporate hospitals, insurance companies, etc. Have you ever heard the saying “follow the money?” There is not a large enough profit to these industries when people are healthy and well. I know this sounds harsh, but just give it some thought. Now don’t get me wrong. There certainly are millions of well-intentioned doctors, nurses, and even pharmaceutical employees whose hearts are in the right place. But they are not the decision-makers for these industries of how to turn a profit.
You may or may not realize that wholistic medicine has been around for thousands of years. It’s still used as a primary, mainstream approach in most other civilized countries. But here in the United States, the monopolies of the big corporations have over-ridden this amazing healing discipline. But it is slowly and surely making a comeback, as people are beginning to realize there is a better way, a natural way, God’s way!
Let’s take a look at some components of what natural wellness really is.
Is Natural Wellness Only About Supplements?
It’s a step in the right direction. But because the world of natural wellness has been so stifled, the message on the truth about natural wellness has been skewed. I just had a conversation with a fellow hiker on the Appalachian Trail this past week. When I told him about my natural health background, he started telling me about his wife and how she is very much into all things natural. What he talked mostly about however, were the natural remedies. But this is only the solution part of the whole picture. Natural wellness encompasses far more than just taking natural products.
In my book “Are You Being Deceived About True Wellness” I tell how when I managed a little health food store that customers would come in all the time asking what we had for this symptom, and that ailment. They were on the right path by seeking a natural remedy, but they were still on the linear allopathic course. They were still looking for a quick fix to address their symptom, without knowing what the root cause really was. Natural wellness is not about what do I take, it’s about what do I do? All kinds of symptoms can have many different causes. But allopathic medicine makes it look as though one symptom equals one cause equals one solution – a drug or surgery.
Conventional Medicine vs. Natural Wellness
Here is where the field of functional medicine and natural wellness gets really good! In fact, this is what continues to amaze even me. Since I had COVID in January of 2022, I have been challenged with a lot of immune health problems. Yes, the challenges I have been experiencing, I have no doubt are directly related to COVID. I have gone into greater detail in other blog posts and in my book, so I will try and be brief to paint the general picture.
I started seeing a chiropractic internist in the summer of 2022. Through a thorough case history and exam, one of the lab markers that had been detected as being high were my blood platelets. After a lot of additional specialty testing that conventional medicine does not consider doing, and ruling some things out, it was determined, that in my case, there were two basic directions something like this could go:
- Either a primary thrombocytosis, meaning genetic/unknown cause, or
- Secondary thrombocytosis, meaning due to something – typically an infection and/or inflammation.
The secondary cause is much more common, even Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic state this.
However, after seeing a hematologist (conventional medicine), and through several very expensive blood tests that ruled out primary/genetic, and a bone marrow test, that was inconclusive between primary and secondary, the hematologist was still certain it was genetic and wanted to prescribe a chemo pill for the rest of my life. Not.
Where Traditional Medicine and Functional Medicine Diverge
Traditional medicine and functional medicine truly start off utilizing the same basic tools, although in my experience as a practitioner of natural wellness, and a patient of conventional medicine, I can personally say that the functional medicine practitioner spends much more time with each patient. Conventional medicine looks at symptoms, maybe some lab values and gives the diagnosis a label and a drug. The functional medicine practitioner continues to dig for the root cause. Remember that very important difference?
It is not uncommon for a functional medicine practitioner to block off, at a minimum, one hour of time, if not more for an initial patient visit. A thorough, in-depth case history of not just current, but past history, is vital to an accurate diagnosis. A good functional medicine practitioner will query about the patient’s mental/emotional state as well. A complete physical exam entails much more than just taking the patient’s weight, asking the patient how tall they are (not measuring for themselves), taking their temperature, and their blood pressure in just one arm. Natural wellness practitioners perform far more comprehensive physical exams.
Even though there was nothing confirming a primary thrombocytosis for me, that’s what the diagnosis was determined to be anyway. Conventional medicine practitioners simply don’t have the time or the training to look for a root cause. That’s not their objective. Their objective is to determine what disease you have and manage that disease. If it had been determined that the thrombocytosis was secondary, then the root cause would have needed to be explored in order to truly correct the problem. There simply is not enough time these days, or possibly even training, for a medical doctor to pursue this route. With the diagnosis being primary, then the quick fix, to simply and eventually reduce the lab values, would be a drug. Yes, most likely the lab value for my platelets would have eventually come down, but the root cause of why my body was making too many platelets was still brewing beneath the surface. The problem would not have been fixed, just lab numbers changed. The problem is still there.
Of course, I went back to the chiropractic internist with the results. We agreed that I would pursue some hyperbaric chamber treatments from a naturopath. This is where a person receives 99% pure oxygen with the expectation that oxygen kills off viruses and bacteria that normally survive in an anaerobic environment, and which could be drawing on the immune system. Unfortunately, this didn’t seem to have an effect on changing the platelets for me. That’s not to say hyperbaric chamber treatments aren’t beneficial for a lot of different health challenges, or for a lot of different people. Hindsight I may simply have needed to give this treatment more time. But I am not giving up on my quest for the elusive “root cause.”
I have since connected with another functional medicine practitioner. He has opened the doors to a whole another world of diagnostic tools, assessments and possibilities of finding the root cause. He has introduced me to something called Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS). The diagnostic protocols have all kinds of tests that are not utilized by conventional medicine, to help determine the root cause:
What is drawing on the immune system?
- It could be mold (current and/or past exposure)
- tick and/or spider bites
- leaky gut
- hidden food sensitivities
- wheat and/or gluten sensitivity
- past or present infection (think COVID!)
- or a whole host of other causes
We ordered several specialty lab markers to rule out, or direct us towards, the next step of discovery. We also ran a very comprehensive digestive stool analysis test – we are still waiting on the results from this, but suffice it to say it comes with a 31-page report – it’s quite thorough. (Stay tuned for upcoming blogs that will tell how this story unfolds!)
I know this is a very long answer to the short question: “Is Natural Wellness About More Than Just Supplements?” Yes. Yes it is. It is way more.
When Do I Seek Care from a Natural Wellness Practitioner?
Let me ask you this: if you ever had weeds growing in your yard (and who hasn’t?!), you probably experienced the process of pulling them, or running over them with the lawn mower. If you are like me, I think I hit pay day if I pull a weed and the root comes with it! I think to myself (with great satisfaction) “take that you nasty weed, you’re not popping back up in this yard anytime soon!” But what about all the weeds that the root didn’t get pulled and tossed? They are popping right back up again, aren’t they? Now you might spray those weeds some kind of (toxic) weed killer, and those weeds might look like they are dead and gone forever. But we know better, they’ll be back, oh yes, they’ll be back. The only way to truly get rid of those weeds, and to keep them from spreading to other parts of your yard is to address them at their very root, and to make sure the rest of the yard has healthy soil as well.
Now let me ask you this: If you were given a diagnosis of cancer, would you want to just cut out the tumor but leave the root? Would you want to kill the cancer cells, but your immune system cells, and many other healthy parts of your body get killed too? Would you want to flood your body with extremely toxic chemicals that are cancer causing like radiation just to kill the tumor too? Then the practitioner you want to see is a conventional doctor.
But if your objective is to get to the root cause of the cancer, or any other health imbalance, then by all means seek care from a natural wellness practitioner like a functional medicine doctor, a chiropractic internist, a naturopath etc. There is an imbalance in your body that caused that cancer, or any other health imbalance, and these highly trained, highly successful practitioners have the training, knowledge, tools and time to uncover the root causing the imbalance to your health and your body.
Don’t be afraid to be your own advocate when seeking medical care. In fact, you need to be:
- Ask questions
- Align yourself with a practitioner who has the same objective as you
- Know what your objective is
- Know ahead of time which direction you would take, and with whom, should you be faced with a life-threatening diagnosis.
Other Components of the Natural Wellness Picture
Of course, there are many natural approached you can do for yourself, especially to prevent imbalances and diseases from occurring. Once again, we have a tendency to pooh pooh these natural, common sense, inexpensive tools to take care of our health, because we think because they are that simple, they can’t be that effective. But nothing can be further from the truth. These 5 foundational pieces that I am getting ready to share with you, in 70-80% of the time, are the direct root cause of the chronic degenerative pieces that are plaguing our country today.
The only time our bodies can heal and repair themselves as they are designed to do, is when we are sleeping. And rest in general is also very vital. This gives our adrenal glands the well needed break they must have too.
There are four main organs and/or systems of our body that are utilized for eliminating the daily toxins our bodies accumulate. Fifty percent of our body’s waste should be eliminated through the kidneys; 23% should be eliminated through the skin; 25% through the lungs and 2% through the colon. All 4 of these mechanisms need water. Elimination is just one of the many vital reasons our bodies have for water.
Exercise is vital to our health for so many reasons: cardiovascular, metabolism, mental/emotional health, elimination of toxins and so much more.
This one is huge a player in determining the level of our health. What we chose to put into our bodies directly determines the level of our health. We are either putting something of value into our mouths, or not.
Good Nerve Supply
This is probably the least known foundational piece that has a huge impact on our health. Our spinal vertebra become misaligned all the time. They stay stuck or locked in the misaligned position – sometimes for years. When this happens, it puts pressure on the spinal nerves passing between the vertebra, decreasing the nerve impulses going out to our body. Most of the time we are not feeling this pressure. Every cell, tissue, organ and system of the body needs nerve supply. Good nerve supply is vital to our health.
To learn much more about these foundational pieces see my book “Are You Being Deceived About True Wellness”
Natural Wellness is literally a whole another discipline to achieving true health. A wholistic discipline and a highly effective one. I don’t like to use the word “alternative” in describing natural wellness, because it’s not an alternative way towards achieving the same thing. Allopathic/conventional medicine is simply the path to take to manage a disease. Natural wellness/functional medicine is for the purpose of uncovering a root cause contributing to an imbalance in the body, and restoring the body back to good health using natural approaches. They serve two totally different purposes. The only common denominator is they both work with the human body.
To book Dr. Jackie for speaking engagements go to: https://jackiemckool.com/schedule-jackie/