People don’t give us sickness…we take it. Let me explain.
by Dr. Melissa Sonners
“Germs seek their natural habitat – diseased tissue – rather than being the cause of diseased tissue.” – Antoine Béchamp
People don’t get us sick. They don’t give us their colds, viruses, stomach bugs, etc…we take them.
Think about it. Why can there be ten people in a room, one of whom has a cold virus and only three people end up getting it? What about the other six? Why didn’t they get it? If only germ theory was at work, everyone in the room would get the virus since they’d all been exposed.
Germ theory is a theory that underlies our entire current medical model. It states that microorganisms known as pathogens or germs create disease. In contrast, the terrain theory argues that if the body is well and balanced, then germs that are a natural part of life and the environment will be dealt with by the body without causing sickness.
I believe both to be true. Yes, germs can make us sick. But I also know germs are not the enemy. We need germs, viruses and bacteria to survive. We have at least as many bacteria in us as we do human cells. Many scientists will say we have closer to three times as many.
More research is becoming available as attention is being paid to the microbiome which is all the bacteria that live in us and on us. Dysbiosis— bacterial imbalance in our bodies, particularly our guts—is being shown to have a major impact on our immune system. Science and research are proving that this bacterial balance is being formed and perfected even before we are born and the majority of the variability (a good thing) in our bacteria is developed by the age of three. Good news parents! That means when your kid accidently eats off the floor or hangs out with his friend Susie, the snot bucket, you are actually helping proliferate their bacteria and, in a sense, growing their immune systems.
Fortunately, the terrain theory and the importance of our microbiome was a major part of our curriculum in chiropractic school. Chiropractors believe in the vitalistic principle, meaning we know that our body has an innate capacity to heal. We get a cut, it heals without any outside influence. That happens because of what we call innate intelligence. When we get sick or are diseased, we first look to what is interfering with that innate system.
Because of this information, we have raised our family mindfully when it comes to food, lifestyle choices, how we support them when they are “sick” (we actually call it “expressing health”) and what we teach them.
So, what does this mean for this moment in time?
- For me personally and for our family, it means I am mega-focused on our terrain.
- It means I have taught my kids to not be afraid. They don’t need to live in fear of a virus. They are healthy. We make choices every day that have gotten us here, and exactly what is going on right now, reinforces these choices. Would it be easier at times, to grab a quick meal at Mcdonald’s drive thru? Definitely. But does that nourish their bodies and keep them healthy? No. We eat healthy foods.
- It means we limit sugar, with the exception of fruits. Does this sound like deprivation? Well, with regard to our immune system, sugar is one of the most detrimental things we can feed our bodies. So no, to me it doesn’t and I explain that to them. It’s really not even a big deal in our home because they have been raised this way.
- We are all taking our immune boosting vitamins. We take vitamin D, mushroom extract, nasal sprays, zinc and multis. They get most of their vitamins from food and we supplement the rest.
- We are getting adjusted. Chiropractic adjustments reduce interference to the nervous system’s ability to perform optimally. Since the nervous system controls all functions of the body—including the immune system—chiropractic care can have a positive effect on immune function.
- We are getting sleep and limiting stress. Fall tends to be a time of burnout, so we are very conscious of this right now. Although our schedule is a bit nutty, we are intentional with our time and carving out dedicated time every day to be in nature or relaxing on the couch. This time is sacred and non-negotiable. Whether it’s a few hours or merely some minutes, we fully embrace and enjoy this time.
- Limiting blue light. This is a HUGE one, especially right now with all things virtual. Blue light is awful for our brains and it prevents us from making melatonin, that magical sleep neurotransmitter. We are all exposed to so much blue light from our computers and phones. We aren’t intended to be exposed to this much blue light and it is especially important to limit or avoid it after sunset and before sunrise in order to support our natural circadian rhythm. Here are ways to set limits: Most phones have a blue light filter. You can keep it on all the time and you can also set a timer for it to filter even more blue light out later in the evening. Get blue light blocking glasses (there are many choices, but look for a pair that has an obvious tint to the lenses and you should be fine). I have a pair with a very light tint that I often wear during daytime computer work and then I have a pair with orange-ish lenses that I pop on if I am ever on the computer or looking at my phone late at night or early morning.
- Last and most important—gratitude. We make time to be thankful each and every day. Being in a state of gratitude literally prevents you from feeling negative emotions. It’s so important to find things to be grateful for as it can be very easy to slip into fear, anger and anxiety during a time of such uncertainty and in an election year!
I hope these tips help you focus on building your terrain, empowering you to have a sense of control of your health during this time!
As always, feel free to reach out with any comments and questions.