2020 Hindsight and Foresight for a Stronger 2021
We have learned and survived much this last year. 2020 was riddled with a reawakening of health and wellness truths that we need to fortify our minds and bodies. Yet by the time the average person realized the gravity of the immune crisis, there were shortages of toilet paper and immune support products. People entered a scarcity mentality, adding extra stress and further burdening our immune system.
Instead of reacting, I have advised my patients over the last 28 years that planning and preventing is vital. All human beings have genetic strengths and susceptibilities. Our genetic potential manifests largely on epigenetics including diet, lifestyle, sleep, and other emerging factors with varying degrees within our control. Below are some simple, non-stressful ways to better fortify bodies from the rages of modern living and uncertain times.
Sleep — most of us short ourselves of optimal sleep; we are not getting sufficient rest, contributing to the inability to restore ourselves from “yesterday’s wear and tear.” I encourage my patients to go dark when it comes to technology whenever possible, from 7 pm until bedtime. This includes using night mode on computers, phones and other blue light screens and/or wear-able glasses in the evening to block blue spectrum light. With our technological advances, we have altered this natural light/dark cycle. Traditional cultures worldwide have used herbal medicine to nourish the body and support quality sleep and stress management. Synergistic botanicals are captured in the formula Sleep Better™, a popular product with my patients. Being tired contributes to the state of being "sick and tired" from my experience. When we sleep better, I have observed that we are much better at handling stress. I share an adage that if we de-stress, we diminish the state of dis-ease, that contributes to disease. My patients have found the organic blend found in Stress Guard™ to be “a valuable supplemental tool” in their pursuits of inner harmony and taking on daily stressors in a healthier way.
Eating for Wellness — Many of us recall parents or grandparents reminding us to eat our veggies and fresh produce. Even governmental agencies recommend 5 to 7 servings of fruits and veggies per day. They provide crucial vitamins and minerals and important "phyto-nutrients." Polls in the United States claim that the vast majority of individuals have insufficient intake of one or more essential nutrients to sustain optimal wellness. The Linus Pauling Institute located at Oregon State University, has many excellent educational resources, including an article on micronutrient status. Medicinal herbs and mushrooms also have a long track record of high nutrient and mineral density.
Inflammation — Believe it or not, it is a protective mechanism and a natural response! But global stressors often overburden our adrenal glands that naturally produce the steroidal hormone hydrocortisone, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. 'Runaway' inflammation leads to excess inflammation and is more prevalent today than in other periods of human history. I believe this is why 2020 and the focus on cytokines and cytokine storms that arise from the avalanche of wayward inflammation have received so much press. There is no question that controlling our stress, supporting our adrenals and getting sufficient rest is critical for adrenal resiliency. Rarely can we control stress, however, we can learn from cultures around the world that use adaptogenic botanicals, including Rhodiola, Ginseng, Ashwagandha and ingredients found in Stress Guard™, to better adapt. My patients also often focus on anti-inflammatory diets, improving their omega-3 fatty acid intake and adding plant-based formulas, packed with spices and antioxidants.
Nourish to Flourish in 2021
We have been bestowed our body for a lifetime. May I encourage us all to tend to our gardens (trillions of cells). More than ever we need special levels of tender loving care. As always, listening to the unique needs of your body and/or working close with a healthcare provider that you trust are strong ways to help create a wellness protocol for your vibrant, restorative 2021 goals and beyond.
Peace and abundant blessings,
Dr. Chris Meletis, N.D.
About Dr. Meletis, N.D.
Chris Meletis, N.D., has more than 25 years of experience practicing natural medicine. Based in Portland, Oregon, he shares his vast knowledge with fellow healthcare providers and his patients, and generously give to those in need. A lecturer and author, Dr. Meletis as written over a dozen books and hundreds of national articles. He was named Naturopathic Physician of the Year in 2003 by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and was inducted into the National University of Natural Medicine Hall of Fame in 2018.