Be Selfish For Your Health

If you’re like me, you’ve probably felt a sense of guilt when trying to take some time for yourself, to better yourself. 

It was only when I was sitting on plane before it took off, and the safety briefing was provided where in case of an emergency that I must be on my oxygen mask first, before attempting to help others.

That’s when I realised that I had to learn to be selfish (in a good way) and put the “oxygen mask” on first before trying to help others.

Once I did that I saw the massive improvement in my impact and ability to serve others on a higher level.

That’s when I promised myself that never again would I let down others by putting myself last.

Ask yourself, what is it you need to do to make yourself the best version of yourself? Allow yourself to do this and allow others to enjoy the best version of yourself.

How Healthy Are You?

Ever wonder how you can tell how healthy you are? Of course we all want to be healthier versions of ourselves. Some of us may compare what our health is like with our loved ones to see who is healthier than who.  But how can you really be sure?

It’s so much more complex than simply checking to see how far you can bend to reach your toes, being able to move without any discomfort or run a 100m sprint in a certain time.

Are these even the correct factors to be looking for when measuring health?

I have always strived to be as objective with my measurements as much as possible with my patients. Over the years I have consistently asked myself how I can measure how healthy my patients are. What I have found is it all comes down to adaptability – homeostasis.

I came to this conclusion by taking this idea to the extreme (it’s a strategy I commonly adopt to figure out most things). So I thought to myself “who is considered to be super healthy?” The best examples I came across were superheroes.

So let’s use Superman in this example. Superman could be in a really cold, freezing environment and he wouldn’t need to worry about whether he would freeze to death as his body is able to warm itself up enough avoiding any denaturing of his enzymes to allow the biochemical reactions to continue to take place.

At the same time Superman could also go into an extremely hot environment and be able to cool his body down, for the same reasons.

If you can adapt to your environment, whether you are in a hot or cold environment, the more adaptability you have, the more flexibility you have within your own system, which means you will be more healthy as you able to be in different environments safely.

This is the test I used to find the healthiest bed, the healthiest pillow, the healthiest chair, the healthiest diet, the healthiest anything.

It always comes down to this one thing… how much can you adapt?

Another example is if you haven’t drunk any water for some time, those who can go without water for longer as more healthy than those who cannot. Of course I am not talking about thriving here, this is pure survival in this water example as we take this concept to the extreme in order to understand what health is.

My advice is to ensure you are drinking enough water of course, as I want you to be living optimally.

I also would never compare my health to someone else’s, but I would compare my health in comparison to me. Going back to the example of being in a hot climate, if I don’t do well in those environments, I can take some time to gradually train myself to get used to the heat. Eventually I will be fine, as long as I have the ability to adapt, i.e. if I am healthy enough to. This means my body will need to learn to sweat more efficiently in order to cool it down and keep my core at the temperature for my enzymes to work at their optimum.

As an entrepreneur I may have to increase the hours I sit in meeting from 3 hours to 7 hours. By taking the measures that allow me to learn to be able to sit for longer, without causing any problems (not just pain), be able to adapt to my environment better, that will be a good indication of how healthy I am.

So check what you are doing, and see where you can make changes to make yourself a healthier version of you.

How To Breathe & It’s Effect On Your Health

It may seem strange to be posting content around how to breathe correctly and more effectively. Most people, although have been breathing all their lives, and not even give it much conscious thought as it takes care of itself. It sort of happens in the background rather than for us to consciously worry about breathing correctly.

But that’s the problem. Most of the people I see in at AVID Clinic are not breathing correctly. They have actually forgotten how to breathe correctly, and there are number of reasons why that is.

With quiet breathing we only should be using one muscle – the abdominal diaphragm. This muscle runs through about half way in your torso, separating your chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.

When contracting your diaphragm, this muscle flattens and pushes your abdominal organs out, making your tummy stick out a bit. This creates negative pressure in the chest cavity, drawing are in from your environment into your lungs. That’s how we breathe in.

Most do not like the idea of appearing to have a large tummy, so tend to hold their tummy in. This means that they avoid contracting the diaphragm, so it stays relaxed as a dome.

To breathe, they elevate the upper ribs to create the negative pressure to breathe into the lungs. That’s normally ok if it’s been done for a short while. In fact that’s how we are meant to breathe when we exercise and are not “quiet breathing”. But breathing this way for too long can cause other problems.

The muscles required to elevate the upper ribs have another primary function – movement. Their secondary function is to assist in breathing. Breathing incorrectly means that these muscles are already pre fatigued, so when you go to move your neck or your arms, they are having to work extra hard, thereby increasing your risk of injury. The common complaint for patients that I see with neck and shoulder aches are “all I did was reach for… and ping the pain started”. This is the primary reason why this happens.

So working with me these patients retrain and learn to use the correct muscles to breathe properly.

Breathing this way also helps keen our organs healthy. See, the organs are not statis, like in diagrams or in models. They are very motile. For example when you eat food, your stomach enlarges to accommodate and pushes some of the other organs to make space. By breathing using your diaphragm, it enables those organs to be massaged and create flexibility to move better.

A lot of people who are constipated tend not to be breathing correctly. By breathing this way, their intestines get massaged, improved the movement and reducing their constipation.

Breathing correctly also can help relieve stress, and certainly can help you manage stressful situations in a better way.

The ratio to breathe is 1:4:2

Breathe in for 1, hold for 4, breathe out for 2.

In this example I can hold my breath for 20 seconds. So my rations are 5:20:10

Repeat this 10 times.

This enables your sympathetic nervous system, which works very hard during times of stress, goes does. And your parasympathetic nervous system elevates creating feelings of calm and relaxation.

You see, this is important if you are considering improving overall productivity. In a stressed state your IQ tends to reduce a little because you enter a fight or flight survival mode. All your blood gets shunted to your skeletal muscles to prepare you to fight the danger or “flight” run away from the danger. Doing this over a long period of time means there’s less blood to your brain, reducing your brain’s efficiency and function thereby reducing your IQ output.

Breathing this way helps you stay smart!