by ASHLEY STONE
AAll disease stems from a cellular malfunction that often compounds over time degenerating body systems. With few exceptions, dysfunction in the body and disease do not appear overnight. There are often subtle signs that have been over looked or not diagnosed correctly and yet are clear indications of loss of health. The fact is that with each passing day, we may lose some of our health potential. The pace at which this happens is set by influences from our daily choices.
Understanding the main causes of cellular malfunction, helps us make lifestyle choices that promote restoration of the body creating a life of health and vitality. The main causes of dysfunction and disease can be categorized into three main groups:
Let’s examine these categories:
Dysfunction and disease are a direct result of the following deficiencies:
• Emotional and physical rest
• Fresh air and sunlight
• Love and purposeful living
To be optimally healthy, our cells require a steady supply of the following organic micronutrients: vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water, phytonutrients, and essential oils. Phytonutrients are organic components of plants necessary to have and sustain optimum health. Examples of phytonutrients are carotenoids (found in carrots and spinach), flavonoids (found in citrus), insoles (found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower). Essential oils are non water-based phytochemicals made up of volatile aromatic compounds. They are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications.
Our cells require energy (calories) to carry out everyday metabolic function. These calories are obtained by burning one of the following: carbohydrates, fat and protein. The best way to nourish our cells, prevent disease, and premature aging is to eat organic nutrient dense foods that are high in micronutrients. If you want extra insurance against nutritional deficiencies, augment your diet with organic whole food supplements. Choosing to eat highly processed food may fill you up but they do not give the body the required nutrients needed to function properly and they ultimately stress the body into a diseased state. Choose wisely because your food becomes your cells, tissues and organs. You literally are what you eat.
Emotional and physical rest
Adequate emotional rest is necessary to easy the mind and nervous system from the stress of our modern life style. Take time to tone the autonomic nervous system by doing activities that help you feel calm. Daily activities such as earthing, journaling, meditation, or prayer are essential for getting and staying well. Use essential oil like bergamot (self acceptance), geranium (love and trust) and basil (renewal) to remain balanced.
Adequate physical rest will rejuvenate and restore the endocrine system. A restful night of sleep is critical in preventing premature aging and cellular dysfunction that result in disease. Be mindful of how you spend your time prior to going to sleep. Research shows that stimulating activities like watching TV and looking at an iPad make it harder to fall asleep and may even be detrimental to your health. If you struggle with a good night sleep try using vetiver, lavender or cedarwood or a combination of them together.
Fresh Air and sunlight
Tremendous research shows that our body needs Vitamin D sourced from the sun to support major organ systems, including our cardiovascular, immune, nervous and skeletal systems. Exposing the skin to sunlight without getting burned 10-15 minutes daily is needed. If you think about it, up until recent times, most human activity ensured this. Our modern life style, school and work schedule greatly interfere with adequate sun and fresh air intake. Be conscious of this fundamental need for these things and take steps to do activities that help you. For instance, walk your dog. It will be good for the both of you!
Love and purposeful living
Consistently feeling cared for and loved is essential to our emotional and physical well-being. Positive emotions motivate us to make better lifestyle choices and have a direct effect on our bodies, giving us better cardiovascular function, stronger immune systems and a longer expectancy of life. Research studies show that closeness to other people is good for your health. Rediscover your inner source of peace, joy and well-being by learning how to communicate in ways that enhance intimacy with loved ones. Search for ways to create a healthy community of friends and loved ones fostering an experience directly transcending the interconnectedness of life. The idea is to feel gratified through our life experiences and efforts to be kind and helpful to people. We can use essential oils to enhance our knowing of life purpose: Frankincense (truth), Roman Chamomile (spiritual purpose), lime (zest for life).
There are four main types of injury that contribute to cellular malfunction:
• Cellular Damage from Toxic Foods
• Repetitive or Gross Stress Injury
• Emotional Injury
• Electromagnetic Injury
• Viral Infection
Cellular Damage from Toxic Foods:
Heavily adulterate foods and food-like chemicals are capable of causing direct harm to our cells. Other highly processed foods cause indirect injury to our cells by deteriorating the health of our blood vessels and major organs.
Some of the worst offenders:
• Sugar laden drinks and snacks
• Artificial additives like aspartame and MSG
• Polyunsaturated fats like margarine or shortening
• Nitrates found in highly processed meats like bacon, hotdogs, lunch meat and sausages
Repetitive Stress Injury
Repetitive stress is injury to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or sustained or awkward positions. The best way to avoid repetitive stress injury is to be comfortable when performing activities that require the same repetitive action, position or motion for long periods of time. Examples of repetitive stress include carpal tunnel syndrome resulting from having an over extended wrist while typing, carrying a purse or back pack on one shoulder, golfer’s elbow, and trigger finger. Effective ways to avoid injury are managing the environment to avoid exposure to the same task contributing to stress and taking time-outs to stretch often.
Gross Stress Injury
A gross physical injury is an obvious cause of dysfunction. A strained back or sprained ankle may result in scar tissue formation and joint dysfunction resulting in problems with flexibility and mobility. The best way to reduce long term injury is to properly stretch and condition post injury.
You can use essential oils to support repair of damage to an injured area. Some oils to consider: wintergreen (pain), marjoram (muscle), lemongrass (ligaments), oregano (pain), cypress, (circulation) frankincense (inflammation) & helicrysum (nerves).
Chronic emotional stress creates cellular damage resulting in emotional injury. This category is not given the attention it deserves and is directly correlated to disease and dysfunction. Our biography creates our biology; the story of our lives is coded in our cellular make up. Our emotional health is the most dominate factor of our overall health because it is the foundation from which all of our daily choices are made. When our body is under chronic stress it effects the equilibrium of the autonomic nervous system.
You can use essential oils to mitigate stress and emotions. Some oils to consider: All citrus oils (uplifing to the spirit) & lavender (stress), frankincense & peppermint (anxiety), bergamot & melissa (depression), cypress & juniper berry (fear).
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported in 1990:
“In conclusion, several studies showing leukemia, lymphoma and cancer of the nervous system in children exposed to EMF’s, supported by similar findings in adults in several occupational studies also involving electrical power frequency exposure, show a consistent pattern of response that suggests a causal link.”
There is documented literature validating that X-rays, mammograms and other forms of ionizing radiation accelerate dysfunction and disease. Although, it is not practical to live off the grid completely, you can take steps to reduce exposure. The top 4 to avoid:
1. Cell phone use pressed up against the head
2. Living close to broadcasting antennas and cell phone towers
3. Working in a profession that involves being in close proximity to devises that emit ionizing radiation
4. Tanning beds
Viral agent like herpes and Epstein Barr infect 90% of adults. Most people do not understand that a virus needs a host cell to live and reproduce. A virus inhabits cells that are compromised or weak. That is why people with a weak immune system get sick more often. Viral reproduction from herpes and Epstein Barr manifest into degenerative conditions like Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Shingles, Mononucleosis.
Although modern medicine would have you think that you cannot rid your body of a virus, science is proving differently. Studies at the Technical University of Munich reported that applications of Melissa essential oil caused a complete remission of Herpes. A single drop was applied directly on the area a few times a day to speed healing, and following this protocol was shown to prevent further outbreaks in a significant portion of study participants. Some studies claim that some essential oils have the ability to attack viruses inside of the host cell and even stimulate the immune system.
There are two main types of toxicity that contribute to cellular dysfunction and disease:
• Exogenous Toxicity
• Endogenous Toxicity
Chemical made outside of the body when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed into the blood stream can harm cells. Exogenous toxins are found in over-the-counter, prescriptions, recreational drugs, conventionally grown meat and produce, household cleansers, room deodorizers, and toiletries. It is impossible to completely avoid exogenous toxin but the amount can be mitigated with educated choices in what you purchase to consume. A great source to learn which products are safe is the Environmental Working Group where you can look up anything from buying safe sunscreen to food scores. You can help manage the toxic burden we experience daily by adding 3-5 drops of citrus essential to your water three times a day.
The body is susceptible to endogenous toxins that are produced by microorganisms inside the digestive track. Some of these toxins travel through the intestinal walls and into the blood stream where they can access cells and contribute to toxic burden. The best way to minimize endotoxic burden is to eat fresh foods. Avoid processed foods which are high in sugar and bad fats ultimately contributing to an acidic environment in which microbes flourish. A good rule of thumb to follow: If bacteria won’t eat it neither should you.
Where do our genes fit into our risk of cellular malfunction that results in disease? Like our emotional health, our genes are the foundation that our daily life choices build up or tear down. Most genetic predispositions for specific health challenges like breast, colorectal, prostate cancer or endometriosis have genetic components that can stay dormant if we minimize our exposure to the major cause of cellular malfunction and If we consistently make health promoting choices.
Most of us won’t make it to 120 years of age, but understanding the main causes of cellular disease and dysfunction, staying emotionally balanced, and making healthy choices each day, we can have peace of mind knowing that we are maximizing our health potential.
Footnote: Use of essential oil for therapeutic purposes is only suggested with oils graded safe for internal consumption. They need to be free of fillers, additives and be sourced from plants tested to be safe for internal use. Anything less is perfume grade and will not have the same effect on the body.