The Living Force
Hey guys, Ennio had told me about this book, The Survival Medicine Handbook: A guide for when help is NOT on the way by Joseph and Amy Alton. It's a really good summary of medical knowledge, as well as a guide to the attitude and spirit of medicine. It offers a serious look at how to prepare for a collapse situation, suggests training, things to stockpile, and acts as a reference for a whole of common conditions and how to treat them. They keep things simple, and it can seem overwhelming, but it's a useful thing to have and to read through. After reading the first bit of it I thought I'd put together a very simplified note to publish on facebook. I've included it here as well. It's a amalgam of generalized advice that I tend to give out frequently, feel free to republish it anywhere.
Luck Favors the Prepared...
...or an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I know a lot of folks who are sick lately, so I wanted to put together a general sort of guide to help prevent folks from having to suffer avoidable illness. It's also that time of year that the plants start spewing pollen everywhere and that tends to make me miserable, so here's some good ways to avoid and deal with that problem as well.
Vitamin C. I get this in powdered form from the Westerly on 54th and 8th, but any health food or vitamin store should have it. You can always order it online if you don't live near one. The stuff is amazing. It's an essential nutrient in your body's biochemistry, there's at least 8 different enzymatic reactions that need it to happen. These included making collagen (keeping your skin healthy), moving fatty acids into Mitochrondria (especially important for Ketogenic folks), manufacture of neurotransmitters (keeping your mind and brain healthy), and it also gets used up rapidly whenever you suffer an infection or an injury.
Dosing: I take 5 grams twice a week for general maintenance. If you're feeling off, or tired, or a little sniffly it helps to take 5 grams in water daily. It's non toxic, so don't worry about an overdose. You can cut the tart taste out with a little lemon juice and stevia or xylitol and it goes down like lemonade.
Echinacaea: This is a natural herb which has been associated with increases in the performance of the immune system. I take it like a natural antibiotic, so if I'm feeling weird I'll take 1-2 400mg tabs a day until I feel better. The scientific jury is out on how it works or even if it works, but Great Plains indians used it for thousands of years, so I'll take that testimonial over the mainstream medical establishment's word any day.
Vitamin D: I take D3 from Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, this is more important in the winter months, but again, you can't overdo it. It's presence in the body turns on genes associated with antimicrobial activity. This is one of the few known genes that codes for short-chain peptides which can bust open bacterial cells. I also find that high concentrations in my blood stream makes me happy, so it's like a natural antidepressant.
It's also a natural anti inflammatory. It modulates immune responses by slowing down B-cell growth and promoting the expression of regulatory cytokines, in english, that means it calms down your immune system. Useful for spring time if your allergies are acting up.
Granted, you can get it from sunlight, but to get enough you want to be 20 minutes in the sun, lightly clad, a day. If you're not getting that, supplement.
Diet: Are you still eating gluten? A lot? Every once in awhile? Yikes. Stop that. Gluten metabolizes into opioid-like compounds, meaning you basically have heroin problem on a much smaller, chronic scale. It's also proinflammatory, in everyone. Which means your immune system will be more likely to overreact and get stressed, making you much more likely to succomb to infections when they strike. I'm willing to bet that the thought of cutting it down or giving it up makes your brain shout NOOOOO! followed by a list of reasons why gluten is totally fine for you. That's your biochemistry hi-jacking your thinking.
That's all I'm gonna say about it, but if you want preventative measures, that's a big one.
Are you getting enough fat? Probably not. Ever since the 90s we've been inundated with the how bad fat is for you message. The common misconception is that fat makes you fat and contributes to heart disease. It's a lie. In point of fact, fat is actually the bodies preferred fuel, in the brain and in your mitochondria (energy-making cellular organs). Great sources of fat include organ meats, bone broth, butter, and bacon. The bone broth is high in a lot of trace minerals and essential nutrients as well, and thinking logically, if you're eating bone marrow and cartilage you're body will have an easier time making more marrow and more cartilage.
An important caveat here is that you simultaneously decrease your carbohydrate intake. Carb's spike your insulin, giving you a energetic high followed by a low. The more easier to break down, the faster and harder the spike. It's tough on your liver and it's also not good if you're trying to loose weight. Sugar is a real bad one and it's associated with diabetes, cancer, heart disease, metabolic syndromes and autoimmune issues.
Also important, avoid GMO vegetables and fruits as well as stuff coated in pesticides. This is one reason why shopping organic is worth it. Organic means non-GMO in the US, at least as of this writing. Pesticides are neurotoxic, and their affect on folks will vary, but keeping yourself healthy is about minimizing risks and maximizing efficiency. For my red meats, I get grass-fed & grass finished moo cow, this helps with the meat having the proper omega 3-6-9 ratios and in general the animals tend to be better treated and healthier than their factory-farmed counterparts.
Exercise: Most NYCers get a good amount. The gay community here is also big into the gym and having the sexiest body possible. My research has shown that small amounts of moderate resistance and cardio is all you really need to maintain your health and limit the affects of aging. It can be as simple as doing 20-30 pushups 2-3x a week, walking a lot, utilizing the stairs, and bike riding. Coincidentally, that's what I do!
I want to take a moment to comment on steroid use. Steroids artificially hijack your bodies natural biochemistry and force it to do something it can do naturally but without the proper controls. They cause a host of problems down the line, organ issues, neurochemical imbalances, difficulties with testosterone production to name a few. Increasing oxidative stress is another big one that leads to organ damage (this means that your body is working hard, overtime, throwing off 'radical' electrons all willy-nilly inside your cells which hit things and cause damage on the cellular level). Oxidative stress is a huge factor in cancer formation and aging in general.
There's a lot of simple, natural ways to build your muscle and maximize your sexiness factor without juicing. For example, if you fast, 1 day a week, for 24 hours, your body's natural biochemistry will up the level of human-growth hormone (HGH) 2000% in men, and 1300% in women on average. Testosterone is also a naturally manufactured steroid-like hormone. Interesting fact: Your body makes testosterone and a whole host of other hormones from cholesterol. Resistance training+Cholesterol in your diet=Testosterone. It's really that easy.
Mental health and stress: Stress is unavoidable and it affects everyone. We get different doses and have different levels of psychological and physiological susceptibility, but stress has been correlated with illness. Your mind and body are connected, so if you're having a mentally tough time with whatever is before you it's only a matter of time until that affects your health physically. There's a lot of different ways to manage that, talking it out with someone whom your trust seems to be very beneficial. This can be a friend or a professional or a family member. You can also meditate.
The program I like is called Eiriu Eolas, which means Growth of Knowledge in Irish-Gaelic. My favorite author, Laura Knight-Jadczyk came up with this combination of different breathing techniques which stimulate the vagus nerve. It's also known as the wandering nerve and starts at your brainstem, travels down your neck and touches every organ system in your body. Simulating it induces an relaxed awareness and helps with emotional processing. A lot of my personal growth is due to this program specifically, and it's helped me release emotional trauma from my youth as well as deal with stressful interpersonal situations as an adult. They offer the entire program for free on their website, check google, give it a try.
Stay healthy, happy and prepared!