For many people, some elements of the prevailing orthodoxy around health, disease and germs just don’t add up.

As just one example, how can it be that when anyone develops a chronic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure or gout, the answer is apparently simply to take prescription medicine every day for the rest of your life that merely suppresses the symptoms, with little to no investigation into what led to the occurrence of the disease in the first place or any attempt to fix that root cause?

Or how about influenza, which is supposed to be a highly contagious infectious agent. If that is the case, then how could it be possible that most people manage to avoid getting the flu every year, despite having been in contact with people who get sick (including the author of this blog post, who to his knowledge has never got the flu in 45 years)?

If it’s well known that vitamin, mineral and other deficiencies can lead to quite serious health issues, why is regular testing for these and prescribed supplementation not standard medical practice around the world? Why does no major health system reimburse functional medicine testing or truly promote preventative medicine?

The answers to all of these questions and many other related ones are outside the scope of this blog post. We raise them only to demonstrate why a fresh look at health and disease, and how to optimise the first and minimise the risk of the second, is desperately needed.

So given all of this, how can you go about protecting yourself from disease, chronic or otherwise?

‘Dis-ease’ is the manifestation of your body trying to correct an imbalance

The human body is an incredible machine, which beyond anything that we could ever construct has an in-built ‘knowing’ about how to function and maintain optimal health. Every system is finely controlled without our intervention, and beautifully interlinked with, and interdependent on, every other system.

Every system in the body is in balance, both within itself in its constituent components and with every other system. When everything is in balance, there is harmony and vibrant health. If anything disrupts the balance anywhere in the body beyond a critical threshold, chaos erupts and disease is the inevitable result.

So what are the major factors that cause such imbalances in the body?

What is generally believed to be the case these days is that they are usually the result of two things. First, your genetics, i.e. a problem you were born with, can do nothing about, and which inevitably leads to disease. Or second, some sort of pathogen that invades your body and causes disease, again with little or nothing you can do about it. Either way, you are essentially a helpless victim in all of this, who needs external help to recover and heal as you clearly cannot do anything on your own.

Maybe these two things do cause disease, but if so, it’s clear that they are the primary factor in only a very small proportion of cases. Advances in our understanding of epigenetics have shown that it is overwhelmingly the cellular environment, and not DNA, that determines the fate of a living cell. And as for pathogens, the example of influenza holds true for most so-called infectious diseases. Two people can be exposed to the same pathogen and can have two very different outcomes.

Clearly, there is very often something else going on that determines whether or not someone will remain healthy or develop a disease.

Imbalances in body systems are primarily the consequences of a high toxic burden or a nutritional deficiency (or both)

The major reason why one person is healthy while someone very similar can be afflicted by a disease has been described as the ‘Rain Barrel Effect’.

Your body, and more specifically its capacity to handle toxicity or imbalances, is represented by the rain barrel. The toxicity is the water that pours into the barrel whenever it rains.

For a long time, the rain barrel can fill up and nothing happens. But there is a certain point beyond which no more rain can be handled by the barrel and any excess starts to cascade down the outside. This represents the point at which disease appears.

Based on this metaphor, what is the optimal approach to dealing with disease? Obviously, by first stopping more water from pouring into the barrel, and then continuously emptying out the barrel so that it has the capacity to handle more water again in future.

The route to good health and wellbeing rests on two quite simple concepts

Anyone can help themselves get or stay healthy by simply removing toxins from their environment, food and water, and then detoxifying their body and mind of any ‘toxic sludge’ that is already present. Please note: unprocessed and unreleased negative emotional energy is some of the most toxic stuff your body is probably harbouring within it right now!

As a result of this work, the rain barrel empties, it can handle extra rainwater again, and just like that disease can no longer exist in the body.

For an overview of how to go about starting to empty your rain barrel, check out the various seeds of wellness that you can plant and nurture in yourself today. In addition, there is Dr Stephen Cabral’s informative and very practical book, The Rain Barrel Effect.