Over the last 15 years, I have practiced Martial Arts. I’ll confess that it’s not a regular practice, but it is one I return to when the opportunity arises.
Yes, it’s always a good workout—mentally and physically—but, there is more. What I found interesting from teacher to teacher is that they all shared one common theme: Learn the basics because when nothing else works the basics will save your life.
Over time, I realized that was very good advice. While many people are excited about learning Flying Superman Punches and other fancy techniques, it is imperative that you learn the foundational moves and not only that, but you also learn them well. Without the foundational moves, learning more advanced techniques simply does not work. Skipping the basics does not provide a solid foundation to expand and grow.
While working with patients for well over a decade, I have realized that many people want to skip right to the Flying Superman Punch move. The expectation is that my caregiver can give me a magic pill to solve all my problems while ignoring the foundational pieces.
This is where it is important to understand the key message from my teachers. “The basics will save your life.”
What are the basics when it comes to our personal health? It’s based on common sense really, and not something you haven’t heard before. Before you can be helped, assuming you are not just interested in treating symptoms only—symptoms that will keep coming back, by the way—you have to return to the basics.
When we are talking to our patients about how to improve their well-being, we talk about the basics. They are: adding regular exercise to your routine, making sure you are eating a healthy diet, maintaining optimal weight, managing stress effectively, getting enough rest and not over taxing your body by consuming too much sugar, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs or related. Of course, it’s even better to completely avoid such things.
It’s a simple fix, right? Not according to Dr. Norman Shealy. Apparently, only about three percent of us are able to keep and maintain those basic habits.
People Seeking Our Help
What most people are asking for is a quick fix, or rather a silver bullet, to fix their health challenges. When you treat a symptom with a drug without determining the root cause, you are opening the door to many more issues down the road. The side effects alone are problematic. And, in many cases the side effects from the treatment can be more challenging than what the drug is treating in the first place. Ever listen to a drug commercial? Next time take the time to listen to the warning message at the end of the commercial that interestingly enough is spoken at a lower volume and a high rate of speed. You will hear that the drug might lead to death, disability and erectile dysfunction just to name a few.
There has to be a better way. And, there is. Let’s return to the message of my teachers. “Learn the basics because when nothing else works the basics will save your life.”
As explained, the basics do require a little effort on your part. If the task seems overwhelming, start implementing one step at a time.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- Maintain an optimal weight for your body.
- Get plenty of rest (eight hours of sleep a night is optimal).
- Exercise regularly (five days a week is ideal, three is better than not at all).
- Manage your stress levels.
- Avoid overtaxing your body with substances like: alcohol, tobacco and drugs (even over-the-counter and prescription drugs).
We know getting back to the basics works. We have witnessed it in our practice over and over again. We also know a thing or two about helping you understand the best way to get back to the basics and to regain control of your life.