An ancestral approach is much more than a diet. Let’s start with a handful of startling facts from the industrial world:
- 1 out of 6 children in the industrial world has a developmental delay
- an infant as young as 1 has been diagnosed and treated with an anti-psychotic medication
- depression is the number one disability in adult populations
- 40 million have an anxiety disorder
- 40 thousand suicides a year in the US alone
This is crazy! A disconnect has happened. It has led to an epidemic of chronic disease that is new. The effect on our children is most concerning. How we are living is undermining our health and particularly the ability of our brain function.
What are the solutions? I asked this many years ago as I watched a friend develop schizophrenia. Diet changes help him a lot but the medications he was on were debilitating. Unfortunately meds are given more weight than diet in conventional medicine. And yes they are crucial at certain points. Limiting them is also very important.
A new patient in my clinic today was told that stress, diet and lifestyle have no role in her fibroids. Since the medication she was given didn’t work surgery has been suggested. Unfortunately these are the only tools doctors have. Patients are left knowing that changes are needed but not knowing what to do.
Intuitively I knew what was needed when I became ill and it wasn’t medication. When I found my doctor and mentor he reminded me of what I already knew. This information is in our bones. He learned medicine in an oral tradition and so he shared his knowledge in this way. We need this kind of human connection. As a First Nations man he talked about how we are all indigenous. We all come from the same earth. Tuning into our bodies and the genetic wisdom etched in our DNA is what reconnects us. Its how we heal.
So yes, this is more than a diet. The ancestral approach includes how we relate to all aspects of being human. Most people have a nature deficit. A lack of intimacy, play and pleasure have been replaced with screen time. Light exposure is raising our stress levels while good stress like exercise, learning and new experiences are being put aside. We need these homeotic stressors to adapt.
“Cultivate strength of spirit.” Leni Wylliams
Leni Wylliams was one of my dance teachers when I was young. Do you remember the words of someone you looked up to? This phrase stayed with me. Physical training and art strengthen our spirit. Being immersed in nature helps us relax into being human. Meditation allows us to live with confidence and dignity. Anything that assists you in turning towards life, even the painful parts, is what keeps you well. Life is not about avoiding the storms, but about making sure we have the resiliency to endure them.
Noticing where we draw strength from is important. What in your early years taught you to trust life? Growing up on a farm and having a brilliant, stay-at-home mother gave me a good start. At the time infant formula was being pushed and she didn’t buy into it so I was breastfed. She taught me to honour the female body and to be skeptical of oral contraception. She’s fabulous. I pursued Functional Medicine because of how she raised me. Listening to women and children is another way we can revolutionize the medical system.
Six Essential Nutrients to Consider
Being taken seriously