‘Health is life lived in the silence of the organs’ wrote the French surgeon René Leriche in 1936. Disease or ‘dis-ease’ (the absence of ease) usually shouts loudly and makes a lot of noise whereas health is silent. Or is it?
A body struggling to cope will send messages of distress, but more often than not the noise of life drowns them out until finally we have to listen. Cells which are under stress, whether from physical, chemical, emotional, metabolic or any other origin, communicate that stress to other cells through complicated signalling pathways. This in turn causes an inflammatory response leading to various chronic diseases such as insulin resistance, digestive issues, autoimmune problems, mental health problems and so much more. The cells in our bodies all have a cell wall that needs to be flexible to allow nutrients in and to let waste matter out. In the presence of inflammation this double layer becomes rigid and inflexible. The transport of nutrients and waste matter is therefore compromised.
A lack of symptoms does not mean, of course, that there is a lack of disease. We often overlook or dismiss the odd ache, twinge or niggle as something and nothing. However, these are the first signs that something is going on. Maybe you are getting more headaches than usual, you’re not sleeping as well, losing weight is harder or you just don’t feel well. It is SO important to acknowledge these niggles. It may be nothing but could be something.
Health, on the other hand, could be defined as unstressed cells with optimal signalling pathways communicating easily and freely; nutrients moving into each cell and waste matter being transported out and then excreted out of the body. In a musical sense we could say that disease is a discordant sound whereas health is a harmonious sound. In fact there is more truth to that than you may realise. Everything on the planet vibrates at a particular frequency and every human organ and its cells also has its own frequency. It is well known that plants vibrate at a higher frequency than other foods, which could be one reason why people who do fresh juice cleanses (with high vegetable content) seem to have an increased awareness of their internal and external environments!
Sound is regularly used in medical departments to diagnose a condition or to help a surgeon ‘see’ better eg. ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body. Lithotripsy uses focused sound waves (also known as high energy shock waves) to destroy hardened masses like kidney/gallstones.
In the field of alternative therapies, sound healing or sound bathing is becoming very popular as a way to deal with stress and anxiety. Various research papers note that listening to natural sounds like flowing water or birdsong significantly reduces the stress response in the body. So many people these days are constantly listening to something. Music, podcasts, books, TV programmes, radio all compete for our ears. Yet the sound of silence is vital for our mental health. NIHD or noise induced hearing disorder is increasing amongst adults aged 20-69 years. In the US, 24% of all adults suffer from impaired hearing due to noise induced hearing loss.
So here’s a challenge for you! Turn the TV, radio, music or podcast off and sit in silence. Take time to allow your ears to adjust but how many sounds can you hear whilst actively listening? Make a habit of listening to bird song when you are out and about.
Have you heard about the newly formed group for the people of Cranleigh that includes various practitioners, called the Surrey Health Collective? It has been formed to discuss various aspects of health and wellness and to learn from one another. So far we have looked at stress, oral health and had talks from a local chiropractor, a nutritional therapist (me!) and a biohacker! It is open to everyone who has an interest in learning more about health and wellness or who has a particular skill to share. You can find us on Facebook and Instagram and we regularly post on the Cranleigh Community Board page. We will also be advertising the next event with posters around the village. The events are free and we would love to see you.