Education is only as good as the body & mind that receive it. Wellness in the 21st century is becoming harder to achieve because lifestyle and nutrition choices are heavily influenced. My question is, what influences you?  Mainstream media, healthcare professionals, books, research articles, product marketing, blogs…?

Before you can set goals for your or your child’s wellness you need to know the numbers and what they mean.  Talk to your health care provider, using this document: Know Your Numbers. Keep it your family medical binder that you take to appointments.  It is best to take all of your Rx medications & over the counter vitamins and supplements in their original containers with you as well.

Wellness has been on my mind for years but I’ve only recently analyzed and appropriated its place in education.  Traditionally “Health” is a unit offered perhaps once a year in P.E. or perhaps it’s a unit offered to 5th graders.  Most middle schools offer it as an elective that must be taken at least once in the 3 years of middle school and most high schools require it as it least one elective taken prior to graduation.  The focus typically leans toward reproductive health and the affects of drugs & alcohol.  Anything about nutrition, rest, and fitness is often the tiniest sliver of the “Health” curriculum.

I have learned that stress leads to inflammation is many ways and inflammation leads to disease.  My education in this matter was self-selected and came 20 years after high school … 25 years after middle school.  Had I known then what I know now, my response to stress may have been different.  Now I know that an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is the key to better cognitive function and optimal well-being.  I want my children to know this too.

It seems we only get serious about what we fuel the body with and how we condition it only when disease is diagnosed or we feel pain or see our child suffer.  My husband, children, and friends inspire me to make this a focal point.

My husband was overweight for years.  When his doctor diagnosed him with severe sleep apnea and diabetes he got serious about losing the weight.  It was many more years before he got serious about managing his diabetes…that only came after fear of amputation from a case of necrotizing facitis in his foot. Now he has a small wound on his finger and because of the history with necrotizing facitis, he has to be very careful and is taking antibiotics.

My oldest son has dealt with obesity & IBS.  My daughter has to cope with anxiety & precordial catch syndrome.  My youngest son, like nearly everyone in our family, has several allergies & seems to be on the fast track to diabetes with his intense craving for sugar and apparent revulsion toward all healthy food. Me & all three of my children could be or have been diagnosed with ADD, which neurologist Richard Saul say’s doesn’t exist. I’m inclined to agree with him because ADD/ADHD is so often either noted as a symptom of other issues or a coexisting condition…it only makes sense that better than prescribing stimulants is to get to the root problem and heal, fix, or learn strategies to cope with it.

ADD drugs are not the answer! My daughter’s father’s oldest son spent years of his life on ADHD drugs, then over dosed on prescription pain drugs, and died.  My oldest son spent a few months on ADHD drugs, trying different ones in different strengths as the doctor adjusted his doses hoping to find one that didn’t sedate him or make him hallucinate. I dealt with defiance and entered a cycle of power struggle as he withdrew from those “medications” … the impact of which has been felt throughout our family to this day.

This song is a thought provoker: SAIL by Awolnation … “Blame it on my A.D.D. baby…”

I know that Dr. Amen & Eric Jensen have done extensive research on inflammation in the brain and the effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Brain-mapping and brain based learning come to mind. I can only imagine that if we made this kind of knowledge part of our K-12 curriculum and teacher professional development, we could positively impact millions of families and the future of our civilization.

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