Discover Your True
|The world around us is filled with toxic exposures — in the air we breathe, the water we drink, the (processed) food we eat, and the products we use (for cleaning, personal care, agriculture, etc). These exposures can challenge our health. Now that a new challenge has appeared, COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2, it is timely to consider how you will protect your health against these challenges. What determines if diseases or toxins overcome you? Or, if you overcome them?
Where do you stand?
What you believe to be your source of health depends on:
• What you perceive as a threat.
Part 1: What is really a health threat?
However, while germs exist, this is not the whole story of disease and health. Antoine Béchamp, a French scientist in the late 1800s, proposed a different theory sometimes called a “host" or "terrain" theory. Instead of focusing on the influence of invading microbes, he proposed that disease developed only in an unhealthy environment caused by an unbalanced state in the body. He argued instead for the importance of balance in the body's internal environment – what he called le milieu intérieur. Bernard thought that the body becomes susceptible to infectious agents only if the internal balance (or homeostasis) is disturbed. Our internal environment (with naturally present microbes) can become weakened by poor nutrition, toxicity and other factors. Thus, he denied that germs could invade a healthy person and cause disease. Instead, the health status of our body, not the germs themselves, determines our risk of disease. In modern terms, we would say that an immune-compromised body is vulnerable to disease, while a healthy body resists it.
While Béchamp’s theory was largely rejected at the time in favor of Luis Pasteur’s germ theory, today’s medical practitioners and scientists understand more about the importance of our “terrain.” We recognize the affect on health of external terrain factors like pollution and environmental hazards as well as internal terrain factors like our gut bacteria and emotional stress. And we understand that many diseases are preventable with access to clean water, better food and lifestyle choices, etc. We can make our terrain either a friendly home or hostile home for germs.
With respect to the COVID-19 virus, those experiencing the most severe symptoms and death seem to be those with lowered “host” health – those who are immune and otherwise physiologically compromised. Those with greater “host” health status, such as the young and those without chronic health conditions, are less susceptible to disease and relatively asymptomatic even when exposed to this and other viruses. Therefore, the terrain is a more powerful factor than exposure to the germ.
If exposure to germs solely determined our health, then we as a species would be extinct. We are outnumbered. Trillions of germs exist not only in our external environment but also in our internal environment. The "human metagenome" is the term used to include all organisms that live on or in us -- in our gut flora, on our skin, in our blood stream and even in our brains. In number, they greatly outnumber the cells of our body. We need these organisms to survive and thrive.
Germs are even part of our immune system -- our internal defense against infection. It develops before we are born and it continues to adapt and be influenced throughout our lifetime. At birth, our GI tract becomes colonized with bacteria species to protect us throughout our lifetime. Babies not exposed to this (i.e. delivered via cesarean birth) can have immune problems such as asthma, allergies, eczema and developmental disorders. We even call these bacteria "good" (probiotics, meaning "for life") because they help us digest food, synthesize vitamins, and protect against pathogens.
The body is also host to probably are much greater number of viruses, a community called the human virome, which (according to Wikipedia) "have long lived in harmony with the human body and now play a role in regulation of human health." Is this role beneficial or detrimental? Wikipedia explains, "The human virome is a part of our bodies and will not always cause harm." And, "The health effects of viruses on an individual are dependent on the individual's immune system." 1
Vaccines are designed to create a specific antibody response to a specific bacteria or virus. The current recommended vaccine schedule covers only approximately 38 different strains of bacteria or viruses. That is 38 out of an estimated one trillion species of microbes (bacteria, viruses and fungi). When microbes are “attacked” by antibiotics and vaccines, they adapt, making our attempts to control them more difficult or obsolete. Thankfully, not all microbes are pathogenic (disease causing). And our God-created, adaptive immune system can compensate for the shifting changes in microbes and provide long-lasting protection.
We survive as a species in spite of germs because immunity is encoded in the DNA of every cell in our body. Our body is designed to interact with the world around us, assess the risks, respond to the challenges, and develop protective responses without overreacting.
Even if our DNA has somehow been compromised, we can influence how our DNA is expressed. Modern science has discovered that external factors can turn genes "on" or "off." This discovery is called epigenetics. So, even if we have a gene for a disease (i.e. diabetes), our epigenetic terrain (such as healthy lifestyle choices) can turn this gene off so we do not become diabetic.
If you still believe that we “catch” sickness and disease from germs, then your best tools to fight disease will probably include antibiotics, vaccines, prescription medicines, sterilization, pesticides, etc.
However, hopefully you now accept that we are not in conflict with and always vulnerable to germs. Our physical terrain is of greater importance. It is said that Louis Pasteur admitted on his death bed, “I was wrong. The germ is nothing. The terrain is everything.” We survive as a species within a vast microbiome. And we only succumb to disease because of a change in our personal environment or ability, rather than an attack. Is your body (internal terrain) hospitable or inhospitable to disease?
Then the supposed power or “threat” of external pathogens will be:
Thus, health is a daily choice. If we make good health choices (i.e. in our food, air, exercise, etc.), we can have a healthy body that responds in a healthy way.
Physical Terrain Action Steps:
There are many action steps we can take to optimize our physical terrain and immune system – such as consuming God-made whole foods (instead of processed foods), reducing toxic exposures, supporting our gut bacteria, etc. I hope you will choose to practice natural health habits in your daily life.
Side Note: It should be said that some aspects of our physical terrain are not always in an individual’s full control such as those who live in a country with fewer personal freedoms and choices, or those who live in a situation where they cannot choose what they eat. Some may not have access to or be financially in a position to have enough time to exercise, buy organic foods, install home water or air filters, live in healthier locations, etc. Moreover, some choices are made for us by our global community, such as pollution and chemicals in our water and air (although they might be influenced in democratic countries by voting). Thankfully, especially in these socioeconomic and environmental situations, there is another terrain…
Part 2: Our Spiritual Terrain
Human beings are spiritual beings. We have a physical body, and we also have a spirit. The Bible states, “… there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding” (Job 32:8).
Moreover, we live in a world with other spiritual beings. This spiritual terrain includes our spirit, the spirit of other human beings, God, His Holy Spirit, angels and demons. The Bible records this spiritual world created by God and our existence in it: “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being…” (Acts 17:28).
Even a secular organization such as the United Nations (representing the nations of the world) acknowledges not only do we have a spirit but even the health of our spirit is important. They proposed that, “Health ultimately depends on the ability to manage successfully the interaction between the physical, spiritual, biological and economic/social environment” (Agenda 21, Section 6.3). 2
Once we accept that we have a spirit and live in a spiritual terrain, we can ask:
• Does our spiritual terrain influence our physical terrain? Or vice versa?
The answers to these questions are:
• Yes. There is a crossover effect.
has a greater influence and impact on our overall health than
any action step(s) taken in the natural.
just as we do for our physical mind and body.
This “crossover effect” is illustrated often in The Bible where spiritual beings (including God, His Holy Spirit, angels and demons) influence us both spiritually and physically.
• King Saul was tormented in his mind and spirit by evil spirits in 1 Samuel.
in man from sores on the skin to death, etc. in Revelation.
Scientific studies also demonstrate this crossover effect and how spiritual action steps positively influence our physical body. I encourage you to look up studies showing how prayer and meditation (spiritual activities) have the ability to improve our physical attributes such as bolstering our immune system, reducing or eliminating the physiological effects of stress, and speeding physical recovery.
Jesus said that spiritual nourishment is not optional but a requirement: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." (Mat. 4:4) To live (and not die), we need not only physical nourishment (bread) but also spiritual “food” from our Creator.
Proverbs 17:22 notes that, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” Therefore, joy (a beneficial emotion) treats us in the same way as a medicine (an herb or drug meant for improving the body). And a fractured spirit can have a damaging physical impact on our bones. The bottom line is: Happy spirit, healthy body. Unhappy spirit, unhealthy body.
No doubt some reading this article will think, “Great! I can eat anything I want and stop going to the gym if I just focus on my spiritual health!” However, this would be ill-considered. Action steps in the natural do have benefits for the body. The Bible agrees: “For bodily exercise profits…” (1 Timothy 4:8).
But the verse continues to show us that “…godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” Therefore, exercise is good. Yet, spiritual actions (doing what God wants us to do) have greater benefits, reaching beyond our physical life on Earth into eternity.
The point is that the potential effect and amplitude of spiritual actions compared to physical actions differ. Changing people’s lives through natural health is my profession and it is rewarding. Yet, I quickly and enthusiastically agree that prayer is more powerful, more effective ... and even free. Health practitioners are limited to the natural realm. But God works in the realm of the miraculous.
How is this spiritual effect accomplished? We are created by God with an internal, spiritual power receiver that can affect our physical health and even the health of others. As spiritual beings, we have access to power that flows through our spirit given by the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, ”He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his belly (inmost being) will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). This internal power receiver sustains and heals our physical bodies. It can also overflow and benefit other people. We can lay hands on the sick and they can be healed. We can cast out demons (that cause seizures and other physically harmful effects). We can even raise the dead. All this, we can do as believers in Jesus, in the name of Jesus, and by the authority given to us to do “greater works” than Jesus did. (John 14:12, Matt 10:8). When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, the same power that resurrected Jesus can flow through us and empower us (Luke 24:49)!
Why do we have this internal power? God's intention is that neither the physical terrain nor the spiritual terrain overpowers us. Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19). If we use this God-given authority, we can have power over any spiritual enemy and all that would physically harm us.
Part 2 Conclusion:
Practice good health habits (eating well, exercising, etc.). And nourish your spirit because it greatly profits spiritually and physically, both now and eternally.
Spiritual Terrain Action Steps:
What action steps can we take to nourish our spirit so that we receive and do not hinder this living water? Every good gift from God starts with faith in and yielding to Jesus as our Lord. After which, developing and supporting our spiritual health can include steps such as these:
• Yield your life to God.
(and you will be in perfect peace - Isa 26:3).
(to be changed and improved from glory to glory - 2 Corinthians 3:18).
so they cannot harm you (Luke 10:19).
and saw God do - John 5:19; John 8:38).
and communion with the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17).
The word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, increased faith,
the gifts of healing, the gift of miracles, prophecy, the discernment
of spirits, diverse kinds of tongues, and interpretation of tongues).
Make everyday a supernatural and empowered adventure with God.
God also offers spiritual power and spiritual actions steps (praise, worship, spiritual authority etc.) to help activate and optimize our spiritual health, which strengthens our physical health.
Therefore, if we live making good physical and spiritual health choices, we can be healthy in our body, soul and spirit. I hope you will choose to practice both natural and spiritual health in your daily life.
Final Action Steps:
• What choices (in your control) will you take each day
Where do you stand?
• Do you believe that we “catch” sickness and disease from germs?
- prescription medicines
neglect our physical terrain -- how we live, what we eat, what we drink,
what we breathe?
Your body (internal terrain) is either hospitable or
would include things like:
• Or, do you believe in a combination of both above?
• Do you believe that our emotions and thoughts affect our physical
health -- what we think, what we feel, and what we believe?
• Do you believe that we exist in a spiritual terrain?
• Do you believe that our spiritual terrain affects not only
• Which terrain do you believe has a greater affect on your health:
your physical or spiritual terrain?
1Human Virome (Wikipedia)