Let’s Talk Terrain

Let’s Talk Terrain

First of all, I hope you are all well and navigating these uncertain times with compassion and self-care.  Personally, I am on the roller coaster of emotions as i consider the health of our immediate family, extended family, clients, community and beyond.  There are days where I feel optimistic about what we will learn from these trying times and how we are coming together as a society.  There are also days when I feel pessimistic about our approach to wellness in this country and our approach to healthcare in general.  Perhaps these struggles will help us come closer to changes we desperately need to create a healthier country.

There is a box sitting in my laundry room full of notes from school over 15 years ago (Yes, I might be a bit of a pack rat).  These are not the notes from my minor surgery class, my pharmacology class or my physical medicine class.  The notes I hold near and dear and keep at arm’s length are from my Naturopathic Theory class.  It was the underlying theory of Naturopathic health and vitality that changed my course in life so many years ago.  As a sick undergraduate student in the conventional medical model, and only getting sicker, I knew there had to be a different way.  For me, this new approach was learning, considering, understanding the concept of terrain and the balance the body is always striving for… a core component of Naturopathic Medicine.

The word terrain refers to land and its physical features, how it appears and how it is shaped.  Terrain can be conducive to growing plants and cultivating rich soil or it can be rocky and devoid of nutrients, a hostile terrain.  We all have a biological terrain setting the foundation for our overall health.  The balance of microbes in our mucosal tract (this includes the gut, sinus passages, esophagus, vagina, bladder, etc), nutrient intake and absorption from our diet, genetic pathways, hormonal balance, the list goes on, combine to create our underlying terrain.  When the biological terrain is balanced, the immune system is strong and a potential pathogen has less of a chance to take hold and create disease.  Have you ever wondered why 10 people can be at a party and 2 of them come down with a cold and the others don’t.  Or everyone eats the same undercooked food at a party and only 2 of them end up with GI distress.  A significant reason has to do with the environment of the host, the biological terrain.

Amidst this pandemic, we are seeing a clear emergence of risk associated with comorbid conditions.  This refers to the underlying health conditions increasing the risk of serious viral illness.  I think of these underlying health conditions as part of the biological terrain.  It can be diagnosable comorbid illness like Diabetes or COPD, but there may also be undiagnosed comorbidity like poor nutrient intake, poor nutrient assimilation, genetic susceptibility, imbalanced gut flora, etc….

The majority of people getting severely sick during this epidemic have underlying health conditions.  From a recent Dr. Attia’s The Drive podcast, he interviewed immunologist Michael Osterholm, Ph.D.  Here are a few sentences I jotted down while listening. “Almost to a T, the risk factor is obesity.  On top of that renal disease is associated with bad outcomes.  When you add up all the comorbidities that we uniquely have in part because of lifestyle or we happen to have a healthcare system that is able to keep us alive with the right drugs.  Case fatality will be country dependent and it will matter to a large part, the underlying health conditions.”  In Naturopathic talk, he is referring to the biological terrain.

I have a call to action for myself and for all of you.  How is your biological terrain? What is your body telling you on a daily basis?  How are your genetics at play and what can you do to shift your genetic predispositions?  Are you making excuses for the changes that need to be made?

In light of my recent health challenges related to my ear, I am taking the time to ask these important questions of myself.  Part of the quarantine time is for self-reflection, contemplation and coming up with a plan.
We are all in this together.

Our Team at Remedy Wellness is sharing our quarantine journey on Instagram.  We are all taking different days to post our experience. Please connect with us! @RemedyCHS

Reminder to you all in this strange time:
We continue to offer tele-health consults, at home lab testing and at home nutrient injections.  My very first practice, 15 years ago, directly out of school was an online practice called, Naturopathic Anxiety Solutions.  I did mostly phone and Skype back then.  I am so happy people are being “forced” into the tele-health space and get to see how valuable it is.  I have clients over the years from all over North America, Europe, military in the Middle East, or even just down the street in Beaufort.  Many people were resistant to the idea and now discovering how time great it can be.

Discounted COVID19 rates for follow-up phone or video consults is now $75 (1/2 hour) until April 30th.
Our dispensary is fully open.  As of now, distributors are considered essential in providing necessary nutrients and compounds for health and wellness.  If you reach out ahead of time, you can choose local pick-up or we can drop in the mail to you.  We will cover the shipping cost for everyone. If ordering online from our storefront, HealthE Shop, use the coupon code freeshippy for free shipping until April 30th.

Pavan, our front desk assistant and yogi extraordinaire, is offering her yoga classes live online instead of at the office.  This is a great way to see if yoga is a good fit for you and once we can all be together again, you can jump in for the in person classes at our office.  No charge for the next 3 weeks (donations accepted).  I consider her kundalini style of yoga to be protective to the lung tissue because it involves so much breathwork.  This is more important now than ever with a respiratory viral infection surrounding us as well as increased levels of stress. Pavanravisirona.com

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