Tag Archives: digestive health

Health vs. Wellness – Avoiding Health Presenteeism

Health Vs. Wellness…What is the Difference?

Health vs. wellness, the answer is in the past and present and creating a better future.
I heard a brilliant expression from a colleague this week – a number of years ago a doctor told her she was healthy, not well. What is the difference?
Healthy: not diseased…… Wellness brings out the deeper meaning  of  health, which can be glossed over in health programs. By differentiating between health vs. wellness, we expose the many underlying health saboteurs, which unknowingly compromise our health.

Health vs. wellness wellness programs Best in corporate health
Health vs. Wellness A symbiosis for social, emotional & physiological engagement

Think of wellness as the opportunity for health engagement.  The word “health” conjures up visions of restrictive, long lists of ” I shouldn’t”, no fun to many people. Wellness can provide the physiological, emotional and social engagement and camaraderie for sustainability and adherence to a health and wellness program…and ROI.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in it’s 1948 constitution as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Sounds Utopic.
In pursuit of the broader WHO goals for health evolved our healthcare system. The healthcare system is financially depleted, and has become a “sick care” system. We diagnose, try to fix illness. Whether we get caught up in blaming the politicians for our healthcare crisis, we cannot ignore the erosion is largely due to unnecessary illness. Going forward, to achieve the intent of healthcare, we need to be inclusive of a thoroughly articulated view, role and definition of wellness.

Healthcare and medical diagnostics are vital, however, we need to all become our own advocates – and take charge of constantly seeking further wellness. Looking at out health is more of a current status. And whereas we know that certain diagnoses such as metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, carcinoma in situ, are definite calls to more proactive action -the goal of wellness is to prevent the pre-diseased state.
What is wellness? Wellness is the #1 opportunity we have in our lives. We have hundreds of options within our control to prevent even a pre-diseased state.
Take a look at these relationships:

health vs. wellness
exercise  vs. physical activity
diet  vs. nutrition
sex  vs. intimacy

They are all often used interchangeably. Comparing does not necessitate an adversarial tone, rather, there are nuances that suggest a symbiotic relationship. They are subsets within each other, necessary partners promoting each other.

Medical diagnostics catch disease or impending disease. Genomic testing is our only diagnostic to provide the ultimate wellness, by mapping our DNA. Going to our healthcare providers, being told everything looks good, nothing is wrong – is fantastic news not to be taken for granted.We all know, we sill might not feel well. We might:

  • have a haze about us…something is just not right
  • feeling stressed and drained
  • erratic appetite
  • Feeling a lack of control in ourselves
  • Not being as focused, energized and productive as we used to be
  • Don’t feel rested and restored
  • Moodiness
  • Or, we could just be in robomode- so busy in our day to day routines, surviving each day and task as it comes, we are unaware that we are not optimized

This general malaise in health is what I call health presenteeism. We know work presenteeism is being at work in body – but not being fully there in mind – not fully functioning and is usually attributed to health issues.

Health vs. Wellness  – overcoming Health Presenteeism…..

Digging Deeper
We all know the Rx for health: Don’t smoke, eat right, exercise, good sleep, manage stress. Go for regular physician check ups. Imperative. Why are these imperative to wellness? Let’s start digging.

  • Health vs. wellness Best In Corporate HealthOptimizing our digestive health. We all know the cliche we are what we eat. What his really implies is we are what we eat, digest and absorb. Our digestive tract serves many complex functions of our health. Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut”. Our gut performs an infinite number of daily tasks including digestion, absorption, influencing our mood with the production of serotonin, is the first step of our immune system……Our digestive tract takes thousands of attacks daily from poor food choices, digestive strain, medications, ingestion of toxins, viruses and bacteria, stress…and a central focus of our wellness efforts must be on optimizing our digestive tract.
  • Eliminating physiological stressors in our lives.
  • Oxidative stress and inflammation: Proven repeatedly to be at the root of all of our chronic illnesses.
  •  Optimizing our Immune system
  • Understanding what it takes to create a healthy inner ecosystem.
  • The science of happy. The #1 predictor of productivity is happiness. Happy is far more than accomplishing our goals. Happiness also must have wellness embedded into its roots. How does this impact our wellness programs? A 2016 study by Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) after surveying employees from 500 organizations in 70 countries found happy employees are more productive at work. The findings confirm the role emotions play in business, and that happiness is critical for productivity and talent retention and not a job perk or something that is just “nice to have.” The connection was clear: happy employees are high performing employees.
  • Enjoying and embracing wellness. None of us are looking for another miserable task in our lives. Wellness practices must be engaging, integrated into a person’s life, welcomed, and perceived as fun and of great value. If we are not feeling the rewards of our wellness efforts, and we feel these practices are another strain, they are erratic and short lived. Wellness should be freedom and liberation, not rigid, restrictive or inflexible.

Wellness is a state of mind. It is a desire to optimize our health, a partner in our raison d’être, a joie de vivre. Through wellness we put a jump in our steps and feel capable of compartmentalizing and managing the many challenges life inevitably serves.

When appreciating the symbiosis of health vs. wellness, it’s easier  for us to appreciate why Personalized corporate health with biometrics and genomic testingour blood pressure and blood sugar are normal, our diagnostics and biometrics appear acceptable – but something is just not right.  It must be stress is the usual conclusion – Yes – it is stress – but we need to look at stress at a much deeper level. True wellness is helping everyone to become their own health ambassador, helping them understand the many levels of wellness, far deeper than the superficialities. Even if we are eating right, exercising – there is great variance there, and maybe our overall wellness choices, when put together – are not nourishing us at the control centers of our body – our cells. Wellness comes from much deeper than our outer facade. Wellness comes from our cell-being.

 

Cell-being creates our inner magic kingdom that is hostile to disease, and takes the cacophony of our daily lives and creates a symphonic inner ecosystem.

Personalized  Health vs. wellness programs…..Yes…..We get VERY personal……right down to the DNA….

Corporate health programs…what a wonderful way to affordably  make the world a happier, healthier place.

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack – The Corporate Happy Place medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio


 

Cancer – A Virus to Our Cellular HTML

Cancer – Think of it as a Virus to the HTML Programming our Cells

Cancer - Virus to our cellular HTML Best In Corporate HealthI sometimes get annoyed when people say/think “Everything causes cancer”. This thought often engrains a sense of helplessness within.The truth is, if we understand what cancer is, it helps us a deeper appreciation of prevention – we are certainly not helpless…A life to prevent cancer is a life to prevent all of our chronic illnesses,  infusing us with energy & power.  Let’s think of cancer as a virus that has reprogrammed and is spreading malicious coding to the  HTML of our cell’s genetic code.

Take a look at a beautiful website. Behind every beautiful site is HTML HyperText Markup Language, the “mother tongue” of our web browsers. Behind our being, is genetic code that dictates every cell of who we are, how we think and feel.  If we have one wrong little character in the HTML of our website it can completely destroy the function of that website. Well, the same is true for our genetic code.

Now, what is cancer? Cancer is a genetic mutation, something has reprogrammed the HTML of that cell. That cell is now reproducing incorrectly and potentially very dangerously, destroying healthy cellular function.  If our ecosystem is unable to shut that cell down, there is trouble. If our ecosystem is not optimized, the genetic saboteur is allowed to reproduce, and that deadly coding is reproduced.

Our bodies are a wonderland. Wonderland has an inner ecosystem that like any ecosystem needs to be kept in balance.  Chinese medicine describes our flow of Qi. Without the flow of Qi, our life’s force, the ecosystem is jolted out of balance.

We live in a world that is constantly bombarding our ecosystem.  Many times we are responsible for that attack: smoking, poor food choices, lack of physical activity…. And many times we do not know we are exposed to attacks on that biochemical terrain. Enter illness and disease.

Cancer is thought to be only 5-10% genetic. The rest is lifestyle, however, as mentioned above, our lifestyles consist of unknown as well as known carcinogens…..exposures that cause a cell to mutate.

Now……how magical are the powers of the right exercise? Exercise and nutrition are our body guards. When carcinogens attack, by empowering our body with the strongest possible biochemical terrain, one that is totally inhospitable to mutagens, we are able to fight the attacker and win.

Cellular Malware   (aka carcinogens and pathogens):

Certain chemicals (in our food, in our air, in our meds, in our soils……..)

Viruses and bacteria

Geophysical exposures, radiation…….anyone use a cell phone?

Hormonal imbalances…..including our big wide world of phytoestrogens endocrine disrupters…

Oxidative Stress & Inflammation

Some nasty lifestyle choices: smoking, sitting, poor food choices, stress, alcohol….

Our body depends on us to supply it with sustenance to empower the ecosystem.  This not only includes our immune system, but our digestive function as well. Think of our digestive tract as the first step of our immune system. A great deal of our mood and “happy functions” come from that mysterious land called our enteric nervous system……Unfortunately – even if we eat “the right” foods, our digestive tract can be impeded by that same cellular malware. Keeping our digestive tract a “united front” against the cellular malware includes a healthy balance in our gut microbiome, and assuring we maintain healthy levels of stomach acid. Unfortunately, there is a detrimental abuse of antacids – as low stomach acid is frequently mistaken for high stomach acid. And of course our digestive health is jeopardized by all the usual saboteurs….poor sleep, alcohol, sugar, processed foods, and of course people who don’t listen to grandma – and don’t get their roughage. Cellular malware thrives without an optimized digestive tract.

Preventing Cancer: Building Our Cellular Anti-Malware: (Our Fab 4)
  1. Nutrition..
  2. Exercise & Physical Activity
  3. Sleep
  4. Minimize exposure to carcinogens, mutagens, pathogens……reducing oxidative stress & chronic inflammation

When the body is unable to fight intruders, our biochemical terrain allows mutated cells, aka cancer cells, to reproduce…and reproduce……until “we have cancer”. It is believed that everyone of us have cancerous cells lurking within, our goal is that we have the defences to shut down those cells, or force what is called apoptosis – cell suicide.

Front and center to the body’s defences are our immune and circulatory systems.

Cancer - prevention Best In Corporate Health programsOur immune system is a pumpless system.  In other words, it can produce all of the wonderful superheroes in the world (lymphocytes, macrophages, neutrophils, immunoglobins….) but if there is no pumping action from our muscles, or no muscles, the immune system can’t do its job.

Exercise is imperative for optimizing our body’s performance. Every study shows us that exercise and physical activity are an absolute necessity for every organ system of the body, and a necessity, the “managing partner” to chronic disease prevention…all of them…

Our vigilance to proactive health, by honoring  the 4 components of Anti-malware is vital to the destruction of cancer, and all chronic illnesses at every level:

Prevention: enabling the body to kill those intrusions, to build a strong inner ecosystem

Management: make it through treatment, minimizing risks of side effects of treatment, fighting fatigue, getting our immune system to work in our favor, and  studies show us –  help better response to treatment, including protecting the body from potential side effects of medication

Prevention of recurrence. Rebuilding and equipping the immune system

Cancer occurs because their has been a genetic mutation, a change to the genetic code. The body has been attacked..the body needs to fight the attacker. By honoring our Fab 4, understanding their power, the many layers and complexities of each……we will fight cancer & chronic illness. We are NOT helpless, at all.


Corporate health programs…what a wonderful way to affordably  make the world a happier, healthier place. Educate people to Prevent cancer 

Biometrics   Incentivize with wearable technology     Live Interactive webinars   FUN    Genomics…………

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack – The Corporate Happy Place medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
  • Has assembled over 20 health and fitness professionals with varying specialties to bring to corporate wellness programs
  • Platforms include: Speaking, One-one/group health coaching, Retreats, Course development for in house delivery, Metrics to measure success available, Partners always included
  • Now offering live interactive webinars, just as if each participant has a personal health coach – making corporate wellness programs affordable to all.
  • Shira has been interviewed & published in hundreds of resources over the last 12 years:

Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),Myeloma Canada, Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer, Sirius XM Doctor Radio


Redefine Data Analytics….Using employees’ own biometrics and sequencing the genome for the ultimate personalized wellness  programs-

Gut Health – Our Second Brain

Gut Health – Nourishing our Second Brain Our Belly Brain

Gut Health? Really conjures up some not so corporate images.

Gut Instincts? That’s Your Belly Brain Calling You!

The gastrointestinal system is probably the most taken advantage of and under appreciated part of the body.  It merits respect – it is the 2nd brain, and Hippocrates said “all disease begins in the gut”.

The digestive tract is the ultimate mirror of  lifestyle habits – our personal sewage system. Not a very glamorous topic, but the truth is it holds the answer to  many of our undiscovered medical ailments.

Gut Health for optimizing health in all Best In Corporate Health ProgramsOur belly brain – more scientifically respected as the enteric nervous system is the reason why we get emotionally “sick to our stomach” or have a “gut feel” or “gut instinct”. Serotonin, is our “happy hormone” (key to our focus as well), and thanks to the incredible research of Dr. Michael Gershon, we now know 90% of the body’s serotonin is produced in the stomach, not the brain as assumed. The enteric nervous system can send and receive impulses & secretes neurotransmitters just like our central nervous system. Our belly brain needs care, but more often gets abuse.  It needs great nutrition – especially loads of fiber, micro and macro nutrients to strengthen. -And exercise, to promote peristalsis – the passage of all we have ingested through the digestive tract, keeping proper blood flow and nutrient supply, digestion and absorption. When our GI tract is not optimized, nor are we. It means we are not absorbing the nutrition from our food properly & just passing out the internal sewage to the external sewage system. ….yeah you get it. We can have numerous unexplained symptoms and we just can’t seem to find the cause…..the answer is probably lurking in the stomach, somewhere through to the intricate coils of the colon.

Still skeptical about the belly brain? Gastric bypass surgery, where a large percentage of

Gut Health optimized as prescribed by Hippocrates in all Best In Corporate Health Programs
Gut Health optimized as prescribed by Hippocrates in all Best In Corporate Health Programs

the stomach is removed for weight loss purposes. There, unfortunately, is a very common side effect of these surgeries of psychiatric issues – from depression, alcoholism – because of the loss of production of serotonin. It is commonly accepted people after gastric bypass surgery need careful vitamin supplementation, not just with any vitamins – with those that have a very high bioavailability – the body is now seriously compromised for absorption. Included in this is the amino acid tryptophan – which is key to serotonin production. The stomach is not just the garbage bin at the bottom of the chute – it is a vital organ, to every organ system, not just digestion.

In our world of poor food choices, lack of physical activity, GMOs, toxins and bacteria entering our compromised guts – popping antacids recklessly destroying our precious HCl, constant stress released hormones, no wonder disease is rampant.

Optimizing gut health must be a central part to a corporate health program. Our gut health is our physiological and psychological well-being.

I feel compelled to mention some great sources of fiber – that are also nutritionally gifted: celery, oatmeal, brown rice, avocados, raspberries, beans, onions….. and please be acutely aware of those fiber impostors. Many breakfast cereals claim to be “good sources of fiber” when they are not. If a cereal does not have a minimum of 5g of fiber – Yes, drink water – in between meals is best. Too much water with meals dilutes those precious digestive enzymes, HCl that are critical to digestion & absorption.

Colon cancer is our #2 killer cancer & the most preventable form of cancer. IBS, Leaky Gut are rampant, and unfortunately the majority of medical doctors are lacking in the many lifestyle, naturopathic methods of dealing with these common issues. It is thought that 80% of the population have some form of leaky gut.

Health coaching, corporate coaching, Optimizing digestive health, building our belly brain – goes hand in hand with our cell-being.

Cell-Being   Well-Being   Corporate Being, Employee wellness programs based on your group – Your company is the template!

I had the pleasure of Interviewing Dr. Gershon back in 2011 – please listen, learn enjoy!

Our corporate wellness programs: email Shira@BestinCorporateHealth.com to enrich your people’s lives with health, wellness, happiness, prosperity and Joie de vivre!