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  • Writer's pictureDr. Doug Pooley

Motion is lotion and movement is medicine.

“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it." ~ Plato 

Our current Allopathic model of disease management is doomed to failure. From a purely logical point of view, there is no way that the costs of maintaining our current paradigm of health services provision can be continued long term even if it actually worked. The evidence is staggering in the demonstration that for all the money currently flowing into the medical system, we are in fact far sicker as a population than we were 50 years ago. There are more people suffering chronic debilitating disease, taking more medications and costing more money than ever previously experienced in history….and the process is accelerating. Mankind is now the sickest species on the planet. 

The human body has been engineered over time for the purpose of movement with the musculo-skeletal system being the most important determinant of our wellbeing. It is through movement that man has been able to gather food, find shelter and avoid danger. Even in today’s society, it is the physical body that allows us to thrive and pursue life. Think about this, everything we do to sustain life is tied to movement of some sort.  If you ever doubt this, ask a quadriplegic what his or her capacity to live would be independent of assistance.

The final evolution into what would eventually became modern day man occurred approximately 1 ½ million years ago with the emergence of Homo Erectus and the efficient evolution into true bipedalism  (upright movement on two legs), with the ability to walk and eventually run long distances. There are several theories as to the adaptation value of walking upright.  According to Wikipedia- “Human Evolution”, “It is possible that bipedalism was favored because it freed the hands for reaching and carrying food, saved energy during locomotion, enabled long distance running and hunting, provided an enhanced field of vision, and helped avoid hyperthermia by reducing the surface area exposed to direct sun. Regardless of theory, the truth is that efficiency of movement as a foundational component of our progressive evolution is irrefutable.

Even our organs are for the most part purposed with directing, growing, feeding and clearing waste for the physical body. Quite simply the over-arching purpose of the human experience is efficient physical activity.

What science is now just starting to acknowledge is the regulatory effects that efficient movement has on all bodily functions including cognitive, hormone, neurological, bio-chemical and reproductive activities in the body. Logic dictates the more we move and the better the efficiency of movement, for the most part, the better your health. Conversely, the more sedentary the lifestyle, the sicker and less efficient the body works. This is not conjecture, this is simply the truth and as convenient as it is to ignore; efficient movement is the gateway to achieving and maintaining health. 

Progressively over the last 50 years, work, social and leisure environments have continued to deteriorate from a physical activity perspective. With the advent of computerization and its associated spin-off technology both work and recreational activities have become more a “matter of watching than a matter of doing”.  Combine this with the prevalence of processed foods and embedded chemical preservatives and the severity of the crisis emerges.  Obesity rates in western society among all age groups are now elevated to the point of being perilously perched at the tipping point of global crisis. Without concerted effort to at least start the restructuring of health provision to include elements of our foundational evolution, we are at the brink of a health care apocalypse. People will continue to get sicker, more will succumb to the ravages of chronic disease and the health care system as we know it will collapse under the burden of untenable costs. There has been substantial discussion about the problems associated with our new millennium lifestyle, but a serious lack of solutions. We believe that activity and diet are two sides of the same coin and will continue to be the prime movers of human health status regardless of scientific discovery or innovation. There will never be a pill to replace a healthy diet or an injection to offset lack of physical activity and yet we continue to ignore the simplicity of the solution. Disaster does not have to be the outcome. But we have to get moving! 

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