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A Path Toward Greater Possibilities

Our stories are very personal.  We all have one. Our story not only tells where we have come from or about the people we have known but also casts a light on the path we have chosen or that continues to choose us.  Even when we are tired.  Or resistant.  Or unsure of our ability.  It chooses us because we are here for a reason.  We are here to learn, to teach, to inspire, even when we don’t know these things are happening.  

Our paths are always informed by the greater connection we have with one another.  Sometimes we are the helpers.  Sometimes we are the ones needing and being helped.  It’s a beautiful symbiotic dynamic.  It really is.  A dynamic that births passion and compassion for all we do, in all we do.  

It’s this dynamic that weaves the meaning of our story.  And offers the assurance that we are not alone.  And potentiates the greater possibilities that ALWAYS exist.

I didn’t realize at the time of my son’s diagnosis of type 1 diabetes when he was three years old that a path was choosing me…as well when my other son fell off the growth chart when he was only one.  This path may already have existed throughout the ages, but I was stepping onto it. With all my might and heart, my dedication to whatever it took for healing was the course that was set.  

In all the years of education that followed, I learned many things as I journeyed to seemingly every corner of the earth.  But the most significant thing was in realizing that it really comes down to two main questions that need asking if anyone is wanting to heal:  What is happening in the body?  And what does the body require to heal?  These are simple questions.  Bare boned.  Honest.  Unaffected by any belief system around food or any diet trend.  It requires taking a step back to not only see the body but to see the context:  the environment, the culture, the land and soil, one’s personal story.  

These questions offer a true curiosity into how the body works, how the body systems operate so miraculously in tandem with each other, and what kind of things serve to disrupt this awe-inspiring orchestration.  Our mind-body is naturally driven to heal.  We can learn how to listen to what help our bodies are asking for.  We can all learn.  We can learn how to heal ourselves from chronic illness.  This is a part of us, of what we intuitively know.  Even if we’ve forgotten.

But answers aren’t in any of the diet trends out there.  They’re not necessarily in conventional or alternative medicine either.  Even though medicine can save lives, the western model isn’t yet well versed in understanding how to move forward from chronic illness.  

Answers are in truly understanding that the food the earth and the good soil produce are meant for us.  Whether it’s the plants we eat or the plants the humanely raised animals (that we eat) eat, these plants by any scientific or magical measure have the ability to draw in the minerals and raw material from the soil in which they’re grown and transform them into the nutrition every cell in our bodies requires to be nourished, cleansed, detoxified and revitalized.  Consuming plants can be seen as a maintenance of everyday healing.  

We are faced with a lot.  We live in a world vastly different than it was before the industrial revolution.  Our approach to health must reflect this understanding.  Our bodies need the nutrition and cleansing they’ve always needed, but we’re now also dealing with an abundance of other and hidden disruptors like heavy metals, radiation, environmental toxins and even underlying viral activity like never before.  It is a new day.  And it’s very important to understand this, if we’re wanting to heal from anything.

Be assured…we’re ok.  Certain foods have the power to take care of us in this modern world and show us how to navigate these new challenges.  A new education is dawning into the healing powers of foods.  Whether we have physical or mental struggles, there are measures to take toward freedom and liberation.  There are greater possibilities than the ones we ever knew existed.  

This path I stepped onto all those years ago with my kids’ diagnosis has been like climbing a mountain, one step at a time, one year at a time.  I’ll soon write more about the experiences with my kids and their health and where they are today, but for now, I’ll say: this path has become one of joy.  Arriving in the light at the top of the mountain has been in seeing that we are truly never alone, we are never left destitute.  As scary as health struggles can be, there are always the greater possibilities that exist, which are part of the tangible and mystical aspects of our journey here.  There is always a greater narrative that guides our endeavours.  And a saving grace that embraces us at every turn, in every attempt, where we are given the resources we need… as restoration so quietly invites us into its company. 

Knowing we’re not alone allows us strength to step into the light and step out of the dark.  We generate insight to see beyond our current circumstances or beliefs that are holding us back.  We gain the courage to step onto our own path that leads to the greater possibilities that are standing tall and firm and majestic as the mountain before each of us. 

In stepping onto this path, our healing journey has already begun.

Dani MacKenzie, RHN

Nutritional Consultant and Teacher

RePose Therapy, Abbotford BC

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Turning Over Rocks as a Functional Approach to Health

When you’re desperate, you’ll try anything … you’ll look under every rock.  (Source unknown)

 

I remember reading these words not long ago.  They resonated with me at the time … the desperation that had taken up residence in my own mind and body as I attempted to find answers and understanding to a current life crisis. Isn’t this what we do? We try, we search, we attempt, we pray, we learn as much as we can to figure out a solution or to right what has gone wrong or to find healing even in the midst of impossibility?

 

We never stop turning over rocks.

 

Especially with health. It is in our nature to keep persisting. If health is to be had, we continue to ask questions, and, more importantly, we long to be heard. We long for someone to listen so intently to our story that, one by one, each rock is turned and each symptom is heard for what it is: a cry for help, a longing, a dissonance. There are always a myriad of triggering insults that precipitate symptoms or the expression of disease. And our story needs to be heard and addressed if resolution or reversal of symptoms is going to occur.

 

This is the beauty of the Functional Question:

A functional question is a question about the terrain. Instead of asking ‘what is this?’ and ‘how do I treat it?’, it asks ‘why is this happening?’ and ‘what can I do to reverse it?’   –Andrea Nakayama’s Field Guide to Functional Nutrition

 

Whereas the first two questions are framing the conventional approach, the latter two are interested in turning over the rocks and really understanding that any symptom or diagnosis is about the whole person. It is about getting to the root cause, whether physical, physiological, spiritual, cognitive. It is about finding the meaning of what our physical body, deemed our subconscious, is trying to bring to light.

 

And when one turned rock fails to reveal the whole picture, we continue to turn the next rock and the next and the next.

 

There are no magic pills. But there IS a discovery of one’s unique bioindividuality. One person’s “terrain” is very different from another’s. One person’s thyroid may have become disregulated due to gut infection, another’s due to gluten sensitivity but both diagnosis’ are the same. This is why it is so very important to ask the “Functional Questions” and look under each rock and listen.

 

Mark Hyman, the director of the Cleveland Clinic for Functional Medicine as well as Chairman of the Board of The Institute for Functional Medicine, among many other things, says this about the functional approach:

Most medicine of the future will not be about treating illness. Instead, it will be about creating health. Disease simply goes away as a side effect of creating health.

 

We are living in an exceptional time for reclaiming and maintaining not just health but VIBRANCY and DYNAMIC WELL-BEING, as functional medicine and nutrition have begun driving change in how medicine and healthcare are being done.

 

Finally there is an approach that addresses the restoration of health, not just a diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease! And thankfully a diagnosis does not have to carry the weight of prognosis that it once did in the conventional mindset. There are self-discoveries to be made.

 

There are always rocks to overturn.  We are not alone in this process any longer.

 

Dani MacKenzie, RHN, Functional Nutrition and Wellness Advocate