Life Is Programmed To Continue

Something people may not always keep in mind is that living things are programmed to continue to live, at almost all cost.

Consciousness is not needed for this to happen – trees repair themselves after strong wind break off branches, crustaceans grow back legs if one is lost during a fight, all living things seek out nutrition, cells expel toxic waste products and maintain homeostasis. Life, once started, will try to continue for as long as possible.

With few exceptions, the body heals itself. Only major pathologies – tumors, severely broken bones, chemical imbalances that have become normalized or that have always existed – may need outside intervention to correct. Everything else will correct itself if given enough time.

And there is very little evidence that anything we can do in an immediate or acute time-frame will help. At best, it gets things out of the way that allow the body to heal itself faster and more likely it does nothing directly or at all. Maybe the placebo effect will come into play but usually the outcome will be exactly the same – the body’s own repair systems, given enough time, will fix the problem.

This is different from disease. There are a number of lifestyle things that have been shown to help someone avoid disease or getting sick in the first place. Simple things like not smoking, consuming only moderate amounts of alcohol, eating lots of vegetables and diverse fruits, getting moderate amounts of exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight (avoiding obesity), reducing stress, cultivating and maintaining strong interpersonal relationships, getting sufficient amounts of sleep, and avoiding environmental toxins like asbestos and PVC. Doing these things, over the course of your life, will reduce your risk of most diseases and give your body the biggest chance at fighting off illnesses when you attract one.

But notice what I didn’t say. I didn’t say, because it isn’t true, that if you get a disease or an illness, you can do anything of these things to make it go away. The exceptions listed above aside, your body will heal itself because it is the ONLY thing that can heal it. A flu will run its course regardless of taking in huge amounts of vegetables or cessation of drinking when the symptoms begin. You probably could avoided some of the flus if you lived a life that has you eating lots of vegetables and less alcohol but you are not going to heal one after the fact by starting these behaviors.

And I think this is amazing because it gives YOU the power to make or break your amazing life. YOU have the control, not the doctors, dietitians, personal trainers, herb sales people, or gurus of any nature. YOU have the amazing ability to choose to live in a way that decreases health risks and promotes your body’s ability to heal.

I think you should choose to help your body keep you well because life is amazing and you deserve to keep it that way!