Most chronic diseases are caused by the interplay of genetic, biochemical, nutritional, environmental and psycho-social factors. It is not only our genes that make us sick, but also environmental toxins, our diet and lifestyle. And if we catch the flu or get a bacterial infection it is often due to a weak immune system and not just due to the latest bug. Instead of exclusively treating symptoms, we therefore have to take the relevant underlying factors into account.
- Viral, bacterial, fungal or parasitic infections play an important part in many chronic diseases, even in cancer and heart disease. A strong immune system is essential in controlling these infections.
- Chemicals, heavy metals and other 'Xenobiotics’ can be found in the connective or fatty tissue of most people. As the body has limited abilities for their detoxification, they often accumulate over years and decades. They produce free radicals, interrupt various enzymes and hormones, acidify the tissues and change the body’s terrain. They impair cellular energy production, block detoxification pathways, weaken the immune system and make us susceptible towards disease.
- Nutritional deficiencies of minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins are relatively widespread, especially in children, seniors and the sick.
- Food allergies/sensitivities and dietary imbalances like the over consumption of sugar, processed starches and unhealthy fats and the lack of vegetables and healthy oils are an important cofactor in many diseases. Overweight and obesity are epidemic.
- Hormonal deficiencies or imbalances influence our well-being and the susceptibility towards many diseases, especially as we grow older.
- A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise are not only a risk factor for heart disease, but also promote or aggravate many health problems.
- Stressful life-events and how we cope with them is essential for our health. Research in Psychoneuroimmunology points to the important role which our belief systems, attitudes, cognitive and emotional coping styles as well as our relationships play, in staying healthy or becoming ill.
An integral therapeutic approach goes beyond treating symptoms. It stimulates our innate healing potential and has synergistic health benefits.