Imagine you have a tree…it is the only tree you will be given in your lifetime. It is yours to keep, to grow, to feed, to water, to nurture. This tree will be your source of life. Your tree needs to be strong enough to weather the storms but flexible enough to sway with the wind. Ideally, it will grow tall and live a long, happy life producing seeds along the way allowing other trees to grow.

Now…think about how you would nurture the tree? Are you going to sprinkle food and water on it’s leaves or put the food on the soil allowing the roots to absorb the nutrients? What kind of food should you feed it? How much sunlight will it need? Will it be planted alone or amongst other trees? If it gets sick, will you just treat the area that is sick or try to repair the imbalances that are causing the sickness.

What if this tree is your body?? Are you nurturing your body properly? Do you support your “roots” in an effort to prevent or manage chronic disease? So many factors influence our health and almost all are modifiable…meaning YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR HEALTH!

There is a common misconception that we have chronic disease because our parents had it and their parents had it and so on.

This is simply not true. What we have are the habits and traditions our families and society have put in place creating a breeding ground for chronic disease.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common lifestyle and environmental factors that can lead to core imbalances and chronic disease.

Woman sleeping with mask

Sleep and Relaxation.

Did you know….

Adults who are short sleepers (less than 7 hours per night) are more likely to report chronic health conditions including: depression, arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

One third of Americans report they do not get enough sleep.

If sleeping < 7 hours per night, the risk of developing the following chronic medical conditions is increased as follows:

  • Heart Attack – 4.8% increased risk
  • Coronary Heart Disease – 4.7% increased risk
  • Stroke – 3.6% increased risk
  • Asthma – 16.5% increased risk
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) – 8.6% increased risk
  • Cancer – 10.2% increased risk
  • Arthritis – 28.8% increased risk
  • Depression – 22.9% increased risk
  • Chronic Kidney Disease – 3.3% increased risk
  • Diabetes – 11.1% increased risk

Woman doing yoga at sunset

Exercise and Movement.

Did you know exercise…

  • Improves memory
  • Improves mood, decreases anxiety and depression
  • Decreases stress
  • Improves psychosocial well-being and self-efficacy
  • Improves your immune system and decreases inflammation
  • Increases energy, decreases fatigue
  • Improves bowel function
  • Decreases resting heart rate and blood pressure
  • Decreases LDL (bad cholesterol), triglycerides, and total cholesterol and increases HDL (good cholesterol)

If you exercise regularly, you can decrease your risk of disease. Examples include:

  • 14% less chance for breast cancer
  • 21% less chance for colon cancer
  • 28% less chance for diabetes
  • 25% less chance for ischemic heart disease
  • 26% less chance for ischemic stroke

healthy salad

Nutrition and Hydration.

Did you know…

Symptoms of chronic dehydration may not be what you think, they include: headaches, muscle/joint pain, allergies, constipation and sugar cravings.

Food is the only fuel our body’s can use to function.

The SAD (standard american diet) is the cause of many preventable chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and certain cancers.

The average American consumes 57 pounds of added sugar per person per year.

Healthy eating delays the effect of aging and boosts immune systems.

Good nutrition is associated with increased energy, better sleep and improved brain function.

Hand reaching out of water for help


Did you know…

Psychological stress is a major factor of symptoms in chronic inflammatory conditions

Emotional stress triggers and exacerbates asthma in children

Patients with Type 2 Diabetes who incorporate stress management techniques significantly lower their Hemoglobin A1C

Relaxation response in the body actually enhances the genes that are expressed and associated with energy metabolism and insulin secretion and reduces the genes linked to inflammatory responses and stress-related pathways

Stress can suppress the “good bacteria” that lives in your gut which you need

Stress change gut permeability causing “leaky gut” which can lead to malabsorption of essential vitamins and nutrients

Couple sitting at sunset

Relationships and Networks.

Did you know…

Those with strong social connections benefit mentally, emotionally and physically from healthy relationships

Healthy relationships lead to decreased all-cause mortality compared to those who are socially isolated

All humans have an innate desire to be close to others



Did you know….

Your gut houses two thirds of the immune system?

The gut components contain more cells than the rest of the body combined.

The gut houses a genome 100-150 times larger than the human genome.

The gut has a metabolic activity greater than the liver.

The intestinal mucosa…must balance the needs for a barrier against a hostile environment, like the skin, with the necessity of active and passive transport… ”an intact intestinal barrier is, therefore, critical to normal physiological function and prevention of disease.”

What we eat has a great effect of the microbiota of our gut

I hope this sheds some light on how having a root cause approach to your health can be much more beneficial than simply addressing only a symptom. You have the symptom for a reason-we are here to work with you to figure out why. We strive to remove what causes imbalance and provide what creates balance. Maggi and I look forward to breaking down these root causes more in our upcoming blogs. If you are interested in this approach, come visit us at Elevation Health for more information.

In health,


Reference books


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Ruscheweyh R, Willemer C, Krüger K, Duning T, Warnecke T, Sommer J, Völker K, Ho HV, Mooren F, Knecht S, Flöel A. Physical activity and memory functions: an interventional study. Neurobiol Aging. 2011 Jul;32(7):1304-19.

Murphy EA, Enos RT, Velázquez KT. Influence of Exercise on Inflammation in Cancer: Direct Effect or Innocent Bystander? Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2015 Jul;43(3):134-42.

Murphy EA, Davis JM, Brown AS, Carmichael MD, Mayer EP, Ghaffar A. Effects of moderate exercise and oat beta-glucan on lung tumor metastases and macrophage antitumor cytotoxicity. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004 Sep;97(3):955-9.

Bueno HM et al. Bicycling for transportation improves heart rate variability in young adults. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2015 Dec 18.

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Chiang L-C, Ma W-F, Huang J-L, Tseng L-F, Hsueh K-C. Effect of relaxation-breathing training on anxiety and asthma signs/symptoms of children with moderate-to-severe asthma: a randomized controlled trial. Int J

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