Toxic Load: Assessment and Measurement of Health and Well-Being
Gary S. Gruber ND
Your health and well-being are intricately intertwined with the many influences, stressors, and choices that are made over the course of a lifetime. There are physical influences such as infections, toxic chemicals, food allergies and sensitivities, imbalanced hormones, and anatomical abnormalities. Emotional stressors include divorce, death of a family member or close friend, a child with special needs, trauma, along with work-related issues and financial concerns. Guilt, fear and anxiety, and the suppression of negative experiences are spiritual influences that shape life choices. There is a fine line between all of these physical, emotional, and spiritual influences, and it is often blurred.
The summation of all these physical, emotional, and spiritual influences is called Total Load. A person’s overall health and well-being ultimately reflects their ability to accommodate this total load of the influences, stressors, and choices they experience.
Let me digress for a moment and take you on a walk through the woods. On this beautiful day you are breathing deeply and enjoying the harmony of nature, the beautiful flowers, and the cool canopy of the forest. Suddenly, you are startled by a bear which has emerged on the trail and is swiftly approaching you. Without any thought you turn and run. Every part of your being is focused on one thing; survival. Fortunately, the mechanisms that improve your chances begin to function immediately. Your heart begins to pump harder and faster to deliver more oxygen and nutrition to your muscles. The arteries that carry the blood open wider to handle the additional pressure. Your vision becomes acute because the pupils dilate to let in as much light as possible. Your liver becomes very busy converting stored energy into sugar and scavenges as many amino acids as possible for energy. At the same time the digestive and sexual functions stop in order to preserve all the energy in the event of a trauma that requires repair. You are totally unaware of the distance and speed you are traveling until a quick glance over your shoulder reveals that the bear turned off the trail and is no longer interested in the chase. As you progress from a sprint, to a trot, then to a walk, all of your physiological systems begin returning to normal.
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