What they know, why it works, and how it can work for you.
Gene Stone, author of this fascinating book, was intrigued by people who claim to never or rarely get sick. He started a project searching for people who think about their health and take active strategies to ensure they stay healthy. We are constantly bombarded with amazing and sad stories about people who overcome or succumb to terrible illnesses, but rarely do we hear about those inspiring people who are actively preventing illness.
When I picked up this book I was captivated and, like many others who read it I was interested to learn from their “secrets” and see whether I could implement any of these into my life.
The book is compiled of 25 case studies from all walks of life; including doctors, firefighters, nurses, politicians and many more
25 different people with 25 different long term health strategies….
25 Health Secrets ranging from Chicken Soup to Early Morning Freezing Showers, Positive Attitude, Probiotics, Yoga, Brewer’s Yeast to Vitamin C.
Most of these health secrets seem sometimes obvious and simple. Yet the most compelling insight is that each and every one of these people BELIEVE that their secret is the reason for their health. Their secrets are not only different but sometimes even oppose each other; one person avoids germs completely whilst another uses it to build immunity. One person avoids dairy based yoghurts whilst another consumes it like medicine. One person’s remedy is another’s poison.
Belief is the common denominator here – each person believes that their secret is keeping them healthy and not only do they believe this, but this is something they do EVERY DAY; it is a part of their daily ritual. One gentleman has a frigid shower every day before work.
Another high powered executive attributed her health to her positive attitude. Never allowing herself to succumb to every little episode; for example, if she felt a cold coming on, she felt she could conquer it quickly. She calls her medical philosophy “benign neglect” – she is quite clear though that if there was a real medical emergency she would treat it but for many little ailments her belief is that the body has an incredible capacity to heal itself.
As Stone says in his conclusion, “The way we think about our health may be as important as any other aspect in determining how well we are”.
Belief, daily ritual and the fact that a person who is putting time and effort into thinking about staying healthy are all factors that contribute to our state of health. Although each person attributes one single thing to their secret many of them are in fact already exercising, eating healthily and making lifestyle choices that go hand in hand with living a life of zest.
Whilst reading this book, I challenged myself to try some of the secrets proposed that I wasn’t already doing. A morning teaspoon of brewer’s yeast was not my favourite and will not be something I plan to adopt. However, trying new secrets and discovering, uncovering and exploring new rituals to add to my own personal health was not only interesting but it was also a lot of fun. I realised that it is the small things that I do daily that all contribute enormously to my overall health and wellbeing.
I challenge you all to find out what it is that YOU DO daily that keeps you healthy….and if you don’t have one secret; I challenge you to find one.
Whether it’s gargling with salt water every morning, meditating, hot baths or cold showers, intermittent fasting or swimming in the ocean – find your secret; something you do daily, something that makes you feel alive, invigorated and healthy!
Commit yourself to these healthy rituals that you believe in, but mostly live a combination of these secrets. Live a life committed to long term health.
By Sharon Aaron, Nutritionist
Stone G, 2010, The Secrets of People who never get sick; What they know, why it works, and how it can work for you, Workman Publishing, New York