ADAPT-Ability Workshop - Resources

Our popular Adapt-Ability Workshop is usually presented by Dr. Alan to a small group of people at our Stafford clinic, however during COVID-19 social distancing restriction, we've gone online!

We cover so much information in our workshop, and have decided to condense some of the key information into one convenient location.

This information is ever-evolving, so please check back from time-to-time for the latest research and resources.

Defining 'Health'

The current World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of health, formulated in 1948, describes health as...

 "A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

Some scientists have highlighted limitations to this definition and described health as...

‘Just as environmental scientists describe the health of the earth as the capacity of a complex system to maintain a stable environment within a relatively narrow range, we propose the formulation of health as the ability to adapt and to self manage‘ (1).

Our self-care efforts or ‘personally acquired health potential’ are lacking in the WHO definition.

These scientists explain that both potentials - ‘biologically given’ and 'personally acquired’ are equally important.

Essentially we are responsible for own health, rather than being a victim of biology.

 

We are Hunter-Gathers in the Fast Lane

For 360,000 generations as hunter-gatherers, we have adapted, selected genes, and evolved. We are hunter-gathers in the fast lane!

Although our genes have hardly changed from those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, our culture and lifestyle have been transformed beyond recognition during the past 10,000 years. With the Industrial Revolution came a great change which is accelerating even further with our Digital Age.

There is a body of evidence showing that this environmental 'disconnect' has resulted in “diseases of civilisation” which together lead to a life half-lived and cause 80% of all deaths in Western nations.

To top

The Digital Age is here to stay... we can’t change that. But we can adapt better to it.

Adapt-ability as a health science is about developing and applying innovative lifestyle interventions to improve our health - and make us ADAPTABLE.

 

The Adaptive – Autonomic Nervous System

The system at the heart of this adaptability process is the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

The ANS regulates all the things you don’t need to think about like maintaining your:

  • blood pressure
  • breathing rate
  • hormone production
  • digestion, and
  • immune function.

It has been adapting to our environment for millennia after millennia. It's the most remarkable system in biology!

The ANS has two main branches - sympathetic and parasympathetic.

  1. Sympathetic controls the stimulation of our ‘fight or flight’ response, its get-up-and-go stress response.
  2. Parasympathetic controls ‘rest, recuperate, and repair’.

 

Both systems are essential for survival, and good health requires a balance between both branches.

It's also important to understand that normal function requires components of both systems.

 

Stress Overwhelm can Result in Dysautonomia

Stress overwhelm at a chemical, physical and emotional level (many influences of the Western lifestyle) can play havoc with our ANS.

Breakdown in the information processing of the ANS resulting in loss of its health complexity is termed ‘dysautonomia’.

 

‘Diseases’ which have already been strongly associated with Dysautonomia via research (2):

  • Colic
  • Enuresis
  • Migraine and tension headache
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Any spinal cord injury
  • IBS/FM/CFS/SLE/CHD/RSI/CTS
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • ADHD
  • Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM & IDDM)
  • Scleroderma
  • Asthma
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Angina Pectoris
  • Whiplash injuries

 

The best way to understand this phenomenon is to look at any biological system. Genes and germs do not predetermine your health, your environment does.

Do you blame genes or infection for the deaths of the fish below, or a toxic environment?

 

The COVID-19 coronavirus appears to have been born from a toxic environment (a live animal market). We can follow current hygiene guidelines AND make your ‘environment’ as optimal as possible.

What is your 'environment'? – what you eat, how you move and what you think etc.

 

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a Measure of our ANS Adaptability

HRV is the change in the time intervals between adjacent heartbeats. It is not heart rate, which is the average number of beats per minute.

HRV reflects our overall adaptable state (within our ANS) - physiologically and psychologically.

It is an exceptionally holistic measure of health potential.

 

We Recommend the HRV4Training App

Download the HRV4Training App HERE.

The website can be found HERE.

To measure your HRV, put your finger over both your camera and light of your smart phone. The app will prompt you.

Take a reading daily, in the morning within the first 30 minutes of waking.

You can do it sitting or lying down, but make it repeatable ie. the same way everyday.

It is important to build up a baseline overtime. One-off measurements are reliable.

We've also heard that the Elite HRV App is good.

HRV & Lifestyle Interventions

Intervention #1 - High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Low impact exercise is strongly recommended.

See our full blog on this HERE.

 

Intervention #2 - Intermittent Fasting

Check out our blog on Intermittent Fasting HERE.

 

Intervention #3 - Meditation

 HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity accompany different emotional states. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals travelling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive functions

Practice HeartMath heart exercise HERE.

We find Dr. Joe Dispenza's information to be a great place to start with meditation. A great link to a video explaining the compelling need to meditate is HERE.

And check out our blog on the concept of coherence and mediation HERE.

Intervention #4 Cold Exposure & #5 Breath Work

Deep slow breathing can increase heart rate variability (HRV). HRV is also associated with better decision-making.

Dutchman, Wim Hof has a method which is the most easy place to start and the app is free HERE.

And check out the research, like subjects getting injected with toxins and using the Wim Hof Method to ward off the infection... Very interesting stuff!

The website also goes into the benefits of cold exposure - read our blog HERE.

 

How to Measure Your HRV (Heart Rate Variability)

Measure Your HRV on your Smartphone

Adapt-Ability Workshop

If you’re interested in learning more about how to improve your adaptability, come to one of our regular Adapt-Ability Workshops (offered online during COVID-19).

  • We look at how to improve the function of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and make it more adaptive to our life.
  • We discuss how our genetic makeup has largely come from generations as a hunter gather. During this period we required a far greater adaptive range to the elements. There is constant exposure, sometime food scarcity, a diverse amount of required movement etc.
  • We'll show you how to proactively manage your current and future health through simple and measurable strategies, including measuring your heart rate variability (HRV).
  • We’ll help you apply 9 Lifestyle Interventions that can be adapted to suit your individual situation.
  • You’ll also learn how to measure the effectiveness of those interventions on your overall wellbeing.

 


DISCLAIMER: All content is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

 


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21791490
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4311559/