Meet Dr. Lynn Godwin, a NC native and family dentist who just retired, sold her practice, is downsizing her home with her retired airline pilot husband, planning a wedding for her daughter and becoming a coach! Whew. This retooling is not new for those who become professional coaching, but it is a new field for many professional healthcare providers. It feeds their need as lifelong learners to stay on the cutting edge of what’s most needed and what’s next in the world of healthcare. We see more and more professionals using coaches and becoming certified. It is one of the many reasons we opted to focus on healthcare. When you read her blog, you will realize another reason – – the deep insights they have into their inner world and the world around them as it relates to well-being and energy for performance. Enjoy this sassy and quick read about self care!
Starting a blog is a scary thing for me. Therefore, it’s appropriate that it’s just before Halloween when I write this. It means I’m being very courageous. Why is that you may ask? Because I hate to write–I say. But I think the reality is that I’ve said that for so long that I have no idea if it is true. For years I said the reason I went into dentistry is because I could get a doctorate without doing a dissertation for my degree. But really I just loved smiles, people, teeth and felt comfortable with everything about dentistry. I am digressing….This blog isn’t going to be about Halloween or about my dislike for writing or about how to keep your smile sparkling. It’s about a subject I recently learned about that has codified an opinion I’ve had for years in different areas of my life. Both professionally with my patients and privately with my family, I’ve seen evidence of this disorder and didn’t have a name for it until now.
Continuing education is a great thing. It forces a professional to remain current. And often that means you learn something that is useful–which I think this is and that is why it is the subject of my first blog. Paleo-Deficit Disorder…. Have you ever heard of it? If you’re like me, you’ve heard of the Paleo diet. That’s a part of this. But the Paleo-Deficit Disorder is more than that. It is defined as the combined lack of Paleolithic experiences that compromise a person’s ability to attain and maintain optimum emotional and physical health. What are those experiences you might ask? Here is a partial list–that I’m sure everyone can add to: natural environments where
one is more apt to have exposure to sunlight and fresh air. There you will be more apt to inhale natural phytoncides–which are aromatic chemicals secreted from trees that have been associated with stress reduction and an improved immune system. Secondly an increased diversity of microbial contact.
Outdoor play, gardening, pets or anything that enhances contact with soil, trees, plants which will increase the microdiversity. Our immune systems have been starved for something to go after with all our cleanliness. So the result is that they have gone after us! Autoimmune diseases are a result of limited microdiversity. Everyone loves antibiotics–but too much of a good thing is still too much!
Next physical activity may be more pleasurable in an outdoor environment more like our hunter-gatherer ancestors. This has been shown over and over that reduced natural light leads to depression–did you know there is evidence it can contribute to obesity. Physical activity in a natural environment may increase a sense of vitality and motivate someone to actually stay with an exercise program.
Another aspect of this is getting quiet–away from artificial noise such as traffic–or my favorite especially this time of year–leaf blowers. Maybe you can actually hear yourself think if you can find a quiet space. Some folks feel they hear God speak to them in the quiet. But whatever you hear–your ears will thank you for sparing them some time without the constant noise of urban life.
Next what about the sleep of the ancients. Do you think they burned the midnight oil? I don’t think so. Evidence shows they went to bed when the sun set and got up with the sun rise. It’s no wonder that Ben Franklin said: Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise. Now my advice to you is turn down those lights. Turn off the technology–computers and TV’s and go to bed. Sleep is so underrated in our culture. I saw the effects of poor sleep for years in my dental practice–people with TMJ dysfunction…people with vague pain we couldn’t explain. It may be due to their bodies never getting the amount of time needed in sleep to regenerate themselves. Did you know that growth hormone in adults is only secreted in sleep? And it is very important in the body healing itself from all the micro-traumas of daily life. And when it isn’t produced in adequate amounts, now the result is thought to be chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia or TMD.
Then lastly the Paleo diet. Our modern diets are huge successes right? No I don’t think so. Regardless of what type of diet you think is the miracle cure, the fact is that few of us eat as our ancestors did–much less our grandparents. Even with the multi-billion dollar diet industry the percentage of overweight and obese people keeps rising.
So, what is the point of all this? The Paleo-deficit Disorder has brought together seemingly disparate conditions and situations to say we are not living in cooperation with our ancient DNA. Modern life has changed too quickly for our genetics to keep-up. So we need to be aware and make a conscious effort to counterbalance the rush to everything modern and new. Try looking at life the “old way”…go outside, get quiet, protect your sleep and make an effort to eat whole foods mostly plant based with a lot of variety. And finally and just as important stay connected to friends and families. Ancient people lived in groups. We may assume it may be because it was safer. But I bet they were happier together and we will be happier too.
Happy Halloween! Go out and howl at the moon…or write a blog. It isn’t so scary after all!
~Lynn, October 30, 2017