The 4 Pillars of Health

The 4 Pillars of Health

When it comes to proper nutrition, most of us realise there isn't a single magic mineral or vital vitamin. We need a mix of several to keep our bodies in tip-top shape. The same goes for skincare. We can't expect to keep our faces line-free thanks to retinol alone. It takes a village. That is why the Renewal Institute, a collection of aesthetic and wellness clinics that includes Skin, Body, Health, Sleep and Brain Renewal exists. If you're to be truly "healthy", you're going to have to take a holistic approach.

To help explain our all-round ethos, we believe there are four pillars integral to your health. These are gut health, nutrition, stress management and exercise. No single pillar is more important than the other. All of these aspects have to be addressed because if just one is out of order, it will negatively affect the other. For example, if you're not getting the right nutrition, this can cause gut problems that will hinder your ability to exercise and undoubtedly result in stress. The kind of stress that, if left unchecked, will inevitably lead to disease.

In short, your health is a delicate house of cards. More importantly, each pillar balances on a foundation of good quality, restorative sleep. If you rock your foundation with an ongoing disordered sleep problem, it's only a matter of time before your pillars begin to fall. Eventually knocking over the others in its wake.

The power of sleep

Don't ever underestimate the importance of sleep. Getting enough deep, restorative sleep plays a major role in protecting both your physical health and mental health. Without it, you dramatically increase your risk of depression, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and more. And yes, dragging yourself through life while permanently exhausted is lousy too. Do you really want to be the person who falls asleep during an important business meeting? Or worse yet, behind the wheel of a car?

If you feel like you're struggling to switch off at night? You can't stay asleep or still feel tired when you make up? It is time to consider making an appointment to chat with one of the doctors at Sleep Renewal. The clinic uses state-of-the-art sleep study equipment that can help you get to the bottom of your restless nights. Whatever your diagnosis, be it sleep apnea or primary insomnia, we can help improve the quality of your pillow time, via an array of treatment options that range from breathing devices to neurofeedback sessions that can improve the quality of your sleep.

It starts in your gut

Only recently has the medical community come to appreciate that a healthy gut is crucial to wellness. Extensive studies have revealed that the microbiome (the community of microorganisms living in your gut), have significant influence over every other system in your body, including your immune system and neurological functions.

Many South Africans are living with dysbiosis, a condition characterized by having more "bad" gut bacteria than the good. It is crucial to know that it can lead to an array of gastric conditions that include peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease and even colon cancer. Fortunately, we can run a series of tests that will help create a clear picture of your gut health and can help you bring back the balance. Treatments may involve medication and nutraceuticals, but will always come back to a healthy diet free of sensitivities. This is something we can assess via allergy testing. Together, we can assist in creating a meal plan that is full of what you need and free of what you don't, to heal your gut while providing great nutrition.

Stress less

When people say "stress is a killer" they're not wrong. It's a driving factor behind a long list of illnesses, and now researchers are starting to consider it's linked to cancer. That is why, at Health Renewal, we take our third pillar - stress management - very seriously.

If you feel like the pressures of daily living are starting to manifest as chronic stress, chat to one of our doctors. They'll take down your full medical history and arrange for blood tests that will inform your treatment. Treatment may include prescription medicine as well as nutraceuticals proven to help with stress management. Then there's the hormonal factor. Prolonged exposure to stress disrupts your body's "stress hormones" - cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline - and create a hormonal imbalance. Fortunately, this is something we can help you with via hormone replacement therapy.

Get your heart going

The one pillar we can't help you out with, however, is exercise. While our doctors can always make recommendations, it'll be up to you to jog around the block. Still, once you realise how important, regular exercise is for your mental and physical wellbeing, you'll want to keep going. After all, our health is our most precious asset and something we only fully appreciate when it starts to fail.

Fortunately, at Health Renewal, our fully integrated approached and commitment to your wellbeing can help ensure you enjoy a lifetime of optimum wellness.

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