What do you consider to be your greatest asset?  Is it your family?  The amount of money you make?  The type of vehicles you own?  The amount of vacations you go on?  Your quality of health?  Your personal or professional level of success?   I realize that things hold a different value from person to person, but as far as I’m concerned, good health is the greatest asset anyone can have.  For some of you, I may be preaching to choir, but for others, this may come as a challenge.

Most of us dream of having quality health, vitality and peak performance as we age.  But how many of us get stuck in experiencing pain, inflammation, lack of energy, poor sleep, allergies, weight gain, limited performance, headaches, forgetfulness, foggy brain, and more?  This is frustrating and often written off as part of the process of aging.  But are all these unpleasant symptoms truly part of the natural aging process?  Or, is it actually possible to feel younger longer?  To add years to your life and life to your years?  I ABSOLUTELY believe you can walk upright, in good mental health, while enjoying peak performance ALL the days of your life.   I’m not talking about a gimmick or a magic bullet here, but about the decisions you make every day that shape your destiny.  As Darren Hardy says, “Little, every day decisions will take you either to the life you desire or to disaster by default.”  Which do you want?

I have been extremely blessed throughout my life, but I had rough start that ultimately culminated in a very serious and debilitating hopeless health-crisis more than twenty years ago.  In spite of everything, this crisis turned out to be the greatest blessing of my life because it taught me how to turn all obstacles into building blocks, to thrive instead of just survive, and most importantly, that  ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

It’s hard not to get passionate about health, healing, and being the very best you can be with a background like mine.  As Jordan Ruban says, “I can speak with authority on nutrition, disease, and health not because I have “paid my dues” academically (though I have), but because I have personally survived the torturous walk through the valley of disease and death and emerged triumphant!”

Since my recovery, I have made it my mission to inspire, empower, and challenge others to maximize their current state of life even more, and I start by asking people how maximum health fits into their lives.  To many, this question reinforces a deep sense of understanding of the value of their own personal health, while to others, it’s overboard and more than they would ever consider.   Good health is an awesome gift and preserving it as much as possible can never be underestimated.  It’s too bad that countless people neglect the magnitude of this gift, often not properly appreciating it until it’s lost.

So how proactive are you about your health?  Do you look for ways to continually maximize it even more?

A lifestyle of regular exercise, good eating habits, a positive attitude and so on is a must.  But I encourage you to take it even farther.

How many of you know someone who looks and feels great?  Who suddenly gets diagnosed with a severe illness or disease?  Someone who is maybe like James F. Fixx- a fitness Guru, a picture of ultimate health, who jogged 10 miles a day, who popularized the sport of running in North America, but who died at 52 years of age of a heart attack while out jogging?

The problem these days is so many people equate good health with feeling good.  Feeling good DOES NOT equal good health.  HEALTHY FUNCTION equals good health.  We’re missing the bigger picture if we base our health solely on how we feel.  We feel through our sensory nerves which is miniscule in comparison to the whole story.   You can literally have dysfunction building into a major health-crisis in your body all while feeling great.

We’ve all heard that the brain and nervous system is the master control system of the entire body because it controls every cell, organ, and tissue in the body.  (And if you see a chiropractor on a regular basis, you really get this.)  Allow me to build on it and consider for a moment the impact your fascia also has on your body.  Fascia is the connective tissue that literally knits your entire body together.  It suspends, supports, and protects every vital structure of your body.   James L. Oschman, PhD says, “The fascia forms the largest system in the body as it is the system that touches all other systems.”  Maybe you’ve heard about fascia already, and by now, its old news.  But seriously think about the possibility of an intimate link between the brain, nervous system, fascia, and your good health.

When you experience physical, emotional, or chemical injuries or traumas your fascia tightens up to protect you in the, “Oh dear God, we’re going to die response.”  In the case that you may be bleeding profusely, your fascia will tighten up around your blood vessels so that you don’t bleed to death.  In the case of an accident, your fascia will tighten up around your nerves so you don’t feel too much pain so you can survive through the incident.  ( Just think about how many times you’ve ever been hurt and how things usually feels worse a day or two later?)  This is adaptation at its best.  And your body is remarkable at it.  But what happens when the injury or trauma surpasses the threshold that your body can actually adapt to?  Your fascia develops permanent tight spots, or restrictions, that change your structure for life, which inevitably changes your body’s capacity for optimal function.  This can have devastating health results over a lifetime.

I learned a lot (and continuously learn) about achieving maximum capacity for health, healing and performance while recovering from my health crisis.  One of the biggest things I learned, that I still apply to my life, is that it doesn’t matter if a person eats clean or organic food, does regular exercise, limits their exposure to toxins, minimizes their levels of stress, or tries to think or meditate their way to complete health and wellness, if the normal function of the brain and nervous system is not optimized by permanently easing the permanent restrictions in the fascia, somewhere along the line, the capacity for maximum health, healing and performance will become limited or plateau.  Now this may seem like a hard pill to swallow, especially if you’re a die-hard about any one of these for maintaining and maximizing your health.   It was for me.  After all, I needed EVERYTHING just to save my life.   I’m not denying that it all SHOULD be a part of every healthy lifestyle, but ponder things further.  A healthy brain and nervous system, and ease in the entire fascial matrix, is an essential foundational component of optimal health, healing, and performance.  And science is teaching us this more and more all the time.

We all have the great advantage that our bodies are in a constant state of healing and repairing itself.  No matter what, everyone has the awesome ability to improve their capacity for health, healing and performance at any stage of life.  I speak from experience.  I have done and continue to do many things for building and maximizing my health, but I always do it in conjunction, religiously, with ONE other thing.  And that is Integrative CranioSacral.

Integrative CranioSacral optimizes the function of the brain and nervous system while permanently removing permanent restrictions (those permanent tight spots) in the fascia.  For me, after my first Integrative CranioSacral appointment back in 2000, I no longer had to wear my body brace at night.  And after my second appointment, I no longer had to wear my body brace ever again (and that was after four years of wearing a body brace anywhere from eighteen to twenty three hours a day).  It changed my life and continues to change my life, physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually.  It supports the blueprint for health, which is present from our earliest embryological development, making it beneficial and valuable for anyone, at any age, and any level of wellness.

Whatever you choose as your best path for health, healing and performance, my best advice is to do everything you can to always take your health even farther, to take it to the max.  For me, it’s been a combination of countless things, with Integrative CranioSacral as my base.  I encourage you to be vigilant and NOT get stuck in “feeling good” by overlooking the fact that your body is so good at compensating for problems that it can give you a false sense of good health.   Take care of your brain, nervous system, and fascia and they will support you for the rest of your life.  Invest in your health every day!  Every week!  Every month!  Every year!  Although nothing is ever guaranteed, at the very least, when you are proactive about protecting and taking your greatest asset to the max, you can rest assured that you are absolutely taking a step in the right direction.  When you do, you are ultimately investing in your future.

By Monique C. Bilodeau-Nestmann,
Founder & Owner of Essence Vitality
Holistic Health Practitioner and Licensed John C. Maxwell Coach, Trainer, Public Speaker
Experience Life Unlimited

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