In my studies (Nutritional Medicine at Endeavour College of Natural Health), I've been learning about Ayurvedic Medicine. It's a philosophy from India that [long story short] integrates preventative and healing therapies so those who practise it can live a long, healthy life.
The key to Ayurveda is balance, order and harmony, and when our bodies have all three, we are healthy. Think of your digestion, "waste" (sweat, numero uno and numero dos), your muscles and organs, your skin. Think of your attitude, senses and communication lately. Does anything seem "off"?
According to Ayurvedic Medicine, when our bodies are out of balance - in a state of disorder - they are telling us that we are not at ease. We are in a state of dis-ease. It totally clicked for me in a "of course, dis-ease....duh, Gem" kind of way.
In this way of thinking, if we take care of ourselves by nourishing our bodies with healthy lifestyle habits, enough sleep and practise things that improve our mental wellbeing (for some, this might be yoga, meditation, writing in a journal, taking a bath, getting more organised!), we won't disturb the balance of our bodies.
Do you ever get an upset tum after eating a certain food? Or do you get the odd pimple when you're feeling stressed? Our internal and external environments can actually aggravate our body systems and produce toxins, which in turn make us feel a bit bleurgh.
The more we aggravate our systems, the more toxins we have charging around trying to escape, and the worse we feel.
In this context, "disease" isn't necessarily a medical condition requiring a trip to the doctor, but a state of being when we're not exactly giving ourselves the TLC we should be.
To prevent disease, we need to avoid aggravating our physical bodies and emotional states (...ie, prevent our bodies from producing a bunch of toxins that they can't deal with and so they lose their s**t and make us feel and/or look less than ideal).
The good news is that if you're already diseased (and remember, we're not talkin' about cooties, we're talkin' about things just being a little out of whack where you're grumpy or your numero dos smells a bit funky etc), you can give your body a hand in flushing out the toxins so that you feel better. All it takes is eating things that your body can handle, keeping active and getting into the habit of recognising your emotional state, triggers of certain emotions and proactively doing things that make you feel gooooood.
No one is perfect, and it's unrealistic to expect we'll be in complete balance, order and harmony all the time. But it's always good to recognise what are bodies are telling us because hey, we're pretty smart little creatures so it's worth paying attention. Next time you have a break out, or yo' s**t literally stanks, or you're PMSing 30 days a month...forget a trip to the chemist and treat the aggravator, not the symptoms.