Have you noticed?
People like complicated things to cure their sickness. They opt for radical surgery. Expensive medicines. Cutting-edge medical treatments.
Even “natural” health isn’t exempted from this tendency for the sophisticated.
When people come to me and ask for “natural” health advice, they still expect something complicated. They expect me to say, “For your disease, you need to eat this rare fruit from the Galapagos island combined with the raw liver of a lizard that you can only find in the Himalayan mountains…”
They get so absolutely disappointed when I tell them, “I think you need to drink more water every day,” or “I think you need to walk more…”
Bewildered, they ask, “Uh, my disease is serious. Is there anything else you can tell me?”
I tell them, “Oh, serious, huh? Okay, seriously drink water. And seriously walk every day.”
Obviously, there are health issues that do need serious medical attention. But even as you take the path of modern medicine, you need to strengthen your body to heal itself.
I urge you. Before you consult other doctors, I want you to see these Seven Doctors of the Body.
Here they are:
- Dr. Sleep
- Dr. Breath
- Dr. Drink
- Dr. Food
- Dr. Move
- Dr. Sun
- Dr. Green
1. Dr. Sleep
Fact: Today, most people don’t sleep enough.
People ask me all the time, “Bo, you do so many things. How many hours do you sleep at night?”
They think that because I do a lot of stuff, they guess that I probably sleep only three hours a day.
Not true. I love my sleep. I sleep seven hours on average, and when I’m extra-tired, I listen to my body and sleep earlier. In fact, studies show that highly successful individuals in various fields (musicians, athletes, scientists) sleep an average of eight hours and 32 minutes.
When I get enough sleep, I love waking up in the morning totally refreshed. I love feeling strong in the morning. This is the special gift of sleep: A fantastic day!
Get Your Recharge Every Night
Think of your cellphone. If you don’t recharge it, it goes “Low Bat” and it becomes useless.
One of your most important recharge aids is sleep. Be sure that your bedroom is as dark as possible—so that your body produces melatonin. (Even the smallest night light will stop melatonin production, which is very important for a sound sleep.)
Most people think sleep isn’t really so important. They think it’s just “down time”. They think it’s when their brain and body shut down. That’s why they cut down on sleep to cram more stuff in their evenings.
But sleep is not just “down time”. Sleep is hard work!
Your brain and body are hard at work during sleep. Your brain is creating memories and insights. Your body is restoring, recuperating, and recalibrating. Your body is healing!
Not only that.
Here are three important healing functions of sleep:
- Sleep removes stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, and thus normalizes your blood pressure.
- Sleep releases growth hormones, boost muscle mass growth, and repairs cells and tissues.
- Sleep regularizes your blood sugar levels.
So here’s my warning: If you lack sleep, you put yourself at risk of developing obesity, diabetes, infections, and heart disease.
When I meet people who are overweight and they want to lose weight, I ask, “How many hours do you sleep at night?”
Some 90% of the time, they’ll say, “Not enough.”
Because of lack of sleep, their body is on “conservation” mode, slowing down their metabolism. Thus, the extra pounds. If you want to lose weight and lower your risk of diabetes, listen to your body and sleep more.
Real Rest Is Spiritual
But at the end of the day, I believe that real sleep doesn’t come from sleeping pills or an expensive bed. I believe real sleep comes from trusting God. Do you trust in the Lord for all your worries? When you trust Him deeply, you can sleep. The Bible says, It is useless to work so hard for a living, getting up early and going to bed late. For the Lord provides for those he loves, while they are asleep. (Psalm 127:2)
2. Dr. Breath
One of the great secrets to your health is right under your nose. Literally! If you really listen to your body, your body will tell you, “Breathe slow, breathe deep, breathe long.”
Let me shock you: Some people are sick because they don’t know how to breathe. Their breathing is lazy. Their body is starved of oxygen! Most diseases are linked to the lack of oxygen in our cells. Remember that germs can’t live in a highly oxygenated environment. But without enough rich oxygen entering our system, we allow more germs and toxins to populate our body. In Scripture, breath is God’s Life in you. Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live. (Genesis 2:7 GNT)
Here’s the problem with advice like this: We don’t do it because it’s so simple. We like complicated solutions. We like buying an expensive pill or getting expensive treatment in a hospital.
But breathing is so simple, you don’t need anything. No contraption, no gadgets, no special clothes, no pills, no treatments…
How much does it cost? Zero.
So subconsciously, people think, “If it’s that simple, it may not work…”
Wrong. I’ve come to believe that the simplest solutions are the best solutions.
Chances are very high that like most people I know, you may have forgotten how to breathe well. I know I did. For decades, I was breathing wrongly.
What is “real” breathing?
Watch a sleeping baby and you’ll see healthy breathing. When the baby inhales, her abdomen puffs up like a balloon.
Most likely, you don’t do that anymore. Constant stress has trained you to breathe in the wrong way.
Research says that as we get older, our breathing becomes quick and shallow. Some people call it lazy breathing.
There are three types of breathing:
- Upper Chest Breathing: Do you take short, quick, shallow breaths in your upper chest area? Many smokers have this kind of breathing. Very old and sickly people breathe this way too.
- Middle Chest Breathing: Do your lower ribs expand with each breath? Put your fingers on your ribs and breathe. If they move, that means your breathing is Middle Chest Breathing. Many fall in this category.
Abdominal Breathing: This is “real” breathing. Also called diaphragm breathing. It’s easy to find out if you do it or not. Lie flat on your back. Put your hand on your abdomen. Inhale and check if your abdomen rises (like you’re pregnant). If it does, that’s abdominal breathing.
What ‘Real’ Breathing Can Do for You
When you breathe properly, wonderful things happen:
- You increase blood and lymph circulation.
- You detoxify your body. Yes!.
- You oxygenate your organs.
- You relax.
- You release tension.
- You remove stress.
- You clear your mind.
- You increase your vitality.
All that from simple breathing done rightly?
Do you see what you’re missing?
Let me teach you how to breathe in the right way.
Let’s do a simple breathing exercise which you can practise throughout the day. It has three simple steps: Inhale-Hold-Exhale.
Using your nostrils, inhale deeply for 5 seconds, expanding your abdomen like a balloon. Hold for 5 seconds. And through your mouth this time, exhale slowly for another 5 seconds. I call this the 5-5-5 Breathing Exercise. (You deepen your inhalation by exhaling completely.)
Repeat for 5 times—and that’s it!
Don’t be too obsessed with the exact number of seconds.
Once you get used to it, and your abdominal, chest, and back muscles get used to “real” breathing, you’ll be able to increase the time intervals. After doing a 5-5-5, you can do a 7-7-7, or a 10-10-10. Some Yogis who work on their breathing can even do a 20-20-20. That means they only take one breath per minute!
And make your breathing exercise a prayer.
So not only does breathing exercise have a physical power, it has an emotional and spiritual power to it as well. The combination is fantastic.
Here’s how I do it. When I inhale, I imagine breathing in God’s Love. God’s Peace. God’s healing. God’s power. I let my body be overwhelmed by God’s presence. And when I exhale, I imagine breathing out my stress. My tension. My worries. My fears. I feel all that negative stuff drain out of me.
3. Dr. Drink
Because we’re so busy, we don’t hear our body say, “I’m very thirsty.”
Many are constantly dehydrated—and they don’t know it. You see, there are two thirsts—mouth thirst and body thirst. When your mouth is dry and thirsty, sometimes, that’s too late. Your body has been thirsty for a longer time.
Dr. Renato Paragas has written a book titled, #1 Reason Why You Are Sick.
He says, “Most people are not sick, they’re just thirsty.”
He’s healed people with hypertension, headaches, arthritis, diabetes with water.
But what do we do? Instead of hydrating our body, we give it pills, surgery, and expensive medical tests.
Ever since we’re kids, our mother have told us, “Drink 8 glasses of water a day.”
But one person has a different body from another person.
Here’s the problem: Some people are big and tall, others are thin and small.
Dr. Paragas prescribes that you multiply your weight in kilos times 50 milliliters of water. For example, I weigh 68 kilos. That means I should drink 3.4 liters of water —and fresh juices— per day. (Obviously, this is the “general” guideline. Some may have specific health conditions that will need more specific guidelines.)
But do we drink enough? I doubt it.
Because of my meetings, I eat out a lot. And I noticed that waiters are trained to ask customers, “Drinks, sir?” Sometimes, they even have a separate menu for the drinks. Later, I learned why. Restaurant owners told me that 40% of their total profits come from their drinks. That’s why they push people to order drinks.
The problem is that many of these drinks are very unhealthy.
When waiters ask me what I want to drink, I tell him my #1 Drink of Choice: “Water, please.”
It’s actually liberating.
It’s one less decision I have to make.
Listen to your body and drink more water.
4. Dr. Food
When people ask me about my food advice, I give them two instructions: Fruitify your breakfast and Veggify your lunch and dinner. That means eating fruits only for breakfast. And making veggies your main dish during lunch and dinner.
If you’re battling a serious disease, I advice you to go radical and have a pure plant-based diet. If you’re generally healthy, you don’t have to be a vegetarian, but you still need to make vegetables your main dish. Plants were the first food God gave us: “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. (Genesis 1:29 ESV)
By eating a plant-based diet, Daniel and his friends became healthier. Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. (Daniel 1:11-15)
Listen to your body and nourish your body.
5. Dr. Sun
When you were a newborn baby, your mother exposed you to the morning sun every day for at least 15 minutes.
If a neighbor asked her why she was doing it, she’d echo what her mother told her, “Para tumibay ang buto…” (To strengthens my baby’s bones.)
And she was absolutely right. Because the body needs the sun’s rays to produce Vitamin D, and Vitamin D strengthens our bones.
But think about it: If babies need it, why not adults? Why have we stopped going under the morning sun for at least 15 minutes? As the Bible says, The light is pleasant, and it is good for the eyes to see the sun. (Ecclesiastes 11:7 NASB)
Many people are sick because they lack Vitamin D. Here are few diseases when a person lacks Vitamin D: heart disease, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, breast cancer, depression, diabetes, and obesity.
Why do people lack sunlight? Because no one is marketing sunlight as medicine. Because no one can earn from it. No one can bottle sunlight and earn from it. In contrast, there are many companies making sunscreen lotion—and they’re telling you to protect your skin from the sun. Yes, I agree, staying under the sun for many hours is bad. But don’t protect yourself from the sun completely—or you get sick.
Note: Osteoporosis is more common among African Americans because people with dark skin have more pigment, making it harder for them to absorb the sunlight. So they need to stay longer under the sun to get their daily dose of Vitamin D.
Get 15 minutes of morning sun everyday. The rule is the longer your shadow under the sun, the longer you can stay under the sun—15 to 30 minutes. The shorter your shadow, the shorter you stay under the sun—5 minutes is enough.
Henry Ward Beecher said, I think you might dispense with half your doctors if you would only consult Dr. Sun more.
Listen to your body and get some sunlight every day.
6. Dr. Move
Every morning, I do 10 minutes of Tai Chi. And during the day, I take 10,000 steps. I also try to have as many stretch breaks as I can. My rule is to stand up every 20 minutes and stretch.
Fact: Sitting for too long causes many diseases. When your body lacks movement, it starts to complain.
At first it could just be a feeling of tiredness, especially after you go up a short flight of stairs. Or lethargy. Or feeling heavy. Or a headache. Or insomnia.
Important: A lack of exercise is often the cause of body pain.
Weak lower back muscles are often the reason behind lower back pain. And if you work at your desk the entire day, without exercise, your muscles and connective tissue around your neck area will weaken, causing pain.
Face it. You sit down for long stretches of the day. Your muscles pay the price for this constant sitting. Your joints get stiff. Your muscles get weak. And this is not because of age. It’s simply because you’re not using your muscles.
I don’t think God designed us to sit down the entire day. Hint: He gave us legs.
Centuries ago, we used to hunt for our food, till our soil, plant our farms, harvest our crops, and fish our fish. We used our muscles constantly.
Today, the most strenous thing we do is tap our phones and type our computers. Worse, some people’s only exercises are carrying grudges, pushing their luck, and jumping to conclusions.
Here’s a law of the universe: What you don’t use, you lose.
Haven’t you noticed? People are getting old at a young age.
Here’s a fact: When you hit 50 years old, you lose 1.5% of your muscle mass every single year. That’s scary.
This is the reason you find old people who can’t even lift up a glass of water. They simply allowed their muscles to atrophy because they haven’t used them.
Use your muscles. Do some push ups. Crunches. Dips. You don’t want to look like Mr. Universe. But you want to walk tall, walk straight, and walk fast.
Here’s a goal: Be strong at 90. Strong enough to carry your own luggage. Strong enough to climb the stairs on your own. At 100, I still want to have the strength of a normal 50-year- old today.
Do you want that too? Or would you want to grow weaker and weaker— just like other old people you know?
Choose your future! Be strong at 90.
Even the Bible says, Physical training is good… (1 Timothy 4:8 NLT) Regular exercise will stretch your blood vessels, and eventually, improve blood circulation. It also improves bone growth. It decreases your stress and strengthens your immune system. And you fight one of the dreaded epidemics spreading around the world today …
Moving your body will not only decrease your stress and strengthen your immune system, it’s also one of the biggest things you can do to fight type 2 diabetes. It’s also called adult-onset diabetes because majority of people acquire it at 40 years old and above.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), diabetes affects 346 million persons.
Here’s the wonderful truth: It’s preventable.
How? If you’re a healthy person, and if you have excess glucose, it’s stored in your muscles. Now, let’s assume you don’t have very much muscle tissue. This means you lack glucose storage sites. This can cause your blood sugar level to be abnormally high, which in turn stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin.
And that is how type 2 diabetes starts. The pancreas is worn out from overuse, so its ability to manufacture insulin gets weaker and weaker. Which means the body’s ability to store glucose is damaged.
So what does walking have to do with diabetes? Walking is one of those exercises that can build muscle faster than any other form of exercise.
Listen to your body and move!
7. Dr. Green
Nature is a powerful health ‘tonic’.
And it’s better than many expensive drugs out there.
Enjoy nature in three specific ways: Look, Hear, and Smell.
First, Look at Green
Here’s what scientists have found out: Simply looking at a view of nature can be healing. In the 1980s, numerous studies proved that looking at “nature views” gave several health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and less stress-related headaches. Walk in a cemetery with wide green lawn. Plant a small garden in your home. No space? Put a potted plant on your desk. Sit in front of your aquarium and watch the fish.
Second, Hear Green
The entire universe is full of sound. And every sound has an effect on your body.
Here’s what scientists found out: The sounds of nature impacts your body chemistry. You know what I’m talking about because you’ve experienced it. The sound of a gentle flowing stream. Or the splash of waves on the beach. Or even the rustling of leaves.
The beach or forrest too far? Download sounds of nature from the internet and play it in your room.
Third, Smell Green
Scientists in Japan have a term for their forest walks: Shinrin-yoku. I love what it means: Forest bathing trip.
When the Japanese walk among trees, they believe they’re breathing in the phytoncides that trees naturally give off—and they believe phytoncides will increase the capacity of their immune system to fight off all sicknesses—even cancer.
What are phytoncides? These are the plants’ defense armor. Plants give off phytoncides—natural antibiotics that protect plants from microorganisms.
Regular trips to green spaces, breathing in the phytoncides, can lower your stress—the number one cause of disease.
Listen to your body and go back to nature.
The Seven Doctors Speak Through Your Body
Health is within your grasp.
Because these Seven Doctors don’t charge a consultant’s fee.
Nor are they working faraway that you have to travel a long distance to get an appointment.
They’re available anytime. For free.
Because these 7 Doctors are in your body. And if you listen carefully to your body, you’ll hear these 7 Doctors speak through your body—and you’ll know how to heal yourself.
May your dreams come true,