Monthly Archives: February 2017

Stress: A curse or a blessing?

We hear it all the time: People complaining that they are stressed out, attributing all sorts of health problems to stress. It’s a myth. Stress is not the problem – lack of rejuvenation is.

Stress hormones flooding our system are crucial to our survival instincts. Let’s just go back thousands of years to our ancestral past. Uma the hunter is out in the jungle following the tracks of an antelope that he hopes to bring home to his clan living in a cave nearby.

Then a huge tiger blocks his path. Uma freezes. Within a split second the hypothalamus in the brain   sends a message to the adrenal glands on the kidneys that instantly floods the body with the stress hormone adrenaline.


Adrenaline binds to receptors on the heart, arteries, pancreas, liver, muscles and fatty tissue. In effect adrenaline increases heart rate and respiration, and by binding to receptors on the pancreas, liver, muscles and fatty tissue, it inhibits the production of insulin and stimulates the synthesis of sugar and fat, which the body can use as extra energy.

Uma needs to decide for his own survival: Do I head for the nearest tree or fight the tiger?

Stress hormones enable us to focus all our energies and mental capacities to that one task that needs to be addressed. Whether the threat is real or imagined the body reaction is the same. Singers or speakers know this body reaction as stage fright, moments prior to their act. But when it comes to the actual show, they deliver a starring performance with nobody in the audience having had an inkling of what the performer went through.

Adrenaline and other stress hormones start becoming a problem when the imagined threat is more or less a permanent condition. The constant pressure on arteries weakens the heart muscle eventually leading to heart failure or a heart attack. It can also impair the brain’s memory function and weaken the kidneys. Vital nutrients are extracted from the body to feed the constant adrenaline rush, eventually leading to chronic fatigue or even skeletal problems.

Our stressful modern lives have us more or less constantly facing the tiger. After Uma frightens away the tiger with his spear, he even manages to bring home the antelope for dinner. All the hormones fall back to normal after he has had sumptuous meal and the clan has celebrated him as a hero around the fire.

Stress becomes a problem where there is no longer a balance between activity and recuperation. Even in so-called recuperation periods we often tend to go for strenuous exercise routines that don’t really bring down our stress hormone levels.  So what calms the mind and body most effectively?

Exercises that synchronize body and mind very effectively are those that calm your breathing and relax the entire muscular system from within. A daily meditation of between five and ten minutes is a good way to start. All the body arts such as yoga, qi gong or taiji have an enormously positive effect on the immune system. Even a gentle walk in the park where you concentrate on mindful breathing will bring down your stress levels.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.



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Creating health to prevent disease

We are getting older but many of us are getting older with loss in quality of life as our health starts deteriorating because of poor lifestyle management – the topic of my Blog last week.

We have to go back a little in history to understand why most of us have fallen prey to the fallacy that illness is fate and that we have no control over our health. Western medicine is based on the 19th century concept of Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) that certain types of bacteria invade the body, causing infectious disease. Pasteur’s concept that disease had to be fought like a war with antibiotics, like penicillin, gave birth to today’s multi-trillion dollar antibiotics industry.

Pasteur achieved fame and fortune as the father of penicillin. Few people today remember a person called Antoine Béchamp (1816-1908)  a vigorous opponent of Pasteur. He argued that health on the cellular level is mainly determined by the biological terrain, such as the level of acidity (pH level), the electric charge, level of toxicity and the nutritional state. While Pasteur was being supported by the pharmaceutical industry Bechamp, the other great germ scientist at the time, even had his work placed on an index of prohibited books and died in obscurity.

Simply put: Béchamp was convinced that we have to create health in order to prevent disease while Pasteur was all about creating defensive walls to prevent “alien exterior agents” from entering the body.

Free happy woman enjoying nature sunset

With more and more infectious diseases becoming resistant to antibiotics and an explosion of diseases like diabetes II and cancer its worth taking a look again at the biological terrain. Another great scientist Dr. Otto Warburg, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1931, took up much of Bechamp’s theories, arguing that basically all disease, especially cancer, feed on an acidic environment.

So what is the real problem here?

Our body should have an alkaline environemnt with a pH value higher than 7.0, anything below that is considered acidic. And, most of us living on a Western diet have an acidic body because of the processed foods we eat with too much sugar and other additives that our body cannot digest.It is compounded by the high-stress levels we have to deal with in today’s fast-paced economic environment. Stress hormones like adrenaline, nodrenaline and cortisol add to an acidic environment. While under stress, our breathing is too shallow, providing our lungs with too little oxygen to supply our cells with the oxygen they need to detox.

The other big detox organ is our skin but it cannot do its job adequately because we use soaps, perfumes, shampoos and shaving creams filled with toxins including microplastics and crude oil.

As our inner terrain becomes more acidic our body’s defensive walls start to break down creating an environment for unwanted guests. In Chinese medicine health is defined as having the right balance with disease being a symptom of many things running out of control. Initial symptoms might be a series of colds and flus, headaches and allergies. Later this might be followed by loss of vitality, chronic fatigue and a more serious illness.

Interestingly,  Pasteur was quoted  on his deathbed as saying  to Professor A. Rénon who looked after him: ‘Bernard avait raison. Le germe n’est rien, c’est le terrain qui est tout.’ (‘Bernard was right. The microbe is nothing, the soil is everything.’).” He was referring to his other contemporary Claude Bernard.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.




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Filed under cancer, cortisol, lifestyle management, longevity, nutrition, stress hormones, Uncategorized

How old can we really get?

Life expectancy in most countries has increased dramatically over the past century. But the statistics reveal little about the quality of life at an old age. Yet, we could live much longer and happier lives by adopting positive lifestyle habits.

Extreme longevity with people over the age of 100 has increased steadily over the past decades, attributed mainly to vast improvements on  infectious diseases, sanitation, clean water and food.

An average of three months is being added to life expectancy every year and there are predictions estimating there could be a million centenarians across the world by 2030.


Recent studies  however show that genetics make up only 25 per cent when it comes to longevity. The other 75 per cent are attributed to lifestyle habits. Some researchers even argue that its quite possible for the human being to live a healthy life of over 120 years and beyond if we eat the right foods and keep our body fit with exercise.

We have made huge strides on environmental issues like clean water and food. Modern medicine can also extend lives, especially relating to cardiovascular disease.  But we are sadly lacking when it comes to the other equation: The average person in the western world spends four hours a day sitting motionless before an electronic device and is overweight because of lack of exercise and eating junk foods. Modern diseases like diabetes, cancer and alzheimer are rapidly one the rise.

Our bodies are filled with toxins or byproducts from mainly processed foods that interfere with the body’s metabolic processes and which our bodies are not able to break down or excrete. This is causing havoc on the cellular level, especially as we grow older, with the cells no longer able to fulfill their function in taking-up vital nutrients and detoxing.

We are living longer but what about the quality of life at a ripe old age? Many people spend the last years of their lives suffering from numerous illnesses. In Germany’s ageing population almost three million of 82 million people are in need of care. Some 14 per cent are aged between 75-84 years and 66 per cent 89 years and older. It means that most of the older people in Germany are dependent on external help. The social system is already under strain. What is it going to be like in 10, 15 or even 20 years time? And we are talking about one of the world’s wealthiest countries.

The good news is that the body is a remarkable system. Moderate and regular physical exercise can greatly improve the life of even an 80-year-old, strengthening muscles, bones and body balance. Regular exercise also has a positive influence on metabolism.

The earlier we start the better.  Research reveals that some aspects of age-related cognitive decline begin in healthy, educated adults when they are in their 20s and 30s. So, the sooner we start replacing those bad habits with good habits and keeping at it on a daily basis the better. But you will only stay motivated if you do something you truly enjoy doing and the trick is to find the right type of exercise that is good for you. That will keep you moving without having to force yourself.

Reino Gevers – Mentor for Leaders and Achievers – Your Health Matters

Get my free E-Booklet “Resilience: What makes us strong”.


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