Matt Riemann and Maria Shriver sat down for the first of a five part series talking about personalized health. Riemann is a leading expert in personalized health and wants to eliminate chronic pain. He is focused on launching a Personalize Health Revolution, and to do so, he combines the mind-body-spirit connections with scientific research. Read on to figure out how to start your own personalized health journey and to hear more of their conversation above.
We all want to be at least a little healthier and feel a little bit better. What can we do? Well let’s first remember that each one of the 4 billion people in this world who want to feel healthier is completely unique, with different genes, environments and lifestyles. Second, we need to be mindful that science now confirms our individuality, acknowledging that generic recommendations for health don’t work, and that the easiest and most accurate way to enhance our health, happiness, and life is to get personalized with it.
Luckily, there are a number of steps we can take to take charge of our health that are tailored to each of us. And they are far more effective than the outdated generic recommendations of ‘eat less sugar and more vegetables.’
- Get to know yourself. Find out who you are and what works for you. Get really personalized with your health by finding out which foods are or are not optimal for you right now. There is no food that is healthy for everyone just as there is no food that is toxic for everyone. It’s not the food itself but how it interacts with your body – whether and how your body metabolizes and uses what you consume – that determines whether it will fuel or deplete you. That’s why the very food that can change one person’s health for the better can be detrimental to another.
But your health isn’t solely a matter of what you’re eating. Part of getting to know yourself, then, is to find out what works for you regarding your sleep patterns, stress levels, what you do with your time, interactions you have with other people, and how you perceive the world (more to come on this in parts 2-5 of this 5-part health series). We are each a dynamic set of interwoven systems that are always influencing one another and our health.
This is personalized health in action, and it is actually quite simple to find the answers to your health and happiness questions these days. There are new health & lifestyle apps like Personal Health 360 (ph360) that gauge your health and tell you whether that banana, tomato, bunch of kale, or teaspoon of honey is actually good for you, and inform you of the exercises, environments, and activities that will best interact with your biochemistry at any given point in time.
- Turn that knowledge into action. Once you understand who you are and what works for you, now you can make the changes that are necessary to your health and well-being. Easier said than done? Well, when you can understand that what’s easy for one person to do may not be easy for another, that personality and ways of thinking influence health habits, and that what motivates you to act is just as individual a process (thanks to your unique neurochemistry) as how your body metabolizes food, then you can set yourself up for success. Your body may love being jolted out of bed in the morning and kicking the day off strongly, or it may actually accomplish more on your behalf if you ease into your routine. Your mind may appreciate someone else nudging you to do more or it may respond best to self-encouragement. Once you discover what the natural motivators, inspirers, and helpers are for your body and mind, acting on the personalized health information you have can become second nature.
- Turn that action into service. Once you’ve gotten personalized with your health and happiness and are experiencing its benefits, it’s time to help others do the same. Each one of us knows someone who is sick, diseased, or in pain, so share personalized health with them. Let your friends, family, and colleagues know they can prevent or reverse their discomfort and disease by understanding what’s right for their body. Let them know that with the right information, each one of us can enable our body’s innate healing capacities, and can alleviate a majority of disease that exists in the world today. Imagine a world without pain and disease? Together, this can be a reality.
And the most important thing to remember? In the big scheme of things, it’s all about being happy. Getting personalized is about finding out and doing what keeps your unique bio- and neuro-chemistry healthy and happy, so you can share the love with others and help them to be healthy and happy too. The world thanks you in advance for receiving and sharing the love.