When I counsel people about nutritional supplements, I find that people often have the complaint, "Nothing is happening!" They report this after taking the supplements for a few weeks or a few months. I almost always find this amusing because they are experiencing what I call "the missing link."
The Missing Link
What's the missing link? When it comes to nutritional supplements, the missing link is what people "miss" when they look at what's changed about their health. Most people notice when something positive occurs, such as an increase in energy or a better mood. What they fail to notice, though, are the health challenges that are no longer present (i.e., the ones that are now missing). Those are the missing links.
When I counsel people about nutrition, I have them complete an intake form listing all of their health complaints and issues. As the weeks go by, I also have people journal about any changes they notice about their health. Some of these include the effects of toxins leaving their body -- such as bad breath, skin eruptions, and even diarrhea -- while others are more positive, including more stamina and mental clarity.
When someone tells me that their new supplements and nutritional regimen are having no effect, I ask them to review their intake form to see if they can identify any missing links. Most of the time, people are surprised to realize that many of their previous health complaints are no longer present.
A Case in Point of the Missing Link
For instance, I recently counseled one lady who felt her program wasn't working. She had started a nutritional program that included high-quality blue-green algae, enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus. I thought it unlikely that these powerful nutritional supplements were "doing nothing." Upon reviewing her intake form, she realized that she no longer suffered from weekly headaches, and that her back pain was greatly reduced. It may seem odd that she didn't immediately realize such a change in her health, however her experience is fairly typical. She, like many of us, was so busy every single day that she didn't notice much about her health unless a symptom was so painful or annoying that it interfered with her daily routine. She was aware of a headache when she had one, but failed to notice the lack of one. Interesting, isn't it?
The Moral of the Missing Link
The moral of this story is that before you begin a new health regimen, take stock of your current health. Take pen and paper, and do a mental review, starting at the top of your head and ending at the bottom of your feet. For instance, starting with your head, jot down whether you have headaches, eye strain, hearing problems, mental confusion, sinus congestion, teeth sensitivity, skin problems, or poor-quality hair. Do this kind of careful review for each area of your body.
As you start your new health regimen, whether it be taking supplements or engaging in a new exercise program, journal about any changes you notice. These could include changes in your weight, mood, skin condition, bowel movements, ability to sleep at night, or daily energy level. After a few weeks or months, go back to your intake form and compare your health before and after. You maybe surprised at what you discover. You may find a missing link or two.
In addition to helping you clarify how your new health regimen may or may not be helping you, this process also helps you be more aware of your physical and mental health in general. Awareness is always the first step to good health, so engaging in this process on a regular basis is a good idea. Think of it as your own brand of health insurance!
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