Key #5 acknowledges the vital role social connection, tribe and support play in human health and wellbeing.
It is about sharing, cooperation, intimacy, involvement, contribution, relationships – primary partner, kids/family, friendships. It looks at ritual, vulnerability, love, nurture, safety, feeling important, belonging, appreciation. And it looks at commitment to others…
The Vibrant Life Keys are all about working toward purity and sufficiency, primarily by removing toxicity, and resolving deficiency in PHYSICAL, BIOCHEMICAL, MENTAL-EMOTIONAL and SOCIAL realms or domains.
Chiropractic Care is all about reducing the ongoing toxic stress-load of subluxation and improving the movement capacity of our chronically movement-deprived bodies. While resolving these stresses are a vital contribution toward health and wellbeing, it is not the ONLY stress which MOST of our clients are experiencing in their lives.
There are essential other components of life including the way we interact with our loved ones, friends and the broader community, mental-emotional challenges, movement and other physical factors, and internal chemistry that also become sources of either toxicity, deficiency or both.
If the aim is a complete shift toward better cell function, human beings need to include in their ‘healthstyle’ both knowledge of and action steps toward resolving toxicity or deficiency in the domain of Connection.
When implementing change in the area of ‘Brain Function’ we are effectively discussing all of the factors that contribute to stress-load as a result of inappropriate social and other ‘interaction’ factors. There is some crossover in this domain with mental and emotional function too.
We are an organism of over 70 TRILLION cells; we have evolved to need connection, interaction and contribution – we’re pack animals that need social interaction. Even within each of us, every cell is the individual; every cell needs interaction and connection with many cells nearby and distant – we are a skin-covered community, not just ‘me’. On the macro level, our lives play out in our society the same way – the cells of our body require the input or feedback that arises from social involvement to promote ideal health and function – it takes a tribe to raise a child, and it takes a tribe to support every one of us through life.
Cells are forced to adapt and change their function either because:
- they are TOXIC – being exposed to something that is not appropriate or not genetically required, OR
- they are DEFICIENT – they do not have an essential nutrient or resource, as genetically required for their optimum function
Remember, this is important because sickness results from deficiency and toxicity, the two forms of stress that result in a loss of the healthy state (a movement in function away from your cells operating in what scientists refer to as ‘homeostasis’).
Of course it can be a combination of the two, or it may be that the accumulated load from previous stress is still affecting the cell’s function.
As with the broader conversation about the value of Health & Wellness coaching, we work to help people identify how or where they are experiencing either a toxicity load or a deficiency state in terms of their social, community connections and contributions. Here we see the use of the terms 'toxicity' and 'deficiency' in a slightly different context - we're talking about too much of the wrong kind of thoughts, emotions etc or not enough of the positive aspects of same – remember than you can also experience ‘toxicity’ and ‘deficiency’ in both INTERNAL CHEMISTRY and PHYSICAL and MENTAL-EMOTIONAL domains.
The idea of toxicity or deficiency from a social/connection standpoint is perhaps more difficult to grasp – too much of something NOT needed, or not enough of something that IS needed. What we know is that there are a range of ways our conscious and unconscious brain function, our habits, beliefs, thoughts and self-talk can mediate EITHER wellness OR sickness.
Requirements for Ideal Social Connection
There are many inter-dependent areas that fit within the domain of ‘Connection’.
They arise because we ARE a social or tribal species. In fact we are PACK ANIMALS and we have a tribe-consciousness - this is how we evolved and it is suggested this is how we became the dominant species on planet Earth.
- We need Interaction with others, affiliating, being part of a group
- We need strong healthy relationships – primary relationships, family relationships, friendships and wider connections too.
Relationships need to provide us with a sense of feeling:
LOVED, IMPORTANT, SAFE and APPRECIATED
The human need for love cannot be minimised or ignored.
“You fall in love with someone based on how you feel about that person;
You STAY in love by how THEY make you feel about YOURSELF!”
- We also need to feel some level of comfort, safety, security, order and stability
- We need to feel important to ourselves and to our society, tribe or group
This has devolved into a desire or expectation for
‘reputation,’ ‘respect,’ ‘status,’ or ‘prestige’ from others
- We need to feel like we are contributing.
- We need touch
- We need to laugh and express ourselves
- We need sex!
To be healthy, we need shelter, protection, warmth
We need intimacy, trust, and acceptance, receiving and giving of affection.
We need fun, recreation, and play
One of the primary areas as a society or culture that we now lack are regular and meaningful rites of passage. We celebrate major birthdays, marriages and funerals, but there is no longer any other meaningful rituals to signify the passage of time and the roles or responsibilities expected of you in life (or which you willingly accept and step into).
One of the root causes of so much of our cultural dislocation, of crime and illness stems from loneliness, insecurity, loss or feeling lost, or feeling like there is no support. Feeling like we need to ‘go it alone’
Learning how to, and then actually ASKING for support is a profound skill!
Many sociologists have described that the human race now exists in ‘a concrete jungle’ – that humans have lost our own freedom, and in the process of conforming to societal norms and expectations we are now effectively ‘apes in captivity!’