HEALTH COACH is created and best viewed on desktop. 
Choose web version - even when using a mobile device - for a complete view. DO NOT choose readers view. HEALTH COACH is a twelve page blog - use the search box to find what you are looking for, or visit the Contents page for links to everything published here.

Vitruvian Woman :: Physiology

The Physiology of Health
informative - inspiring - empowering
1993 - present

Phase One: 1993 - 2010
I noticed, over the course of my life and career, that more people are sick, and the illnesses more serious. I was curious enough to want to know more about Canadians' relationship with health. I had a ready-made opportunity in my practice to formally collect information, using my clinic health intake form. 

HEALTH COACH is a health research project that began in 1993 with the recording of data about the basic health habits, and health complications of my clients. Dr. Kirschner’s Nature’s Seven Doctors is a formative part of this project, providing an initial strategy to identify, detail, and evaluate individual health habits. Twenty-nine years, and more than 30,000 people later, this project has given me profound insight into the health issues, and the ideas, language, and beliefs about health, here in Canada.

HEALTH COACH questions all of it, and works to answer those questions.

The HEALTH COACH project is not about belief or opinion. It is about the physiology of health: the structural and functional knowledge of our bodies; identifying the basic elements and habits necessary for:  
  • healthy physiological function
  • the maintenance of health
  • physical structural integrity

Phase Two: HEALTH COACH Est. 2010
In 2010, I realized that a blog would be a great place to continue the project; develop writing and technological skills; to help my clients with practical information; to convert data into statistics; to organize and follow proper research protocols, and to share research results.

HEALTH COACH provides the information, instruction, and the tools to facilitate behavioural change that leads to the creation and maintenance of health, rather than the suppression of natural physiological function, and the symptoms of an unhealthy body.

Health Literacy
Canadians are health illiterate, and to be fair, we are uneducated. We are on our own when learning about health. 

HEALTH COACH research identifies knowledge and understanding of health creation and maintenance; a coherent language to talk with each other about health and to use to educate ourselves; a definitive system for healthy habit formation; the absence of health in the infrastructures of education, government policy, and medicare, as the key factors influencing health literacy in Canada. Misleading ideas and harmful trends have developed to fill the void where health should be.

HEALTH COACH is also a comprehensive guide for a healthy lifestyle, with the identification of 13 Basic Health Habits, necessary, universally, for human physiological health. This is the fundamental foundation of health missing, and needed to build a coherent and definitive infrastructure of education systems, government policy, and healthcare, that actually includes health.

Together, the 13 Basic Health Habits are a dependable system for evaluating health. Conventional medical tests give us our risk of particular conditions - high cholesterol warns of impending heart disease, for example, while high blood sugar predicts diabetes. Basic Health Habits, by contrast, help us to evaluate our health and the basic requirements to support: 
  • healthy physiological function
  • the maintenance of health
  • physical structural integrity
  • practical application to address any issues
  • healthy habit formation

Phase Three
  • HEALTH COACH is moving; a new website is being developed that will also house a shop in an effort to make the project self-funding and self-sufficient. A launch date will be announced soon 

  • HEALTH COACH is also getting ready to publish videos at YouTube ...  stay tuned

  • is an independent, non-profit, health research project 
  • Valerie Tonner, RMT, RMTSMB is HEALTH COACH 
  • Choose desktop view when visiting HEALTH COACH on any device - the readers view is abbreviated 
  • HEALTH COACH updates research results continuously

The work here at HEALTH COACH is dedicated to my true friend, Peter Brett; the feminist visionary Chris Craton; to the fearless industry pioneer Randy Ellingson, FLCSP (Phys), Director of Wellington College, who taught me to ask questions and to do my homework. I also dedicate HEALTH COACH to my first health mentors, Esmerelda Elf, and the health wizard, Frank McTruck.

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Helps you to make informed decisions and puts the power of your health back in your hands

I see that important health decisions are often made based on information that is misleading, and critical action is taken, based on faulty decision-making. At the first sign of health complications, the few, or singular health habit is the first to be halted. 

Good health choices start with an understanding of the body. What is it made of? How does it work? What does it need to be healthy and to function optimally? With that understanding, I then look for practical, sustainable solutions. While it is valuable to have accurate and comprehensive information about your body and health, I am ultimately interested in the healthy choices that work, with ease, in real life.


The principle life, and health-supporting physiological functions are involved in: 
  • cellular function
  • cellular building and repair
  • elimination of waste by-products
  • maintenance of health
  • physical structural integrity

The necessary elements for the physiological functions of health are dependent on and supplied by the 13 Basic Health Habits

The human body is an ecosystem of complementary, co-dependent, and cooperative systems, functioning together to maintain health, and designed to heal itself. Neglect of basic health habits leads to physical deterioration; malfunction; a cascade effect of health complications, and finally, to disease. Physiological health relates only to an intact, fully functional, flesh and blood body. 

In humans, health is also the ability of individuals or communities to adapt and self-manage when facing physical, mental, or social challenges.

The Physiology of Health 

I focus on facts and solutions. I endeavour to give accurate and comprehensive information about your body and what it needs to be healthy, to function optimally, and to provide recommendations for practical application. My work is grounded in the science of anatomy and physiology. 

I am a health professional, with long term clinical experience, and a researcher-writer. I have a formal science-based education and thesis work, combined with a health perspective. I am on the frontline of healthcare, and I see firsthand what is happening with health in Canada. I have a passion for the knowledge and understanding of the human body. 

My research involves meta-analysis of current studies by leading experts, using systematic review methods. I conduct case studies and compile data about health, basic health habits, and disease across a broad spectrum of the population. My research includes the study of disease formation, and the history of health, disease, and medicine in Western and Non-Western cultures. My knowledge and understanding of health is further enhanced by a continuous and expansive study of human physiology, and the health challenges of the 21st century.

Building a bridge between the worlds of health, science, and medicine is also a goal here at HEALTH COACH. I look forward to the day when health is not considered the alternative.             

I question the popular notions about health here in Canada. The prevalent and pervasive ideas have many believing that health is a difficult burden - that it is easier to have unhealthy habits, and being disease-free is largely out of our control. This has led to a conflicted relationship with our health that is supported by the promotion of unhealthy temptations at every turn; by a popular culture of de-valuing health; a ritualized language of denigration; a legacy of physical taboos; a tradition that has never embraced a foundation of basic health habits; a medical system focused on critical care and disease, and government and corporations taking advantage of your ignorance. Until technology can create a replacement for the human body, or a pill to make you healthy, you are responsible for your health. HEALTH COACH

WHO 2011 Report on Disease In Canada 

I am alarmed by what I see here in Canada. I identify the unhealthy western lifestyle as the largest and most dangerous health experiment in human history - and I would say that we are clearly getting the results of this experiment. If we want to continue on this unhealthy course, we will need to develop increasingly complex medical, pharmaceutical, genetic, and technological treatments.

In its 2011 report on disease in Canada, the World Health Organization concludes that 89% of deaths are from noncommunicable, chronic inflammatory disease like heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases, 15% are premature (under the age of 60), and 80% are preventable. 

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Health illiteracy, and the common belief that an individual cannot help, or change their health issues, or recover from injuries; longterm neglect of the 13 Basic Health Habits; unhealthy habits; extreme fitness, weight-loss dieting, and nutritional supplementation and other risky behaviours with an idealized body image as the desired outcome; food production methods; processed and refined food; pharmaceutical medications; surgery; environmental and food contaminants, and chronic stress and inflammation, are the leading causes.

In Canada, in 2013, 29.3 billion dollars was spent on prescription drugs. 36% of Canadians take two or more prescription drugs, among the highest of the 11 other OECD countries surveyed.   Health Council of Canada

Health is the only cure 

The World Health Organization defines health as a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Common Sense Needs a PhD ®

Perhaps common sense belongs to simpler times when there existed fewer threats to our health. Now, there are compromises to our health from food production, environment, medical care, chronic stress, popular trends, and lifestyle changes. Scientific developments in technology and medicine present us with increasingly complex choices. It is difficult for patients and policy makers to understand the choices and to make informed decisions. This removes the power of your health from your control.

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1. Sleep
2. Digestive Health + Nutrition
3. Hydration (digestive health + fluids + electrolytes)
4. Physical Activity
5. Positive Mental Attitude
6. Breathing
7. Sweating
8. Sunlight
9. Rest and Relaxation
10. Meditation 
11. Hygiene: personal, home, social, public, occupational, professional, medical, commercial, animal, and environmental
12. Life Skills: emotional intelligence, communication, conflict resolution, practical skills, character, integrity, critical thinking, love and compassion, social skills, social responsibility, personal development and more ...
13. Nature: We need a healthy environment to be healthy and disease-free.

Default System of Physiological Habit
All BASIC HEALTH HABITS are learned behaviours, and default system behaviour is possible at any age. Our ability to learn may change as we age, with the complications of obstacles and over-analysis. so that, the younger the age that we learn these habits, the more likely they are to be our dependable and default system of behaviour, especially in response to unexpected demands, and unplanned stress.

If you develop a BASIC HEALTH HABIT in a gradual and comfortable way, your body will cooperate, and it will become your ally. This is how default system behaviour is formed. If you push change too fast or hard, your body will resist, and no one wins that battle.

HEALTH COACH 13 Basic Health Habits provide a dependable and stable foundation for building knowledge, understanding, and is the most basic of practical guides for your health. With each 13 Basic Health Habit you can customize and personalize your choices. 

Our body is equipped to maintain health and designed to heal itself. Regarding our personal health care, our primary behaviour should involve the support of these natural functions with the practice of basic health habits.

As long as we are made of flesh and blood, we are bound by natural laws. If your present system of health care is not built on a foundation of understanding and support of the natural functions of your body, then it is a faulty system. 

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We have a social responsibility to be healthy. This is especially true in a publicly-funded, social system of Medicare, like we have here in Canada. Doing nothing to care for your health is neglectful; cultivating unhealthy habits is self-abusive.

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with links to Basic Health Habit No. 1 - 13 Features

Health is Not a Trend

The current aggressive marketing and mass popularity of an idealized body image, weight-loss, and extreme fitness is not about health. The first time an individual tries a new fitness and weight-loss diet regimen, they will experience positive results that can be compared to the high of a new drug. The problem with this is, these results will never be as good again; unsupported by health literacy and Basic Health Habits, often leading to more extreme and risky choices, and a distortion of self perception.

Canada has two new eating disorders related to health dieting trends, and a new psychological disorder: Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD), that now includes a growing number of young boys and men, as well as girls and women; engaging in extreme fitness, health dieting, surgery, augmentation, drug use, and supplementation behaviours. 

Unfortunately, most people that I treat have extreme fitness habits, unsupported by basic health habits - with effects compounded by unhealthy habits. I have been charting the short and long term damage of this behaviour for more than 25 years. 

While the goal of basic health habits is the creation and support of health, the purpose of a health trend is focused on a specific result such as weight loss, detoxification, or physical fitness. Health trends are temporary measures for achieving a limited outcome - often at a cost to our health, while basic health habits are essential, sustainable, and fundamental for the health of all humans. 

When health is the goal, rather than weight loss or an increase in body size, better choices are made, the health benefits are more comprehensive and sustainable, and include: beauty, weight management, muscle development, and healthy aging.

Health is not defined by fitness; pain; weight loss dieting; nutritional supplementation; detoxification; pharmaceutical medications; surgery; augmentation; natural remedies, or an idealized body image. Trends are not inclusive or sustainable, and almost always come with a cost to health; especially without the 13 Basic Health Habits.

The New Moderation ®

In regard to unhealthy habits, HEALTH COACH recommends moderation, gradual reduction, and finally, elimination. An increase of healthy habits is the most effective way to achieve this. 

When you understand what your body needs to be healthy and to function optimally; and when you make informed choices based on this knowledge and understanding; this can give you a relationship with your health and power of your habits that is more effective than self control. 

Develop a new relationship with your health that is based on knowledge, understanding, and informed choices.

Health is The Goal ®

I follow my own advice. I have allowed years of process to reduce and eliminate unhealthy habits and to increase a sound foundation of basic health habits; this time is still a quarter of the time it took to become unhealthy. I found myself, in mid-age, at the end of the peak busy years of family and business demands, in the state of the typical North American my age. I was unhealthy and overweight, and well on my way to illness.

Health is the goal. I am developing a relationship with my health habits that is enjoyable, sustainable and richly rewarding because I understand what my body needs to be healthy and what works for me personally. I appreciate that this is not a static relationship and that my needs will change. 

I am encouraged by the power of the human body to be healthy and to heal itself. I love healthy things, it makes me happy to be healthy. This has been the reward of increasing basic health habits. Much desired weight loss, beauty, and natural aging (rather than premature aging) are some of the other results of health.
Age can be rude, but the best response every time, is health.

I am inspired by the desire to see what is possible as I age and to avoid harrowing and invasive medical intervention. I am adjusting my habits to address the increase in sedentary activity in my life, writing and blogging.

How to use 

:: HEALTH COACH is created and best viewed on desktop. Choose web version - even when using a mobile device - for a complete view. Do not choose readers view :: HEALTH COACH is a twelve page blog - use the search box, or visit the Contents page for links to everything published here.


The Home Page  This is where you first land when you visit and is the current feature topic. 

There are features about the 13 Basic Health Habits. There is a six-part series about Immune System Health, and a three part series about Stress-Free Posture and Body Mechanics. The Christmas feature is a five part series about the Physiology and Psychology of Joy with a practical guide and an interview with Olam Qatan proprietor and scholar, Ya'qub ibn Yusuf, in Jerusalem, about joy. The February feature is about Heart Health, and the Physiology of a Broken Heart.


There are 11 additional pages including the About The HEALTH COACH PROJECT page. 
There is a click entry menu bar under the blog title.



HOME The most current topic is featured here

CLUB BELIVEAU contains information about my business, treatments, professional association, awards, special projects

Health Dictionary relevant and useful definitions

Reviews :: Favourite Remedies For Cold & Flu :: Natural, Healthy Sources of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) :: Tetley Tea Infusions: A Special Review and A Warning About Drink Mixes

Special News :: Reports, Exposés, and important and relevant features

Nature And The City :: my city nature journal

Ocean Keepers HEALTH COACH LOVES the ocean. Association: The David Suzuki Foundation Ocean Protection Group

Curriculum Vitae :: professional profile

Contents: Coming Soon, In The Archives, and Pages content listings with links


  • DO YOU KNOW? Is at the end of a feature topic on the Home page and highlights additional information and the latest news.
  • HEALTH COACH TRAVELS THE WORLD and talks with people about their health habits and lifestyle.
  • HEALTH COACH TALKS these interviews give us an opportunity to talk directly with professionals and leading experts.
  • FOOD FEATURES inspiring, super food recipes 
  • HEALTH COACH FIELD TRIPS out and about to see what's what
  • HEALTH COACH REPORTS special news exposés

HEALTH COACH is interested in accurate and comprehensive information about health. When you see this image a cliché or popular belief about health is being examined.


                • SEARCH THIS BLOG allows you to search any topic on HEALTH COACH.  
                • LIVE LINKS allow you to click access with your cursor. 
                • OFFICIAL LOGOS take you to valuable resources and information  
                • ARCHIVES all Home page feature posts are filed by month and year with live links
                • MOST POPULAR POSTS provide live links to the most read HEALTH COACH feature posts
                • MOST RECENT POSTS provide live links to all feature topics with the title and a snippet of the feature
                • COMING SOON (Content Page) lets you know what feature topic is coming next
                • SHARE these tools allow you to share HEALTH COACH on Facebook, twitter etc.  
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                • CONTACT communicate directly to me by email if you would like to make an appointment or to arrange a speaking engagement.

                HEALTH COACH
                Valerie Tonner ARMT, LCSP (Phys.)

                HEALTH COACH
                Clare Isaak

                photo by Elle Moss

                The work here at HEALTH COACH is dedicated to my true friend, Peter Brett; the feminist visionary Chris Craton; to the fearless industry pioneer Randy Ellingson, FLCSP (Phys), Director of Wellington College, who taught me to ask questions and to do my homework. I also dedicate HEALTH COACH to my first health mentors, Esmerelda Elf, and the health wizard, Frank McTruck.