Behind the Scenes


Vitruvian Woman - Physiology

HEALTH COACH© 
The Physiology of Health
informative - inspiring - empowering

HEALTH COACH is a research project that began in 1993 with the recording of data about the basic health habits and health complications of my clients. Twenty three 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. 

I question all of it, and I 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 structural integrity and healthy physiological function.

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, and a definitive system for healthy habit formation, as the key factors influencing health literacy in Canada.

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.

For the last seven years, my research has focused on providing the evidence to show that the basic health habits are not only necessary for physiological structural integrity and function, but also, when practiced together as a whole, the 13 basic health habits are comprehensive enough to create and maintain health; to reduce the risk of disease, and for healthy habit formation.

The 13 basic health habits are also 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 the basic needs to support healthy physiological function, give us an overall reading of how healthy we are, and supply the practical application to address any issues.


I share a small part of the research project, and the knowledge gained from a career devoted to helping people, with you, here at HEALTH COACH.


WHAT IS HEALTH?

Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living organism. 

Metabolism is the set of life-sustaining chemical transformations within the cells of living organisms. The three main purposes of metabolism are the conversion of food/fuel to energy to run cellular processes, the conversion of food/fuel to building blocks for proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, and some carbohydrates, and the elimination of nitrogenous wastes. 

These enzyme-catalyzed reactions allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures, and respond to their environments.

This means that the principle life, and health-supporting physiological functions are involved in: 
  • cellular function
  • cellular building and repair
  • elimination of waste by-products
The necessary elements for the physiological functions of health are dependent on and supplied by your Basic Health Habits

Health relates only to an intact 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 
Evidence-Based Health Research

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 properly, and to provide recommendations for practical application. My work is grounded in the science of anatomy and physiology.

Physiology is my poetry

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 understanding 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.

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.             








HEALTH COACH© 
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 habits are 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.




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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.






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 disease like heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases, 15% are premature (under the age of 60), and 80% are preventable. 

The world average of deaths from noncommunicable disease is 63%. Canadian rates are almost 30% higher. This epidemic of chronic, inflammatory disease is directly related to high blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and body mass.

Long term neglect of the 13 basic health habits, as well as contaminants in our environment, food and homes, tobacco, alcohol, and other addictions, obesity, pharmaceutical medications, surgery, chronic stress, and digestive disorders are the leading causes.

In Canada, in 2013, 29.3 billion dollars were 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, 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. Nutrition & Digestive Health
3. Hydration (water + electrolytes)
4. Physical Activity
5. Positive Mental Attitude
6. Breathing
7. Sweating
8. Sunshine
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.


HEALTH COACH basic health habits provide a stable foundation for building knowledge, understanding, and is the most basic of practical guides for your health. With each basic health habit you can customize and personalize your choices.

All basic health habits are learned behaviours, and the younger the age that we learn these habits, the more likely they are to be our dependable, and default system, especially in response to unexpected demands and unplanned stress.

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. 

We have a social responsibility to be healthy. This is especially true in a 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.

please visit: 
with live links to Basic Health Habit No. 1 - 13 Features


How To Identify A Health Trend

During my 39 year career as a health professional, I have seen the same health trends come and go, be renamed and rebranded, and come and go again, several times. 

The current aggressive marketing and mass popularity of idealized body image, weight-loss, and extreme fitness is unique, but it is not about health. 


Canada has two new eating disorders related to health dieting trends, and a new psychological disorder: Body Dismorphic 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.



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 effective 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

THE GREY FONT IS ME TALKING. 

(Black text is quoted material and is also tabbed.)


Home Page  This is where you first land when you visit and is the current feature topic. The first 12 features were about the Basic Health Habits 1-8. There is a two-part feature about How to Overcome Unhealthy Habits and How to Adopt Healthy Habits. There is a six-part series about Immune System Health, and a three part series about Stress-Free Posture and Body Mechanics.  The current 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 was about heart health, and the physiology of a broken heart. Please visit Basic Health Habit No. 9 - 13


ONGOING SERIES:

  • 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 INVESTIGATES



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.


TOOLS:

                • 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.  
                • SUBSCRIBE and receive notice when new features are posted.
                • FOLLOW allows you to become a follower of HEALTH COACH  (currently not available)
                • COMMENT allows you to ask questions and to provide commentary about anything you read here at HEALTH COACH
                • CONTACT communicate directly to me by email if you would like to make an appointment or to arrange a speaking engagement.




                PAGES:


                There are 10 additional pages including this Behind the Scenes page. There is a click entry menu bar under the blog title.


                BASIC HEALTH HABITS

                CANDY WITH BENEFITS™ CANDY SHOPPE


                HOME The most current topic is featured here



                • The Beliveau Club contains information about my business, education and treatments
                • Health Dictionary relevant and useful definitions
                • Reviews of books and products, businesses, and where I may express personal opinions
                • Special News Reports, Exposés, and important and relevant features.
                • Nature And The City My 30 x 30 Nature Challenge Journal
                • Curriculum Vitae
                • Contents: Coming Soon, In The Archives, and Pages content listings


                HEALTH COACH
                EDITOR
                Valerie Tonner ARMT, LCSP (Phys.)

                HEALTH COACH
                PHOTOGRAPHER 
                Clare Isaak




                photo by Elle Moss













                DEDICATION

                The work here at HEALTH COACH is dedicated to the visionary 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 mentor, the health wizard, Frank McTruck. 















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