About a year ago, I felt like hell, and I mean, hell. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t lose weight. I was tired all the time. All of this was confusing and a complete 180 from where I had been my whole life. I used to be energetic and fun loving. I’d go, go, go until I crashed into bed for a great night’s sleep.
But then, it seems like overnight, everything changed. If you’ve ever stayed awake until three a.m. for more than three nights in a row, you know what I mean when I say that I felt like a crazy person. Not knowing what to do, I went to my regular M.D. who suggested that I have some blood work done and get a B12 shot. My inability to get a good night’s sleep was to be remedied with an Ambien. Never one to like prescription drugs, I declined the Ambien and headed to the lab for my blood work.
The lab results didn’t show anything that would be considered “bad” by traditional standards, but by my own standards, I was miserable. So, I sent out an SOS to the Universe. “Please,” I prayed every night when I couldn’t sleep, “Help me find the answer to my dis-ease.” Within a few days, one lead led me to another and another, and before I knew it, I was standing on the doorstep of my healer, Dr. Terry Hambrick. Well actually, I was my own healer. But in all his wisdom, Dr. Hambrick facilitated my healing journey.
Before long, we were down to business. I told him about my malaise, about my stubborn fat, and about my inability sleep. He nodded his head and asked me in his calm, quiet tone, “What are you hoping I can do for you? How are you hoping to feel?”
After a long pause, I looked at him through my tears and said, “I want to feel alive again.”
And with that, we went to work. Dr. Hambrick’s mind/body/spirit approach got my immune system buzzing along, and I began to feel that I was on the road to wellness. Knowing what he has done for me, I couldn’t wait to share him with all of you. And with it being the season of the sick, what more perfect time to hear from Dr. Hambrick about who gets well, who stays well, and how to supercharge your immune system.
I sat down with Dr. Hambrick for a Q&A. Here’s what we thought you absolutely had to know:
KK: We talk about how important it is to have a healthy immune system, especially this time of the year. But break it down for us, where exactly is our immune system?
TH: The immune system, our own natural defense system, is EVERYWHERE in our bodies. The first layers of defense are the skin and the mucous membranes (lining our nose, mouth, lungs and other orifices). They offer several methods of protection, ranging from the tiny hairs in your nose that trap incoming invaders to the balanced bacteria and yeasts that naturally grow on both the skin and the mucous membranes. All of these put up a fight when foreign agents invade.
The next layer of protection is in our gut, or digestive system, where it has been said that 80% of our immune system lives. The gut contains enzymes and acids that neutralize incoming organisms that might infect us. The lymphatic and other tissues in the gut also contain a tremendous amount of defensive capability.
The blood stream also plays a role in our immune system by carrying cells with search and destroy capabilities. Certain types of white blood cells circulate and stand guard for any viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic or allergenic substances that have found their way into the blood. Once an offending agent has been identified, it is tagged by one type of cell, and then other cells that are more specifically programmed to attack the intruder are sent in for the kill.
KK: So let’s say we go on an airplane and get exposed to some bacteria and a virus all while we’re already not feeling so great. Does our immune system prioritize what it can and will fight off?
TH: It certainly makes an effort to prioritize and go after the most potent of the agents to which it is exposed. However, there are many agents that have become stealth invaders, and if our system is exposed to several things at once, the sneakier ones can slip by a weak immune system.
My approach to health is making sure my patient’s immune system is strong so that they don’t get sick in the first place. Basically, it’s the strength of your immune system determines whether you get sick more so than the exposure to germs.
KK: I don’t like to use antibiotics. I’ve heard that overuse can cause germs to mutate. If this happens, it becomes more difficult for the antibiotics to work when you really need them. Is this true?
TH: There is a time and a place for the traditional use of antibiotics. But yes, the advent and overuse of antibiotics has resulted in mutations; and as a result, germs have become more elusive, potent, and prevalent.
KK: Other than getting sick, what are some warning signs that our immune system may not be up to par?
TH: Slow wound healing. The repair mechanisms that rebuild tissue when we have a cut or scrape use the same white blood cells that fight an infectious agent invading our bodies. So if your wounds heal slowly, it usually means your immune system is weak. Other signs include:
- Fungus under the fingernails or toenails
- Thinning hair
- Dry and cracking skin
- Weak and flaking fingernails/toenails
- Weight gain – the thyroid keeps our body temperature up so that enzymes can do their protective work. If our thyroid is not functioning properly, our body temperature lowers, which can result in gain weight.
- Sugar cravings – these are indicative of nutritional deficiencies that weaken the immune system.
KK: How can we supercharge our immune systems?
TH: Drink clean water – not tap water. This is a big one. Other ways include:
- Eat food the way God made them – eat clean and eat colorfully. We should also eat foods that support our natural metabolism. This differs from person to person, and I can do tests to determine what is best for you.
- Avoid allergenic foods – I can help identify nutritional deficiencies in an objective and scientific way and provide supplements to replenish those deficiencies.
- Get Vitamin D from the sun.
- Detox – effectively eliminate toxins through our skin, gut, lungs, and urinary systems.
- Sleep! A good night’s sleep cannot be underestimated.
- Floss your teeth.
- Avoid negative emotions – worrying, bottling up our anger, harboring resentment, and remaining in unhealthy relationships with people or situations.
- Be emotionally happy and content – enjoy your work or your avocation, express your emotions, have nurturing, healthy relationships with people and animals.
KK: You offer a lot of untraditional advice on how to get well and stay well and how to supercharge our immune systems. But, the biggest difference I’ve experienced with your approach to wellness is the mind/body/spirit connection. Tell us more about that.
TH: There are a few ideas, notions, and philosophies that I believe in and like to share with others. I believe that we need some form of meditation, prayer, or communion with “the mystery” of who we are. Even if you think your being extends no further than the outer edge of your skin, there is still a mysterious process that beats your heart, blinks your eyes, turns your scrambled egg breakfast into muscle (or fat, as the case may be), heals your wounds, and makes you breathe. Get in touch with that mysterious process somehow.
I also believe in healing your relationships and past emotional wounds and traumas. They are keeping you from experiencing your full potential. I offer healing solutions for these emotional wounds that remain open and replay in your head.
KK: These days, I make it a point to see you every month or so for a tune up to make sure I stay well. Some people may think that’s too often to see a doctor. But I look at it like this, if I go once a month or so to get my hair trimmed or highlighted, why wouldn’t I do the same to take care of my body? How important do you think regular tune ups or visits to a doctor are?
TH: What an excellent point. I have often used other examples such as this: you get your car tuned up every few thousand miles and your car can be replaced, yet you wait until your body has fallen off the deep end into the abyss of disease before even checking to see if something is going wrong. The body is more sophisticated than the Space Shuttle, but we drive it around like a garbage truck. I personally like to see people every month, but I don’t push that on people. Most people, who start feeling great, come to see me every month or so on their own because they want to STAY well.
The depth of Dr. Hambrick’s wisdom and the breadth of his approach is too extensive to cover in this post alone. (A more in depth Q&A with Dr. Hambrick about the emotional aspects of physical health will be the subject a future post.) But, what I can tell you is that his overall wellness approach is one that more medical professionals should embrace.
These days, I don’t struggle to maintain my weight or to sleep at night. Instead, I’m focused on listening to my soul, respecting my body, and keeping my immune system supercharged. But just in case anything should go awry, I have Dr. Hambrick on speed dial.
Your Fun, Sexy, Spiritual Homework:
- For more information about Dr. Hambrick, click here.
- Want to know more about the mind/body/spirit connection? Read Dr. Bernie Siegel’s book.