A Historical Look at Health : What can we learn from Paleo Times?
People are always surprised to hear that we as a species are not at our peak! We have this sense that we’re advancing, that we improve with every year. But is this really the case?
From digs to studies it’s been shown that paleolithic humans were taller, more keenly in touch with their senses and showed no sign of disease such as we have today. Their main threat outside of childbirth was from other animals – and each other! But certainly not their own biology as is the case today. Death then was from outside – now death is from inside – predominately the exponentially rising chronic illnesses of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, brain disorders, inflammations all generating from within. Even the current much reported ‘pandemic’ – the overwhelming majority of deaths are occurring due to a reduced internal immunity and secondarily illness.
So is this a key to our health? Our species, classified as Homo Sapiens (meaning wise humans) are the most recent in a line of hominids who’s history stretches back into what’s referred to as the Paleolithic or the prehistoric period which dates around 2.5 million years to about 10,000 years ago.
Post primate evolution we were preceded and at times shared the planet with a number of now-extinct hominin relatives, including Homo Erectus, Neanderthals and Denisovans. Many of whom – as species lived for hundreds of thousands of years – very much longer than we sapiens have yet to achieve. We are the last surviving human species.
Putting this into context – it may feel like we’ve been around creating huge volumes of historical achievement forever, but everything we know has just covered 10,000 years! As if pre-history means no-history, implying there’s nothing for us to learn. Is this right?
It was around 10,000 years ago that our species changed from being hunter gatherers. At that time we lived with the light and slept to the dying embers of fire.
Our diet was obtained by fishing, hunting birds and wild animals as well as collecting berries, fruit and nuts. We were surrounded by a world of plenty living for the most part, in harmony with our surrounds, with Nature. We were at the peak of our Nature Sense.
This most harmonious of times for our species also marks a point in history when we biologically started to disconnect – to devolve. It was when we started to get sick: Our teeth rotting, our skeleton shrinking and chronic disease showing up in our skeletal remains, never seen in previous finds. Despite the great PR that farming receives in our evolution, this marks a decline in not just our biology, but also life for many other animals. We started to domesticate (not just them but also women where their role became dependant and owned as much as the animals!) This sedentary shift ironically brought with it a much harsher life, with less variety in food and more vulnerable to weather as well as a much challenging life of planting, harvesting and building. Bringing us to now where we value any invention that stops us moving and increases our sitting! We are en rout – unless we become aware of our hubris – to be the shortest living of the hominoid species. So much for the ‘wise’ human!
Of course there is no denying the incredible advances in surgery and some medical discoveries but only time will tell if the big pharmacological advances are as beneficial as we believe. After all the medical establishment is the third biggest killer in America with the rest of the west not far behind. We hail antibiotics as remarkable – without question, in many applications they are – but they may ultimately be useless as we are increasingly suffering auto immune diseases. Much of this rising tide of illness is due to our lack of understanding of the importance of viruses and bacteria and the stark fact that we are actually made up of over 50 percent virus and bacteria. To kill them, kills us, kills our innate immunity.
Our overuse and reliance on many of our man made chemicals, the whole way up the food chain from farming to ‘health’ and with it an increasing philosophy of a one shot cure for everything is leading to a Homo Helpless. This idea that the GP’s bible of medicine is somehow more advanced than finding a cause, than living optimally – ignoring our innate natural health – is making this generation the first to die younger and sicker than their parents at any time in history! And now stepping into 2021 we’re set to be even sicker from our increased inside living and screen addictions.
We do not need to be reminded with the world health crisis how elements such as virus and bacteria are so much stronger than we are. Perhaps trying to eliminate the building blocks of all life will seem in time, as backward as we perceive humans who knew nothing of taming fire.
So to close, what’s the solution as obviously our earth is no longer the earth of 10,000 years ago? Awarness and acknowledging there is a challenge is the first step. That we have become misaligned with what our biology needs to thrive a real need to be recognised. Allowing ourselves to consider ‘How do we live well when our lifestyle is predominately sedentary, that our life having jumped from being 90%outdoors to now more than 90% indoors!’ The first is to admit we have a challenge.
But Human’s have survived – and we do rise and thrive in challenge. Let’s acknowledge and then Act.
Realising that we are part of nature, that being apart does not serve us. That learning to live in harmony not just with nature, but our tech. Health optimisation recognises that we need to be in sync; encouraging earthing, healthy living, eating with the seasons, dumping the junk. It’s also about recognising that our good food has depleted nutrients so sometimes supplimentation is needed. That filtering water to eliminate fluroide and chlorine to nurture our guts is important. That many medicines are not the best solution and a recognition that so called alternative medicines are a good first call in many cases. That the simple things are actually the easy way to start. Walking in a park, Forest Bathing, talking with friends, learning to cook so that you can buy organic and make it last. Paleo or Primal eating. Growing veg, not using pesticides in your garden, turning your phone off at night, reading books, chucking hours of social, upping your vitamin intake, stop wearing SPF all the time, bringing in mindfulness, turning off mainstream news, learning how to breath deeply… there is so much that this is just the start of even more information that you can find here.
Choose just one, heal yourself – It’s just Nature Sense.
Nature Sense is about connecting with a reality that makes you feel alive.