Holistic Health

Growing up with a father who was one of the true trailblazers in alternative medicine and holistic health, the concept of approaching health from a whole body perspective — as opposed to the conventional model of simply treating a specific ailment — has been ingrained in me from an early age. My father, Morton Teich, was key in my decision to head down this path in the first place, and is certainly one of the most significant influences on the focus and direction of The Sweat Life. I am sure this is also true for my brother, Aaron, who is one of the top holistic practitioners in New York City and is the feature of this week’s content. 

Thus, when my mother was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer over 5 years ago, we all had the immediate awareness that in order for her to have a chance to beat a rather unhopeful prognosis, we would need to give her all the ammunition possible to fight the battle of a lifetime — and this meant thinking well beyond the standard protocol of chemotherapy. Fighting cancer is like one person attempting to fight an army of over one million soldiers (vast understatement), and chemotherapy is like someone handing you five tanks and telling you to go forth and fight. While those five tanks are most certainly essential in fighting such a battle, you have little chance at winning if you rely on those alone — you have to build a much larger and stronger army. This includes everything: diet, exercise, mental and emotional well-being, and building your support system of family and friends. So we, together as a family, built our army — we brought on a nutritionist, a trainer, an herbalist, rallied the support of our friends and family through a community blog, and implemented a long list of other tricks we all had up our sleeves. Now five years later, my mother is still fighting strong.
While, of course, we were and ARE extremely lucky to have both the knowledge and resources to help my mother build the best army possible, cancer or not, resources or not, building your own personal health army is essential and possible for just about anyone. This is what holistic health is all about. To be truly healthy, one must give attention to your entire body - including your mind. If you are fighting a common cold, for example, sure, it’s easy to pop some pills and suppress your cough, stop your nose from dripping, and force your fever down. However, that cold is likely to pop right back up if you’re not treating the cause of the cold - your immune system, your stress levels, your sleeping habits, your eating, and many other factors we often ignore in place of a simple box of DayQuil. 

While the quick fixes may seem easier and more logical, in the end, you will be grateful when that common cold pops up less (or never), when you have more energy, when you are sleeping better, when you are thinking clearer at work, when your skin looks healthier, when your stomach likes the foods you eat as much as your tongue does, and when you feel truly, deeply happy. This is something that is available to all of us at all times, we just need to figure out how to build our own army - and this is just what we hope to help you find this week. 
As aforementioned, you will be hearing from my brother Aaron about acupuncture and the healing practice of Kundalini Yoga. Holistic nutritionist and mom Eve Kessner will be sharing natural remedies she uses to keep her family happy and healthy. Dr. Serena Ma will be explaining to readers what exactly a naturopath is, and how they differ from your general physician. Or check out Alli McGinnis’s guide to natural beauty products. 

No matter what, take care of yourself — your whole body and mind. You should feel good, we all should.

Until next week,

Aly Teich
Founder, CEO, and Host
The Sweat Life