The Last Four Doctors You Will Ever Need is an analysis developed by Paul Chek, founder of the C.H.E.K Institute.
The premise is that many of us have lost touch with the best natural resource we have to manage our health, and particularly the stresses of daily life and activity that can damage our health. That resource is the wisdom of our own body.
The Four Doctors are, in effect, four expert voices within us that continually tell us what we need to know and do to manage or eliminate these stresses. We just need to learn to listen to their advice.
The Last Four Doctors are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, Dr. Happiness and Dr. Movement, and they get us back to the basics of being human. If we disregard these basics, all the fancy pills, diets and exercise fads in the world won’t work well. If you heed the advice of all four of these doctors, you will have much less need of a doctor in a white coat.
Dr. Quiet is the regeneration doctor. When we rest, our body repairs, restores and loses weight. There are three different types of rest: total, active, passive. Total rest would be sleep. The average human used to get about 12 hours of sleep a night, but now, with the advent of artificial light and an extremely hectic lifestyle, the average adult sleeps six hours a night or less. During sleep, we physically repair between the hours of about 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., and the body psychologically repairs between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. This is all based on circadian rhythms. Active and passive rest is rest that accumulates more energy than is expended. Examples of this are yoga, tai chi, meditation or any form of gentle, rhythmical exercise.
Of course, Dr. Diet advises us about the fuel we put in our bodies. Dr. Diet tells us to consume the best proteins, carbs and fats that we can get. It is not true that carbohydrates, fats or proteins are bad for you. In fact, we need them, but it is important to get them from the right foods and in the right proportions. Protein--typically animal protein-- forms the building blocks of the body, and we need to ensure that the animal that provides it was treated humanely and fed its natural diet—no hormones, antibiotics or other artificial substances. Carbohydrates are your body’s fuel, and fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources for carbohydrates. Healthy fats are extremely important for balancing blood sugar and your hormonal system depends on them. Also, fats are your body’s satiety mechanism, meaning they tell you when to stop eating.
Our bodies also need cholesterol. Only 20% of the cholesterol in your blood stream comes from the food you eat. Your body makes the rest. Cholesterol is a part of the structure of every cell of every organ and a very important part of our cell membranes. Cholesterol makes cells strong, sturdy and resistant to any invasion. Our endocrine glands need cholesterol to produce steroid hormones. So we need cholesterol in the right proportions and the right amounts. Again, it’s a question of balance.
A standard American diet (also known—appropriately, I might add—as a SAD diet), made up of processed foods, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, does not perform the restorative and health-building role of a good diet. We might call it a quack doctor.
By the way, you don’t have to give up coffee, wine or occasional desserts to be healthy, but Dr. Diet will warn you to keep them in balance.
Dr. Movement is exercise. Exercise pumps the body, helps move fluid in the body and clean the body. Too much exercise can be very yang. Exercise breaks down the body and causes micro trauma. This is why people break down when they over-exercise.
An interesting fact: The most commonly used product during the Tour de France is hand sanitizer, and the reason is simple: During the Tour, the riders’ immune systems get so run down that the riders often get sick. There are many types of exercise, but Dr. Movement tells us to do the right kind of exercise and right amount of exercise for our life style. I believe that we all need to earn the right to exercise. I can’t emphasize enough that exercise at the cellular level is stress, and your cells don’t know the difference between exercise and financial crisis. Whether because of financial worries, the death of a loved one or excessive exercise, your body releases stress hormones. The question is, are you releasing too many stress hormones for your repair time?
What makes you happy? What puts wind in your sails? What gets you out of bed every day with energy and enthusiasm? People often equate happiness with “doing,” but we are human beings, not human doers, so there has to be more to doing than performing tasks. Dr. Happiness represents our passions. Your passions might include art or music, the beach, a sport, dogs, a cause or just quiet evenings with loved ones. Dr. Happiness recharges our batteries as much as Dr. Quiet. For me, Dr. Happiness is lying on the floor with my dog and just being present with her, enjoying her. Or sitting at the beach in the evening and enjoying the lights in the sky. When we know what makes us happy, the rest takes care of itself. Happiness helps push us to our goals and dreams.