Dr Ron Ehrlich – The Mission Statement for Unstress Podcast

In this episode, I speak about public health messages, the immune system, stress, chronic inflammation and our health journey.

I've been in clinical practice for over 40 years. I'm a holistic health practitioner. I’ve written a book and the book is called "A Life Less Stressed". The reality is stress is ubiquitous. It is everywhere. And I define stress as anything that can compromise your immune system or promote chronic inflammation. Because chronic inflammation is the common denominator in all chronic diseases. the idea, of course, is to identify as many of those factors as you can and minimise them.

We are all on a health journey together and the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know. And while that can be a little challenging at times, it's also rather exciting because you just keep on learning. And that is certainly what I'm doing and I ask you to come along for that ride. Let’s learn more about stress and health and together we can take control of our own health and be the best we can be.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:00:00] Hi, my name is Dr Ron Ehrlich and welcome to the website, if this is the first time you’ve come into contact with myself and the work that I do, I thought I’d give you a little bit of a short mission statement, if you like, as to what I’m about. I’ve been in clinical practice for over 40 years. I’m a holistic health practitioner. I’ve been focussed very early on in my career in the treatment of chronic headaches, neck aches and your pain. And I was very early on introduced to a model of stress that has stood me in very good stead over many years. It has been, I believe, a great framework for asking all the right questions. It’s led me to write a book and the book is called “A Life Less Stressed”. Whenever I say that to people, they said, Oh, I must read that, because almost everybody recognises the word stress and recognises that it doesn’t have always a very positive impact on their lives.


Now, stress is ubiquitous. It is everywhere. And I define stress as anything that can compromise your immune system or promote chronic inflammation. Because chronic inflammation is the common denominator in all chronic diseases. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about heart disease, cancer, diabetes or autoimmune conditions, even mental health. So anything that causes stress to your immune system or chronic inflammation, I believe, is a stressor. And the idea, of course, is to identify as many of those factors as you can and minimise them. So I’ve been using a five stressor model within my professional life and in my personal life as I explore this, because, hey, at the end of the day, we’re all on a health journey together. And I’m not going to pretend that I’ve sorted out or got all the answers. In fact, the more you learn, the more you realise you don’t know. And while that can be a little challenging at times, it’s also rather exciting because you just keep on learning. And that is certainly what I’m doing.


The book actually is in three parts. The first part of the book is an exploration of why public health messages are so confusing. And this was something I came into very early on in my career when advice that my professional organisation was giving me, I found was actually perhaps not the best advice for health. It was only advice that had been given for almost over 100 years before. And that started me on a journey of questioning authority. And I’ve been on that journey ever since. And it’s an interesting story. It’s a story that is very easy, particularly as a health practitioner, very easy to miss because we learn at universities, we read our journals. We respect the idea of evidence-based medicine. But to understand the science in medicine, to understand how these public health messages come about and how we approach chronic disease in our society is a really important message. And so the first part of my book is really exploring that. And at the end of it, you may throw your hands up and say, oh, what the hell, it’s so confusing. I should be on high fat or low fat. I should avoid grains or I should they should be the foundation of my whole diet. Dairy’s good for me, dairy’s bad for me and so on. And you could throw your hands up and think, what the hell, I’ll just do whatever I want to do. But what I prefer you to do and what I have certainly done is come to this realisation and the realisation is that your health is just too important to leave to anybody else.


You’ve got to take control of it yourself and you’ve got to use common sense and you’ve got to look back on history, human history. What has got us to this point? What have we evolved to eat over that time? How have we lived in that time and learn from that? So take the best of our past and incorporate it into the best of our present and the future. So the first part of the book is that exploration. The second part is acknowledging that we are affected by stress. And I believe not only that definition of chronic inflammation and compromising your immune system, but I have a five stressor model, which has informed my practice. And those five stresses are emotional, emotional stress, which is what most people identify as stress. And one of the things we learn in emotional stress is that it’s affected by so many other aspects of our health. And while we may not be able to change the things that go on around us, the people that affect us, we can change our attitude to us, to it and them and that is easier said than done. And the key is to build resilience. But I’ll get on to that in a moment.


So emotional stress is one aspect. Environmental stress is another stressor. And we are literally exposed to tens of thousands, if not over 100,000 chemicals, and we assume that if a chemical is used, if it’s on the supermarket shelf, if it’s in our food, then it’s been tested. And it’s a sad fact to learn that that is, in fact, not the case. And so environmental stress, if you make informed decisions, you can reduce your environmental load, toxic load by up to 80 or 90 per cent, but you need to be informed. And for those of us that have lived in Australia, on the East Coast particularly, and have been affected by bushfires, we’ve become very aware of air quality. And it’s sobering to learn that even outside of the bushfire areas, air quality causes air pollution, causes between well, depends on the studies you read. But seven, eight or nine million deaths a year attributed to air pollution. And we have become acutely aware of that in Australia. And people in America and Europe will also have become acutely aware of that through the bushfires. The whole issue of WiFi radiation is another one. There are so many issues around environmental stress. Another stressor is obviously nutritional stress. And whenever you hear about problems with food that we eat, you’re always shown fast food and processed food. But I would argue that the food pyramid that has been literally pushed down our throats since the mid-early 90s or late eighties is the major nutritional stress that we are all facing. So nutritional stress is another factor. Postural stress. We sit, we look at computers, we look down at our phones. There’s enough of the challenge balancing this ten pound four and a half kilo head on our shoulders without changing the dynamics and looking down or leaning forward. As we look at our computers, we spend so much time sitting even in postural stress, I would argue the position in which we sleep is potentially also postural stress, and I even go into how we sit on a toilet. That’s another interesting story.


The fifth stressor is one that often surprises people because that is dental stress. And I forgot to mention to you that I am also a holistic dentist. And so I include dental stress in this for two reasons. One, I’m a holistic dentist with over 40 years of experience, so I feel reasonably qualified to speak on this subject. And two, I included for anybody with the mouth who is interested in their health and has never fully connected. The two, because there are connections. The connections are through chronic infections and inflammation, very few of which cause pain biocompatibility of the materials that go into our mouth, the shape and size of the mouth, literally determining the size and shape of the upper airway, making you more predisposed to breathing, disordered breathing and most importantly, sleep-disordered breathing, which is a huge issue. So they are the five stresses emotional, environmental postural, nutritional and dental. The third part of the book and the other side of the balancing beam, if you like, is if you’re going to eliminate stressors from your life, then you need to build resilience and by building resilience, I believe focussing on five pillars isn’t it great five here and five there, but five pillars is the key. And those five pillars are sleep, breathe, nourish, move and think. Now, nourish, move and think of things that you are probably you’ve heard a lot about and they are very nuanced. And we go into that sleep is, I believe, your built non-negotiable life support system. And if you are not taking sleep seriously, you are missing out on perhaps the most important aspect of your health. So those five pillars of health are the subject of our online course. And in each and every week.


Now, when I wrote the book, the thing about writing a book is it’s written and once it’s written, you wish you’d written more. And therefore, for the last few years, I’ve been conducting a podcast. And that’s what this podcast Unstress with Dr Ron Ehrlich you can actually get the app is all about. I explore all of those themes. The five stressors, the five pillars, the influence of the pharmaceutical and the food companies on public health messages. I also explore regenerative agriculture, which ties together so many aspects of our health, environmental stress, nutritional stress, nourish. This is all about, you know, this is very much about agriculture and particularly regenerative agriculture. Animals get a very bad serve in public health messages at the moment. And in my podcast, you will see that I explore why that should not be the case. So that is basically what it’s about. I hope that gives you a bit of an overview. I hope you enjoy the podcast. I hope you read the book. I hope you do join us on our courses and until then be well.


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