Matt Wallden | Foundation Health Principles – Overview
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Foundation Health Principles – Overview

Just as a building with shaky foundations cannot be built very high – nor achieve its optimal performance or longevity potential – neither can a human body!


In modern healthcare, the focus is overwhelmingly symptom-oriented, with pain-killers to treat pain, anti-depressants to treat depression and anti-hypertensives to treat high blood pressure, among many others. The issue, of course, is that a headache is not due to an aspirin deficiency; depression is not due to an anti-depressant deficiency and high blood pressure is not due to an anti-hypertensive deficiency.

“A headache is not due to an aspirin deficiency”

If our goal is to identify the causative factors which are driving the current health challenge, the smart investment goes on the time, effort (and sometimes the money) to investigate and address the true “aetiology”, or causative factors, contributing to the challenge at hand.


Because of the way we are educated, and the systems that are already in place in the society we grow up in, we often believe that disease is very complex – and only something that a doctor can really understand. We delegate the responsibility of our health to doctors, surgeons or other healthcare professionals because, given the level of complexity, that’s what seems to be the smart thing to do. However, as crazy as it sounds, those who specialise in disease, often know very little about health. Doctors, on average receive about 2 hours of  education on nutrition in their entire seven-7ear training. An analogy would be that you keep studying the cars of people who regularly crash them, rather than analysing the driver. You are the driver in your own life; so, if your car (body) keeps crashing, it’s time to invest in some driving lessons!


The good news, in terms of how to best address this, is that health is extremely simple – it is disease which is complex. In fact, most of the things that we can do to improve our health are not only simple – they are free! And, as such, there is no profit in them – which doesn’t really “fly” in a material culture.

“Health is simple – it is disease which is complex”

A very high percentage of today’s maladies – from cancer, to diabetes, to persistent pain, to Alzheimer’s, to cardiovascular disease or stroke – can be effectively addressed, not by treating the disease that the person has, but by coaching the person who has the disease. This is where the Foundation Health Principles come in… When you understand what they are, and how to apply them, your whole living experience will inevitably change for the better.


Here is a brief introduction to the Foundation Health Principles to provide some initial insights into how working with them can set you on the path toward optimal health, happiness and performance:


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So, now you know that for optimal health and pinnacle performance we must construct robust foundations, this is the best place to start; the fine tuning can come later. You also now know that the 6 Foundation Health Principles are to:


  1. Think Right
  2. Breathe Right
  3. Move Right
  4. Sleep Right
  5. Drink Right
  6. Eat Right


The real question is, “What does thinking / breathing / moving / sleeping / drinking / eating >right< actually mean?!” This is what the Foundation Health Principle Series is all about; providing you with the why’s, the wherefores and the ways to assess how you are doing at your foundations – as well top tips to help you make the changes you desire.


Knowledge-Action Gap


If you were to take a moment to consider each of the Foundation Health Principles, you would probably come to the realisation that you already know a fair bit about them. For example, you know that positive thoughts and using your mind wisely are likely more helpful than negative thoughts and using your mind unwisely (or not at all)! You’re also probably aware that drinking a bit more water and bit less coffee, soda or alcohol is good for you. You probably know you could get to bed a touch earlier, or eat a bit more fresh, whole food. The challenge is usually that these things haven’t yet been “measured”… so, if you don’t know where you’re at, it’s difficult to work out which direction, and with how much vigour, you should go to get to where you want. This is why each of the Foundation Health Principle Resources has one or more tests for you to engage with, to learn more about how you’re doing in that area of your life and how much margin there is for improvement.


Often our inability to make the changes we kinda “know” we ought to is referred to as the Knowledge-Action Gap. This is the gap the Foundation Health Principles Resources have been designed to fill… And, it is why we will start with “Think Right“; as, if we’re thinking wrong, then chances are we’ll be making poor choices for the other 5 Foundation Health Principles, too!