Emotional health may be the prime influence on physical health. Most distress and illness is caused by holding back and squashing natural action. This is the basis for many emotional imbalances as well as many physical ailments such as headaches, backaches, gastric problems, sleep disturbances and many more common conditions. When the squashing (holding back) becomes a habit and is repeated time and again, chronic physical ailments begin showing up. We even may make ourselves more susceptible to having colds, flu and accidents. Just as our behavior influences our personal health, community health is also influenced. In general, holding back and controlling takes a person out of the flow of life, setting up distress, both emotional and physical, as well as depriving the community around them of their influence. When a person is enjoying good emotional health, the immune system usually responds in kind, helping the person to get past the ailment. Getting past the ailment doesn't necessarily mean cure; it could mean adjusting so that life becomes full and rich even though there is an ailment, serious or simple. Healing includes letting go of whatever was being held in place and an open attitude to the excitement and awe of life in a new way. Illness often wakes us up and says, "Come on -- get with it. Life isn't guaranteed, find a way to enjoy the awe of life as it is, now!" Recognizing this natural aspect of distress is often releasing and life enhancing. To get to this point, diet, lifestyle, herbs and nutritional supplements are used to bolster and add to the person's life. Knowing what works, what to take, how much, in what combination and for how long is important. Recognizing the need for conventional medicine as well as understanding the medical system and its focus on disease or trauma actually supports all involved. Exercise, laughter, prayer (meditation), good sleep and an occasional warm cookie are all good for you. Trying to control life or the lives of others removes you from the receipt of the wonderful gift -- excitement and awe. Enjoying life in all aspects is the great gift.