I like to think of myself as a fairly healthy middle-aged (sigh) woman. I don’t expect good health to just happen. I do something about it. I exercise, eat plenty of vegetables and quality protein, and take supplements to stay healthy. Lately, I’ve taken to heart the idea that "sitting is the new smoking," as espoused by Dr. James Levine, co-director of Obesity Solutions at the Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University. That means I always take the stairs, park far away from any entrance, and use a standing desk at work.

After working on this issue of Personalized Medicine Today, I found there’s even more I can do. In Dr. Ellie Campbell’s article "Check It Out," I’ve learned that testing can be another tool to support my health, not just a way to diagnose illness. For example, a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test can measure subtle changes in CRP levels, which indicate the body’s inflammatory response. Several studies have found that elevated CRP levels signaled an increased risk for a number of degenerative disorders, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer. By knowing my CRP levels and keeping them in range, I can reduce my risk of serious disease, and maintain my health.

Another great way to get and stay healthy is through a detoxification program—something I try to do annually. Every time I complete a detox program, I feel refreshed and renewed. According to Dr. Isadora Guggenheim in her story "Get the Lead Out," chelation therapy detoxifies your blood and improves your health. Heavy metals bind themselves to chelating agents, which are administered intravenously, and then get excreted through urine.

Though debated in mainstream medicine, many naturopaths and integrative healthcare practitioners find that chelation therapy is a good method to increase blood circulation and help internal organs function optimally, particularly the heart. For this reason, chelation therapy is thought to be very beneficial in preventing atherosclerosis.

Lastly, I found Dr. Michael Lovich’s answers to a reader’s question about how to get over the 4 o’clock slump extremely useful. (Ask a Practitioner) For each cause that leads to the blahs, he gives practical advice. Cause and effect, problem and solution are what integrative health is all about. How can I complain about not feeling fantastic when I’ve been given the information I need to accomplish just that? Answer: I can’t. I, like you, make the decision to take action and be as healthy as is within my power to be … every day.