Sunday, June 11, 2006

2: Where to start?

I could assume that you are already motivated to take control of your own health and just start in with some ideas about healthy living, but I won't. I'm going to spend a few paragraphs describing the situation as I see it.

I will assume that you're well into your adult years--enough that you're aware that you can't play, eat, and avoid exercise like a teenager without consequences.

I'll assume that you're aware that you can't rely on the government to insure that your environment, your food and the other things you buy for your home are completely safe. Do you know a family that hasn't been touched by cancer? Do you know a family without any diabetes? Or allergies? If you're not convinced poke around a bit at the website of the Organic Consumers Association; you'll see that there is a problem. You cannot assume that the government has tested and approved the safety of every product in your supermarket.

What about your doctor, your friendly local hospital, your health insurance company? Don't they have your best interests at heart? I was talking to an MD friend of mine about GERD (Gastro-Esophogeal-Reflux-Disease), the stuff they sell Nexium for. I told him I thought it was a crock that MDs weren't educating their patients about this non-disease--that all you had to do is avoid eating for 5 or so hours before bedtime and sleep on your left side and you wouldn't get reflux. He told me that he doesn't have time for patient education; he gets $75 for a patient visit whether he spends 45 minutes educating the patient or 45 seconds writing a prescription for Nexium. He has a $40,000 per month overhead--he has to make that much before he has a dollar to feed his children. I could see in his eyes that he really wants to help people but his reality is that he has to move a certain number of people through the office each day.

Your hospital and insurance company are concerned that the overall amount of cash flowing through the hospitals and doctors office is maximized. That means more of your money coming into the system and a minimum of cost to them for the services being provided. They are corporations and are ruled by the same morality as any other corporation. This is the reason why health corporations aren't keen on chiropractic and acupuncture which could really save the system money since both treatments get people well at minimum cost and keep them well; they don't produce enough cash flow in the system. While the individuals at a hospital or insurance company may be dedicated servants of humanity, and loving, nurturing people, the organization they work for wants you to be sick, stay sick, and spend money.

You might have thought that you had a right to health care in an enlightened society; well guess again.

So in the end, there's no one but you to be in charge of your health care. You have to educate yourself. I don't want you to have to get a doctorate in this stuff, just read a few articles online and in magazines while you're sipping your morning coffee--scratch that--morning tea. You can start to make a difference in how you feel and how your body can fight off the toxins that it comes in contact with.

Your body is extraordinarily capable of defending itself; you just need to get the number of things attacking it down to a reasonable level. Don't panic! Fear weakens the immune system. Be concerned, make smart choices, exercise, rest, and most of all increase joy.

More to come . . .

Take a deep breath,