In today’s world, most of us have come to think of the mainstream medical approach as the only option. Palliative care (symptomatic relief), provided by highly regulated practitioners and big pharma, has been the mainstay for several generations. A pill or an injection can provide quick results, though not without side effects. Not to worry – there is another pill for those.
The individual plays little part in managing their health. Largely, she deals with choosing the provider and paying the insurance bills. It is not surprising that many of us feel disempowered to make intelligent choices on our own, preferring to defer to the experts. The experts, in turn, exist within a financial system that rewards disease more than health, regardless of their individual ethics. As a result, we don’t ask “What can I do to be better prepared for whatever comes?”, we ask “Who will save me?”
A Bit of History
Yet this has not always been the norm. For millennia, undisrupted cultures relied on traditional holistic healers. These practitioners went under many names, but were usually skilled herbalists. Certainly they attended to injuries and pathologies resulting from mismanagement. Their main tasks, however, were two: keeping their people healthy and educating them to that end. Thus their main focus was on prevention.
Ancient Chinese doctors were paid as long as their patients remained healthy. They would not get paid while a patient was ill. Moreover, doctors who performed surgeries were considered inferior, since they were unable to help their patients maintain their health by prevention.
Naturally, no doctor can prevent disease without the patient’s help, not to mention achieve wellness and quality of life. It would be very difficult to do so for an individual with an unhealthy lifestyle. This is where education comes in. Each individual must understand the relationship between their lifestyle and their wellness. This means nutrition, exercise, sleep quality/stress, mental and emotional health, and the list goes on. With those basics in place, a holistic practitioner can usually correct any remaining imbalances, if any.
So how did we get to where we are?
At the beginning of the 20th century, one highly influential report triggered a medical reform in the United States. In addition to denouncing non-mainstream practitioners altogether, it relieved physicians of the burden of preventative medicine. You read that right. The task of preventing disease in this country went to the field of “public health”. You can look up which specialists fall into that category yourself. Today, how many of them would dare empower individuals to forego pharmaceuticals in favor of managing their own health? To be fair, individual practitioners sometimes make this effort, even if they have to speak off the record. The system, however, has different goals.
Now I have a question for you. How much do you know about your own body, how it operates, how foods, supplements and medications affect it, both on a short and long term basis? My clinical experience suggests that most people have no idea, and they usually choose not to take responsibility for their physical health, surrendering this responsibility to the experts. By the same token, they don’t take responsibility for their emotional, mental and spiritual health.
I see two possible explanations:
- They prefer the easy solution because they are inherently lazy.
- Lack of education in personal responsibility, as would benefit the current system. This may seem simplistic, but there is little money to be made on healthy people. Moreover, conflicting sources clash for authority on the subject, confusing those who do try to make sense of things.
Is it any surprise that a pandemic results in chaos, panic, and reactive choice making? How far will an angry mob go in the name of fear?
I have some suggestions.
- Let’s stop blaming each other and creating more chaos and hate than we already have. Emotional thinking does not lend itself well to long-term, sustainable solutions.
- Try this on for size. You are responsible for your health, regardless of your genetics and your environment. Everything that you absorb will affect you in one way or another. In Chinese medicine it is said that excessive emotions are the causes of many acute and chronic illnesses. Diet and lifestyle are incredibly important in maintaining our health or slowly destroying our well-being.
- For many centuries, there have been herbal remedies that have been used in every part of the globe to maintain health. Each location had their tradition to suit their climate and needs of its people. Chinese, Ayurvedic, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, take your pick. They are still practiced today and are very helpful for acute and chronic conditions. In fact, Traditional Chinese Medicine was used to treat patients through numerous pandemics in China. More importantly, all these traditions didn’t just give you a pill and send you on your way, they also educated you on what made you ill to begin with and how to prevent it in the future.
Now let’s summarize our current situation. We have a population with no confidence to maintain their health and immune system, and now we have a pandemic. Is it any wonder that the mainstream narrative is all about the “miracle injection”? It certainly sounds better than waiting for death to come find you. If you have been getting your news from mainstream media, then this may not be far off from how you feel.
On the flipside, what can the scientific community tell us about long-term side-effects? How will they compare with the risks of the illness itself, especially to an individual with a healthy lifestyle? It’s not possible to predict this.
It gets worse. Feeling vulnerable, the “mainstream” people will only feel safe if everyone else takes the shot. Now this goes from a choice to a mandate about what we do with our bodies. I don’t believe that this is the best that we can be.
Now let’s suppose for a minute that the injection is perfectly safe. What do we do for the next pandemic? Where is the sustainability? What if big pharma does not produce the next magic cure as quickly? What if that one has side effects? The only sustainability is in your own immune system, in your personal responsibilty. Your health is probably the most valuable thing you have. Why not take good care of it?
If you do not know where to find reliable and time tested information, I and many other holistic practitioners can suggest places or practitioners where you can learn more about the way you can improve your health and feel in charge of your well-being. You can also educate yourself by doing your own research.
I wish you good Sensemaking.