How is your health?
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. ~World Health Organization, 1948
I recently attended an informational meeting at our local hospital. The objective of the seminar was to find out if there was enough interest to support the creation of a 'Multiple Sclerosis Support Group' in our community. A good friend of mine, who was recently diagnosed with M.S., was the organizer of the event and since my mother suffered from the disease for many years before her death, I thought I should go and find out more about it.
A local neurologist gave a detailed and very interesting presentation on Multiple Sclerosis. His opinion was that most of the research done on this disease had focused on medicines to treat the disease, and to help alleviate the patient's pain and discomfort. He explained that scant research has been done to determine what could actually keep people from getting it. And, although he confessed, he had no problem with prescribing medication, he felt his passion and calling was to practice health care through the use of integrated and alternative health care choices. He said he wanted to enlighten his patients and convince and motivate them to take more responsibility for their own health care. He actually began his presentation with a power point slide that reminded his audience, 'Our body needs nourishment to stay healthy: "Eating is not the same as nourishment".
The Doctor stressed that the adoption of an integrated health care plan is not just important for his patients with M.S, or other diseases, but for all of us. He showed specific statistics about improved health with good nutrition, plenty of rest, exercise, vitamins, and mental health care. "
Positive results hold true for all of us," he declared, "not just Multiple Sclerosis patients. We don't have to find out we are sick before we try and feel better."
We often think about health as if it were a true or false question, don't we?
"Are you sick?"...."No". "Then you must be well, right?"
If we could visualize the state of our health, many of us would see it on a continuum that might look something like this.
Sick_______________________ Not sick
But shouldn’t it look more like this:
Sick_____________________ Not sick ________________Optimal health
It's interesting to me that most of our physicians in our country work on the left side of this continuum (treatment paradigm) with their goal being that we become 'not sick' anymore, or that they can get us to the neutral point.
The neurologist at our meeting that day expressed his concern about the lack of education and training for most medical staff concerning nutrition, and other alternative forms of health. He gave us an example of a recent diet called the 'Swank Diet'. It has been shown to dramatically improve the symptoms of M.S patients, as well as other autoimmune diseases. "But no one in medical school told me about it," he chuckled, "It was after listening to one my patients tell me about the success she had had on the diet, that led me to do my own research on it." He shook his head in disappointment, "Why didn't they teach us more about the power of nutrition and lifestyle back in medical school?"
As the meeting ended, I felt glad that I came to support my friend. I hugged her and said goodbye and felt a tug at my heart as I watched her slowly ease along in her walker. I could tell the event had taken a toll on her. I left thinking to myself, 'There but for the grace of God go I'. I said a prayer of thanksgiving that for today, I am 'absent of disease or infirmity' .... No doubt there may be many awful health circumstances whose shadows lurk around the corner and out of my control.... but then again...maybe they are not out of my control.
The Doctor's words reminded me that it is the daily choices I make that play the biggest role in determining my level of health.
We can't get away from it, can we...... We are responsible.