There is a lot of controversy in the world. It appears that practically every day certain strongly held beliefs and even commonly known facts are exposed as corporate and governmental propaganda. Let’s face it, the realm of health and health care is deeply involved in the controversy. In the UK we are lucky to have the NHS. The modern allopathic medicine has seen a great surge of success in the last 150 years and they are able to boast of various breakthroughs in many fields. Yet, amidst this singular success I feel that something is amiss. Regardless of which statistics you read, we are more sick and we rely on more medical interventions than ever in human history. True, the average life expectancy has steadily crept up, but I could argue that the quality of life, especially in the last 20 years of life has reduced across the board.
The problem is that as the population increases, as the population ages, as the population becomes more and more dependant on medical intervention, the system simply cannot cope with the volume of demand. The NHS is already at a breaking point because the doctors have very little time to spend per patient, hospitals are constantly rescheduling non-life threatening surgeries, the referral queues to the physios and other specialists are measured in months rather than days and due to cuts in funding the situation will not get any better any time soon. How has this situation arisen?
In my view there is a simple answer to this quandary. In fact it is so simple that it can hardly be credible. Lifestyle. Exactly. Lifestyle. How one lives one's life. See, what has the NHS in a choke hold is chronic disease. Western medicine is by and far unable to deal with chronic, lifestyle related diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, obesity, neural degeneration and mental illness that MOST people seem to suffer with. This used to be only limited to the old but now even the young appear to be joining in the ranks of the faceless, suffering herd that dances (or hobbles and wobbles) obediently to the tune of big pharma dogma. No amount of medication or surgery can reverse the effects of poor lifestyle choices.
Let’s consider the following example:
A man walks into a garage and asks the mechanic to sort out his car for him. “No problem” says” the mechanic as they watch the car being lowered off the back of the recovery lorry. After a brief assessment the mechanic informs the customer that his car's engine has blown up and it needs to be replaced. “No worries, my insurance will cover it” retorts the man as he jumps into the taxi that will take him to pick up his replacement car. In few days the car is fixed and the mechanic asks the man to drive more carefully in the future.
In three months time the same scenario happens again. The man appears quite unconcerned as ‘his insurance will cover it’. The mechanic on the other hand, being rather fond of all cars, feels that there is something wrong with the way the man drives. Surely a brand new engine will last longer than 3 months. After a bit of questioning it turns out that the man only ever uses the second gear, because “he cannot be bothered the change gears all the time.” The mechanic explains that this is why the engine keeps blowing up and the man promises to amend his errant ways.
After 6 months the same scenario occurs again. The mechanic asks if the man is still changing gears. “No, not any more”, says the man off-handedly. “Since it’s my car I can drive it whatever way I want” he says, “and luckily my insurance will cover it”.
This little story is very illustrative of the current trend in the world. People simply are too centered on their rights and choose to ignore their responsibilities. True, we are entitled to abuse our bodies and nobody can stop us. This is where the fundamental flaw lies with the NHS. People are not in any way held accountable of their choices, the system simply applies another “quick-fix patch” and tries to allow the individual to continue their abusive lifestyle. This is why external solutions never solve internal problems. This is why wearing motion control running shoes makes you more likely to pick up running injuries. This is why taking antibiotics for every sniffle will weaken your immunity and make you more likely to get sick in the future. This is why taking painkillers does nothing to help the situation but may result in other, even more serious problems arising later on. I repeat - External solutions will never solve internal problems. The solutions to lifestyle problems are not found in the GP surgery or the pharmacy shelves. They are found in the mirror.
We, the human population, must realise that it is not the job of the doctor (or any other health professional) to look after us and we must learn to take responsibility or our own selves and our health. Looking after our health is actually very easy. It requires virtually no formal education, only an inquisitive mind and willingness to learn. It requires relatively little money. The time factor is hardly present. We have control over it all.
The seven pillars of “Real Health”
- Food and drink that you consume and don’t consume
- Thoughts that are prevalent in your head
- Exercise and movement that you partake on a daily basis
- Fresh air that you breathe with correct technique
- Light you are exposed to
- The chemicals and toxins you are exposed to
- Rest and recovery
The seven key tenets of real health are within reach for all of us. You simply need to be honest with yourself and become aware of your own activities. Being sensible with all of the above will gradually eliminate 99% of all disease and allows you to lead an active and well balanced life to an advanced age and independent of medical influence. You may still suffer the odd traumatic injury or acute illness but those are precisely what the NHS is there for.
Imagine the situation whereby contracting an illness or suffering an injury you are taken to an NHS hospital and there are no queues, the staff is not harassed and tired, and you get everything you need promptly. This will be the result of people looking after themselves and not relying on the NHS to support their abusive lifestyle.
Taking control of the situation only takes a bit of honesty. Reaching your health independence requires a plan that is diligently and persistently applied over time. The first part is to assess your current situation to determine your starting place on the journey. The end result, where your life and health are in your control and you are able to reach your full potential each day of your life may be up in the distance and the journey there will depend on various conditions you set upon yourself. Your Satnav needs to know where you are starting from to be able to calculate the route to your destination and you can influence it along the way, provided your requests are sensible your Satnav will automatically adjust your route and arrival time accordingly. You may meet unexpected delays on the journey, but sooner or later you will break through and reach your destination.
So what is health independence? It is the equivalent of financial independence. It is the antifragility of the human body, mind and spirit. Where financial independence allows you to spend your time doing what you want and to do as you please in terms of work and money, where you have the confidence to know that you are financially secure (barring any huge scale upheaval) and the comfort that such security brings, health independence means that you have the ownership of your own body, meaning that you have accumulated sufficient knowledge to look after yourself, to make good decisions regarding your daily activities and to be brave enough to walk your own path.
Winston Churchill is reputed to have said that in order to be able to foretell the future, we must cast our eyes to the past (or something along those lines). When we look back, even a thousand years, the human race was in a completely different place. I feel that there is another major disaster about to befall the human race and it may be equivalent to the various plaques combined. When the chronic disease bubble that has been building for a few decades finally bursts, we will have significant death toll to deal with. I guess what truly matters right now, is that you and me need to choose which side of the fence we are on. Are we passively riding along and thus putting ourselves at a risk of being very badly affected, or are we actively taking steps to ensure our survival and health.
In other words, is it better to rely on the mechanic to replace the engine of your car every six months, or is it better to drive sensibly and in the way the car was designed to be driven in the first place.
You life is your responsibility.
In the seven pillars of real health you have the framework to get started.