We live longer, but do we live healthier? Do we too heavily depend on modern medicine to literally keep us alive? Yes, it’s an extremely morbid thought and I am certain, it is one that will cause mixed feelings as each and every single one of us has a different perspective on it.
There is absolutely no denying that modern medicine has wipes out preventable diseases and cured illness. In addition, there are endless research projects in the works and new ones added constantly to make even more progress; all of which I applaud and welcome.
However, I wonder how much we make ourselves dependent on modern medicine to “survive” our day-to-day, because of pure complacency of not wanting to step up our own game and advocacy in our own healthcare?
For instance, “in 1900, the median age at death was 58 years, and only 0.03 percent survived to age 100” (read here for article ). Can you imagine???!!! And I am certain it was not a lavish life (for most) either as they did not have any modern luxuries we have come accustomed to today. I mean, not that long ago we did not even have Google to look up our ailing symptoms to self-medicate with over-the-counter (OTC) medication or YouTube How Tos for anything we need help with on a regular.
Don’t get me wrong, I much appreciate alleviating my headache or congested sinuses; even though I grew up with homeopathic methods and did not encounter OTC medicine until I came to US. My concern about complacency also does not include acute and random diseases such as cancer or genetics we have no control over.
I am merely addressing a different type of epidemic: lack of self-care and dependence on medications for illnesses brought on by ourselves due to poor lifestyle choices. This, of course, is also a trap in the vicious circle caused partly by our own WANTS disguised as NEEDS and the symbiotic relationship of the food industry and Big Pharma. Stores fill shelves with “what sells” and what sells are products WE want; therefore, we are indirectly to blame for what is available. Then again, the food industry creates “addictable” products filled with mystery ingredients that will keep the product “fresh” for ages (Is this natural?), and then we keep coming back for more, causing our own health to be compromised. What happens next? We see commercials on TV for pharmaceutical products to ask our doctor about.
Did you know that the US is only one of two countries on this planet legally allowed to advertise pharmaceuticals directly to the consumer? So, we see our physician and describe our symptoms of malady and walk out with a prescription in hand that has an endless list of side effects scarier than the symptoms themselves, but we don’t care. Why? Because we would just take more medication to counteract the side effects of the other just so we can keep making poor lifestyle choices. Our resistance to fix the problem at the core causes us to be attached to prescription medications that oftentimes create deep holes in our finance pocket. Certain foods give you heartburn? Yes? Ok, so you take an anti-acid and off you go; without realizing the root of the problem is not solved. Pharma benefits greatly from our self-induced problems, partly and indirectly caused by the food industry. Our food is specifically designed for the US palate! If you have travelled abroad, then you KNOW that familiar foods and condiments do not taste the same as in the US; due to different ingredients – some allowed in the US, but banned other places in the world (Read here ).
How much of our habits are formed not by actual enjoyment of foods, but rather by routine? Have you ever just truly looked at your plate and given it a review? A realistic and objective review; one that takes in consideration how you and your body will FEEL after you have consumed your meal? Is it satisfying hunger or more an urge or taste for ‘something’? The Greek physician Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food”. I am certain, this did not include mini cakes, donuts, fried foods, and sugar-laden beverages on a regular basis.
It seems that at some point, we have stopped listening to our bodies and started ignoring clear signals of silent screams (pleads) to take action and make a change; we have instead decided to get a degree in OTC medications, all the while suffering and damaging our own temple. We are living longer, because health problems the modern world has created are managed by modern creations of chemical concoctions. We keep complaining about our health, the healthcare industry, and the increasing healthcare cost, including prescription medications. However, we have not truly taken any steps away from this madness to assess the TRUE reasons of our “misery”. We know that eating healthy and moving daily is good for our wellbeing; it’s simple right? Yet, it is not! Because the feeling of momentary discomfort from any form of exercise is greater than the “pain of misery.” So we stay in our comfort zone of being unwell; we keep grumbling, we keep popping pills, we are out of breath while sitting at a buffet covered with food (yes, its’ an exaggeration).
I KNOW it’s easier said than done, but this should not be the excuse to not even getting started. We all have to begin somewhere. And it is always going to be difficult when taking on something new and unfamiliar, but then we get better! Nobody is perfect, but staying put and not even trying to become better versions of ourselves – in physical health and mindset – is plain lazy and inexcusable.
If we, as a society, don’t make a change in regards to our health, nutrition and physical activity, then we will truly be physical spokespeople of our ailing planet; perfect imperfect citizens representing our global natural disaster planet. We will go down with it.
Sound like a catastrophe movie? Well, you are part of the acting crew; we ALL are. Don’t want to film to air as is? Let’s change the script!
Healthcare is Self-care ONLY if we all actively participate in it. Change starts with one (YOU) and has the potential to cause a positive ripple effect to others in our lives. Don’t ever think YOU cannot make a difference in your own life. You can, but it starts WITH you – no blaming the outside for something you can change. Dust off the sneakers and take a first step forward. That is how the story of independence begins for every person on this planet – with the first step!
What are you waiting for?