Sunday, March 17, 2013

A healthier whole.

In an opinion piece on CNN, Dean Ornis advocates for focusing on the prevention of diseases (and even reversal) through lifestyle choices rather than treatment.

First, I want to acknowledge that, yes, some healthy people do get sick, and we should also be concerned with the quality of our environment. And I think Ornis goes a *little* too far in saying that heart disease and Type II diabetes "are completely preventable", which can turn some people off. But, it still stands that the majority of medical maladies can be reversed by taking care of ourselves:

"What we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke, how much we exercise, and how much love, intimacy and social support we have in our lives."

I would be thrilled to let scientists focus on finding the causes, and developing treatments for conditions that afflict relatively healthy people, instead of spending a disproportionately large amount of time and resources figuring out how to treat the symptoms of (largely) preventable ailments. 

I was struck by the statement that it isn't just our own habits, but also the "love, intimacy, and social support we have in our lives". Bad habits are easy to make, and hard to break. But it's so much easier to make a change when you know you are not alone. So, thank-you to everyone who has been my support. You are too numerous to list, but I'd like to recognize everyone who has ever shared about taking their first steps (quitting smoking, starting to get out and walk, avoiding that sweet/salty temptation), or about their big accomplishments (recuperating after an injury/surgery, finishing the race, reaching your own health goals), who have reminded me to bring my stress down with laughter (reveling in your indulgence of that donut, sharing the precious moments with your family, as well as your embarrassingly human moments),  and who have shared your love and kindness, physically, and digitally.  

You inspire me to be a healthier whole. 

No comments: