I read something yesterday that crystallised for me where I think the western medical system is lacking.
Daisaku Ikeda, the president of the Buddhist society Soka Gakkai International (SGI) recalled a meeting of the Doctors Division in Japan in 1975. He said:
“I spoke about the importance of going beyond a merely reactive approach to medicine – treating illnesses after they have arisen – toward a more proactive approach that aims to prevent illnesses of both body and mind and to promote and enhance health. This represents a vision of building a healthy society based on the principles of respect for life and human dignity, a society that makes health a top priority.”
He said this 47 years ago, and we still don’t have a society that makes health a top priority. We have a society and a medical system that makes symptom management a top priority. Effectively closing the stable door after the proverbial horse has bolted.
Many years ago, I read that in ancient China, doctors were paid for keeping their patients well, and if they fell ill, the doctor wasn’t paid because he had failed his patient. It made sense to me.
During the heyday of the Covid-19 virus, I discovered by chance while reading a UK Naturopathic doctor’s post on Instagram that the UK government ran public service announcements to encourage citizens to eat healthily as part of their protective strategy. I was dumbfounded. In Canada we have never, ever, heard any such helpful advice. Instead all we heard was the official push to, as an indie journalist put it, vaccinate everything that moves.
Yet we all, in theory, come equipped with a natural first line of defense. The immune system. I say in theory, because like every other system, it has to be cared for in order to work optimally. And unfortunately, the preponderance of processed, denatured, sugary, bad-fats-laden and chemically preserved food-like products so many people are addicted to are a certain recipe for bad health. The fact that alcohol consumption rose with the first lockdown didn’t help, either, as consistent alcohol, like smoking, weakens the immune system.
The western medical system excels when it comes to what I affectionately call “body-shop work.” My repaired perforated eardrum and the permanent lenses in my eyes that were inserted when I had cataract surgery all prove this. I would just love to see attention given to nutrition in medical schools, instead of the instant reaction to employ pharmaceutical intervention.
To prevent illness and promote and enhance health, we need to eat fresh, natural foods that contain life force. We need clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. We need sunlight. Or at least a daily dose of daylight. And did you know that sunlight shining through the window kills bacteria in the room?
We need to move our bodies. We need a sense of purpose. We need each other, as we learned the hard way during Covid isolation.
Anyway, it’s getting late, and I have decided to take to heart my health’s needs for at least seven hours of sleep nightly. I’ll leave you with a helpful link to a wonderful free resource when it comes to a proactive attitude to health: MedCram.com on YouTube. Their tagline is: Medical Lectures Explained CLEARLY.
May you have good health of body and mind!
My thanks to Alyson McPhee on Unsplash for the photo