We all want to be independent thinkers. Right? Maybe it’s time to reconsider how we think about our health. Check out my guest post today by Bob Clark, media spokesperson for Christian Science in Florida, USA.
The New York Times ran an editorial on Monday with this intriguing title, “If You Feel OK, Maybe You Are OK” The author, H. Gilbert Welch, a professor of medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, is an author of Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health. Welch’s argument, summarized in his own words, goes something like this:
- “…is looking hard for things to be wrong a good way to promote health?”
- “This process (over-screening of the apparently healthy) doesn’t promote health; it promotes disease.”
- “For years now, people have been encouraged to look to medical care as the way to make them healthy. But that’s your job – you can’t contract that out.
Welch is actually joining a chorus of voices within and outside of the medical pharmaceutical complex, encouraging individuals to take a greater level of responsibility for their own health instead of depending on an overly expensive and impersonal health care “system” to do it for them. And not a moment too soon!
The cost of systematized health care, and its emphasis on overdiagnosis, has already become unsustainable. Do we have to wait for our government to solve this crisis for us? I don’t think so.
There are many different ways to promote health which don’t include looking for or expecting disease, and don’t need to include an over-reliance on medical systems and insurance models. For me, and a growing number of others, developing a stronger and deeper sense of spiritual health has been effective in promoting and demonstrating physical health.
Promoting spiritual—and physical— health might include the regular and disciplined study of sacred texts, prayer, meditation, practicing gratitude by keeping a “gratitude journal”, making time to help/serve others in your neighborhood, etc. There are probably an infinite number of ways to practice spirituality and thereby promote health.
Promoting health—and a healthy nation—can be done one individual at a time, one day at a time. We can begin now to become, not a nation of patients, but a nation of healthy, independent thinkers.
Here’s another post on a similar theme – What’s normal? Health or illness?