My very first post in March 2009 expressed concern that:
- Our health is failing, despite spending ever more, per capita, on health care
- We are overweight
- There is an epidemic of diabetes
- Ischaemic heart disease prevalence has not changed in 30 years
- Allergic conditions are escalating
- The war on cancer has been a miserable failure
- People in the West are living longer, but half of them have a health problem that requires taking a prescription drug on a regular basis.
Eight years on, nothing much has changed. It is true that we are now better informed about nutrition, but every day we are told that our health services are in crisis and that they are facing unprecedented demand. To the above list we should now add:
- An epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease
- An epidemic of mental illness, particularly among the young.
So, when are we going to start asking, “Why?”, and when are we going to wake up to the reality that we are actually responsible for our own health?
Nearly all the chronic degenerative diseases that afflict us are disorders of lifestyle. This knowledge should empower us and give us great hope. But it seems that we like being vulnerable victims, who seek ‘a pill for every ill’. We don’t want prevention; we want treatment.
Often attributed to the Dalai Lama, the following text was actually penned by James J Lachard (Jim Brown) in his ‘Interview with God’. When he asked God,
“What surprises you most about humankind?”
- That they get bored with childhood, they rush to grow up and then long to be children again
- That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health
- That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither in the present nor the future
- That they live as if they will never die and die as if they had never lived.
The interview does not end there. It goes on to include some valuable life skills. When he asked God,
“What are some of life’s lessons that you want your children to learn?”
God replied with a smile,
- To learn they cannot make anyone love them; what they can do is let themselves be loved
- To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others
- To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least
- To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love and it takes many years to heal them
- To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness
- To learn that there are persons who love them dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings
- To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it differently
- To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they must forgive themselves.
These thoughts encapsulate many of the causes of, and solutions to, the problems we face. But we are not listening. We are enslaved. Like lemmings, we are hurtling towards the proverbial cliff, confident that someone will rescue us.
For eight years, HETN has endeavoured to empower people by cutting through the cant, hypocrisy, vested interest, misinformation and lies, to which we are subject on a daily basis. I hate to disillusion you, or be accused of being a conspiracy theorist, but, as Michael Ellner wrote:
- Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.
In the UK, the main problem with the NHS is that it is not a health service, it is a treatment service. The perceived solution to its persistent malaise is always more money for more treatments.
So, I repeat, when are we going to wake up to the reality that we are actually responsible for our own health? It is not a drug, an operation, or another trip to A&E that we need; it is lifestyle change. Our governments and our health professionals should be promoting this as the highest priority.