Thursday, August 27, 2015

Don't Expect "ObamaCare" to Cure You....


[Nyerges is the author of “Extreme Simplicity,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Guide to Wild Foods
and Useful Plants,” and other books. He can be reached at, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.]

Health. What is it, really?  When most of the world speaks of the “health profession,” they’re not speaking of health at all. They’re speaking about maladies, discomforts, and disease.  They speaking about what the western doctors can do to relieve or eliminate the symptoms of our problems.

So it always bugs me that we’ve hypnotically switched “health” with “symptom relief” in our thinking. 

It also bugs me that no where in all the “healthcare” debate about “Obamacare” being forced upon us is there any discussion whatsoever about what constitutes health!  So what
is health? How do we achieve it? What does it look like?

When I was about 17 I got a job at a local health food store. The owner made a point of telling me that he got into the “health field” because he’d nearly driven himself to death because of his desire to be an actor.  He would recount for us his various diseases and symptoms, all of which he says he overcame by a change of diet.  He still died a young death in his 50s, perhaps because his years of stress and drugs and drinking still caught up with him. But for awhile, he was the image of radiant health. What did he do? Perhaps more importantly, what did he not  do?

I am not a fan of a big government dictating what constitutes health, and so I have no faith in the current dictates that everyone should get “mandatory” vaccinations.  I don’t believe it is safe, nor efficacious, and yes, I am one of those who believe it can be harmful.  (But this is not primarily about vaccinations.)

What is good vibrant health, and how can we all achieve it?
It is something that Obamacare can give us?  Is it something that most doctors can tell us how to achieve?  For starters, just look at your doctor.  He or she might be the epitome of radiant health, but chances are, your overworked doctor is not an exemplar of radiant health.

In one of my books, Integral Health, I have proposed the “Pyramid of Health,” where the bottom foundation of the pyramid constitutes all those things that are the most important foundations of health.  The very tip of the pyramid – those things that are least important – include the drugs and care of doctors.

What you do, and eat, and think, and how you spend your life, are the building blocks to radiant health. This is nothing new, and is not a mystery.

Hippocrates, sometimes called the father of modern medicine, used a variety of “natural methods” to relieve sickness and bring about a state of health. These methods included exposure to sunlight, exercise, diet, fasting, water therapy, etc.  There are whole books today about the scientific foundation for each of these means of promoting health.
Of course, the greatest focus in our society is upon the foods that we eat, and the intensity of the exercise we do.  It is easier to quantify the effects on our health of various foods we eat  than it is to quantify our state of mind on our health.  But that is the direction in which we should be headed.

In a recent discussion with a mentor, he brought up what he felt is a major source of mental and physical sickness.  He expressed that whenever any of us carries on with unpaid debts (and these debts can be financial, ethical, moral, or spiritual), that nightmares and sicknesses result.  The obvious solution is to delve deep within, and find a way to pay that debt.  But what most of us do, instead, is to dig in our heels and resist, resulting in much mental anguish and even manifesting as various sicknesses and diseases. Then, the common next step is to get a doctor (of some sort, even a psychiatrist) to give us drugs to deal with the pain.  Of course, all the drugs have side effects, sometimes worse than what it was trying to cure. Or maybe we drink alcohol to relieve the pain so we can carry on with our life without ever having to deal with the cause.

Healthcare should promote regular vigorous exercise, and an excellent diet, and should guide each patient to see how our thinking, and the jobs we do, can ruin our health, or improve it.  Real health educators should teach how to use foods as medicines, and how we can allow our body to heal itself, if we let it. For example, using the fresh aloe leaf to treat cuts and wounds. Or using garlic (internally or externally) to deal with infections.  I told a friend how I once used garlic after a root canal, and didn’t use any antibiotics that the dentist prescribed. He believed I was lying! 

Another “natural method” involves using vinegar in our drinking water and fruit juices to help us adjust to external temperature fluctuations, or externally to deal with bug bites.

We are, of course, in the early stages of a health revolution, where people know something is wrong with the overall direction and focus of the “health profession.” But don’t expect changes from the industry or from government. Educate  yourself, and learn to treat yourself and your family.  And keep learning!

(Obviously, I’ve only touched on the tip of the iceberg here – I welcome your questions and comments).

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