I was driving in the Chicago area while in college and got lost, and when I stopped to look around and figure out where I was, my friend started yelling to drive. We realized that we were in a very dangerous area of town, and our safety was literally at risk. At some point, we had taken a wrong turn.
When we realize that we are not where we thought we would be, it is clear that there must have been a point that we took a wrong turn, did the wrong thing, or followed the wrong path to get where we are. It is helpful to know where we made the wrong turn if we are to get back on the correct path and get where we ultimately want to be.
When it comes to the current state of health in our country, you would have to agree that it is disastrous. We are sicker than we have ever been. The past century has seen a steady increase in chronic disease. With all the advances in medicine, we have to ask why we are not healthier than ever. We have more doctors, more hospitals, more advanced diagnostic equipment, and more medicines than ever, yet sickness and disease is rampant. So how did this happen?
There are two ways to handle your health. You can focus on fighting sickness, or you can focus on building your health. These are two very different strategies. The problem with our healthcare system, and the health of our country in general, is that at some point in history, we decided that focusing on fighting disease was the best strategy. Very little, if any, emphasis has been placed on building health.
Health is something that can be built up. Disease is what occurs when health lowers to a point where the body can no longer function at a level that will allow it to fight off sickness and disease.
Think of health as light and sickness as darkness. Darkness is not something that is measured or tangible. Darkness is the absence of light. If you turn on a light, the darkness goes away. And you can measure light in lumens or watts. You cannot measure darkness. You would not fight light by trying to create more darkness, however you can eliminate darkness by turning on more light. The more light there is, the less darkness there is. Bear with me here…
Health can be viewed as the light and sickness as the darkness. Sickness is the result of the lack of health. The key to reducing sickness and disease is to focus on building your health. The healthier you get, the less likely you are to get sick. And heath is something you have control over.
Think about the futility of only fighting disease. Heart disease is our number one killer. Let’s say we completely eradicate heart disease. We still have cancer. Let’s say we wipe out cancer. We still have diabetes. We still have auto immune issues. We still have asthma, autism, depression, Alzheimer’s, and all the other conditions.
I would be foolish to say that we shouldn’t study these conditions and seek out ways to treat and manage these conditions, but to put all of our attention on sickness and disease will not, and certainly has not, worked. Had we chose a different path way back when, and chose to make building health the priority over chasing sickness, we would not be in the mess we are in right now.
The human body is so phenomenal and has such an incredible ability to grow, heal, adapt, and flourish. It will do very well if it gets what it needs and avoids what it doesn’t. This is where we’ll find the solution to our healthcare woes. Ignoring your health, i.e. eating the wrong foods and too much of them, being inactive, being overwhelmed with daily stress, not getting enough sleep, etc., leads to all sorts of problems. These problems get labeled as some kind of illness, sickness, disease, or condition. You then seek a treatment or medication for that condition. It is what happens to most Americans and their health continues to deteriorate, leading to more tests and more medication, but never optimal health and vitality. Think about this. This distinction is critical if you are to be truly well. Our entire healthcare system has nothing to do with health, and everything to do with sickness care. It has not worked, is not currently working, and will never work. Start focusing on building health and watch your sickness go away