Have you noticed that what we are reading and being exposed to from a health perspective has changed significantly?
It is all about health and wellness, why is that? What has happened to make such a massive leap a new trend? Lots of health trends have been before as we know but this one does seem to hold more weight and probably because science is so much further forward than 60, 40, 20 and even 10 years ago, science is backing some of the trending changes and turning other theories that we have based our health and lifestyles on their heads. And I think miscommunications over the past 30 years about what is actually healthy for us are surfacing in a big way.
We now know how much more integrated our bodies are and that the brain is not separate to the body and in-fact may not entirely control the body, it seems to be more of a two way street that the body, in fact, has a lot to do with controlling parts of the brain, the autonomic nervous system and our immune system. Now that just throws a lot of science based on the mechanical model out of the window right there. There are new strains of medicine called ‘Lifestyle Medicine’ and ‘Integrative Medicine’ that our doctors can specialise in. Health and medicine are moving in a different direction for very real reasons.
The magnitude of books, blogs, specialists, allied health professionals, celebrities, chefs, complementary health professionals, neuroscientists, specialists, doctors who can finally make sure that the word is out there about different health options for different people. At the crux of it all, I think that it is more to do with a very unhealthy world!!! We are moving at a frantic pace in terms of developments, technology, and expectations. The growth of anything regardless of whether it is technology or cancer is faster than it has ever been before. This is making us live very very very fast, there is no ‘time’ to stop, think, re-evaluate, well that is how it feels and this, in turn, affects everything that we do and our physiological and neurological underpinnings. Now, people living in large cities regardless of the country have always lived at a frenetic pace, anybody older than 40 will account for this, and people have been making sea and tree changes for many decades, so what is different now? I think we have reached a point in time where we need to evaluate lots of things and we are in position where the majority of us have more freedom to make our own decisions that benefit us rather than just ‘do what has always been done’ or ‘do what is expected of us’, because we are finding that some of the ‘old’ just doesn’t work. And I think that areas of health care this is prevalent as well, areas that have been excluded or left to stand alone are much more heard of such as the neuroscience’s and the auditory sciences, the complementary health sciences. I think when integrated well into health services older conventional type science-based medicine and the emerging sciences (although many have been around for decades if not centuries just not commonly used as much in western society), form quite a comprehensive health care option. It does also highlight significantly the lack of communication between disciplines.
What has been unearthed is that with improvements in technology, science, and medicine we have been able to live a life that is so up to date and integrated, but it has been at a cost! The cost is our health. It doesn’t matter whether you are 80, 20, or 2 most people have some type of chronic health problem be it croup, diabetes, chronic fatigue. Imagine a 2-year-old with what is considered a chronic health problem. It is real, however. Why? It is multifaceted; it cannot be based on one singular thing, however, lots of different areas impact on our health. These can include where we live ie near farms where pesticides and insecticides are used, near nuclear or power plants, city vs country vs coastal, what food we eat and drink, where our food and water come from and how it is prepared, how we work, sleep, play, who we spend time with and choose not to, the list is endless and therefore I would consider quite stressful. But what you will notice is that most people you know will be needing to, or identifying areas in their lives that need to change. Change is inevitable in life but seems to be happening more frequently and rapidly in our lifetime than in generations before.
Never has change been so prevalent and lots of old traditions and theories are being turned upside down and if they were not I think that society would not be able to move forward as it is – look out evolution!
Which brings us to the changing health movement. While there are lots of different fads around, high protein, high fat, banting, raw, gluten free, sugar-free, carb free type diets being discussed, there are also lifestyle options to consider as well. I think that it is imperative that we all look at what we are eating and drinking and where it is coming from, but I don’t think diet alone will help us, it must be lifestyle based as well, and all of these areas will be unique to each person.
So when considering everything that is affecting us in terms of lifestyle it is to do with all areas, and while some consider some of the recommendations in mainstream media a bit ‘hippy’ type mumbo jumbo, the fact of the matter is that we need to consider what is being recommended or not being supported and the effect it has on our mind and body.
Have you heard of the recent octogenarian runner who is running in the upcoming City to Surf? Dr Conrad Winer, who is a consultant physician in Rehabilitation and Muscular Medicine? How many 80-90yr olds do you know who are still running 14km events? Why can he still participate in these events and other 80-90 yr olds are nowhere near this physical capacity? But not only does he run he also still works. He states that he has always lived a ‘healthy life’. Huh, but what is this healthy life, Dr Winer? This is the question that we all want to know the answer to…… He states he comes from a family of Naturopaths and Osteopaths……. I can tell you right now their impression of what is considered healthy is not exactly the same as what conventional medicine of today does. When the titles of Naturopath and Osteopath move from ‘alternative medicine’ to ‘complementary medicine’ it shows the shift in thinking in the realms of health and medicine. If anyone knows what the above-mentioned professions do differently to conventional medicine today it is more about a prevention vs cure approach. Not just popping pills, numbers and quick fixes.
So let’s look a little closer. We are chronically unwell, some people are acutely unwell, but for now, we will be focusing on the ‘chronically unwell’. If you feel that you have acute symptoms of any description you need to see your treating health professional as soon as possible. The areas to consider that will affect us as a whole in terms of being chronically unwell can be broken down into the following areas, some people will find that all areas apply to them and others will find that only specific areas will apply to them.
• Physical Activity
• Work (paid, unpaid, voluntarily, purposeful)
• Home life
• Community and or society
• Family and friends
As you can see we are so connected to everything around us and everything around us is so interconnected including us.
So when we look how the changes in the current health movement affect us you begin to understand that it is not singular in terms of what is affecting our health it is very interconnected and can not be dealt with in a tunnel vision approach.
It almost feels like as the medical and health community work out where they are as we are leading our own way towards better health and better lives and maybe this determination will be reflected in how medical, health and other services are approached and offered.
We will be looking at how our everyday activities contribute to our overall health and wellbeing throughout these posts, contact us here if you’d like to know more.
Have a great weekend.