Your health is y/our greatest asset

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Laws in a society are much more than just a list of dos and don’ts. Laws announce what the society deems supportive and destructive in terms of conduct. Laws can also articulate the most fundamental values of a society. As of the recent US Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, it is now the law that each citizen either purchase health insurance or pay a “tax”.

It is also the law of the land that each citizen be properly educated. It is mandatory that each of us spend 11-12 years studying various texts for the purpose of gainful employment in our adult lives. It is of utmost importance to the society that each citizen is capable of, at least, supporting themselves and, at best, employing others. This is one way an individual interacts with the larger economy.

But is money the only form of individual capital that impacts a society?

Sure, there are other skills and values a person has that contribute to the success of an economy, but aside from the ability to earn and income and/or provide jobs, is there any one asset more valuable than health?

Think about it. It will come as no shock to anybody that we are sitting on a powder keg of chronic disease. The “obesity bubble” is unlike any other bubble we’ve seen before because it is directly tied to the healthcare and food industry. These two sectors combined make up roughly 16% of our GDP.

We seem to put so much emphasis on developing the minds of our children while neglecting to sustain the “health capital” they possess at birth. Could it be possible that the removal of P.E. from school budgets might have a more negative impact on our economic health than a few extra math lessons?

“Can You Take The Authority to Heal?”

This question stuck with me for a few weeks after I heard it in a podcast interview of Dr. Shauna Young.

Hearing those words immediately sent me off it to contemplation of this “Authority to heal”.

What is it?

Who grants it?

What makes a healer?

Why don’t patients take the authority to heal as well?

I missed her explanation in the interview because I was off in my own world. After rewinding, I learned that Dr. Young had been asked this question by one of her professors early in her training as a Naturopath. She reflects on how this question challenged her to justify for herself, her chosen role as a healer. She states in the interview that she makes it her duty to heal through sharing her research and information with her patients. She makes clear in her book, If Naturopaths are “Quacks”…Then I Guess I’m a Duck, that her patients retain the ultimate authority:

The reason I wrote this book is…[that] I want you to know that you and only you are the final arbiter of your health. Your doctors (including me) are there to give advice, but YOU make the final decision. So make it a good one. Consider all your options, and then make the call that you believe in and that makes you comfortable and get on with it.

educationEach of us possesses the ultimate authority to heal. When properly cared for, our mind, body and spirit all work together to maintain homeostasis and harmony. Focusing so heavily on the body while neglecting the mind and spirit is not the proper way to heal; yet this is what we do when we rely on doctors and pills to keep us ticking. When body is lacking, the others must be nurtured as well. If our bodies fail, it is our duty to take the authority to heal by using our minds to educate ourselves about the disease and our spirits to give us the will to overcome it. Just as we demand all people get educated in reading, writing and ‘rithmatic, we should demand that they remain educated in how to stay healthy.

As much as we are advancing in medical science, our doctors are still becoming more and more limited in time. We can’t expect for things to get any better due to the recent passage of the Affordable Care Act. For too long, we have allowed others to tell us that the traditional customs and diets our ancestors have thrived on for millenia are not good for us. We have allowed industry to sell us on the idea that our toddlers first foods should be formula and cereal. We’ve allowed society to tell us that dual-income households are the way to go. Now, relieved of the burden to breastfeed, mom can stay out of the kitchen and pick-up dinner-in-a-bag on her way home from the office. (Before the feminists start the hate mail, I’m not calling for women to return to the kitchen. I’m simply pointing out that there is a health price paid with the removal of one full-time homemaker. It makes no difference if it is the mother or father. As long as Jr’s meals are mostly prepared in the home.)

In just a few generations we’ve gone from getting our food from a farm in our town to a several factories across the globe. We’ve replaced “comfort food” for “convenience food” and we are paying the price.

Your health is OUR greatest asset. It is one we must maintain so that it doesn’t become such a liability. It is time to educate ourselves in the ultimate healing art…..Nutrition.



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