The Quick and The Deadly
In my posts, I have said that there is a big problem with the approach to healing in the United States. Recent reports such as the one placing the quality of US health care dead last in all major categories except one among 11 industrialized countries is only one indication (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/08/05/global-health-rankings/).
A 2016 report by Johns Hopkins says that the third-leading cause of death in the United States is from medical errors. According to the calculations of their patient safety experts more than 250,000 deaths each year are from medical errors ((https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us).
Adverse reactions from drugs among hospitalized patients is said to exceed 100,000 per year according to one study (https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-interactions-labeling/preventable-adverse-drug-reactions-focus-drug-interactions#ADRs:%20Prevalence%20and%20Incidence). And that doesn’t include nursing home reactions or reactions that occur at home.
The above articles should give you concern. We are spending more on health care than other countries and getting less. For those of you who think universal health care is a bad idea, the performance of US medical care compared with countries that have universal coverage suggests otherwise. Medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy in this country (https://www.thebalance.com/medical-bankruptcy-statistics-4154729). We are bankrupting families and delivering poor health care. If we had a stellar system in terms of results, then there would be a case for not changing anything. But we do not. The health care system may be keeping people alive for a little longer, but I would argue that it is not healing them.
We are a drug society with more than four and a half billion prescriptions filled last year (https://www.statista.com/statistics/261303/total-number-of-retail-prescriptions-filled-annually-in-the-us/). am not arguing against all prescription drugs; some are necessary and are a lifesaver for many people. But drugs do not treat the cause of poor health; they treat symptoms and may make it possible for people to function in their daily lives. They rarely heal people. And sometimes, they are quick, but deadly, solutions. If the cause of poor health is a weak immune system, the drugs prescribed for a disease may inhibit the symptoms of that disease. But they do not address the cause of the weak immune system.
I am not blaming medical doctors for the situation. They are trained with a certain focus that is strongly drug oriented. Also, for some, huge student loans mean that they must see many patients each day just to keep their practice open. Then, if they recognize that lifestyle is the underlying cause of their patient’s problems, there is little they can do to make the patient change. One doctor told me that when treating obese patients, she often gets the question: Can’t you just give me a pill to help me lose weight? Few really want to change their lifestyles.
I know many people are suspicious of government programs, especially when it comes to their health care. But the current system is not working very well for many Americans. I believe there is a better way, and universal coverage is one answer.
Our neighbor Canada has a form of universal coverage for its citizens. Some in the US have criticized it and claim it doesn’t work well. I have met several residents of Canada who spend winters in Florida to avoid the harsh winters in Canada, and I have asked them what they think of their health-care system. There is universal approval; some Canadians may be dissatisfied with their system, but I have yet to meet one who would trade it for ours.
I am not a politician and do not intend to propose a new health-care system for the United States. If you investigate, you will discover that each country that has universal coverage has implemented it in a unique way that is best for its citizens. Most of the systems differ in some respect. If one were implemented in the United States, it would probably differ from all the others in some respects. Instead of proposing a new system, my focus is on real healing and keeping you out of the doctor’s office and hospital in the first place.
I think to change the popular concept of healing and the understanding of disease we must start with the very young. We must link the physical outcome in a person’s life to their thoughts and beliefs, as well as diet and exercise. Physicians recognize stress as the cause of problems such as ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart disease. But less recognized, stress also affects the immune system, and a weakened immune system opens the person up to a multitude of diseases. Scientists are now recognizing that it can affect the aging process (https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/stress). Studies that have been done on the reasons for the long longevity of some people clearly show the importance of the mind as well as care of the body. In fact, the mind may be the most important factor for having a long life.
Humans are complex integrations of body, mind, and spirit. The body is the product or result of what occurs within the other aspects of a human. If you want to heal the person, those aspects must be brought into the proper balance. Drugs affect the body, but they do not bring about that rebalance in the case of disease. Healing is not just getting relief from symptoms. It is restoring the person to a harmonious state with a balance of mind, body, and spirit.
We are all going to die someday. The physical is not our natural state. All bodies will decay and at some point, will no longer support our consciousness. But we can achieve a harmonious and fulfilling life by following certain principles, and balance is key. Some think the answer is to live life by experiencing as much physical pleasure as possible and ignoring everything else. I have met several such people during my lifetime, but I can’t think of any who did not have regrets when their lifestyles began to catch up with them in middle-age. We create our lives. If the physical experience alone is what you want, then that is your right. But accept the results. You have created them.
If you want to know what life may be like after death, then pay attention to your dreams. Cayce said that after death, the subconscious becomes the conscious mind. In your dreams, you experience your subconscious. The rules are different from the physical life, and you no longer have the constraints of a physical body. But you are not suddenly all knowing. You will meet what you have created on a mental level. In my dreams I have met people on the other side; some seemed happy, but others were confused and lost. I believe we always meet ourselves, what we have created. If you don’t like your current life, then find out why and change it. The death of your physical body is not going to suddenly take you to nirvana.
My approach to a healthy life is to be proactive; I want to live without constant trips to the doctor. The less I have to do with the medical profession, the better. So far, I have been quite successful in my approach. But I still carry with me the scars from my youth and early adult years. We meet what we have created.
The effort must start when you are young and continue throughout your life. Neglect in the early years will catch up with you in the later years. If we can get people to understand that and try to live a healthy, balanced lives, the health care costs in this country would plummet. And then the cost of health care for all would not be prohibitive, and people would not need to decide between food and drugs.
A heart bypass operation can easily cost $100,000 or more, and cancer treatments can also run up the price tag. I have known people who exceeded the million-dollar maximum allowed by their insurance company. Most of these situations should never have happened, but a new approach is required.
I recall a woman from my corporate years who was diagnosed with cancer. She underwent treatment for many months and was proclaimed free of cancer. After she received the news, the group she worked in had a celebration for her. A few years later, she died from the cancer. Perhaps she was free of the cancer when the testing was done. But she was not healed. A weakened immune system would allow the cancer to come back, which appears to be the case. The treatments destroyed the cancer that was present and caused a remission in symptoms of in sick body, but they did not heal her.
The above comment is very relevant to a future post in which I examine faith healing in more detail. If you are healed, regardless of the method, it does not mean you can return to a lifestyle that most likely caused the disease in the first place if you want to remain healed. If you are a smoker, have lung cancer from it, and get a remission through treatment, you cannot return to smoking if you want to remain free of cancer. And to keep the cancer in remission, you may need to do more than just quitting smoking; you may need a radical change in your entire approach to life, which includes your thoughts, beliefs, relationships, habits, and job.
There is no quick fix for an unhealthy body. The cause is the product of a lifestyle that includes many factors, and in some cases the cause is congenital. However, I believe that most people could dramatically improve their health with the proper education and support from the health-care community and government. In recent years, smoking has been targeted with some positive results, but it is only one of many factors. In our schools, school lunches often consist of food I would put down the garbage disposal. Despite the cries from diet experts, white bread or rolls and processed meats are often the choice instead of whole grains, healthy proteins, and salads. And the beverage may simply be a sugar drink.
Many people want relief from disease in their lives, but they don’t want to address the cause of the problem. They are unwilling to make the dramatic changes that are necessary to properly address the problem, so it will only get worse. If you want real healing and not just a band aid, then you must examine your whole self and begin to properly balance your mind, body, and spirit. You must establish a purpose with both an objective and ideal that promote health and healing. And you must live your life according to them.