“Sometimes… itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s what you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do that will lead to success.” ~ Jim Wendler
If you’re like most people, when you think about health you think about what you can do to improve it.
But you might not think about improving it by what you don’t do.
For example, the single biggest improvement in health that a person can do is to not smoke. The health benefits of not smoking are greater than the benefits of all medical advancements in the last 100 years.
There are many other things you can avoid to support your health. These include avoiding refined sugars and alcohol, not being a couch potato, etc.
Here’s another one that may surprise you – you’ll be healthier if you don’t go to a conventional medical doctor. Why do I say this? Consider that medical error kills between 3 and 10 times the number of people every year as car accidents. The lower number is the estimate from doctors themselves. Consider also that it is widely accepted that harm from doctors causes more deaths than any one cancer. There is even a word for doctor-induced illness. It is iatrogenic illness. Iatrogenic literally means, “doctor caused.”
The flip side of this viewpoint is that the body is great at self-healing. Many things people go to doctors to fix will fix themselves over time.
There is a simple rule to follow in this regard. Ask if the medical intervention has a much greater chance of improving your health than it does of causing unwanted side effects. In other words, much greater upside than downside. If not, then find another route.
What are the downsides? Think about the many side effects of most drugs. Think about the liability waver you have to sign when you get surgery. There is often a lot of downside in medical intervention.
Fortunately, for these situations there are other routes. Among the best are acupuncture and functional medicine. Both are focused on restoring healthy balance and function. And the downside is negligibleÃ‚Â when practiced by someone with experience.
The benefits of what you don’t do is not a new idea. And it’s not unique to health. Here’s another quote about the value of the things you don’t do:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“People think focus means saying yes to the thing youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve to focus on. But thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m actually as proud of the things we havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.Ã¢â‚¬Â ~ Steve Jobs
Even the ancient Chinese had an idea about this. It is contained in the concept, wu wei. Wu wei literally means “not doing.” This idea is at least 2,500 years old.
Another example of the value of not doing is in stress relief. Sometimes you just have to stop. If you want a unique way to take advantage of this, here is a great website.
Next week’s article addresses the best place to start when upgrading your health. Look for it next Monday.
All the best to you for your health and happiness,