The Problem with Preventive Medicine

Those of you who’ve been aware of alternative medicine for a few decades probably remember when Prevention Magazine was first published. At the time it was a revolutionary publication that offered people a unique view of natural medicine.

Of course, it costs money to run a publication like that and over time they succumbed to the temptation of making lucrative deals with major drug companies for advertising sponsorship. Today’s Prevention bears almost no resemblance to it’s original editorial content. It seems as though the primary advertisers in it now are big drug companies.

But this article isn’t so much about the influence of big business on the health industry as it is about the problem with the whole concept of preventive medicine in the first place.

What possible problem could there be with the idea of preventive medicine you might ask? Plenty.

The Real Problem: Motivation

Even though the idea of avoiding a problem before it becomes serious sounds good, very few of us can find and sustain the motivation to do this when it comes to our health. Mostly, people wait until they, or someone they love, face a crisis before making decisions to change their lifestyle. Hopefully, it’s not too late at that point.

The irony of the situation emerges when you consider that most of us do the preventive maintenance of changing the oil and fluids in our car. And, those who garden quickly learn to make the small amount of effort pulling a weed when it’s small because they discover that ignoring it will create a much larger job later once it’s taken hold and ruined our garden.

You can speculate on many possible reasons why we humans tend to operate this way. But rather than focus on that for now, I’d like to suggest a way that you can counter this obviously self-destructive tendency.

A Simple Solution

I call the solution, ‘natural biofeedback.’ And no, it doesn’t require hooking yourself up to a bunch of wires and equipment. Natural biofeedback is the simple act of paying attention to how your body responds to the variables most likely to affect your health.

There are surprisingly few of these variables. Here is a list of the most important:

  • Food – what you eat changes your biochemistry in numerous ways. Your body’s response to food gives you lots of information.
  • Exercise – too much or too little will have a noticeable impact on your energy level and mental/emotional balance.
  • Sleep – again, you can have too much or too little.
  • Stress – work, home or other social stresses change the hormones and other important chemicals in your body, sometimes within seconds.
  • Thoughts – related to stress, often it isn’t so much what happens to you as how you choose to view it.

So, if you find that your health is less than optimal, you might want to review this short list to see where you can make changes that will improve things. You know your health is less than optimal if, for example, you are more tired than usual, you catch colds more frequently, or if you’re unusually cranky and reactive to people around you.

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