Monday, October 13, 2008

The Rectifcation of Names

Getting the Words Right : or, "Through the Looking Glass"

As acclaimed author Michael Pollan recently wrote, "the corruption of society begins with the corruption of words. Therefore, any attempt to fix what is wrong in the world had best start with the rectification of names."

Clearly, the corruption of language to serve ulterior motives is as old as communication itself. However, its impact has been greatly magnified by the speed and reach of modern communication technologies. Lacking clear definitions of our own we accept as truth those conveyed to us by sources that, all too often, do not have our best interests in mind.

Let's look at the biomedical pharmaceutical-based model of "health."

Health Care:

The entire focus of medical training is the study and treatment of disease and pathology. Doctors do not study health or what maintains it. They do not promote health or prevent disease. You only 'go' when you are sick and care kicks in with disease diagnosis, the end stage of a process.

What's healthy about that?

Wouldn't it be more accurate to call it disease care?

Health Screen:

A systems check looking for observable signs of disease progression, done repeatedly over time until something is found to diagnose and treat.

Again, what's healthy about that?
Wouldn't it be more accurate to call it a disease screen?

Health Insurance:

It only pays if you are diagnosed with illness. Except for token gym memberships and disease screens, most do not cover wellness care or anything that maintains and promotes health.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to call it:
catastrophic homeowner's insurance for the body?

Health Care Crisis:

The crisis, we are told, is that too many of us do not have health insurance and that costs are skyrocketing. All true. However, the crisis is NOT that we don't have insurance. The real crisis is that so many of us are so sick.

Wouldn't it be more accurate to call it a disease crisis?

And, wouldn't the real fix be promoting health?

Interestingly, insurers now refer to doctors as providers, patients as consumers and health care as managed care. Sounds harsh? Money oriented. Perhaps, the 'rectification of names' has begun!

The medical model has a real and very beneficial role in crisis and emergency care and management and the alleviation of catastrophic symptoms. All, after-the-fact infection or trauma induced or end-process disease care.

However, this model of waiting for, and then treating, the symptoms of disease has failed any way you look at it. It has failed in terms of the the continued skyrocketing rates of disease and mortality, the inefficacy of medical care in treating them, and the economic costs associated with them.

Real change will come when there is a shift in our collective consciousness away from the passive pill-popping and surgical interventions of the disease-care paradigm to the daily personal responsibility of the health and wellness-care paradigm.

It is not as if we do not know what health is or how to achieve and maintain it.

You do not need to be sick to have a healthy intervention.

Eating a whole foods, largely plant-based diet, exercising daily and having a positive outlook on life not only create health, they can reverse and/or ameliorate disease processes and symptoms.

Health is way more than the avoidance or absence of disease and the removal of symptoms.

Health is about living a full, active and happy life. It comes from personal awareness, personal responsibility and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Health throughout your life is not only possible, it is your birthright!

As Buddha said:
"We are each the architects of our own health or disease."

What are you going to do today, and every day, to maintain and improve your health?

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