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Prescribing a Paradox

The United States spends more on health care than any country in the world, and yet for documented health, we don’t even make the top 10: a paradox, indeed. In fact, it’s a paradox which has politicians and healthcare workers relentlessly pushing to expand funding for drug research and health coverage—wait, what? Somebody is missing the big picture, here.

 

It is clear that our tremendous health spending is not correlating with increased health. The problem cannot be solved by increased use of pharmaceuticals and increased access to hospitals (and here I’m talking about Western, not infectious diseases. However, in the West, it is no longer infectious diseases which are killing us). The problem is much deeper than this, but it’s rare to come across somebody bothering to wonder what is causing all this disease in the first place. Rather than treating ailments once they have already taken hold of the population, wouldn’t it save a lot of time and money to prevent them from happening in the first place?

3315748907_5445d270cb_bOf course it would, but there are people with money and incredible influence who are benefitting from keeping our current healthcare paradigm centered on treatment. I’m talking about big-time health insurance and pharmaceutical companies who, these days, run the show. They have the money to buy out doctors in private practice to join their army, where they can dictate the nature and number of patients their doctors see. They are wining and dining these physicians to coax them into prescribing their new “products” to patients. Their influence is higher than this, though, permeating governmental policy and funding.

It’s a vicious cycle: increasingly sedentary lifestyles in the West and consumption of processed foods lead to an increase in the diagnoses of Western diseases. Thus, our reliance on these pharm and health insurance companies rises and their influence grows.  Soon every rambunctious toddler will be prescribed sedatives! Oh wait…

The point is, we are struggling to keep afloat in the costs we are incurring to maintain “health,” and for some of us, we’ve already drowned. If it sounds gloomy, fret not! The most important thing you can do is take charge of your own wellbeing. It’s not rocket science: physical exercise, eating fruits and veggies, and taking time to relax will benefit health. If you have the means, go see experts who will help you become the healthiest you can be, such as yoga teachers, personal trainers, dieticians, massage therapists, acupuncturists, psychologists. Taking charge of your health now will not only extend your life but the quality of it, as well.

Don’t wait until it’s too late, or you may be paying the price. –WB

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