Hello readers. I don’t know how you all feel about your health and the choices available as far as what to buy, how to prepare it, and what constitutes a healthy diet for yourself and your family. As a library employee, in addition to the Internet, I have ready access to a lot of information. There are so many books published on dieting, health, finding or creating a healthy lifestyle. Personally, I find myself increasingly confused when it comes to making healthy choices for myself and my family. The abundance of available and conflicting information stymies me. Some advocate eliminating animal proteins in favor of a whole foods, plant-based diet. Others say that we need animal protein and that too many carbohydrates in a plant-based diet raises our blood sugar. Others say we should eliminate gluten, and that the consumption of modern genetically modified wheat is detrimental to our health. For some, soy is good, for others the phytoestrogens soy contains may be harmful. Obviously, we need to inform ourselves and make choices that make sense to each of us. A consensus does seem to indicate that modern humans eating a primarily western diet suffer from an excess of inflammation and acidity in the body caused by the consumption of excessive refined sugars, flours, and oils. And everyone seems to agree that being at least moderately active is beneficial. Yet avoiding these items does not lead to a direct path to health. One of my favorite books on healthy living is “The Chemistry of Joy” by Dr. Henry Emmons. He draws from his experiences and education in both eastern and western medicine to try and find a balanced approach, dividing people into four basic body and personality types and suggesting diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes based on each temperament.
It is interesting to contemplate the increased attention to health in the United States as it would appear that the general level of public health in adults and children across ethnic groups and social classes appears to be steadily and abruptly declining. Part of the interest in dieting is not related to health but rather to prolonging youth and beauty. These publications reflect perhaps the prevalent fear of aging and death, because our society sees this lifetime as the full extent of our being, and relies on youth as a sign of power and strength. Also, the elderly are not generally honored for their wisdom and experience, though perhaps this is changing. My personal beliefs consider that the body I inhabit is a temporary shelter, and I feel I should take good care of it and live a balanced life, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. If we consider the possibility that we each choose our physical body with all of its unique characteristics and flaws before we incarnate in each lifetime, then the challenges involved in living a life in that particular body are also unique. I feel an individualized approach to health is necessary. It is my hope that in the coming decades and centuries that the scientific advances of western medicine will develop and deepen a collaboration with the various techniques of eastern medicine, holistic, and alternative therapies and intuitive healing. Seeing each patient as a whole feeling person is very important when considering health. Taking all available factors and means of diagnosing a patient, including the patient’s temperament, history, feelings as well as physical symptoms and traditional testing techniques are all useful. As we move into the future, I feel certain that intuitive techniques and our ability to gain greater access into the subconscious mind and spirit of a person and of our collective mind will give us even greater diagnostic accuracy and information. These intuitive abilities exist in all humans; most of us have simply not yet learned how to tap into them and use them effectively. Like all knowledge, we will have to be prudent in order to prevent dishonesty among practitioners. I feel that as we evolve spiritually and scientifically, moving towards a greater balance between the masculine and feminine energies of the mind and emotion, we will find a greater equilibrium in medical technologies. Today, doctors are already moving towards treating patients as people once again. Pure reasoning lead to a break up of the person into dissociated organ systems and symptoms. Increased awareness of spirit and intuition and respect of the feminine are bringing us back to a more holistic approach. I think our greatest good is found in open communication, sharing, and respect between both branches of medicine. Healthy diet is an important part of health. So is exercise, and so is leading a meaningful and creative life. Every person is at a different level of spiritual development, so we cannot immediately create immediate and total change from a patriarchal system to a balance between masculine and feminine energies in social life. All we can do is work towards opening our minds, bodies, and spirits to helpful and healthy change.
It is also important to teach our children how to think about themselves in new ways. Our bodies are not separate objects needing treatment; the new healthy means being part of a total continuum, in which we are each a subjective observer and participant. I truly hope that social consciousness will evolve quickly enough so that current and future generations can help our Earth to restore itself, and that society will embrace our feminine side and incorporate feminine values into our education system, healthcare systems, economy and government.