Like many other western countries, we in New Zealand have serious health issues with many people dying prematurely from a range of diseases. Heart disease is our number one killer with 16 deaths per day. One in three people are affected by cancer and diabetes, obesity, dementia and many other diseases are on the rise. Our government spends $14 billion a year on health but are we winning the war on health?
We see a lot of focus in on treatment of disease with medicines and surgery which is fine, but wouldn’t it be great if we saw more emphasis on curing and preventing disease. Remember medicines basically are treating symptoms of disease. Some health providers refer to medicines as a cure for many diseases but by this they mean they will put someone on a medicine for maybe the rest of their life with the possibility of side effects being a problem.
Why is it so?
I feel there is still a lot for man to learn about our bodies and health. I wouldn’t be surprised if we only know about 5% of the big picture. I am sure that a lot of people are in a state of blissful ignorance and that there are many things that can be done to improve the general health of the community. For many there is the thinking that ‘it can’t happen to me’ syndrome. Obviously nutrition, exercise, reduction of stress and knowing how to be pro-active with ones health are critical. For instance, I believe you should have a reasonable understanding of your risk factors for heart attacks and strokes many of which you may be able to reduce if only you knew about them. Some people are proud that they don’t go to a health provider yet spend many dollars maintaining their car but ignore investing in their own health. For many there is a quick fix mentality but I believe this is unrealistic.
How could it be?
I am confident with a focus on health rather than illness we would see a lot more healthier, happier people living longer. I look forward to the day when we have more of a big picture (holistic) approach to health. By this I mean having orthodox practitioners working closely with complementary and alternative ones.
How do we achieve this?
Education and support has to be a biggie. You need to learn how to build a strong general health foundation and then deal with specific diseases as appropriate. My book expands on this important subject.