Wellness: What is it?
by: Dr. Ogi Ressel
Most people’s concept of health includes getting up in the morning, looking down at their toes and seeing them wiggling. If they can take a step forward and don’t feel bad doing so, then in fact they feel they are healthy – all parts working. They can now forge ahead and conquer the world. That is not health and it is not Wellness. Wellness is not about how you feel – it is all about how your body is functioning and maximizing that expression!Wellness means taking responsibility for your health and your destiny. This new movement has spawned a new industry, which includes natural health products, herbs, remedies, spas, fitness centers, etc. All of these methods are presently being used in increasing quantities to capture this elusive thing called health.
There has been a drastic shift, or paradigm, in peoples’ thinking. Not long ago, you entrusted your health to physicians who, you assumed, would do their best to heal you, the patient. This included, in the vast majority of cases, a prescription for medication that would then alleviate your discomfort and/or your symptoms. This school of thought led to the emergence and proliferation of the pharmaceutical industry. The public began to feel, and be taught, that the suppression of symptoms equaled good health. In other words, the public has been taught that when you no longer feel bad, then you must be healthy. Right? Wrong! This is dangerous thinking. It is an attitude that has created the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry.
This present concept of health care rests on the idea of profiting from your illness and your symptoms. It has nothing to do with health care and has everything to do with profit. I realize that some of you may be quite disturbed by this line of thinking – allow me to explain: This present concept of health has also generated the idea of arriving at a correct diagnosis for which to prescribe a drug, or a series of drugs to deal with an illness. As a society, we have become obsessed with the idea of treating disease instead of regaining health. We have become a nation on medication.
And that is not OK! You may not have thought of this but the pharmaceutical industry has been a leader in defining the role Medicine plays in your health. Physicians have been indoctrinated to believe that the more pharmaceutical agents and drugs they use, the healthier the population will become.
As a matter of fact, you may be shocked to learn that doctors receive perks and free gifts such as trips, theatre tickets, cruises, dinners, etc., based on the quantity of drugs they prescribe from certain manufacturers. “Better health through better chemistry” has become a motto of Today. Drugs manifesting health - nothing could be further from the truth.
This thinking has been supported wholeheartedly by the medical associations of both Canada and the United States to the point where free and clear thinking by certain physicians has been thought of as heresy to the general “party line” and some doctors have been persecuted if they differ in their thinking – much like a steam roller!
Dr. Terry Rondberg, President of the World Chiropractic Alliance once said, “As more and more people become aware of the failure of medicine to help them with their health problems, they are turning more and more to herbs and natural remedies to relieve their symptoms and combat their illnesses. In this manner, people are eliminating the dangerous side effects of drugs, but haven’t really changed their way of thinking about health.”
We have been taught since we were children to think of instant health care. This essentially translates into “feeling better.” The old “take-a-pill-and-make-it-better” mentality is the biggest health care problem we face in North America.
Many people feel that as long as they take some sort of a potion or natural remedy that stops their nose running, they are healthy. They believe that if gulping down laxatives keeps them regular, they are improving the condition of their body.
And the public thinks that since these remedies are “natural”, they must be good for them. This is absolutely insane thinking. The basic idea, you see, is still the same. We are searching for a natural cure for our symptoms rather than dealing with the fact that they are present in the first place. As a population, we need to stop thinking in terms of treating illness and start thinking in terms of creating health and Wellness.
Health (not just the absence of symptoms) is something that we create from the inside of our body. It is not something we can achieve from taking a pill, an herb, or having the latest and newest surgical procedure. If we want to achieve health for ourselves and our children, our goal needs to be: Make certain that our bodies are functioning the way they were meant to, normally, with nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, interfering with that process. That is the key.
Many people don’t realize that health is more than just the period between illnesses. It is also not the absence of symptoms. In other words, just because you feel OK, doesn’t mean you are healthy. It just means you feel OK and have no symptoms. That’s all it means. It does not imply your body is working any better.
Health is judged, for example, by how your body is able to adapt to its own internal and external environment. If your body is exposed to some kind of germ or virus, for instance, and if it is working normally, it should be able to neutralize the affects of that bug, without you even being aware that this is taking place. This is called health.
If your body cannot adapt to such a situation, and handle it on its own, you may begin to get sick. The most amazing thing is that when your body is no longer able to handle such a situation, it will actually “talk” to you in a language you can easily understand and listen to - symptoms.
|You see, to me health is like a candle that is lit when you are born and burns brightly throughout life. At the end, it flickers once, goes out, and that is it. And you’ve live a life of your dreams. However, I have found in my practice that most people do not present with such an idealistic picture. In the vast majority of cases, this is what I would see: The candle is lit brightly at birth, it then has an ear infection, pneumonia, strep throat, tonsillitis, blows out a kidney here, has a heart attack there, liver failure, kidney stones, gall bladder, etc. Often it has to be rekindled and restarted. That’s not health. That is merely getting by with as few symptoms and problems as one can possibly avoid. |
The standard medical approach has always been to prescribe antibiotics, pain remedies and all sorts of drugs to do the job your body was designed and programmed to do on its own. And most people do not realize and understand that those drugs do nothing to help your body regain its ability to perform its functions in the future. In fact, relying on these drugs will actually hinder your body’s recovery. (Not to mention all the
….And that is what Chiropractic is all about!