Good habits put health in your hands

We depend too heavily on doctors and insurance companies for our well-being. They themselves try hard to get us to shoulder some of the responsibility. I wonder how much of the national health care debate would be eliminated if we all just took better care of ourselves.

A local man had questions for his surgeon before going to the operating room. Did he need the surgery? Would it fix his problem?

The doctor said, “If I operate on you, you’ll probably be in the same place six months from now as you’d be if I didn’t do anything to you.” The patient said to go ahead and do the surgery.

It wasn’t my place to follow up, but I’m sure the surgeon was right in this case. Had the patient changed some habits and exercised patience while his joint healed naturally, his condition would have improved without surgery and he wouldn’t have had to undergo post-op recovery from incisions and stitches.

A cardiologist said he was done with urging his patients to change their eating habits. He said he had wasted his breath on the topic for years before finally realizing the patients weren’t taking his advice. That part of their responsibility was beyond his control and they weren’t too concerned about it. They loved eating what they ate.

It’s so easy to be passive about our health, and yet inside us is more healing than most of us tap. We’re so used to pills, shots and surgery that we overlook the built-in healing capability. And there’s so much of it right there, inside us.

I find that two things keep many people from tapping that healing. One group believes any healing from serious injury or sickness is a matter of metaphysical or divine intervention. Another group believes that miracles and divine healing never occur, or are unlikely to occur, in this age.

Forget all that. For most of our health issues, the healing inside us is there for the taking. Bump your head and you’ll be better soon if you don’t keep bumping it. Step on a thorn and your foot will heal up quickly if you apply a little ointment to protect it, and if you’re careful about how you use your foot for a week or so.

I have known a thousand people who pray for healing that is already inside them, or they channel positive thinking at the problem. They and their friends yearn and strain for a solution, when they could be building habits of rest, diet, attitude, exercise and caution. These have amazing impact on our health and can be implemented continuously.

If we just believe it, we can experience ongoing, natural recoveries from injuries and illnesses, and often avoid them altogether. This simple potential is hard to believe when you’re used to entrusting all your health to doctors and insurance policies.

When I started following professional advice for daily habits — and I mean diligently — all sorts of good things began happening. My body recovered from joint and energy problems, strained muscles, colds and all kinds of problems. I kept bouncing back and still do. It’s like a miracle. It’s as good as a miracle. It’s better than a miracle, because I can tap into the healing at will.

I think attitude is the key. You have to take the initiative to use what’s already there. When I was younger and immortal, I would’ve laughed at what I’m saying now.

The health care industry has tried to get us to believe in the healing power of rest, diet, attitude, exercise and caution. Take the advice and you will see why.

Max T. Russell of New Palestine writes for the international business intelligence and nonprofit communities.

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