Each day as I travel through downtown Tucson I am amazed at how quickly the most ancient of human behaviors have changed. For as long as there have been Homo sapiens – roughly 200,000 years – people have filled their lives principally with two activities: talking directly with other people and doing physical things.
Technology has a shadow side. It accounts for real progress in medicine but has also hurt it in many ways making it more impersonal expensive and dangerous. The false belief that a safety net of sophisticated drugs and machines stretches below us permitting risky or lazy lifestyle choices has undermined our spirit of self-reliance.
By keeping my hand in that it’s the way I keep learning. The main way you learn in medicine is by practicing and working with patients.
Meditation while walking has a long noble history in ancient spiritual disciplines.
The more easily digestible and refined the carbohydrates the greater the effect on our health weight and well-being.
Most American diets even bad ones provide more than enough calcium for bone health especially for men.
I fully support a national health care program for the U.S.
One of the most obvious ways dogs can improve our physical and mental health is via daily walks.
The bottom line is that the human body is complex and subtle and oversimplifying – as common sense sometimes impels us to do – can be hazardous to your health.
Human beings have survived for millennia because most of us make good decisions about our health most of the time.
If we can make the correct diagnosis the healing can begin. If we can’t both our personal health and our economy are doomed.
The World Health Organization has recognized acupuncture as effective in treating mild to moderate depression.
I am not against all forms of high-tech medicine. Drugs and surgeries have a secure place in the treatment of serious health conditions. But modern American medicine treats almost every health condition as if it were an emergency.
The most common objection that I hear to walking as exercise is that it’s too easy that only sweaty strenuous activity offers real benefits. But there is abundant evidence that regular brisk walking is associated with better health including lower blood pressure better moods and improved cholesterol ratios.
Citizens must pressure the American Hospital Association the American Public Health Association the Centers for Disease Control and other relevant governmental agencies to make greening our hospitals and medical centers a top priority so that they themselves don’t create even more illness.
You can’t afford to get sick and you can’t depend on the present health care system to keep you well. It’s up to you to protect and maintain your body’s innate capacity for health and healing by making the right choices in how you live.
Whenever I write about mental health and integrative therapies I am accused of being prejudiced against pharmaceuticals. So let me be clear – integrative medicine is the judicious application of both conventional and evidence-based natural therapies.
Genuine happiness comes from within and often it comes in spontaneous feelings of joy.
I am a particular fan of integrative exercise – that is exercise that occurs in the course of doing some productive activity such as gardening bicycling to work doing home improvement projects and so on.
My passion for gardening may strike some as selfish or merely an act of resignation in the face of overwhelming problems that beset the world. It is neither. I have found that each garden is just what Voltaire proposed in Candide: a microcosm of a just and beautiful society.
In the world at large people are rewarded or punished in ways that are often utterly random. In the garden cause and effect labor and reward are re-coupled. Gardening makes sense in a senseless world. By extension then the more gardens in the world the more justice the more sense is created.
Clearly America’s dysfunctional food culture must bear some of the blame for our excess pounds but it’s likely our walking-averse lifestyles contribute as well.
Everyone prefers some foods over others but some adults take this tendency to an extreme. These people tend to prefer the kinds of bland food they may have enjoyed as children – such as plain or buttered pasta macaroni and cheese cheese pizza French fries and grilled cheese sandwiches – and to restrict their eating to just a few dishes.
It does kids no favors and sets them up for a potential lifetime of poor health and social embarrassment to excuse them from family meals of real food. Everyone benefits from healthy eating but it is particularly crucial at the beginning of life.
Get people back into the kitchen and combat the trend toward processed food and fast food.
Fear and greed are potent motivators. When both of these forces push in the same direction virtually no human being can resist.
We need to accept the seemingly obvious fact that a toxic environment can make people sick and that no amount of medical intervention can protect us. The health care community must become a powerful political lobby for environmental policy and legislation.