How does our modern culture impact our health?

There is so much information available about health; it can be overwhelming and difficult to make sense of it all. How many hours have you spent looking up your symptoms online, only to come across that rare, deadly disease you are sure you have? You agonize about your new self-diagnosis. You start to wonder what you will do in your final days. Then you wake up the next morning and feel fine, rare disease miraculously cured!

Health care can be an overwhelming subject. Most people’s physical, mental, or emotional health could use some help. For the purposes of this course we are going to look at overall physical, mental, and emotional health as it pertains to industrialized nations. I have found in my practice that many modern cultures suffer from the same root causes of disease. In general, we are suffering from poor nutrition (too many poor-quality calories), sedentary lifestyles, and a loss of connection to ourselves and the world around us.

A consumer-driven society is spreading globally. Big-box stores are everywhere, selling cheap, mostly disposable items that are made by people living in poverty. Fast-food restaurants are serving up their version of food, resulting in obesity all over the planet. Not only are these corporations abolishing mom-and-pop stores, but they are negatively impacting the health of the planet and its inhabitants too. There is now more fast food sold in China than in the United States or anywhere else on earth. The endless desire to buy, consume, and waste things has increased all over the world. Oddly enough, as more countries are embracing these modern ideas, they are also experiencing an increase in modern diseases.

There is a direct connection between lifestyle choices and personal health. What we eat, how we think, and what we do all have an impact on our health. Quantum physics has proven the ancient ideology that we are all one connected extension of source energy. This is a beautiful and comforting thought. We are never really alone if we are always connected to the source and everything around us. There is a lot of responsibility with this knowledge, as well. Every decision you make directly affects your health and your experience on the planet.

It should make you start to question: What are you putting in your body? Whom do you choose to spend your time with? What do you choose to think about?
So where are we today with modern health care? I am not even sure we should call it health care. It’s really more like sick care; instead of keeping people healthy, we wait for them to get sick and then try to “fix” them by cut, burn, and poison methods.

The United States spends the most money on health care yet is among the sickest countries on the planet. The United States spent $3.6 trillion on health care in 2019 . That’s about $9,500 per person and two and a half times more than all other developed countries. Obviously, money is not the answer.

So what is all that money being spent on? A large portion of it goes to dealing with chronic lifestyle diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. These three diseases are the leading killers and most expensive to treat on the planet. They are called lifestyle diseases because the root cause is often due to lifestyle choices, be it habits, nutrition, environment, and so forth. The choices we make throughout our lives create an environment for these diseases to take hold and manifest.

In 2016 the United States spent $555 billion on heart disease; that figure is expected to rise to $1.1 trillion by 2035. The leading cause of death is heart disease. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 50 percent of deaths in the United States are due to heart disease. The percentage of people with heart disease is higher than ever. Clearly, we need to look elsewhere.

One basic theory of Oriental medicine is the five-elements theory. This is the belief that the principles of five forces of nature (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood) can be applied to the human body. For example, the fire element includes the heart and cardiovascular system; the related emotions are passion and joy. In my opinion, many cases of heart disease are related to lack of fire or passion for life. Many of us have lost our joy and ability to accept life for what it is. It has been said that most heart disease begins with the emotional body, and when people do not deal well with their inevitable emotional problems, “dis-ease” will arise.

The United States spent $125 billion on cancer and $327 billion on diabetes in 2017. Both cancer and diabetes have been on the rise over the past one hundred years but have had a real spike in numbers since the mid-1990s. During those years, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetener production and delivery into the food supply increased dramatically. Since the mid-1960s, we have had a huge increase in the amount of environmental toxins introduced into the food and water supply in the form of herbicides, pesticides, hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. Science made huge advances in genetically modified foods (GMOs), and these new foods found their way into our food supply as well. In my opinion, this vast increase in sugars and other chemicals into our bodies has caused the pancreas and many other organs to begin to fail.

Cancer is a multi-billion-dollar industry that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Although some of the treatments are beneficial, many leave the patient sick and deformed for the remaining years of their life. Our standard treatment protocol is to perform surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy (known toxins) for the patient. The side effects of these treatments range from nausea to death, and in many people’s opinion, the side effects often seem worse than the disease itself.

Diabetes can be reversed with healthy diet and lifestyle choices. Much of heart disease is rooted in poor emotional health. Even cancer can be reduced or eliminated through lifestyle choices and natural medical treatments that do not deplete the body. It is
imperative to the health and survival of our species that we begin to make healthier choices. We must focus more on preventative medicine (what we eat, think, and do) instead of waiting for diseases to arise and then treat it with sick care.

The choices we make in our diets and lifestyle can lead to diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, systemic inflammation, and more. The foods we eat, the emotions we have, the way we choose to spend our time—all of these lead to the diseases that are costing us so much in so many ways. All of this can be greatly reduced or avoided by making better choices.

Let’s take a look at some other factors that may be leading to our general decline in health.


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