The image above?
Or an elephant hanging over a cliff with its tail tied to a daisy?
Or an ant on a leaf floating down a river; laying on its back with an erection screaming “Raise The Drawbridge!”
Or what looks like a myopic and self-serving quote below.
“There cannot be two kinds of medicine—conventional and alternative. There is only medicine that has been adequately tested and medicine that has not… ” (Angell and Kassirer, 1998 [NEJM])-European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC)
Sounds to me like EASAC is taking a position not unlike the absolute we-have-the-truth of fundamentalist religions. You know the type:
“You’re a failure as a human being if you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal savior.”
“There is only one true path to heaven and you ain’t on it.”
In this country of self-styled heroes, our medical establishment seems to be in the heroics business. You know, the more heroic the business the greater the profits to the establishment.
Personally, having undergone a few surgeries, I have to be impressed with the degree of heroic medicine applied on my behalf.
However, I fail to be impressed by the minimal degree of preventative maintenance medicine which fails in comparison and tends to emphasize symptom-driven medication produced by an industry more interested in your preexisting or non-existing condition for which they can offer an expensive medication complete with more-harm-than-good warnings.
There’s money to be made in learning how to cut and stitch but not so much in learning how to sit and discuss preventatives long before their lack leads to a need to cut and stitch.
Which brings me to self-care … you know, being invested in taking ownership of your own health before it becomes too late and you have to hand it off to someone who offers an assortment of relief projects, each with a price tag you might not have had to pay earlier.
According to Wikipedia self-care is this:
Self-care is considered a primary form of care for patients with chronic conditions who make many day-to-day decisions, or self-manage, their illness.
Self-management is critical and self-management education complements traditional patient education in primary care to support patients to live the best possible quality of life with their chronic condition.
Self-care is learned, purposeful and continuous.
In philosophy, self-care refers to the care and cultivation of self in a comprehensive sense, focusing in particular on the soul and the knowledge of self.
Self-care then has to mean taking charge of and remaining in charge of your own body and it’s healthy or not-healthy state.
Once upon a time I seriously thought about becoming a Naturopath and registering at Bastyr University in Seattle. Didn’t do it and now at 71 sincerely wish that I had.
If I ever need a medical hero I know who to call. If I do not yet need a hero, but do need more preventative information about how to extend my life, I’m learning about a myriad of sources of that knowledge. These sources take work; take a personal investment in time and thought and an ability to listen to my own body’s messages to me about something being wrong.
Herbs … I have been into herbs for a long time … and am now on a path to learning more while taking notes, keeping binders and staying busy doing what I should have been doing for a long time.
I am newly into a DIY look at essential oils and aroma therapy. It’s not important if folks like the EASAC or their American medical fundamentalist colleagues don’t like how I’m trying to inform myself in every venue of self-care available to me. An essential oil diffuser aromatizes our house and makes it more enjoyable than the antiseptic or weak flowery nonsense from a Glade deoderizer.
We own several reference books on smart medicine. natural and synthetic pharmaceuticals and home remedies from which I trust my instincts and ability to google without being bamboozled by an overweight pharma interested only in selling me relief accompanied by 15-yard-penalty of warnings about side effects.
I’m having fun, so far have not stumbled into danger and have a med-provider at the VA who I trust even if some of the advice is predictably founded on heroic fix-it medicine. After all, it was the consequence of my most recent physical exam and the encouragement of my sweetheart that led to the VA issuing me a CPAP that markedly improved the quality of my sleeping and brought about an easing of the danger from apnea.
I believe I am missing the boat regarding my own well-being if I wait around in ignorance hoping that the heroes can save my life and buy my a few more years.