Nothing is more fatal to Health, than an over Care of it. ~ Benjamin Franklin
For whatever reason, many human beings tend toward obsessive-cumpulsive behavior. For example, being in the health care industry I find that I must take great care not to become imbalanced in my perspective about my own health, for fanaticism eventually consumes and destroys its possessor.
Many in my industry lead imbalanced lives, weighted at the center by an obsession with physical health. Rather than striking a balance, they become exercise junkies, diet aficionados and supplement addicts. As with an improperly balanced exercise regimen, certain muscles grow while others atrophy and strangely and they become blind to their own disfiguration.
To someone who is looking to achieve greater health, such a picture can be perplexing if not off-putting. Tragically, many a person who would make great strides toward wellness was stopped dead in his tracks by the fear of becoming even more imbalanced than he already is, given the all-too-frequent example of a health nut gone wrong.
The mother of a good childhood friend of mine was a well-intentioned health junkie. Breakfast for my friend consisted of equal parts food and pills. Vitamins, minerals, herbs and remedies of all types were stuffed down his throat and I remember taking note of his increasing distaste for anything related to “health.”
My company’s clients – doctors of all stripes – are in the business of helping their patients achieve their health and wellness goals. Each one of them works tirelessly to help other people discover a balanced approach to health and I have heard over and over again that one of the central keys to helping their patients lies in the ability to outline a course of action that meets the patient where they are.
Every patient that comes in is not ready to move gracefully with an aggressive treatment plan. There are those who respond favorably to a more vigorous approach, but most seem more likely to stick around for the long haul if the process is a gradual, albeit with notable milestones that confirm that progress is being made.
One of the downsides I’ve observed of taking the aggressive approach – even if the patient is ready for it – is that it tends to strengthen the conviction that an imbalanced, fanatical health regime works in the long run. In all things, balance. Now there may be the need in an acute situation for a strong approach, but generally speaking, with the chronic conditions that dominate today’s medical landscape, the gradual approach is more meritous.
The gradual approach begins with the establishment of a firm foundation. Most disease is the product of a faulty foundation. It is exacerbated by other elements, such as environmental toxins, poor diet, lack of exercise, etc., but without a foundation no amount of renovation above ground will be sustainable. If you’ve seen the show, “This Old House,” you known what I mean about the importance of having a solid foundation in place before you undertake anything else.
No matter how you approach your health, be sure that you do not become obsessive about it. What some call health, if obtained by incessant worry about food, supplements or exercise, can be more of a prison than a chronic disease. Take care, take control, but don’t obsess.
The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind. ~ G.K. Chesterton