CALS Wellness Committee tip: Changes in health approaches over the years and being your own health advocate – eCALS –

Health and wellness have taken on several different definitions over recent decades and understandably so with so many changes in the field.  The World Health Organization sums it up nicely by explaining that wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life…”Wellness is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  In other words, an individual’s state of wellness is unique to themselves based on where they land on the scales of each of the dimensions of wellness; physical, emotional, financial, social, spiritual, environmental, and academic.  To a great extent, where we find ourselves on any given scale is largely determined by choices we make and therefore in our power to change.

Looking back to the 1800’s to early 1900s what is now referred to as “alternative” medicine was simply just “medicine.”  Homeopathic, naturopathic, and herbal medicine was routinely taught in medical schools across the country.  In 1910 the Flexner Report came along, and Western medicine changed directions toward a standardized system away from healing plants and herbs to be replaced with synthetic based compounds resulting in an entire new market-based industry of pharmaceuticals.

Modern medicine experienced exponential growth over the past 150 years with many scientific breakthroughs spanning “germ theory,” progress in understanding bacteria, viruses, identification and prevention of illnesses and disease processes.  We’ve also reaped the benefits of cancer therapies, stem cell and gene therapies not to mention continual medical advancements in diagnostics and robotics that have facilitated health care on many levels. Yet as a nation our populations still struggle with declining health tied to many disease processes that reduce many people’s quality of life.  Studies over the past 30 years indicate lack of nutrition as the most significant factor the reason people get sick.

Dr. Charles May (1900) stated “We are all afraid of germs…but what we should be afraid of is lowered resistance which comes from within… Normal resistance to disease is directly dependent upon adequate food. It never comes of pill boxes… Adequate food is the cradle of normal resistance, the playground of normal immunity, the workshop of good health and the laboratory of long life.“  And 93 years later Dr. Julian Whitaker stated “The greatest medical discovery of our time is the awesome power within the human body to heal and rejuvenate itself! This tremendous discovery is destined to change the way we practice medicine in America. In the future, instead of cutting the body…instead of drugging it…instead of working …….


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