A New Health Paradigm

by Catherine Haug

Dr. Mercola offered a provocative article in his July 8, 2009 newsletter: Changing Your Beliefs About Health and Illness.

For those not familiar with Dr. Mercola, he’s an osteopathic physician in the Chicago area, who started his website in the late 1990s, focusing on natural healing.  This particular article comes with a 5 minute video video by Dr. James Chestnut, a chiropractic physician honored in 2007 as Chiropractic Educator of the Year.

As our government leaders grapple with legislation to provide health care coverage for all, I think it is pertinent to look more deeply into what is meant by health and illness. I fear that our leaders are still living in the old, wrong-headed paradigm, and we will ultimately suffer because of this.

In fact, I believe this wrong-headed paradigm is precisely why our health care system has failed us.

What is a paradigm?

Perhaps you are wondering, just what is a paradigm, anyway?  It’s a way of looking at, or thinking about, your world; a pattern for understanding your observations.

  • At one time, humans believed the world was flat and that you could actually fall off. That was their paradigm, and it governed how they thought about things. Then along came the new paradigm that the world was like a ball, with no beginning or end. At first, people were resistant to this new idea, even condemning to death those who dared push the idea forward.  Nevertheless, over time, the new paradigm changed the way people perceived everything around them, and their place in the world.
  • Do you remember the phrase from the late 80s, “thinking outside the box?” That has to do with paradigms.  The current paradigm is always inside the box; the new, yet to be discovered paradigm is outside the box until is is generally accepted as the (new) current paradigm.

Our current health paradigm

According to Dr. Mercola, “The current paradigm … views ‘health’ as freedom from disease symptoms,” and disease as the ultimate result of our genetic makeup. This paradigm contains within it a core belief that we are not in charge of our health; that disease will ultimately have the upper hand and the best we can do is minimize the symptoms.  We see illness as the “norm.”  This is a fear based paradigm.

How depressing is that?

Well, to the health industry, it has meant big $$$, because we pay through the nose to minimize those symptoms, without ever achieving true health. And as long as we hold to the current paradigm, that is how it will always be.

Furthermore, many “natural” therapies are also part of this current paradigm: All we need to do is pop a supplement, and the symptom will go away.

Indeed, our entire mainstream medical system is part of this paradigm, including: medical schools, chiropractic and naturopathic schools, pharmacy schools, insurance companies, drug manufacturers and their advertising arms. All of these have bought into this fear-based paradigm, and suck us into their vortex.

For example: the bulk of Americans eat a very poor diet of “fast” prepared foods so they can continue to lead their busy, stressful lifestyle. They trip headlong along this path, perhaps for 60 or more years, until they finally get sick.  And then they wonder, “why me, why now?”

A new health paradigm

We can choose to enter a new paradigm. Our bodies are designed to be healthy; they are not predestined to be ill. Our task is to make choices that support this health, every minute of every day.

We can choose to see health as the norm, and focus our attention on maintaining health, rather than averting disease. We can embrace health, and take responsibility for the quality of our lives.

But, isn’t death (and the illness that precedes it) the ultimate result of life? I give a resounding NO to that question! Death is part of the cycle of life. It’s a positive thing; it is not illness.

Sheryl Eaglewoman had a good way of putting this at last month’s Crop Circle event (see my notes from her presentation Herbology 101):

Where your head goes, your body follows.” If you focus on disease, you will not get well.  For example, the periodic breast self-exam:  we are taught to look for lumps, but this opens the door to the possibility of disease; better to look for healthy tissue.

Sheryl has moved to the new paradigm; she views disease as an absence of wellness (rather than wellness as an absence of disease):

Wellness is the ability to thrive, expand.  It’s not just about you, but also about the earth:  getting enough sunlight, clean water and clean air; moving your body as much as your mouth; breathe; self acceptance.

An absence of wellness can always be traced to one (or two) underlying cause(s), or blockages in the flow of life’s energy.

The task of restoring health is to remove these blockages. This is the basis of all forms of energy healing (acupuncture, homeopathy, etc.).

Of course, if our culture moves to this new paradigm, the health industry as we now know it, will cease to exist.  They will not go without a fight, however, so brace yourselves.  Actually, we are already in the midst of that fight; the handwriting is on the wall. It’s rather fun to just sit back and watch.

For more on homeopathy, see Sheryl’s article on the subject, on her website, Living Responsibly; or my article: Introduction to Homeopathy.

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