The Two Sides of Medicine
Throughout time there have always been two opposing points of view as to how to maintain good health, or how to regain it after having lost it. This conflict has continued since ancient times . and no doubt will continue well into the future. One 'side' believes good health is as a result of outside intervention. drugs, surgery etc. The other 'side' believes that good health results from living in harmony with natural law.
correct nutrition. cleanliness etc. The ancient Greeks had terms for these two groups of people. As was often the case in those days each group came under the umbrella of a 'god'. One was 'Asklepios'.
the god of medicine, whose proponents advocated the 'intervention' approach. These people were known as 'Asklepians'. Those who believed that the secret of good health resulted from living in harmony with nature looked up to 'Hygeia'. Goddess of health. These people were known as 'Hygeian'. Asklepians versus Hygeian Both sides tended to be critical of the other. nothing much has changed over the ages. Modern mainstream western medicine takes the 'Asklepian' approach. However, in recent years the Hygeian approach which has always been the underlying principle behind Chinese traditional medicine has gained much ground. The increase in the popularity of the 'Hygeian' approach is no doubt due to a combination of several factors: * Dissatisfaction of traditional mainstream medicine.
* Increasing cases of medical 'misadventure'. (Hospitals are places to stay away from) * Awareness that good health is primarily a personal responsibility. not of overworked physicians. * An increasing awareness that the medical industry is highly influenced by drug companies and that there are often better, safer and more economic natural alternatives to drugs. In spite of this justified 'swing' away from mainstream medicine, mainstream medicine does have a place in everyone's health program . apart from the obvious ones in treating accident cases or chronic urgent illness. So, if you are already a 'Hygeian' don't over look the benefits that mainstream medicine can offer to you in your overall quest for good health and longevity. These benefits are primarily in the early detection of a pending disease that you may not as yet be aware of! An example Let's assume that you are over 40 years of age. you are healthy, fit and not overweight. You eat well, you don't smoke, don't drink excessively and rarely get sick.
You probably think that you will live forever. well at least into ripe old age! Right? Maybe. or maybe not. Reflect on this for a moment. Have you ever known anyone around this age that has died suddenly to your amazement because you thought they were so healthy? That person may even have been a competitive athlete! Let me tell you a true story. About 15 years ago a friend of mine who was around 40, a former competitive body builder who was still in great shape and extremely fit was at a lake water-skiing. He was watching some young water-skiers doing some 'tricks'. Being the competitive person that he was he waited until they came in and went down to the waters edge and said "Now, I'll show you how to really do it". Those were the last words he ever uttered. a couple of minutes later he was lying on the ground dead of a massive heart attack.
My friend died instantly. He could just as easily had a stroke which he may or may not have recovered from. which would also have been a major tragedy. Tragedies can often be avoided Tragedies like this happen every day and the results are devastating not only to the victims but also their families, friends and loved ones. Sadly, many of these tragedies could have been averted . if more people were aware of their risk factors and could correct any abnormalities before it was too late! Now back to the point of this story. My friend died of a blockage in his artery. Only takes one! If 15 years ago the technology for measuring ALL the 'predictors' which indicate your risk of such an event were available AND my friend had understood what they meant he would probably still be showing those young fellows how to do water-skiing tricks! How many thousands of people are still dying needlessly because they do not know how to take advantage of current technology . or, in some cases are so opposed to mainstream medicine that they do not take advantage of the 'good'parts! OK.
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