Monday, February 27, 2017

Heart for Wellness


"Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23

    Health and Wellness, what are they really all about and how do we achieve them? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines wellness as the quality of being in good health and health is defined as the condition of being sound in mind, body or spirit especially freedom from physical disease or pain. The word health comes from an old English word hale, which means wholeness, being whole, sound or well. For me, the take away is that wellness is good health and good health is wholeness of mind, body and spirit which is free from disease. The mind, body and spirit all work synergistically in order to promote human life. Therefore good health can only be achieved when all three are nurtured harmoniously.
      In order to nurture them effectively so that they may bring forth optimal health we must first look to the heart.  Why is this? The Bible tells us "Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flows the springs of life." Proverbs 4:23. Therefore, given that the springs of life flow from the heart we must "get to the heart of the matter".
     In considering the heart, we know that it pumps oxygen rich blood throughout the body. Due to oxygen being the element that supports human life that means the heart pumps life into the body.
From the time that the heart forms at just 5 weeks gestation it begins pumping life until the time of death.  In order to perform this vital role, the heart has its own system. I like to call it the cardiovascular highway. If it were to be laid out from end to end it would span a distance of 60,000 miles. Along these miles, it is constantly carrying oxygenated blood. This blood ensures the survival of every cell of the body at every moment. The adult heart beats somewhere between 60 to 100 beats per minute, which translates to 86,400 to 144,000 beats per day. If the heart or its highway suffers damage then also do all other organs and this results in decreased wellness which can lead in a premature loss of life .
  When vigilance is being kept over the heart it means that the heart is being attentively watched over so that any possible dangers to the mind, body and spirit can be identified and thwarted. The more the heart is protected the more life can delight in a state of wellness. This is why it is so critical to pay close attention to the heart both physically and metaphorically. It is the metaphorical heart that drives what happens to the physical heart and that determines whether it will be able to spring forth abundant life full of wellness or be deterred and spring forth a life of illness and physical decline.
    With over 20 years of experience working as a nurse in all areas of healthcare, I have realized that America does not promote a state of good health for its citizens. I believe it is because America never gets to "the heart of the matter". What America does get to is a disease management system that is driven by sheer profit for corporations who answer to their shareholders. These same corporations are in business with the government and the medical industrial complex. Sadly, these entities are so inbred that we can no longer tell them apart from one another.  Until we as individuals begin to have honest dialogue, and honest education we will not have the power to break free from the medical system that enslaves each of us.
     If America truly desires wellness then the heart of America must first be examined. Progress toward anything can never precede purity. In order to obtain purity some cleaning out has to occur.   America has a lot of contamination or junk that must be cleaned out and thrown away before the journey to honest wellness can begin. In order to start cleaning out two things must first be understood: 1.) Where we are as a nation regarding wellness and 2.) How we got here. After this we can begin to question where do we go from here and then start taking steps toward true wellness.


Understanding where America compares to other industrialized countries from around the world.
  • The US ranked 7th highest in age-standardised rate for all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) for men and women combined. (International Agency for Cancer Research, 2012).
  •  The US ranked 6th highest for newly diagnosed cancer rates, with 318 cases out of every 100,000 (International Agency for Cancer Research, 2012).
  • The US ranked first in a list of top 10 fattest countries in the world  in a report in The Lancet cited in US News and World Report from 2014.
  • The overall health of the US ranks below 16 other nations yet we spend more on healthcare than each one of them to the tune of 2.6 trillion dollars a year (news report from NPR, 2013).    
  •  For the first time in the 27 year history of the America's health rankings annual report, the rate of cardiovascular deaths increased from 2015 at 250.8 to 251.7 in 2016.
  • A 2013 comprehensive study on the state of  US health  found high rates of chronic illness and disability and this has caused the country to lag behind other wealthy countries.
  • From 1990 to 2010, the U.S. fell from ranking number 18 among wealthy nations to the 27th spot in terms of early deaths.
  • U.S. has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than most high-income countries (news report from NPR, 2013).
  • Americans live shorter lives and experience more injuries and illnesses than people in other high-income countries per Dr. Steven Woolf in a 378 page report published in US Health and International Perspective from 2013.  Woolf attributes a lot of this to Americans diet and lifestyle and states, "Americans consume nearly 4,000 calories a day on average — more than anyone else in the world which was not always the case. "But over the past 20 years, the consumption of high-calorie foods and refined sugars and other dietary causes of obesity has increased dramatically in the United States in comparison to these other countries."


     The first settlers began arriving to America in the late 1400s and the way that they lived looked much different than how Americans live today. Much of these differences explain why they did not have the same diseases that we have today.
       They were more physically active and did not eat processed foods with high contents of fake sugars and they did not have things like sodas and energy drinks. When they first arrived they ate much of what the Native Americans were eating of which they did not know of prior to coming to America. The foods included: tomatoes, salmon, beans, quinoa, wild rice, pumpkins,  many root vegetables, nuts, legumes, onions, cabbage, lettuce, peppers, bison, blueberries, corn, chocolate from cacao beans and not chocolate as we know it today.  That kind of diet is vastly different than what we eat in America today.
     Along with a different looking diet, and being more physically active the way in which illness was treated also looked vastly different than it looks today. Between 1750 and the mid 1900s there was an accepted variety of different health treatment options, such as more home remedies and  being able to see herbalists, naturopathic, holistic and itinerant doctors. As America began experiencing more industrial and scientific development the healthcare options also began changing.
     America evolved from a simple system which consisted of treatment options like the ones mentioned above to a complex, scientific, technological, and bureaucratic system known as the "medical industrial complex".  This complex began to rise when persons such as John D. Rockefeller realized the potential for great wealth building in a pharmaceutical investment industry. In 1911 under President Theodore Roosevelt the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a federal appeals court ruling that Rockefeller's Standard Oil Trust Company was a monopoly and illegally restrained free trade. It was then broken up into 33 different independent corporations.  After this, he quickly looked for other business endeavors and began his reign over American medicine.  Following in his father's footsteps he chose selling drugs that claimed to cure disease. His father, William Rockefeller Sr. sold snake oil without a patent under the alias Dr. William Levingston.  Rockefeller realized that in order to sell medicines that would allow him to have control over the industry that he would have to do it through patented medicines.                                                 
     "Patented medicine" comes from the late 17th century marketing of medical elixirs, when those who sold it found favor with royalty and were issued patent letters authorizing the use of royal endorsements in advertising.  Patented medicines did not make their way to America until 1925.  In order to get the hegemony over the pharmaceutical industry he knew that he would have to eliminate any competition just as he had done with Standard Oil and so in 1913 The Rockefeller Foundation was established. In order to have one delivery pipeline for  patented medications he knew he would have to generate doctors to push the medicines and so he began to donate large sums of money to the medical schools in order to shape their curriculums. The curriculum was based off scientific research that would not include research of vitamins and minerals as obtained from natural sources like herbs, and foods. Doctors were thereby trained to push the patented medicines in order to treat disease and not prevent or cure.  Unfortunately, medical books were rewritten exempting these facts. Due to these vicious business techniques America now suffers from  a one size fits all, patented pill pushing approach to medicine.
     We became a nation not focused on understanding nutrition and its effects on the body, or the causes and cures of disease but on a pharmaceutical investment industry.  When this type of warped treatment model is combined in conjunction with our nutrient deficient diet and sedentary lifestyle you get what I call a time bomb.


     As the saying goes, "You are only as strong as your weakest link".       
  • Identify the weakest link.
  • Determine what is causing the weakness.   
  • Identify what tools are needed to fix it.
  •  Create a plan to repair it.
  • Execute the plan.                              

     America's health is in a low valley and at my last job as a nurse case manager I got to see just how low.  I felt as if I was being asked to roll a wet noodle up Mount Kilimanjaro. I became very depressed over the state of America's health and knew that I had to do something but I did not know what.  I have since figured that out and refuse to participate in the disease management system that doesn't promote wellness through honest education about fundamental truths like nutrition and the body.  I know first hand that it is this type of education that empowers people and enables them to break free from the chains that enslave them to the "business" of health and not wellness. We are so far from a healthy nation of people that we don't even know what healthy looks or feels like.

Through E and E Wellness it is my hope  to educate and empower as many people as possible in order that they may make choices that liberate them from illness and puts them into a state of wholeness of body, mind and spirit.

     The mountain top of wellness is waiting and it is up to us to scale the mountain one step at a time.  It can be done, it will be done and the results will be just as amazing as the view.



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