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Preventative Vs Reactive Medicine

In my movement therapy clinic in Dungannon I had a lovely client in.

As always with these sessions, much of the work is about figuring out what's going on between the clients ears as much as it is observing their movement looking for clues to their pain.

This particular client made this job very easy, she is a nurse and loves to talk.

The best bit about talkers is letting them talk and simply steering the conversation when needed.

Before long they will tell you their story whether they intend to or not.

And this lady was losing hope in the medical system that she'd worked in and more recently been treated in

A lot of what she said I agreed with.

Some I did not.

A lot of what she said is what I already hear from many fitness and alternative health folks.

And that is that modern medicine doesn't do enough to prevent illness.

It is reactive when we need preventative.

Of course the medical field is reactive, it is there for when either we allow our health fail or we have acute incident, such as an accident or infection of some kind.

It is akin to the seat belt and airbags fitted in your car.

Where does the role of prevention lie?

That's a simple question to answer, it lies with you.

As I am fond of saying, you are responsible for YOU.

Preventative medicine is a bit of a myth, after all, why do you medicine if you have prevented the need for it?

So if you look around at the healthiest people around you, those who never seem to get ill, those who move well, seemingly without pain. You do tend to see commonalities.

These people eat real foods.

Ie “foods of one ingredient”

Steak has one ingredient, Cow.

Apple has one ingredient, Apple

Homemade stew has several single ingredients that you prepped and added yourself.

Brussel Sprouts has two ingredients, Sulphur and Disappointment

A Mars bar has dozens of ingredients

A ready meal has dozens if ingredients, not just the Chicken and Spuds it says on the label.

And while these multi ingredient foods are not harmful as occasional treats or conveniences. Having them with high frequency brings problems.

Stick to foods of one ingredient as much as you can.

If you want more food advice than that, you need to chat with Seb over in, he’s the expert.

But you can see a body that has grown up on meat and two veg versus a body that has grown up on chicken nuggets and chips, even if both these people train, there is a difference.

Good news is, you can still improve even if you were the chicken nuggets and chips kid.

What else do we see?

We see people who laugh easily, who don’t take themselves too seriously.

We see people who move a lot, keep themselves busy. Even if they do not “exercise” they do a lot of “non exercise physical activity” known to the cool kids as “NEPA”

And we see people who aren’t afraid to have a bit of ails them from time to time.

The healthiest folk are rarely the all or nothing folks.

They aren’t the folks out on the extremes, although they may visit them from time to time.

The lowest hanging fruit for anyone looking to improve health is to have social support group, be it family, be it a sports team or similar. People who will laugh at you and with you when you trip up and fall, while at the same time reaching down to help you up.

After that, it’s sleep a little more, drink water, eat real food and break a sweat on the regular.

It’s really not rocket science, it’s how people used to live.

Quite possibly what happened was the ‘80’s when microwaves and home freezers brough us convenience food and people forgot how to cook. As work became the be all and end all and people stopped socialising as much.

And discipline waned as people looked to disconnect from work stress and dull themselves.

I don’t really know.

But as the health and fitness industry continues to advocate “extreme” and “elite” fitness, while the marketing companies try to sell more and more nonsense to us to replace real foods, I can see why people are so confused.

The answer is so simple and so unprofitable, no one who’s looking to make a living in this industry dare say it.

But preventative medicine is simply being healthy.

Health across Mind, Body and Spirit

And if you walk a lot, sprint a bit, lift occasionally

If you learn something new each day

If you laugh at yourself every day

If you hang out with people who do similar

And you eat mostly foods of single ingredients

If you do all that, and assuming you weren’t dealt a bad hand by the genetics dealer, then you will be healthy, you will be vital and you will be the envy of the “normals” around you.

As for “extreme” and “elite” fitness, that’s the biggest joke around.

I have trained people who have achieved world, european and national champion level across a range of sports. I have worked with full contact martial artists/ combat sports folk and with some hairy arsed military folk.

And the more elite and extreme the environment these guys operate in, be it the ring, the mountainside, whatever, the more considered their training.

The people who do “extreme” in the gym, rarely do extreme out of the gym.

And surely we use the gym to live a bigger life out in the world don’t we?

Do we?

Let me know.

And while you’re letting me know, send in a question for a future newsletter.

Chat soon


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