The Dangers of Wellness!
The Dangers of Wellness!
I find it interesting that most people don’t know the meaning of the word ‘doctor’. It means: expert, authority, from Old French docteur, from Latin doctor, teacher, from docēre, to teach.
I ask my nutritional clients, “Does your medical doctor teach you how to get well and stay well?” Most reply that their doctor gives them drugs to manage their symptoms of poor health.
As a patient, this is want I want: a doctor (teacher) who can teach me how to get well and stay well, and avoid life-long drugs and surgery, if possible.
As a nutritional doctor, I have experienced both ‘conventional’ medicine and ‘wellness’ medicine over the course of my life. Like most Americans, during the ‘conventional medicine’ phase, I was taught:
- To gauge the level of my health by the presence or absence of symptoms.
- That getting sick or using ‘sick days’ would get me out of work. In other words, I was being rewarded for being sick.
In this article, I will begin to teach you (from my own experiences as a patient and doctor) some of the differences between conventional and wellness medicines. Then, you can make an educated choice as to how you address your own health.
First, what is ‘Health’?
Here is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of Health:
“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Wow! A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. I don’t know many American’s who experience that type of health, do you?
Many people, whose blood relatives are dealing with cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, or other common American disease – were taught by these same people how to eat and how to go to the doctor. What most people don’t recognize, sometimes until it is too late, is that they (due to same genetics, diet, lifestyle, and medicines) are walking ‘the same path’ as their relatives, just 20 to 30 years behind them. With these same risk factors, the odds are great that they will eventually be dealing with the same or similar health problems.
When people ask me, “What kind of doctor should I choose?” I reply, “Don’t let anyone ‘manage’ your health that cares less about your health than you should.” Think about it. If youcan find a doctor that really cares about you and is your health teacher- treat them like gold!
Did you know that you have a choice of how you relate to your health? Are you a ‘victim’ of poor health? Or, are you, or is someone else ‘in charge’ of your health?
Did you know that you have a choice as to who manages your health?
You can go to a conventional medical doctor, who will manage your symptoms of dis-ease and disease primarily with prescription drugs and/or surgery and physical therapy.
People who think they have little or no time to eat right, exercise and support their heath with nutritional supplements- will sooner or later have to make time for their symptoms, illness and eventual disease(s). Modern medicine is very good at managing disease, but not very good at teaching people how to get well and stay well- as this goes against the business model of conventional medicine.
You can learn the basic principles of“wellness” and preventive medicine, nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and healthy eating and learn how to take control of your own health. It can take years to become an expert, but most Americans are smart enough to learn and apply the basics. Any actions towards ‘wellness’ will lower your risk factors for numerous common American health conditions and diseases.
Probably the biggest difference between conventional disease-management, ‘drugs and surgery’ medicine and wellness-preventive ‘nutrition and healthy lifestyle’ medicine is safety.
Take the case of prescription drugs:
Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death in America. Prescribed by your MD, filled by your pharmacist, taken in the correct dose. Result: death. Medications new on the market are so dangerous that they have a one in five chance of serious complications, including death. A careful review of hospital records shows that even when properly prescribed, drugs are responsible for 1.9 million hospitalizations each year, while an additional 840,000 will suffer a seriously adverse reaction. But this tragedy is not just a concern within the United States. The European Commission estimates that 328,000 patients die from prescription drugs each year in the U.S. and Europe combined. Source: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/prescription-drugs-natural-solutions-1526.html
I think it is wise for anyone to learn as much as they can – in HOW to get healthy and stay healthy. I also believe, due to the complexity of nutrition and alternative therapies, that people should find an experienced and educated nutritional doctor, Ph.D, or licensed ‘natural’ health care provider to assist them in becoming nutritionally sufficient and to balance their body chemistry using ‘natural’ methods.
YourNutrition.com is a great resource for you to educate yourself and/or work directly (long-distance) with YourNutrition staff doctors and consultants: Learn more at
- Keys to Vibrant Health Free nutrition educational articles.
- Healthy Alternative’s Plus Nutritional Supplements Individual or Bundle Packs.
- Your Nutrition Makeover A personalized nutrition and body chemistry assessment & customized nutritional supplement program
In my nutrition courses in college I learned many things that my medical doctor never taught me, including:
- That my body is made up of (composed of) nutrients and natural elements, not chemical-based prescription drugs.
- That most prescription drugs deplete certain nutrients from my body.
- That deficiencies of specific nutrients can result in specific and non-specific symptoms of poor health and un-balanced body chemistry.
- That symptoms of nutritional deficiencies can only be corrected by replacing the ‘correct’ nutrients, not with drugs.
Wow! This was very different than what I was taught by my medical doctor!
People ask me, “What is the best way for me to ‘measure’ my health”?
With symptoms? This is what my medical doctor taught me. Symptoms are bad and need to be eliminated. When you have symptoms you need to see your doctor. The problem with this theory is this: Question: What is the first symptom in ~40 percent of all fatal heart attacks? Clue: It is NOT arm, shoulder, or chest pain. Sorry, tricky question. In ~40% of all fatal heart attacks there are few or NO symptoms – just death. You might be ambulanced to the hospital in time to receive dangerous, invasive treatments, therapies or drugs that can keep you alive. However, this form of ‘health care’ does not seem very safe to me.
Don’t get me wrong: the emergency care in US hospitals is the best in the world, however, avoiding emergency rooms with preventive maintenance just seems smarter to me.
I would prefer to learn how to maintain my body and my health, and not to wait until it is ‘breaking down’ in need of emergency care. Most Americans, due to poor diet, nutritional deficiencies and numerous other stress factors live constantly ‘on the edge’ of symptoms. Many Americans are nutrient depleted and physically exhausted, experiencing aches and pains and are being told by their MD these health symptoms are a normal part of the aging process.
What are Symptoms?
Are symptoms the disease? A lot of television commercials would have you believe that. So would western trained medical doctors.
In my nutritional practice, The Health Enhancement Center, and with the “Your Nutrition Makeover’, our doctors teach that symptoms are not caused by a lack of drugs, for example: headaches are not caused by a lack of aspirin. Instead, we teach that symptoms are a very poor way to gauge your health and that symptoms are actually your friend- WHAT? How can this be? This is exactly the opposite of what my medical doctor taught me (symptoms are bad and need to be eliminated).
It is our belief that symptoms, in the majority of cases, are not the problem. In fact, symptoms are more like an alarm system signaling an underlying nutrient deficiency or biochemistry imbalance within the body. Taking drugs to suppress the symptom is like cutting the wire to your body’s ‘symptom alarm system’. Taking drugs to suppress symptoms will NEVER correct the symptom if the symptom is related to underlying nutrient deficiencies.
What IS the best way to gauge your health? The best way is by laboratory analysis to determine your nutritional and biochemical status.
People often ask, “How does eating a poor diet actually lead to disease?” so I created this simple chart. If you can understand this chart, you will understand the ‘nutritional deficiency to disease’ process better than most medical doctors.
Summary: Deficiency to Disease
Dietary Deficiencies are caused by: Eating the ‘Standard American diet’ of fast foods, cooked & refined and processed foods, with many chemical ingredients, high in sugar, salt, fat, unhealthy oils, calories; low in fiber and nutritional content.
- Dietary Deficiency
- Nutritional Deficiency
- Body Chemistry Imbalance
- Organ/Gland Dysfunction
- Symptoms of Dis-Ease
- Diagnosis of Disease
Fortunately, this process can be reversed. The nutritional doctors at Your Nutrition will teach you how.
Are you wondering when I am going to tell you about the “Dangers of Wellness”?
First, let’s summarize the benefits of living a ‘wellness’ life: The greatest benefit of learning and living a ‘wellness’ lifestyle is living a life of enhanced physical, mental and social well-being. How can you put a price on this? What would it be? …….Priceless.
One of the ‘dangers’ of wellness is it is relatively expensive, especially if your health insurance will only reimburse your for conventional medical treatments: drugs, surgery and physical therapies. Question: How does health insurance ‘insure your health’? Think about it. It doesn’t insure your health – it ensures you (most likely) will receive dangerous, invasive treatments, therapies or drugs that can suppress your symptoms, manage your disease, and hopefully keep you alive.
People tell me they “can’t afford ‘wellness’- all the nutritional supplements & organic foods”. I tell them “pay now or pay later”. Remember the ‘walking the same path’ story above. Also, there are ways to reduce the cost of ‘wellness’ living.
My friend, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, M.D., taught me that “Prevention is easier than cure”. So true! Prevention is also safer than cure and less expensive than cure, and a lot less scary than cure.
The greatest danger of wellness is in how you respond to being ‘well’ more of the time.
The increased energy and stamina gained from wellness living will allow you to work more and become more productive. If you are ‘high-producer’ or workaholic you will now have the opportunity to get out of balance by working to the point of exhaustion and resentment. This is a real danger.
Remember at the beginning of this article I talked about most Americans getting sick or using ‘sick days’ to get out of work, or in other words, being rewarded for being sick?
People living the wellness lifestyle need to remember to regularly schedule ‘wellness’ or ‘mental health’ days off from work- go and play. I have had to counsel many people about this who are new to the wellness lifestyle. This is a true reward for all of your ‘wellness’ efforts. Go play – enjoy your good health. This makes more sense to me…..
"Your physical body is made up of water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, oils, pre and pro-biotics, etc. It is well known that deficiencies of these natural elements in the body leads to unbalanced body chemistry, symptoms of dis-ease, and even full blown disease. Doesn’t it just make sense to properly assess the underlying nutrient deficiencies and body chemistry imbalances with simple laboratory tests and provide individualized dietary and supplement programs to correct them? Nutritional sufficiency is a primary factor for re-establishing health and vitality. At YourNutrition.com we teach nutritional sufficiency.”
– Gregory Pouls, D.C., F.I.C.N.