The National Institute of Health, the federal government’s top medical research agency, recently completed a study comparing the health of Americans with the health of individuals living in other affluent democracies. At the completion of the study, Dr. Stephen Woolf, the panel chairman, and a professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, commented that he, and other panel members were struck by the gravity of the findings.
And what were those findings? According to The New York Times they were as follows: American men ranked last in life expectancy among the 17 countries studied and American women ranked at or near the bottom in nine areas, including heart disease, chronic lung disease, obesity and diabetes.
The panel suggested a campaign to raise public awareness of the American health disadvantage and a study of what could alter this dismal picture.
I have a suggestion. How about a focus on prevention?
It has long been noted that the American medical system is focused on disease care. Doctors attempt to fix sick people.
What Americans need is a health care system; a system that focuses on health and attempts to help people to create and maintain health. This is called prevention and it is true health care—-not disease care.
Symptoms are the last stage of a disease process and by the time symptoms appear medical intervention is all too often too little too late.
On the other hand, Ayurveda, is a medical system that focuses on the elemental imbalances in the physiology. Imbalances are readily assessed and identified by a well-trained Ayurvedic practitioner. In the Ayurveda handbook are a plethora of interventions that can be utilized to restore balance. It is unattended imbalances that eventually become symptoms. Ayurveda nips these in the bud!
A few medical schools have incorporated Ayurveda into their curriculum. Some western trained physicians have turned their attention toward Ayurveda. In many cities there are Vaidyas (Ayurvedic practitioners) working to help people create and maintain health. If you are interested in learning if there is a Vaidya in your zip code you can check out the NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) website.
It is time for Americans to become health conscious. It is time for our medical system to stop being a disease care system and to become a health care system. It is our hope that the current study by the National Institute of Health will push us in the right direction!
As always, Sandra and I wish you perfect health and happiness!