Guest Post – Vanessa Dawn – Health Impacts of Societal Change

My Wheels R’ Spinning…..How many of you have ever bought a car only then to realize or become aware how many others just like it are on the road? Ive caught myself saying, oh look, now that I got my car, there are all kinds just like it. In reality, my awareness level just heightened. I felt the same way this past week while on vacation at the beach! First let me say to anyone reading this…I am in no way insinuating those here are obese etc etc or at fault for their disease. Doing so would be hypocritical of my own self. I am merely pointing out how my observations brought me to a different level of “awareness”. 1st—all I see on tv are beautiful, nearly anorexic sized women glamorizing their thin bodies. I have always tried to teach my girls that its not reality. My week at the beach was a far cry from what we saw on the old show “Baywatch”. I was saddened actually by what I saw. Of how the views have changed drastically from now compared to my first ocean visit at age 14, some 29 years ago!!! Have you heard that 2/3 of America is obese? That is the statistic. According to America’s criteria, obesity is when our BMI (body mass index) is above 28% determined by a height weight ratio. My awareness of this statistic was heightened when i was surrounded by so many people in one place to make the comparison. I observed very few people that would be considered in normal range, & it alarmed me. Especially the population of kids! And yes i include my own family in this observation. Whether it was at the beach or at the amusement parks, I felt surrounded by a new future population of brewing illness. Observing the consumptions of processed drinks, deep fried funnel cakes topped with sugar, corn dogs & then observing the swarms of people going out for that huge dinner at 6 everyday as an activity or treat. Furthermore i was saddened by the obese children I saw “out of breath” easily while attempting to do any exertion such as riding the waves, the parents who sat on the sidelines instead of engaging in activities & those I saw who couldnt ride the rides at the amusement parks or sit in a typical lawn chair simply because of size limitations. To know me is to know that i never meet a stranger which is why i took it upon myself to strike up a conversation with a few that i encountered who appeared to be within normal weight….all of which claimed they worked out regularly! My daughters & I had conversations about how what they were seeing now as the “norm” was not the “norm” 30 years ago. Just looking back at old family photos….everyone was so thin! I personally experienced lots of ridicule & fun poking for my own size growing up & by todays standards was nowhere near overweight. After my trip…i cant help but feel tricked by the food industry or has the human race brought it upon ourselves or have we all been mere participants in the change! This change didnt happen over night. But i feel like it has been a gradual, subtle change over the years & generations that “sneaked” up on us. I grew up on a 100 acre farm in Kentucky. My mom who is almost 80 now prepared everything from scratch. We spent summers raising our gardens, canning, raised & killed our own beef, pigs, deer & raised our own chicken. We were modernized yes. My dad was a mail carrier & my mom stayed home & worked the farm. There were hardly any processed items in our house & never a soft drink. Balogna was probably the worst thing in our fridg & lard was the oil of choice. I never had a riding lawnmower till i was 19! I push mowed several acres each week, rode my bike a lot, only ate out maybe twice a year! Gradually our lands have been tracted out & sold because it earns us more monies in the short term. Our demands for food have been put on our groceries because we arent raising our own. If we are putting this demand in the hands of others then have we really been tricked or have the manufactures been forced by us & greed to resort to GMO’s to produce large quantities to meet our demand? My grandma lived alone & died at age 97 from heart attack. My other grandparents died in their late 80’s of natural age causes…no cancer, no diabetes, no disease other than a lil dementia. I feel like I am a product of a new generation of disease. The cause & the effect! My daughters even noticed how our local Amish community lives, watching the kids push mow the yards, working in the garden etc. When i was young, i didnt have to ask what we were going to do today…because i knew! I was up by 7am…i didnt have phones or computers in my hands all day. I made mud pies, played tennis against the barn with a board & ball, swam in the creeks, played in the rain, had no germ-x….was rarely ever sick! This story like so many others Im sure. Its not all about weight, but about habits, the evolution of change….lost arts of self reliance versus dependence on others, greed etc…so many factors in combination…not just a finger pointing blame game. A societal shift in priorities! To the point I observed road signs threatening imprisonment for littering in a society where child abusers go free! Where animals are often given free surgeries & vet care while humans are homeless, sick, children are without healthcare. A generation taught to live any lifestyle & just get a pill to fix the effects! And another pill to fix the effects of that one & the vicious cycle continues. Where does it end? Where did it begin? If 2/3 of society is obese…and 1/3 to 2/3 have fatty liver…i wonder what is the correlation of the two? With the increasing need of liver transplants, i cant help but wonder if the demand will exceed supply of healthy livers in our future…more so our childrens future? Organic, non GMO food is more expensive, but not near as expensive as the medicines required for disease. I had no choice but to change lifestyle because I could not pay for the $1200 a month of meds when i didnt have coverage! Now I have coverage, and my Xifaxin alone is $1,400 a month!!! It & URSO combined cost my insurance almost 2 grand each month!!! Thats a lot of organic, healthy food! Food scares me now. Medicines scare me now! I am living proof that it can all be toxic & life threatening & have long term effects. 3 Years ago…i was on over 29 pills each day just to fix the thing each pill caused! I was toxic! Crazy! At age 27, i believed them when they said my meds where safe while pregnant, only to have my child born with a form of spina bifida birth defect that will effect her the rest of her life! The same drugs that had adverse effects on.me have also been offered numerous times to my kids despite me explaining how they effected my liver! They insist they are safe! Theres a reason why supplements & herbs arent recommended! They arent regulated! The same humans preparing our food, our meds etc…are preparing our supplements as well. I dont live my life in fear no, but i am choosey now & determined to at least teach my girls better ways. Even if they make other choices, i will have taught them alternatives! Seeing & living with me throughout this journey has indeed been a good teacher for them. Just posting on FB wont help I realize, i do plan to be a more active participant in creating awareness & change in our society. We think our voices dont matter but they do! And our decisions & actions matter more! What we demand creates the fire thats fueled. There are no short term fixes in life, just instant gratification with long term results.
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Coconut Oil to help your liver!

I have seen people posting about oil pulling for months maybe even years… I rolled my eyes and thought OK that’s just weird!  This week however another blog post got my attention.

http://www.fashionlush.com/wtf-is-oil-pulling-why-im-hooked/

She made it sound like a simple part of her day. She explained it well enough that i thought Hey that is something I could do!

I posted this on my Facebook and all of a sudden a bunch of them started posting that blog and trying the oil pulling.

I have been admiring posts about coconut for a while. My last experience with coconut before this was in 2006 when i went on a first date to a Thai restaurant and had coconut rice. That night when I got home i was covered in hives from head to toe! So I have avoided coconut since then.

I remembered that allergies tend to run in 7 year cycles so last Tuesday i put a bit on my tongue, a bit on my chin and a bit on my arm . I waited for 4 hours and nothing happened so I went ahead and decided to try the oil pulling. It certainly helped that I had friends trying it at the same time as me!

For my first experience with coconut oil pulling , i put the jar under hot water to allow some oil to melt on the surface. I put a teaspoon in my mouth.  I swished it around and initially it felt so weird. I could feel grains of my dinner being mixed into the oil in my mouth.  I lasted 7 minutes and spit it out in the sink. now my mouth felt really clean, my teeth actually looked quite shiny!  Now I admit I spit that out into my sink without thinking, you are not supposed to allow it in your drains because it will harden and cause blockages.

My second day i used a bit more coconut oil almost a full tablespoon, and I was able to swish it in my mouth for 15 minutes. This time i didn’t do it right after I ate so there was not the same level of grit in the oil in my mouth. I do suggest not eating for an hour before you do this. The feeling of the grit from meals in the oil is not good :(.

This time i spit it into a baggie. Then i took a sip of my water and swished that around and spit that out too. This is all i feel is needed at that point, you just want to make sure the oil is cleared from your mouth.  I noticed that my lips seemed softer after I did the oil pulling. So i took some coconut oil and applied as a chapstick, i also decided to put some on my forehead where there was dry skin. I honestly feel like covering my whole body in coconut oil now that I know all the benefits.

So what about your liver health. How does this coconut oil pulling help my liver. The basic reason for doing the oil pulling is to remove toxins from your mouth, you breath in toxins, you eat toxins, those are in your mouth. this allows you to capture the toxins in your mouth and avoid sending them to your liver! this is good news for your liver because you did some of its work.

Good fat – The oil from coconuts are made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCT. Basically, they are smaller fats that are more easily used by your body. Most fats are Long Chain Triglycerides and are harder to digest. MCTs in coconut oil do not require bile during digestion which helps the liver.  The MCTs are absorbed quickly as a source of energy which is a problem in liver disease.

You can use this as a healthy oil for cooking stir fry or any other things you fry.

You can put it in your coffee or tea its a slightly sweet oil so give it a shot.

You can use it on your skin to sooth it after a sunburn, and to address the itching that comes along with liver disease.

You can use it as a natural underarm deodorant and avoid the toxic crap they sell in stores!

Its a great conditioner for your hair

There are tons of blogs with lots of amazing uses for coconut oil and  I now have every intention of learning as much as i can.

I am now a believer and I encourage you to do your own investigation and then try for yourself.

Everything in Moderation  With End Stage Liver Disease, or any stage of cirrhosis, it is best to talk to your doctor about what is best for you.

If you have Hepatic Encephalopathy : Talk to your doctor about how it may effect your insulin needs. Coconut oil does produce ketones, and is a quick delivery to your liver.  The key word here is moderation.

 

Be Gentle to your liver !

Michelle

https://www.facebook.com/groups/fattyliversupport/

 

 

 

 

HELLP syndrome and your pregancy

HELLP Syndrome and Your Pregnancy

What is HELLP syndrome?
HELLP syndrome is a rare but serious illness in pregnancy. This illness can start quickly, most often in the last 3 months of pregnancy (the third trimester). It can also start soon after you have your baby. HELLP stands for Hemolysis, Elevated Liver enzyme levels and a Low Platelet count. These are problems that can occur in women who have this syndrome.

Women who have HELLP syndrome may have bleeding problems, liver problems and blood pressure problems that can hurt both the mother and the baby.
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Who gets HELLP syndrome?
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes HELLP syndrome. They also can’t predict who will get it. Any pregnant woman may get this illness.

Most women who will get HELLP have blood pressure problems before they get HELLP syndrome. (But you can get HELLP syndrome even if your blood pressure is normal.)

You’re more likely to get HELLP syndrome if you’re white and older than 25 years of age. You are also more likely to get it if you have had children before or if you had a problem with a pregnancy in the past.
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How can I tell if I have HELLP syndrome?
If you have HELLP syndrome, you may feel tired. You may have pain in the upper right part of your belly. You may have bad headaches and nausea or vomiting. You may have swelling, especially in your face and hands. Rarely, you may notice bleeding from your gums or other places.

Because many healthy pregnant women also have these symptoms late in pregnancy, it may be hard to know for sure if you have HELLP syndrome. Your doctor may order blood tests if you have these symptoms or if your blood pressure is high.
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How is HELLP syndrome treated?
The main treatment for HELLP is to deliver your baby. This may have to be done before your due date. Most women who have this illness start to get better a couple of days after their babies are born.

If you aren’t too sick, your doctor may wait a few days before delivering your baby.

You may have to take a steroid. This medicine helps both you and your baby.

If you have bleeding, you may need blood transfusions or other treatments in the hospital.

Some women who have HELLP syndrome get very sick. Rarely, this illness is fatal.
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What can I do to prevent HELLP syndrome?
There is no way to prevent this illness. The best thing you can do is see your doctor regularly and tell your doctor about your symptoms at every prenatal visit.

If you have HELLP syndrome during one pregnancy, you can have it again during your next pregnancy. The illness is usually less severe the second time.

What does Terri’s Death teach us for Fatty Liver Disease?

Terri was 55 years old. Not young and not old, in December 2011 she was told by a family doctor that she had NAFLD and that she should go home and eat properly and exercise.

Sadly this is a VERY standard reply from doctors all over the world, and I understand why they feel this way. They are NEVER taught that this disease kills people. They are not being educated about the progression of this disease from basic NAFLD to NASH to Cirohsis. They are looking to help with Asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and all other common health challenges facing our society. They know what drugs to prescribe to manage those symptoms. Until they are being educated properly and until people truly take this seriously that will not change.

For those doctors who have seen this disease take peoples lives , they will be the ones who will take this more seriously. How we find these doctors I don’t know but I know that in my group of 400 patients around the world there are a handful of doctors that do know this disease is a serious epidemic not to be taken lightly.

Then we have the patient. They go to the doctor complaining about exhaustion and stomach pains. So they did a stomach ultrasound and found a fatty liver. The doctor is not worried the doctor reassures them that if they lose weight and exercise that the liver will be fine. Patients are used to having lots of respect for their doctors. They are used to seeing them as all knowing, the perfect guides for managing the patients health. Patients go home, they might change some eating habits, they might lose some weight but since the doctor was not worried neither are they.

If the patient decides to investigate the disease they will find lots on the internet now, lots of conflicting data. Then they might go to the Liver Foundation for information. The Liver Foundation relies primarily on research and since there is not enough research data for NAFLD yet they also do not raise alarm bells for the diagnosis. They will provide eating advice, they will provide support groups. But once again you will not go to their sites and be alarmed by this diagnosis.

Drug companies tend to provide funds for research grants and tend to sponsor them. You can’t blame them, if they can create a drug which will solve a health care crisis they want to be on the cutting edge of that research. The thing about the Liver is that most treatments are natural they are not drug related. Most drugs have a warning label telling you to not use if you have liver disease. Your liver has to break drugs down, so if the liver is already compromised another drug is NOT likely to help it heal, its likely to cause further breakdown in the liver as it tries to process ingredients in the drug.

When Terri went to the Emergency room at the end of her life , the ER doctor was SHOCKED to hear that she was not on a liver transplant list. That ER doctor is one of the few out there who would likely NOT pat a patient on the head and send them home to eat better and exercise. If that doctor had been her primary care doctor the results might have been different, But by the time Terri found him it was too late, her liver was too far gone.

This is the case for some members in my Fatty Liver Disease Support Group on Facebook. They start investigating when they are in the final stages of Liver disease and come across my blog or my facebook group. They finally found someone who understands what they are dealing with but sadly all we can do is be their to support them and guide them the best we can.

If you search NAFLD and NASH early then we can help you change your diet correctly. Help you understand that this is not a race to lose weight its a change to natural eating, foods from gardens, and non GMO farms. Its getting back to basics and respecting your body.

Your liver is the only organ in the body that can fully regenerate itself. It takes time but if you want to get healthy we can be there to support that journey.

If you or anyone you love is dealing with stomach aches and exhaustion, have their doctor run a full liver panel as part of the yearly phsyical or request it at any time. Get to know your AST and ALT numbers and your goal is to have less of these enzymes being in your blood stream.

Search for Michelle Clermont on Facebook London Ontario picture of my dog, or search for Fatty Liver Disease Support Group and request to be added to the group.

Please learn from Terri’s story… this is your life take control!

Ignite Health Ontario I – 2 days to go!! Get your Tickets!

I can not believe that Ignite Health Ontario I will happen in 2 days! A thought from my brain that was triggered thanks to Ignite London will materialize in a public event to help people listen to their bodies and start taking accountability for its success. We have amazing speakers that I am proud to get on stage. Jim Mills – Former London Knights Captain, impacted by Guilles – Barres Syndrome and now running the Smile Epidemic! Lisa Merriam – 20 years old and sharing her story of mental illness and how she is fighting every day to raise awareness and diminish the stigma, Blair Rymer will teach us all some base yoga moves and we all get to participate. You will get a chance to learn about and sample Kiki Natural Maple Sap beverage! You will learn why you should consider a chiropractor, a reiki treatment, or a nutritionist. You will learn from Emory Ediger how it feels to move into a nursing home and feel alone and how you can turn that around. You will hear Megan Clermont tell her story of how she has moved from living a life of chronic illness where she spent most of her time isolated and alone as a teenager to now being a thriving busy teenager who fights back against her illness. You will learn about the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution and what my role is as ambassador and what the plans are for 2013. We will have a great presentation on Getting to know your farmer, eating local and watching out for GMO’s ! Have you ever heard of Shamanic Healing? Me neither but we will learn what that can offer for your spirit, Have you considered Hypnosis to deal with challenges like smoking, weightloss, insomnia? We will get a chance to explore new ideas there too! We have all presentations ready to go, we have 2 videographers volunteering their time, we have 3 volunteer photographers, we have a projector, we have a podium, we have snacks and beverages too. Now all we need is you to come and take a seat and listen to these presenters and walk away with one new idea to help you be a better healthier you! http://ignitehealth.eventbrite.ca/?ebtv=C . http://metronews.ca/news/london/410906/former-london-knights-captain-among-speakers-at-ignite-health-ontario/ http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/2012/10/ignite-health-ontario-will-take-place-at-covent-garden-market-oct-24/ Contact Michelle Clermont 226-234-4006 for more details

Getting Stuck in Someone Else’s Ideals – Tommy Caldwell

We all have people we follow. They may inspire us, speak in terms that we understand and bring us clarity, or uncover topics or information in areas that we don’t frequently research. Whatever your reason, learning from others is the fastest and most efficient way to learn and adopt new ideas and life strategies. But when do we take it too far? When do we get so caught up in what someone else is saying/doing that we bypass our own logic and judgment in exchange for the excitement of a new thought? I’m sure you are all reading this and saying “that’s not me; I think for myself and make my own decisions in life”. I beg to differ, and I think we all need a bit of self reflection now and then.

Research Smesearch…It’s always a matter of opinion
Most things we learn in the age of information have some sort of stemming ‘research base’. When someone cites a reference or some sort of scientific experiment it somehow legitimizes what they have to say. For most of us this is enough to get our ‘eyes up’ and take some questioning away from any given persons spiel. I personally don’t cite references or research for any of my writing or findings because research is biased and quite frankly a bunch of bullshit.
Everyone has their motives- as both the speaker and the listener- and both will find a way of legitimizing what they want to say and what they want to hear; and research is a great way to falsely support our own inner investments. Here are some examples- If you frequent facebook you have seen the picture of the distance runner next to the elite sprinter; the sprinter looking muscular and cut, while the distance runner looks skinny, loose, and frail. If you’re someone like me who promotes explosive movements (sprinting) and somewhat condemns degenerative activities (distance running) it is easy to look at this picture and say “here’s your proof, sprinters look good and perform well and distance runners are flabby losers!” I’ve seen this picture posted by my colleagues and fitness folk alike to prove their point in a totally illegitimate and lame way. They can say ‘research shows that distance runners typically have a higher body fat and lower muscle mass when compared to a sprinter’- and they may very well be right… based on the research they chose to search out.
The worst part about this is that ‘proofs’ like this spread like a disease- with a bunch of agreeable people jumping on the bandwagon and spreading their new found ‘proof’ without asking a single question or looking into how one sided the information may be. You won’t hear questions like “do you think that perhaps big jacked muscular explosive people gravitate towards sprint based activities and excel at them while skinnier, lighter, fiber 1 type people gravitate towards and excel in distance based activities?”. Not to mention the fact that you could easily find a really jacked distance runner and a slightly overweight sprinter, place their pictures side by side and make the same adverse argument; but neither of those things will ever happen with a group of speakers and an audience of listeners that find it more important to prove THEIR point than to prove the point that is most legitimate in the most legitimate way.
You may be saying ‘ok, I get it, but that isn’t really research, that is an optical comparison’. You’re right, it is, but here is a legitimate research paper example that is equally moronic.
I was reading an article in a journal of strength sciences regarding how plyometric exercises (jumping, bounding etc) cause more harm than good. The article explained how they did a 6 week course of varying plyometrics in one group, and then a basic light exercise course in the other. After the full 6 weeks they had several minor injuries in the plyometric group resulting in very little overall gains, and in the other group they showed positive gains in strength.
Well, I did some further research on this article and dug up the stats that they didn’t tell you. Like most lame exercise research papers spread to the average reader, they used a population of elderly people for this testing. So in group one they were having 60+ year old degenerative participants jump around on their old brittle bones and weak stagnant muscles and via their conclusion that jumping around is bad for old people they publish a paper stating that plyometric movements may be bad for ALL PEOPLE. Junk science at its finest, and consequently the most abundant science we have these days.
The point is that you never get the whole story on research, the participants, or the environment- and even if you did, YOU WEREN”T THE ONE BEING TESTED!!!! Research on any other person other than you will never give you a result that should be followed specifically by you. So read your research with caution and skepticism.

Joining the Modern Day ‘Cult’
It’s great to be a part of something. As Seth Godin would explain we all have this deep seeded instinct to find our ‘tribe’ and belong to it. In other words, finding like minded people with similar values to share a portion of our lives with. This is a healthy, effective, and sustainable approach towards becoming part of a good cause, movement, change, or whatever you want to call it. But when does it go too far? When does it get to the point when you’re not so much a part of something as you are ‘under’ something? Where do you draw the line between belonging to something and becoming something?

Losing your true individuality
I come from the mindset that no person should ever just ‘be’ something. I don’t think someone should just be a republican or a democrat. That someone should be a Buddhist, Christian, or atheist. Why can’t someone just be who they are without subscribing to a pre planned train of thought, belief system, or set of ideals?
As soon as you decide ‘this is who I am, and this is what my people are called’, your individualization and potential for growth are over with… done. You build a box around yourself and remove your potential that pertains to everything outside of that box. You are essentially subscribing to one way of thinking in a given subject and blocking out all other sources of competing information.
I can’t think of a worse way to live your life. Having pre-determined thoughts and understandings of everything that surrounds you because you want be a part of something and attach a name to that group.
Unfortunately it is now all around us. In fitness, health, religion, politics and all other topics that allow some sort of adverse thought. You could argue that these different groups allow us to exchange ideas and create discussions, but people are only interested in spreading their own ideas and not truly interested in absorbing others. People these days argue to be heard and spread information to be known- not a lot of people do it to ‘get people thinking’ and create a platform for the open expansion of the mind.

An ‘Open Air’ Approach
People are always complimenting me in somewhat flabbergasted ways in regards to the shape I’m in, the sacrifices I make, and how well I take care of my body. I couldn’t see things more differently. I think getting in shape and taking care of yourself is a fairly easy task. In fact, I think it’s insane that the whole world population doesn’t take better care of themselves because it is the easiest thing you can do. It’s no different than brushing your teeth, going to work, and combing your hair.
What impresses me are the people in this world who have 100% control of their mind, emotions, stress, and intellectual outcomes. I have spent the last 3 years putting far more focus on the health of my mind than the health of my body- and I am nowhere near where I’d like to be. I literally exercise my mind with the intent of making it stronger and more efficient every day of the week, and I am literally moving at ‘crawl speed’ when I think about where I would like to be.
One of the big challenges I faced with the reconstruction of my mind was the ability to understand others first, and not let my own ‘interests and opinions’ affect how I perceived the information I received from those people. Truly listening to another individual who sees something differently than you with the full intent of utilizing their information over yours if it seems more logical is a very difficult feat. The ability to say “I’m wrong, they’re right, what else can I learn from them” is a trait that seems to go against every grain of human nature; but the more I work on it, the better I get, the better I feel, and the more I grow on a personal and professional level.
My point is that we subscribe to an ideal that likely isn’t even ours, from sources that are self serving, and then we put a name on our ‘group’ and shut out all adverse arguments and points, regardless of logic. None of us want to admit it, but we all do it in a completely selfish and childish manner. If you can realize this part of yourself and accept that it is how you deal with a lot of your ‘mental subscriptions’, you will see that you can still have the feeling of belonging to something great and contributing to that movement and yourself, without compromising who you are as an individual and as an independent thinker.
Listen to what others say. Get excited about new ideas. Listen to many many many many different people; but don’t get stuck in a single path of thinking in any given subject, and never think that you or the leader you are following has the answers to all your questions… or even their own. And if you find yourself following someone who is never wrong, constantly condemns others ways of thinking, or suggests that ‘their way is the only way’- you have unknowingly become a member of a modern day idealists cult. I suggest you get out IMMEDIATELY!

The Turning Point in Modern Medicine – Shift or Fade – Tommy Caldwell

There was a time when your local MD was the only person you would go to in times of health related woes. Be them minor aches and pains, or major health concerns, there was only one source you knew of that could tell you not only what was wrong, but how it was going to be made better.

As we grow as a society so grows our own knowledge of personal health. A great portion of the population is learning how to self educate themselves and realize not only the current flaws in the medical structure, but alternative resources that can be found in order to combat some of the problems that modern medicine was once thought to be the only remedy for.

People have many theories or arguments as to why things are shifting the way they are and why the medical community is thriving less and less. Some blame the intervention of aggressive drug companies, some blame the lack of enthusiasm in modern GP’s that would sooner write a prescription than spend the time educating their client, and some blame their local government for restricting the ability for medical facilities to operate the way they should. These are all valid arguments, and there are many, many more with equal validity- but the true problem in medicine today is its ultimate disconnect from the modern community; the inability to relate to the updated knowledge and mindset of the modern human being. The medical community has two choices as time moves forwards: change, grow, and reconnect with its people, or fade, crumble, and disappear into the past.

The Napster Age

Remember when music first became free through sites such as Napster? The music industry was furious, fearful, and at a loss. Billions of dollars were spent trying to prevent the sharing of online music and in keeping the music industry the way it has always been; and why not? The music industry was a money making machine that had been operating pretty much the same way since the 1940’s. We went from records, to 8 tracks, to cassettes, to CD’s- but the creation, packaging, distribution, and profit from music was always constant.

The music industry knew that with ability to share music through online communities, the industry was in trouble. Instead of looking at this as an opportunity to evolve and find new/interesting ways to run their model and succeed through change, they wasted billions of dollars trying to prevent the world from spinning. If they had only seen where the future was headed and adjusted accordingly, they would’ve changed the music industry as we knew it, saved a ton of money, and continued to succeed within an updated system of music.

Medicine is in the same boat, and it is being handled the same way.

Now that people have the ability to share information online they are more aware of many things. Firstly that they have the ability to prevent many health problems by educating themselves on what is good for them to eat, how important exercise is, and how to access the avenues in order to live a better life. They also have a new insight into the drug industry and its deep ties to the current medical system. Most people are starting to understand the motivations of billion dollar drug companies and their great influence over the medical community. The combination of understanding how to better your own life without the medical community, as well as all of the ever-growing education of flaws within the medical establishment is bad news for medicine. They all know it, but much like the music industry they are squeezing their eyes shut and hoping this will all go away.

Drug companies, Genetic Engineering groups like Monsanto, and all the like are putting forth billions of dollars in funds in order to shut down the natural medicine industry and make any natural product that can help remedy the human body available only by prescription. This is one example of many on the agenda’s of these kinds of companies, but it shows you their combative approach to the current situation. Much like the music industry they are too late, and will ultimately, fail.

Medical practitioners aren’t to blame on that level, but they are still fully resistant to the current change in the community. I believe that all (or at least the majority of) MD’s are out to help people. They are out to make the world a better place and serve their community- but they also have their heads buried in the sand when it comes to how the world and industry is changing, and they are losing their audience.

With the level and speed of information sharing the way it currently is- the medical world needs to change. It is no longer useful to resist your own people like the music industry tried to do- rather, you need to change your approach and rebuild a trusting relationship, and more importantly a ‘connection’ with the world.

The Paradigm Shift

We live in a truly amazing age, and I don’t know how many of us realize that. We live in the first and only age known to man in which we can share any information with any person in the world within less than a second. The fact that ANY PERSON can do it with even the most basic means of technology is truly amazing and groundbreaking. This is a time that will be written in history books- and this generation of human beings will change the entire direction of the planet. It is unbelievably exciting when you think about it.

The problem for many industries is that the world has the ability to change far faster than the industries want to change themselves. This is why you see so many failing industries in the world; not because they deliver bad products, because their staff are ineffective, or because nobody wants their products or services- but because they refuse to change in order to accommodate an ever changing world.

This is something that the medical community needs to understand- and they need to understand it quickly. Like it or not, they are an industry just like any other- selling products and services in exchange of financial gain. And just like all the other industries their refusal to adapt and change is allowing the world to look past them.

Health- The Key to Reconnecting

People in this world (or at least a significant portion of them) are starting to not only understand, but become enthusiastic about health. They are taking control of their own lives from a very fundamental level and learning how important it is to take care of their bodies. Even with this change, however, they still seek out some sort of outside assistance to keep them confident in times of health uncertainty. People are finding Naturopathic Doctors, Chinese Medicine, and all kinds of alternative methods to modern medicine. I think it’s important to note that, because it isn’t as if people who are educated in health want less help in their lives- but they want help from people who have the same values, ideals, and principles as they do. What I’m getting at is people aren’t seeking modern medicine less and less because they simply don’t want help from anyone when it comes to health related issues- they just want help from people who care about what THEY care about- and for a typical individual who understands health and wellness, that person is not an M.D.

Modern Medicine practices a disease model. That means most of their education and scope of practice revolves around waiting until there is an issue, and then finding a way to treat that issue. There is nothing wrong with that and people need to understand that medicine (the way we know it today) came from a place that required practioners to solve existing problems- not prevent them from happening. It was also established in a time where life was so simple in terms of people having access to ONLY good sources of food and in a time where everyone had to be active each day in order to get work done. This meant that the need for prevention wasn’t there like it is today- it was much more valuable to have a medical model that could diagnose an existing problem and find a way to fix it.

With that in mind the need for preventative medicine has been growing rapidly over the last century- and of course, the medical world has refused to change along with that rapid increase in need. This is what has created such a massive disconnect between people and modern medicine.

Music is now medicine, record companies are now hospitals, and Napster is now information about taking care of yourself. The medical industry now has to become a source of accurate and effective preventative health information, and stop resisting the change that is happening before its eyes.

Don’t Tear it Down- Just Build with Better Bricks

The medical community isn’t going to just disappear, and if it did I think a lot of us ‘health extremists’ who may see that as an ideal situation would quickly realize what a huge loss and mistake it would be. Instead it needs to take a new direction with new objectives, and a better understanding of how to relate to its every evolving population of patients.

While a lot of the technology that has been implemented into medicine has been controversial and it some cases even dangerous or counterproductive, there has still been (and will continue to be) great technologies and advances is medical science that can do amazing things for the world’s population. And while a lot of the operation and structure of the medical world has become stagnant and ineffective, there is still a lot about the medical system that can be quite advantageous to the world as well. Not to mention the great need for emergency care, care for the elderly, and care for the large population of people who quite frankly just can’t care for themselves.

We get so caught up in what is wrong with medicine these days that we forget about all the things that are also right and benefit many people that surround us. We forget that the best solution is a change, a medium, and the letting go of old ineffective ideas for new effective ones.

If the medical system puts a large shift towards educating their MD’s on health, prevention, and patient education- the damaged relationships with its patients and image will repair and recover. If it however decides to fight tooth and nail to protect a dying system of sickness and disease medicine, the people will disconnect and seek professionals that are more relatable to how they view life and wellness.

Therein lies the crossroads that the medical community is facing- follow the music industry and fight for a dying system that is inevitably going to change with or without you, or learn from other industries mistakes and give the people not only what they want, but what the world (currently) needs. And remember- the choice doesn’t have to be any more complicated than choosing to connect with your patients on a level that makes them feel secure, confident, and like you care about their views on health- but following your own agenda with your fingers in your ears yelling “LA LA LA LA LA LA” isn’t a great way to convey that message.