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Life Arts    H4'ed 12/9/22

Learning to respect the mystery of me

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Woman in white one piece swimsuit doing yoga - Credit to homegets.com/
Woman in white one piece swimsuit doing yoga - Credit to homegets.com/
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For the past few years I have been studying breakthroughs in what is meant by core health. While many of the webinars I have been watching and articles I have been reading are intended to drum up business for the organizations and professionals that produce them, some exude a genuine excitement that I experienced myself when I was teaching at a small green college, the excitement of imparting new and vital information that has the potential to change lives.

It would seem that there is a long-overdue movement in the world of conventional Western medicine to segway beyond symptom-oriented treatment to a more thoughtful functional medicine with the doctor asking more questions about what's going on in other areas of the patient's life and habits. Instead of diagnosis and treatment by the book, always coloring the patient inside the lines, the doctor is being a real person initiating interaction and endorsing (if not yet prescribing) non-conventional therapies. One factor that might account for medicine evolving and humanizing is the trickle-down effect of holistic medical science.

Notice how those two words "holistic" and "science" seem, at first, to be incompatible like oil and water. You just assume they will be mutually repellant, but, look! - they really are compatible if you are paying attention.

Personally I would have looked for a naturopathic doctor years ago if United Health Care covered naturopathy. Even now, naturopathy is not included in their network, but it's only a matter of time. There are other tried and true ways to treat illness besides shots and pills and many doctors are paying attention.

In some ways, for at least the past fifteen years, I have felt that I know more than my doctor, not about medicine or anatomy or biochemistry but, just for example, about immunity and diet and how organ systems interact. When I have a health issue I often rely on my doctor for the initial diagnosis and lab tests, but half the time I wind up not taking the prescribed medicine. I pick it up from the pharmacy, but often I wait and see if I really want to take it. Sometimes my symptoms improve without it.

Sometimes I think I know more about how my body really works than my doctor, but I am well aware that some of what I accept as my working model of body-science would be regarded as pseudoscience by my doctor. Take acupuncture, chiropractory or yoga 40 years ago.

The fact is, my new knowledge base regarding healthy diet and the microbiome has deepened my awareness of how our bodies respond to disease. I eat much differently than I did up until about 4 years ago when I would have described myself as a vegetarian who eats free-range chicken and some fish and mostly organic. Now my diet is more keyed to gut health and there is a long list of foods that I don't eat, that I would have eaten just 5-10 years ago, as a vegetarian, and thought nothing of it. Now I eat 95% organic and more fermented foods and far more natural fiber.

I am beginning to appreciate how health and disease is not a war or battle with sides, but how health and resiliency is quantum. And I am beginning to accept that how I have treated my body and how I have lived in the world for most of my adult life, may be what eventually kills me.

It turns out the body has far more non-human DNA in it than human. This fact fascinates me! If trillions of microorganisms and biota can get along for the benefit of the organism I call "Gary", then why shouldn't the human race? I prefer to see a liveable and sustainable future as a kind of Zen Koan. We each must follow our hearts and our gifts, and dance with creation in our own way.

Again, (at risk of preaching to the choir) core health is "quantum", which means there is no dividing line between me, (my body, mind, spirit and my identity [who / what I am]) and the world / universe. I am trying to respect that mystery. Not just that, but I am trying to take responsibility for my little corner of it.

(Article changed on Dec 09, 2022 at 10:54 AM EST)

(Article changed on Dec 09, 2022 at 5:22 PM EST)

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Gary Lindorff is a poet, writer, blogger and author of five nonfiction books, three collections of poetry, "Children to the Mountain", "The Last recurrent Dream" (Two Plum Press), "Conversations with Poetry (coauthored with Tom Cowan), and (more...)

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