Musings: Refresh Your Health
As the presidential campaign heats up this summer, our nation will search its collective heart, mind and soul by sifting through the promises and lofty aspirations put forth by candidates seeking election to positions of power.
Political campaigns give us a chance to dream and imagine what could be, what should be, what would be if individuals and nations rose to their highest potential and acted to make the world a better place. Backed by the enormous wealth, knowledge and innovation that made America great, a strong and responsible American president could harness the greatness with which we have been endowed to take action and reverse the domestic and international decline of the United States today.
Now, more than ever before, this president must wisely choose how to tap the considerable resources of the United States before it’s too late. Will we lead the world in developing alternative energy technology, brokering peace and justice (not just democracy) around the globe, and wiping AIDS, malaria and starvation off our maps, or will we insist on preserving our American way of life at all costs, investing in destruction and taking what we want from around the planet because we (temporarily) have the power and money to do so? Will we continue to neglect our education, healthcare and the safety of our communities by slashing social funding, services and growth, or will we choose to invest in our people and infrastructure? On paper, such decisions seem obvious, however, this president must first inspire the will of the American people to believe in this change and support it. This change is possible because America is possible. We are the spirit of freedom born in the land of opportunity and there's no limit to our potential for achieving the highest good on Earth.
Give me the candidate who is willing to use the most powerful weapon in our national arsenal to bring about change in this country, and in its people: the media. The media controls what we buy, how we behave and how we vote. Advertising is as essential to keeping our economy and lifestyle afloat as food is to our human survival. This is why all forms of advertising — like food — are an untaxed commodity. Without advertising telling people what to buy or what to do, our economy in its present overblown state would collapse. It’s no coincidence that America’s obesity rate is the highest of any nation on Earth, a mirror of our gluttonous lifestyle.
Through advertising, we are continuously encouraged to buy newer, bigger and more, doing whatever is necessary to buy these cultural icons, including selling ourselves into bondage through debt. In addition to the poor who have always struggled to survive, vast numbers of middle class Americans with educations, homes, jobs and cars are also struggling to survive financially, overwhelmed by mortgage and credit card debt. The toll of this continual anxiety on the physical and mental health of our generation will be incalculable in the years to come.
And this is what the pharmaceutical industry is counting on. We are besieged with ads telling us to take care of our health by popping pills and undergoing toxic treatments, so we do it. We are so conditioned by this healthcare model we are afraid not to take the pills or get tested or treated, even though we may experience unpleasant or deadly side effects from them. What alternatives do we see advertised? None! Any alternatives which find their way into the media are ridiculed and debunked. There is little profit to be made through alternative health practitioners or with people taking care of themselves at home through prevention.
A president who is willing to invest billions into using the power of advertising to educate Americans on how to make themselves healthy again is a president worthy of my vote. Over $500 billion dollars has already been wasted in bringing additional chaos and misery to the Middle East through our bungled efforts to “clean up” Iraq and make America safe. Imagine just one tenth of this amount invested in ads, billboards and commercials mobilizing our own citizens to make themselves strong and healthy again? Making healthcare a priority means countering the lavish ad campaigns popularizing unhealthy fast foods and pill popping with an even greater number of advertisements showing how good life can be with healthy alternatives in place — alternatives that can be afforded by everyone. A wise government invests in its people by giving them the support and education they need to take care of themselves.
The bottom line is that our current healthcare system is not working and is not accessible or accountable. According to AARP Bulletin (May, 2008), "Although the United States spends more on health care than any other nation in the world…we rank 42nd in life expectancy! And last year, an Emory University study found that about twice as many Americans over age 50 are diagnosed with heart disease, arthritis and cancer as their European peers." Less than 1% of our population can even afford our healthcare without "insurance." If medical care is not affordable by the average individual, it's no longer medicine; it's a business. A one-hour massage therapy session and a scheduled doctor’s office visit cost roughly the same amount ($70), yet with the massage session you receive one full hour of hands-on health care, while with the doctor's visit you might receive 5 minutes of the doctor’s time. If all health expenses were paid out of pocket, few people would be choosing a doctor’s office visit over a massage. It’s the insurance that’s killing us.
Good nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and building community/family bonds are good health practices not even the medical community can scoff at. However, the complete picture of healthcare also includes drawing upon the powerful energetic healing system you were born with to maintain your health. Hands-on healing practices such as massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, Reiki and other forms of energy healing, as well as visualizations, prayer and affirmations mobilize the healing forces already within you. As surely as your body can grow a tumor, it can also dissolve it. It’s time for our healthcare to change and grow to the next level of medicine: self-healing. It's time for a health refresher.
Carol Bedrosian is publisher and editor of Spirit of Change. Visit www.spiritofchange.org.