Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Healthy Living & First Priorities

Healthful living in the 21st century has many challenges and rewards. First of all living healthfully was part of the master planfor humans when time began and the creation of man was accomplished. The dietary of man preceded the actual creation of man. According to the Genesis record man’s diet was the Creators choice, the food best suited for his physical, and mental and spiritual needs. Man’s decent from the perfect plan for healthful living involved being tempted through forbidden fruit. This opened up a continued compromise of the natural laws of the universe. Following down the stream of time, some 2,000 plus years to Noah’s recorded flood experience, we find the human family eating and drinking and being unaware of the impending doom that followed Noah’s warnings. It really isn’t much different today, the human race the world over makes eating or dining everything but a sensible and informed practice as to the real bodily needs for optimal health. A few practices that have survived time that were forbidden by our Creator include not eating pork or mice. The Mohammedan people do not eat pork. This affects over one billion people, who respect the forbidden dietary of consuming pork. Pork, is one huge consumer product in our present day eating habits for the world population in general, for a couple of reasons: First, because of the high fat, it tastes good to those who eat it. Second, there is gross ignorance of the negative effects to our health such as contributing to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity, just to name a few.

Refined food products, especially refined sugar is also a serious challenge to good health today. It not only contributes to diabetes, but lessens the body’s immune response, and white blood cell activity to overcome various bacteria and viruses that are prevalent today. If one would trace the history of the consumption of processed sugar a few centuries ago until now, we would see how many of the major diseases we suffer with today (heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, cancers, rampant infections, depression, arthritis, etc.) have increased due to the increased consumption of refined sugar mostly hidden in the food chain. There are thousands of packaged and preserved foods that contain various amounts and kinds of sugars. For example, grains in the form of packaged ‘cold cereals’ often list sugar as a main ingredient. Sugar, as refined as it is today, is no longer a food, but a drug, and is a serious addictive entity. On the contrary it would be difficult to name any natural food as being addictive.

It is much easier to shift the responsibility for our poor health habits on the various avenues having to do with our food chain, especially fast-food establishments. In reality it is our responsibility to be educated as to how our body functions, and that we take responsibility for supplying our health needs. The habit of taking various drugs to suppress the symptoms of our bad habits doesn’t seem to make much sense. I was part of a family where someone in the home was eating all day long. At the age of seven I decided that eating three meals a day made more common sense. Admittedly, I didn’t have that much knowledge concerning the benefits of this decision, but by the time I was eight years old, I had read various texts on anatomy, physiology, dietetics, and public health issues, and became knowledgeable, only to discover that I was a lone wolf on healthful eating issues. To further my choices, in following a healthy lifestyle, I decided to become a vegetarian at the age of nine years old. I was able to arrive at this decision by reading a series of books involving the rise and fall of the British empire. Back at the turn of the 20th century, the sun never set on the British empire and what she governed or controlled. Here I learned that the Hunza people, in the Kashmir area between Pakistan and India, lived to be 140-150 years old, and they were vegetarians, with the exception of a few holidays, when they ate goat meat.

To think of being 140-150 years old would be a better choice than our present life span.

Reforms have come along from many strong-minded people like Sylvester Graham, father of the graham cracker. He gave us the whole grain wheat flour for wholesome bread. Dr. Fletcher introduced the value of chewing foods at least 30 times before swallowing to increase digestion and absorption of foods. He was responsible for helping many T.B. victims overcome the effects of tuberculosis at the beginning of the 20th century. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, from the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan started a hospital in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s that improved the health of patients by changing their dietary habits and including exercises and various water treatments along with promoting a practical and spiritual lifestyle with other wellness activities for the patients.

Although life spans have increased in our country over the past 200 years from 50 years old to approximately 78 years, progress is slow.

We must remember that doctor’s back a couple of centuries ago were anything but complimentary to improving health. The drugs being used were dangerous and often wrongly prescribed. ‘Blood letting’ was a common practice for most every and any condition. Our first president George Washington, died from this process.

Following our independence from England in 1776, homeopathic medicine from Europe, became quite a common practice of medicine in our country. After World War 1, the ‘sulfur drugs’ became popular in that it was noticed that sulfur slowed down wound infections on the battlefield. Various drug companies began to appear and of course, started making sulfur drugs and other synthetic chemicals to be used as medicines in treating various diseases. All of this seemed to replace the use of herbs, water treatments, and dietary and lifestyle practices used by the homeopathic physicians. The AMA was formed and became not only a doctor /member organization, but a strong union that promoted and worked with the drug companies to legally control what was practiced and taught in the medical schools and private practice of the doctors.

Most of the homeopathic hospitals, sanitariums, and schools were forced to close or taken over by the AMA, thus limiting the availability of the use of natural methods, the use of herbs, and dietary reforms to help the people.

Dependency on drugs was encouraged along with a continued lack of education in the school system, to inform the student of how we function and we can maintain good health. I personally see this as a great lack even today in our educational institutions. We are not learning how to be informed about how to be healthy in our lifestyle choices.

It has come to the place now that our adult population expects the government and the insurance companies to take care of their health problems with little or no restriction on their choice of lifestyle habits.

In June of 2010, the government by executive order created our National Prevention Council, charged with providing coordination and leadership at the federal level and among all executive departments and agencies with respect to prevention, wellness, and health promotion practices, has released the National Prevention strategy, America’s plan for better health and wellness. Integrated health care describes a coordinated system in which health care professionals are educated about each others work, and collaborates with one another and with their patients to achieve optimal patient well-being. Implementing effective care coordination models (for example medical homes, community health teams, integrated work place, health protection and health promotion programs) can result in delivery of better quality care and lower costs. Evidence based complimentary and alternative medicine focuses on individualizing treatments, treating the whole person, promoting self-care and self-healing, and recognizing the spiritual nature of each individual, according to individual preferences.

This 122 page report offers comprehensive evidence based recommendations for improving health and wellness, focusing on seven priority areas. These areas include:Tobacco-free living, preventing drug abuse and alcohol use, healthy eating, active living, injury and violence-free living, reproductive and sexual health, mental and emotional well-being. You can get the entire report at: “ The national prevention strategy encourages partnerships among the federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial governments; business, industry and other private sector partners, philanthropic organizations, community and faith-based organizations and everyday Americans to improve health through prevention” said U.S. surgeon general Regina Benjamin, M.D. council chair. “For the first time in the history of our nation, we have developed a cross-section, integrated national strategy, that identifies priorities for improving the health of Americans”. The above information was borrowed from the August 2011 Chiropractic News Source, however the same information is being promoted by most media sources today.

In a simple “nutshell” gaining back our health has to start with improving our choices of nutritious food, proper rest, pure water, proper exercises, sunshine, fresh air, and abstaining from all that is harmful to our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.

Remember there are no quick fixes when it comes to regaining your health. All changes should result from being focused on long-term benefits. Carefully guard your health…it is a priceless possession. Meditate upon the great Creator of the universe, and His gift of life to us. Be thankful and helpful to one and all…and you will be a winner!

Frank J Hurd, D.C., M.D. 541-472-1113
Note: Dr. Hurd is a physician who specializes in preventive medicine. He and Rosalie, his wife, have authored the classic Ten Talents Cookbook. For more information visit:


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