Treating life as an illness?

Steph just read me an interesting statement from a midwife group something to the effect that they believe that birth is a natural process not an illness to be treated. One of our employees asked for a little bit more clarification as to how exactly one would treat birth as an illness. As I started describing, I realized, that allopathic medicine, and by extension, most humans, treat the ups and downs of life as an illness. And like most allopathic practices, merely treat the symptoms.

What do I mean by that? Humans are very complex beings made up of all sorts of things to which we apply names, the various parts of our body, our minds, will, emotions, heart, personality, spirit, etc. I believe that none of these things are disconnected from the others. And none of these things remains static, they are all changing all the time. That would mean that how they are all relating to each other would be fluctuating all of the time. I would consider this to be normal within certain parameters. And what would fall outside of those parameters would then fall into the category of illness or disease.

Giving birth is a natural process that has been going on for thousands of years before the advent of modern medicine. Most women who have had multiple children will tell you that each experience was different, progressed differently, felt different. However, modern medicine does not take that into account. Anything that falls outside the very narrow window of what is considered “normal”, requires intervention. Normal does not mean normal for the individual. Individual factors like race, age, size, weight, baby weight, gestational period, weights of previous babies, health, and many other factors, are not considered to find normal for this individual. They are however, weighed against this absolute of normal, and to determine if intervention is needed and how much. Sadly, very few hospital births are performed without some level of intervention. And even more tragically, some of the intervention screws up the regular flow of childbirth, and all to often the end result is C-section. In fact, if you study it, you will see a “normal” pattern of intervention leading to C-section.

This is just an example of how many doctors and many of us view the world, where regular life and its vicissitudes, are not considered normal. Everything must be treated. A man feels very sore one day. Takes the strongest pain killers he can get his hands on. It doesn’t matter that he moved a piano the day before, by himself, and it was his first serious physical activity in months. No massaging of muscles. No stretching. No soaking in a tub with salts. Just cover up the pain. It is abnormal. I would contend that it is natural and one should deal instead with the root issues – sedentary lifestyle, lack of wisdom and more immediately, how to relieve the soreness in the muscles and not just cover it up.

A girl can’t sleep. It stems from emotional issues, and stress levels. Insomnia is a natural response sometimes to issues like this. I think many of us have had this experience. All too often instead of addressing the root, a drug is procured from doctor or over the counter, to depress the body and force it into sleep.

I could go on and on, but I don’t think I need to. Most of us have seen the people that have like 30 prescription meds and as many over the counter meds. Uppers in the morning. Downers at night. Anti-depressants. Painkillers. Anti-inflammatories. Antibiotics. Pills to counteract the bloating caused by other pills. Pills to counteract the rashes caused by other pills. Pills and pills and pills. But it isn’t just the pill poppers.

Life is full of ups and downs, but it seems like the attitude of many is that anything off of a static straight line, is an illness. There are so many things that we experience in life that are natural, they are normal. Normal is not static. We wake up tired. We have more energy one day than the next. We have some aches and pains after sleeping wrong, or working out. This is normal. However many choose to whip their bodies with caffeine, or taurine, or sugar, or other substances, depress feeling with painkillers,

Life is a gift and a blessing. We should be trying to support our bodies with good nutrition to promote great health. We should be trying to support our minds with great input to promote great thought. We should be trying to support our emotions with great experiences and attitudes that promote contentment and joy, we should be trying to support our wills with wise commitments and standards, that promote meaningful achievement. We should seek out and root out those issues causing ill health, not cover them up. We should seek out and root out those issues causing mental angst, not depress them. We should be learning ourselves who we are, what we are like, and what are the varying degrees of normal. It is work. It may be hard. But like almost any hard work, there is profit.

Your life is not an illness. Don’t treat it that way, and don’t let anybody else treat your life that way, regardless of the number of years in school, or the diplomas on the wall.

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