Tag Archives: health activism

Caring About Health is Patriotic

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“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

~Aristotle

This isn’t a political post.  It’s a post directed at you and me, the individual, who makes up our place and culture.  We have a lot of power in our hands and we should use it.

It’s always been clear to me that a holistic approach to all things in life is a good idea.  After all, holistic simply refers to an emphasis on the whole and the interconnectedness of all the parts.  It has nothing to do with shunning modern medicine or being a vegan.

When it comes to health, holistic just means that there should be an awareness on the whole.  So in the case of a person in terms of being a patient, it means that their emotional and mental state matters as much as their physical state.  It’s all connected and everything has the potential to affect everything else in the body, mind, and spirit.

Is a cheap and effective treatment somehow less than an expensive and equally effective treatment?

Our modern healthcare system seems to think so.  There are hundreds of equally effective, safe, inexpensive treatments for ailments out there but our system almost always defaults on the high tech, risky, and extremely expensive ones instead.  In the end, we’re bankrupt and unable to sustain any health.

So I think now, more than ever, do we need to recognize that grandma new a few things about preventative health and natural remedies and combine that knowledge with the fantastic information we have today.  It’s about integrating allopathic and alternative medicine for the best possible outcome for the patient.  It’s Integrative Medicine and we should have never been so cocky as to rely only on expensive drugs while forgetting all the simple tools for prevention.

I know it’s hard to learn about something that isn’t interesting.  I’m lucky in a sense because I love reading about this stuff but I know it’s not that way for everyone and I respect that.  But, I would say that it’s imperative that we all not only research on the presidential candidates as part of our good citizen job requirements but that we also learn more about health and wellness.

I don’t mean anything fancy or intricate, I mean, watch a few documentaries, learn about our food and health system.  The first step to better health is an increased awareness about how we live.  And think of how important good health is for a country.  Part of our duty as citizens is to do what each of us can to ensure good health for ourselves and our children.

This is all important to you because if you don’t feel well, good luck on reaching your hopes and dreams.  Feeling less than great or feeling ill really puts a damper on one’s plans.  And since life is generally challenging enough, we don’t need to add health-related obstacles into the mix.

I think much of our problems in this area stem from our culture and the way we tend to follow what is mainstream, feel a bit nervous about straying from the norm, and fail to question authority and common knowledge.  Common knowledge isn’t necessarily accurate knowledge.  And questioning isn’t harmful, it’s just investigating, double checking, being sure that something is the right way to go.

So I guess what I’m saying here is that I hope our state of affairs will inspire us all to take some time to educate ourselves about how people have stayed healthy over the years.  How did people manage before modern medicine?  Why do some cultures have much better health than ours?  What can we adjust in order to save ourselves and our kids?  Health-wise, our ship is sinking.  But rather than despair, we just need to be the spirited, proactive people we are, before it’s too late.

I grew up wanting to be a doctor, totally impressed by what they do.  I didn’t know how much power I had as one simple person. Once I educated myself a little and safely adjusted my lifestyle, I was blown away by how cheaply and simply I could heal my body and stay healthy.  If most of us could manage something like this, we’d all have a lot more health, happiness, and money in our pockets and then a lot more resources and attention to give those with more serious health issues.

And isn’t that what we all want?

Clinical Trials from Home!

health-activist-advocate

Clinical trials are an important part of the online health community but people have a hard time with distance and time limitations. Through WEGO Health, I just learned about a new type of clinical trial that can be completed by patients from the comfort of their own home and I wanted to make sure to share it with readers and fellow DOC members.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with WEGO Health, they’re a unique social media company focused on helping Health Activists – people like me who use the internet and social media to connect with others around health topics. WEGO Health’s mission is to empower Health Activists to help others, and they offer Health Activists the chance to get involved with video through WEGOHealth.tv, to learn and connect through webinars and chats, and to gain a voice in the healthcare industry through insight panels and the Health Activist Speakers Bureau.  In fact, I’ll be in Washington DC this Spring because of this Speakers Bureau and the opportunity it opened up. (I’m beyond excited!)

Now, WEGO Health is working with Mytrus – an innovative clinical trials company that is working to make clinical trials more accessible, convenient, and available to a much larger audience with more representative results. WEGO Health is working to bring these new trials to Health Activists and to give us a way to share them with our larger online community. I’m participating in a new Referral Program that rewards Health Activists for participants in the clinical trial.

The benefits of at-home trials:

  • Participants can join from anywhere in the country allowing trials to be run with a larger and more diverse group of patients
  • Participants can join from their home so are not limited by health issues or transportation issues that keep them house-bound
  • Trials can be run more quickly and efficiently because of a reduced recruitment period
  • Patients are given more of a chance to affect the course of their own treatment

If you’re interested in participating in clinical trials run at home and online and in impacting the course of new medications and treatments, take a brief survey to see if you qualify for any of the active trials. If not, you’ll be notified as new opportunities come up.

To see if you qualify, visit this page: At Home Clinical Trials.

I’m excited by the new option of participating in clinical trials from home (and online!) and I’m excited to share it with you. I hope you’ll take a minute to see if you qualify and share this opportunity with others. Click here to share.

Happy Monday everyone!

American Culture Revolution for Health

Courtesy of Simon Howden

Courtesy of Simon Howden

 

We hear all the time how America needs it’s citizens to undergo lifestyle changes for the better.  And despite how hard that is, I guess it’s true.  I just think that we’re stuck in a slump.  I mean, if my friends and family and I are used to and enjoy certain activities and foods and many others are the same way, then how are we supposed to produce a massive change that sweeps the nation and improves the health of millions? 

When health care professionals say we all need to do be more active and eat healthier, I can’t help but think about how the typical health care professional is educated to really know and understand what to do and they make pretty decent money for a living, too.  That combination is probably an asset.  What about the rest of us?   

I think we need a revolution.  We’re Americans, we know about revolution.  Our future is in jeopardy as they say and yet how are we supposed to get ourselves out of this slump while being so busy just trying to survive?

I sometimes wonder if our situation will progress to a breaking point.  Maybe a mini revolution will take place.  People will hit the streets demanding particular health care reforms.  Mass numbers of citizens will band together and slowly change their customs and traditions to adapt to the new health movement.  They’ll demand better access to quality foods, more health education in classrooms, and encourage the development of lots of sidewalk additions all over the country. 

When we’re proud of our culture, how do we go about altering it?  I genuinely feel giddy inside just thinking about going to a baseball game and having a hotdog and beer.  I know many of us just love watching Glee at night with our favorite snack.  And popcorn and soda at the movies.  Cookies and pastries at social gatherings.  Our favorite Ben and Jerry’s when we’re sad.  Our favorite cupcake when we’re happy.  Barbeque, potato chips, and pie on the Fourth of July.  I think of all of this and my first inclination is to say, “Well…but it’s on special occasions that we eat this way-no biggie!”  And then I think about how all this can add up in the course of a week.  Next thing you know our way of life is to eat inappropriately.  It doesn’t help that it’s still funny to poke fun at the yoga loving, tree hugging, granola munching types out there.  Although, they are growing in numbers.

So when I think about the task that lies ahead of us I must say I feel quite overwhelmed.  I know it’s hard on willpower and expensive and a hassle to keep up.  I can only hope that my neighbors will create awareness with me, fight for our rights with me, contact our policy makers with me, and slowly adapt our culture to one that is just as much ours as ever-only healthier for our children and their children.

I think we need a culture change because living in the present one and expecting people to break from it is unrealistic. 

How do we do this?  I don’t know exactly, but I will leave you with the quote I always remember when I feel like quitting:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”

~Mohandas K. Gandhi

HAWMC# Ekphrasis Post

We’re to find a creative commons picture on Flickr that inspires us and then write about it without editing for 15 minutes.  So here goes:

Belchite courtesy of Estrella de Queso

Belchite courtesy of Estrella de Queso

 

The place in this photo looks abandoned.  Yet, I can still see enough to know this place once looked pretty magnificent.  So why has it been left alone?  Somehow a sense of dread comes over me while pondering that question.  Because who would leave such a pretty place?   The photographer says this was taken in the autonomous community of Aragon in Spain, I imagine it was ravaged by war because seriously, it just looks way too nice to leave.  That and there is all that rubble lying around. 

So then how sad it must have been for those living there, to have their beautiful homes destroyed.  the balcony that remains in the center of the photo is calling me.  I have always loved balconies.  The simple looking ones that are surrounded by great architecture, earthy colors, and rich textures.  Although, pfft!  In reality what would I do on a balcony?  I have one now and only take in some sun on it for the purpose of getting vitamin D-not for the purpose of enjoying the sun’s warmth.  I used to love being outside and I would read outside on a blanket in the yard or look up at the stars at night while lying on top of the family picnic table.  Now, my many outdoor allergies ruin all the fun. 

So I suppose a place like this for me is more like a curiosity evoker.  I probably would get bored here pretty quickly.  I’d enjoy hearing the story about this place but I’m sure I would not step onto the balcony for very long because I’m not much into relaxing anymore.  I can see myself now, standing there amidst all the beauty and with my hands on my hips thinking, “what needs to be done?”  The day dreamy days are over and the duty filled days of adulthood are here.  (Is that Florence speaking?)  I’m pretty content with gazing at a photo like this every now and then and feeling some wonderment like a kid again, though :)

Funny, where a photograph and our thoughts will take us.

HAWMC# I Write About My Health Because…

Courtesy of healingdream
Courtesy of healingdream

 

Today’s prompt is:

“I write about my health because…”

  • I find it overwhelming to live with diabetes and writing about it is a helpful release

 

  • I hope others find it relatable so they don’t feel so alone

 

  • There are times something needs to be broadcasted

 

  • It sometimes makes for more dramatic storytelling than late night TV

 

  • I find it helpful to track the past and compare with the present

 

  • I want to share what I’ve learned and haven’t learned

 

  • I express myself much better in written form than by talking

 

  • I love to write

 

And lastly, I write about my health because you read what I write.

Thank you :)

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