We live in a society where we focus almost entirely on symptoms. Let’s take a headache for example. The first and only port of call for many people when experiencing such a thing, is to take an aspirin. Within 20 minutes or so, the headache is gone, but what did we learn about the headache? Nothing! And when it comes again, the aspirin is on hand to deal with it. It staggers me now, to think that so few people will even think to have a glass of water during a headache, except maybe to swallow a few pills. Taking the most logical thought process at this point would result in the conclusion that the primary cause of the headache was in fact, aspirin deficiency. I sincerely hope that even the most unconscious among us will understand that is not the case.
Imagine you’re at home one day, and you look up to notice a ceiling tile is watermarked. You keep an eye on it, and over time you notice the watermark spreads to the edges of the tile. What would we do in this situation? Replace the tile? Of course we don’t – we want to find out what is causing the leak above the tile, and fix that before refurnishing with fresh ceiling tiles. Whilst most of us would operate with this level of common sense around the home, why do we not apply this same coherence to our health? If we were to replace that ceiling tile with a fresh one, we might notice that tiles around it start to become watermarked. Is this a different leak? No! It’s simply redirected by the aspirin-esque quick-fix we carried out.
For years on end, people choose to mask symptoms using all manner of stimulating methods. Caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, red meat, drugs both legal and illegal, just to name the most common. This symptomatic relief mentality has led our health systems to be the equivalent of a ceiling tile replacement service. The majority of people are happy to have their symptoms removed, and never go as far as to understand why they are there. Our modern convenience-based society has brought about an incredibly short-sighted outlook on health. By and large, we are happy to leave responsibility for our health with the doctors, and carry on with our lives just the way we are comfortable with. Then one day they wake up with some serious chronic disease on their hands. I thank my lucky stars that my skin disease was so invasive that I was forced to stop, think critically, and take real action at a relatively young age.
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