Media Niche

From time to time, I’ll be offering vintage and older (1700’s to early 2000’s) wellness media as I find them. Most of the information is timeless–it’s just as relevant today as it was when it was published. Some of the very old ones are just fun for learning the history of various wellness techniques.

These are one-of-a-kind books from my own personal library and that come into the Thrifter’s Niche online thrift shoppe from friends and family.

The books are posted at various selling sites so clicking the link here will take you there. If the site requires you to have an account to use it and you don’t want to sign up, send me an email at niche@healthylifestylesmedia.com and I can find another way to get the item to you. Please copy and paste the link to the item or page you’re on so I know what you’re looking for, in the event of changes on this page.

Here’s the first title being offered:

BonniePrudden-AfterFiftyFitnessGuide

Bonnie Prudden’s After Fifty Fitness Guide – $5.70 + shipping

This is one of the original wellness books that discusses  ‘myotherapy’ or what we now know as trigger point therapy. There lots of photos to show you how to use myotherapy and also how to do a variety exercise and workout routines. There are also sections on pain management. Even though it was published in 1986, it’s the type of book that has information that never gets old.

Click here to view and purchase at eBay.com


Are You Looking for Something Special?

If you’ve been looking for certain books, DVD or VHS videos, or relaxation/meditation or workout music CDs  and just can’t find it, let me know–I might have it or know where to find it for you.  I have access to a lot of media on lifestyle change, psychology, fitness, wellness, spirituality, relationships  or environmental topics.

If you’re not sure of titles, you can indicate what the book is about and the name of the author if you know it (or as close as you know it).  If you’re just interested in a topic with no particular author or title in mind, let me know that too and I can get you a list of things to choose from.

Fill out the form below to let me know


 

Week 2: Morning Stretch

exercise-machinesEvery morning is Stretch and Conditioning. The Stretches still kind of hurt and not so easy but Conditioning feels good, at least until the next day when my muscles turn back into knots. They say this should go away later on. I really hope so.

I’m rather liking the neck conditioning contraption they have me doing (the head-banging machine). It stretches muscles I’ve not stretched in 20+ years. My neck is my major problem so when that feels good, the rest of me generally does too. I usually walk out of that room feeling stretched out and even a little taller.

There’s a machine called a pull-down and its almost like lifting weights. I feel like I’m really working out on this one. I hoping this is going to firm up that upper arm flab (my ‘wings’). I have very little upper-body and arm strength so this is good for me.

Then they have me lifting a weighted milk crate up onto two heights of shelving. That makes me flash back to some unpleasant days of working on the sales floor at Target when we had to stock shelves, before they created a stock team to do it. There’s also a pulley machine that reminds me of pushing and pulling the loaded wheeled flats to the floor at 6 a.m. which was not an easy thing for me either.

I believe that job is what may have triggered fibromyalgia for me. When I got home from work, I literally could not climb the stairs to my bedroom. I would crawl up the stairs, peel off only my pants and just crash for the rest of the night in my remaining clothes. So this workout is triggering memories of a not-very-good time in my life. I know that’s not good for healing so I need to work on getting those images out of my head when I’m doing these workouts.

There are machines facing the window in this center that look out over beautiful Lake Superior, and I like these the best. Gazing at the view takes my mind off the fact that my muscles are screaming at me as I push, bend, walk, or ski. Since it’s summer time, there are sail boats drifting along in the bay and there’s just something calming about watching them. I try to do these workouts just before or just after the crate-lifting to allow those nasty Target thoughts drift away with the waves.

I mentioned in my Day 1 post that all these machines looked quite intimidating but I’m beginning to like them a little better now.


 

Week 2: Walking Goals

bullbrdnotesbalanceEach week I visit with a Nurse  to evaluate what’s working in the Program or what might need to be modified or changed.

Today I was asked to set a walking fitness goal. It is said that a person should walk 10,000 steps a day but according to my FitBit fitness tracker and my calculations, that is close to 3 miles! There’s no way I can walk that every day right now.

However, on Saturday I went to an arts festival with my sister and walked 12,000 steps but it was definitely not without pain afterwards. I was laid up until Sunday evening. So, my goal is to walk 8,000 steps without pain during the walk and into the evening and the next day. That may take a bit of work.

After checking my FitBit app for the last few weeks, I find that I do between 1500 and 3000 steps on a normal day, ranging from short breaks away from the computer to refill my coffee cup or water bottle to doing household or gardening chores.

My grocery/supply shopping days and going to festivals are about 7000 – 10000 steps but I have much pain for a day or two afterwards. So my goal is to be able to walk through a fair or festival and not totally collapse when I get home.

But as I mentioned, most common fitness guidelines say you’re to do 10,000 steps a day. I certainly don’t go to fairs and festivals or shopping every day, so that means doing the equivalent of 7 – 8000 steps a day as a goal toward 10,000. My plan is to start small with 2000 – 3000 steps walking around my neighborhood.

steppergirlI also have one of those mini-stepper machines for when it’s not so nice outside. I thought of a neat trick for making that more interesting rather than staring at my bedroom walls while I’m stepping.

I went to YouTube on my laptop and searched for National Geographic Traveler videos. I found one on the Great Wall of China, which is one of my dream places to visit.

It was cool because the film crew was filming the tour guide as they were walking behind him so it was just like I was walking the Great Wall with the tour group!

walking-great-wall-china

My local library has a collection of National Geographic videos so I’m going to take out some more and set up my portable DVD player in front of my stepper and become a virtual world traveler.

Watching a video or even just looking out a window at your yard (provided you have a nice view!) takes your mind off the fact that you’re exercising. You can become engrossed in a travel video or watching the birds at your bird feeder and not even feel like you’re working out. You might just do 5,000 steps before you know it! Add in the steps you do around the house or at work and you just might make 10,000 a day!


 

Week 1: Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy helps you with what are called “Activities of Daily Living” or ADL’s as they’re commonly known. These are things you do every day like walking, sitting, dressing, bathing, cleaning house, driving, lifting, or things you might do on your job or around the house.

desktop

We began by working on plans for things we like to and need to do but have some trouble with. My list includes:

  • “Shopping walking” – that slow stroll with occasional stopping, reaching up or down, squatting and getting back up again.
  • Minor household repairs requiring looking and reaching up over my head or kneeling on the floor. Same as the Shopping but without the walking.
  • Sitting at my desk – I slouch when I’m working because I don’t have ergonomically-correct furniture–it’s way too expensive. I’m now trying to sit in my office chair in a semi-lotus position  so my spine is straight and that helps until my legs start cramping.

I’ve gotten so I when I go shopping, I don’t even look at anything on upper or lower shelves anymore. If I do, I’ve learned not to squat down to take a closer look. It’s embarrassing when my friends have to help me back up again.

We also learned about Pacing, which means doing whatever you do sitting or standing for about a half hour then switching to another task that requires the opposite movement for another half hour. You should also take time to gaze out the window to refocus your eyes for 10 – 20 minutes, especially if you’re doing computer work.

The occupational therapist told us about the “20-20-20 Rule” where you work for 20 minutes, break or switch to an opposite task for 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away.

timer

I tried this but stopping work every 20 minutes broke my concentration too much. I decided to try 40 minutes working with a 10-minute stretch/breathe or do an opposite task like putting in a load of laundry and putting away what came out of the dryer. Then I look out the window for 10 minutes.

My OT said my 40-10-10 Rule was good. So, for my short 10 minute break projects I’ll prep a salad for dinner or walk around the yard and water flowers, or put a load of clothes in the washer or fold what’s in the dryer.

It seems that the switching up of tasks this way–alternating sitting and standing–allows me to get more done during the day. I’m incorporating short bouts of housekeeping, prep cooking, gardening, and laundry into break-from-sitting-time. I feel more productive now.

break-time

Try the 20-20-20 Rule (or 30-15-15 or 40-10-10 or whatever works for you).  Use a kitchen timer or a timer on your computer and set it for the number of minutes for your break time.

This ‘rule’ is especially good for those who work in cubicle or desk jobs where you’re mostly sitting. Try to stand up and stretch and move around as much as you can. Look at something distant from you–a window or the far wall of the call center or office to get refocus your eyes to prevent strain.

If you do this, share how you did it and if it helped you. If it helps, how? If it doesn’t help, why?

 

Week 1 – Fitness Class: Physical Therapy and Movement (“Phy-Ed”)

Physical Therapy and Conditioning

In my weekly routines, Morning Stretch is followed by one hour of fitness-and-conditioning machine workouts. State-of-the-art fitness and conditioning machines are new for me because I’ve never worked out on anything more than a treadmill or stationary bike while doing physical therapy at my home clinic.

healthy woman legs dark

When I first entered the pain program’s workout center, I was intimidated. It looked like the set for a movie about the Spanish Inquisition, or maybe a football team documentary.

 

OK–maybe not that bad. The machine  that strengthens my neck muscles actually made me feel pretty good. They say that stronger neck muscles should help alleviate the pain caused by the degenerative discs.

 

girl head-banging to rock musicThe repeated back-and-forth motion of my neck while using this machine brings back memories of my old heavy-metal head-banging days, except in slow motion.

 

I told my 20-something-year-old therapist that I’d be ready to start head-banging again after this treatment. That made her giggle. Imagine old people like me head-banging. We still do, you know.  

 

Come to think of it, could head-banging be the reason why I now have degenerative disc disease? Do Baby Boomers have more neck problems than Gen Y’ers and Millennials?

 

The Gen X’ers of the Disco Era probably also have neck issues. There was all that pointing up and down and following their pointing with their their eyes with a steady up-down neck twist. It’s a variation of the head-bang only with a slower beat.

 

disco-dancers

Dance Mishaps

Now that we’re pondering whether dancing might be harmful to your health, let’s also consider tripping, falling and getting (accidently) decked:

Have you ever:

  • Taken a hard fall on your butt on a dance floor?
  • Been socked in the jaw by a wild elbow?
  • Tripped over a kicking foot and gone flying?

There are a lot of videos of this phenomena out there and most of them seem to be at marriage celebrations–so therefore, wedding accidents.

 

Injuries from falls very often show up later as chronic arthritis and myofascial pain: inflammation of the muscles and facia (FACE-she-ah) which are the tissues covering and connecting the muscles to the bone.

man-falling-down-img

Dancing mishaps can also occur at clubs, celebrations and community events too. Anywhere where there’s wild music.

 

Polkas are especially dangerous. All that spinning and getting dizzy and hopping on one foot then the other. All at the same time.

 

If you live in the Upper Midwest US or South Canada, you know what I mean. Oh, and watch out for that Butterfly Dance, eh?

 

If you’re wondering what that is, watch a clip here. It seems safe enough for the first couple minutes but then…all heck breaks loose. 

NOTE: to my knowledge, no dancers were harmed in the making of this video.  

 

They were having fun doing something healthy: burning up the calories consumed from the wedding feast, the cake, and the beer. OK–the beer isn’t exactly healthy for everyone but it can get people up to dance who otherwise would not do it anywhere else. And they laugh and have fun. Social connection is also recommended for healthier living. That’s for a future discussion.  

 

Dancing is a great cardio workout, no matter how you do it. It doesn’t have to be vigorous–you can do a slow waltz or just sit in a chair and move your arms and legs to music (as your mobility allows). Any amount of movement for even 10 minutes is better than not moving at all. Start out simple and easy. The more you do it, it starts feeling so good you want to do it more. 

 

“Housecleaning Aerobics”

woman dancing with mop

 

This is one of my favorite workouts:

  1. Put on your favorite dance music
  2. Crank it up (if it doesn’t bother your neighbors or housemates)
  3. Grab a broom or mop or dust rag
  4. Boogie down 
  5. Sing along (again, thinking about who may hear you and if you mind) 
  6. Sweep! Mop! Dust! Turn–and step–and wipe–123. 

 

Singing is an excellent workout for the lungs, diaphragm and stomach muscles. And it boosts endorphins too. Those are the brain chemicals that make you feel good and happy when you’re feeling that way. But when you’re not, singing and dancing can activate those little endorphins which help lighten you up, lessen the pain, and make you feel better. (Granted you don’t trip and fall while dancing with the broom!) 

 

So, to wrap this up, my recommendation is that if you don’t have access to a fitness center or conditioning machines, try singing and dancing. Doesn’t matter whether you’re any good at it or not–just do what works and makes you feel better. 

 


PS: for you aging head-bangers out there, watch for the upcoming  “Heavy Metal Aerobics” video at DIY Healthy Lifestyles’ YouTube page.

 


Comments, Questions, and Suggestions


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 1 – Starting the Day

red school blur factory

Wow. I feel like I’m back in high school again. I’ve got a locker and I’m running from one class to the next. I’ve got “gym” (physical therapy and conditioning) and “swimming” (warm pool therapy), occupational therapy, health psychology, Yoga, mindfulness and spirituality, mind-brain science, and lifestyle management.

 

It’s spread out between two days a week but it’s still a full day of activity each day.


MORNING STRETCH

The day begins with one-hour of neck-to-toe stretching using a combination of simple Yoga positions and muscle-stretching exercises. Years ago, I used to do Yoga in the evenings before bedtime because I found it relaxing.

 

Aside from the fact that it was many years ago and I can no longer do Yoga like that anymore, I’m realizing it makes much more sense to move and stretch when you first get up because it does five important things that you need more so in the morning than in the evening:

  1. Gets your airways and blood circulating
  2. Wakes up your brain and jump-starts that for the day
  3. Warms up your muscles and loosens stiff joints and tendons
  4. Gets your energy flowing
  5. Prepares you for whatever you do during your day: sitting, standing, walking, or lifting, work, activities, chores or projects.

 

But morning exercise/movement doesn’t necessarily mean jumping right out of bed and hitting the exercise mat first thing. I’ve heard of people who can do that but I’m not one of them. What works for me is to pour a cup of coffee, take a look at my planner, and plot my day. Then Morning Stretch and a light, healthy breakfast and I’m ready to face the day.

 

I recommend stretching be your first task of the day, regardless of when you wake up. If you’re not a “morning person”, just do them when you get up (after the bathroom visit and a cup of coffee).

 

It doesn’t need to be every day. Just start with twice a week and work your way into it. You’d be surprised at how this can wake you up and help you feel more motivated for the rest of the day.

 


 

Personal Responsibility & Choice

blondwomanchoosinghealthy

In my studies of health and wellness management, a professor made an interesting statement in a lecture about taking personal responsibility for our own wellness:

“To talk about health only as a matter of individual choices and personal responsibility assumes that we are always aware of the choices we’re making and that we are always free to make them. The truth is that not everyone is in the same position, and there are differences in how we live and the context in which we make our decisions.”

I had to think about this. In this world of information-overload, how can we possibly be unaware of choices?  In this land of the free, how can we not be free to make those choices?  How does this affect our personal responsibility?

First, how can we be unaware of choices? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Lack of facilities, businesses or services that offer health information or healthy choices in small or rural communities
  2. Limited access to health information for low-literacy and non-English speaking populations
  3. Limited computer or Internet access to find online health and wellness information
  4. Belief that natural wellness products and services are very expensive and only available to wealthy people
  5. Confusing information about the safety and trustworthiness of wellness information and products
  6. Medical professional bias that encourages patients to discredit natural health and healing as fake or ‘just a fad’.

From the above list, we can see choices are limited by a lack of quality information in formats and places where people can easily find it. You’re not free to choose if you don’t know you have choices.

Second, what could limit the freedom to make those choices? Here are some things that can limit the freedom to make healthy choices:

  1. Health conditions that prevent eating certain foods, such as trouble digesting vegetables, fruits, legumes, or grains, or mobility conditions that limit movement
  2. The over-availability and convenience of processed packaged foods, junk foods, and ready-to-eat microwave meals that encourage convenience over healthy nutrition
  3. A steady diet of convenience foods that contain chemical additives that may promote carbohydrate addiction, or strong cravings for sugary and starchy foods, which are often mixed with unhealthy fats and oils. This addiction may cause an inability to choose healthy foods because of the strong physical cravings.
  4. Influence from family or friends who believe  natural healing is “bogus” and discourage talk about it, practicing it, or using natural products or treatments.
  5. Lack of sources for quality information and ‘how-to’ instruction.

These examples serve to show that “not everyone is in the same position, and there are differences in how we live and the context in which we make our decisions.”

Take some time to think about whether any of the things I listed affect you, your family or your friends. If you have any of these limitations, think about ways you can overcome them.

If you live in a choice-limited community, get together with others and brainstorm ideas for getting more natural health information and services. You may find ways to create some do-it-yourself healthy choices that can empower you toward taking personal responsibility for your health and wellness.

If you’re stumped for ideas or things to do, the DIY Healthy Lifestyles Journal can help you and your groups to discover ways to get around the limitations that keep you from exploring natural health.

Please use the comments box below if you have questions, comments, or would like more information.

Fall Fitness Challenge

gimage-fall-woods-walk-960_720Autumn leaves in NE Minnesota already. Almost had frost last week. Eeek!

The Fall Monsoons are gearing up now too. As I write, there’s some really high, tree-branch scattering winds blowing. I hope my garden pots don’t get tipped. Oh well–it’s time to start wrapping up the garden anyway.

As much as I love September, I hate to think it’s time to wrap up Summer. I usually have until my birthday to get in a little more Summer. (It’s the 26th, in case you were thinking of sending a card 😉 ) It’s a milestone birthday too so it’s a very good time to roll out a new fitness plan.

Or rather, get back to the online program I was using. I don’t usually use it during the Summer since I belong to a community fitness group in my hometown. We wrapped that up last week. This was our second year. The first year, we were solely a walking club and walked around the 2 small lakes and the large park in our town once a week all together.

This year we added a variety of fitness activities to try out like QiGong, kayaking, disc golf, Zumba, Yoga, and Strength-Training. We also tried out lawn games like croquet, badminton, and bocce ball. I remember as a kid, our parents would get together at the neighbor’s house to play volleyball. They also belonged to bowling leagues. People just don’t do stuff like that anymore, and it’s too bad. It’s a fun way to keep fit and socialize at the same time. I think there should be Lawn Game Clubs too.

Anyway–back to that online fitness program. About five years ago, I discovered this really cool wellness site, The Daily Challenge. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s a ‘package’ of different programs, or tracks, as they call them.

It’s free to join, which fits nicely into the frugal philosophy of DIY Healthy Lifestyles. You choose a track from a wide assortment of fitness and wellness programs and click ‘join’. Then you receive a daily notification by email, IM, or SMS (message to phone or device) that gives you a simple 5- to 10-minute activities to do related to the track you are in. You can choose to join more than one track if you’d like a variety of things to do during the day.

There is a new one that’s been added since I was last there. It’s called Better Weight but it goes beyond the typical diet and exercise programs. This one includes behavior change prompts for finding support, managing stress, and staying motivated. It’s that last one that caught my attention.

Seems like every Fall, I feel so good about the weight and BMI I’ve dropped and I vow to maintain it. But then there’s birthday cake and pizza, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas… I know that’s an excuse but you have to admit it’s not a bad one. I’ve been working on ways to make the holidays less fattening and healthier.

But, staying motivated is a challenge. So that’s why I chose to sign up for The Daily Challenge’s Better Weight Track. I’m inviting my friends and followers to join me in this program. Let’s start our own wellness group here to get and stay motivated!

Here’s where we’ll meet. If you’re not already a Daily Challenge member, it’s free to join so just sign up if you’re interested in getting together.

Hope to hear from you soon–
Kat

March is National Nutrition Month

Arranged Vegetables Creating a Face

National Nutrition Month comes at the perfect time of year! With warmer weather on the way, we’ll soon be taking our Spring and Summer clothes out of storage.

We hope everything still fits after a long Fall and Winter filled with many holidays and high-calorie foods! For those of us in the colder parts of the world, we also get less activity when it’s too cold to be outside.

To help you get started on your Spring eating and activity plans before you put on your first pair of shorts, check out these tips from the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Choose My Plate site.

You’ll find tip sheets and interactive tools to help you make healthier choices yourself and your family.

If you’re a health educator, school teacher, or home-schooler, there’s also the My Plate for Schools section where you can find learning materials to use in your health lessons.

My favorite tip is “Make Small Changes”. Rather than trying a total diet overhaul, just decide to change one thing. Try eating fruit for dessert instead of ice cream. Do that for a few weeks until it becomes a new habit, then make a new change, like going out for a short walk after dinner.

Every little change you make moves you closer to your fitness and wellness goals.

So, click here and started on your diet and nutrition plan today!

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/national-nutrition-month

Share the small changes you plan to make this month or your favorite health and wellness website!

 

 

 

Hippocrates: The Original Naturopath

hippocrates-food-medicineFirst in Physiology, First in Holistic Health, First in Accountability

Hippocrates of Cos, (5th Century B.C.E.), the Greek “Father of Medicine”, is also the father of Holistic Healing, although many may not realize this.  Hippocrates was the first physician to closely study the human body’s functions to diagnose and treat disease.  He was also the first to turn away from what in his day was considered ‘mainstream medicine’—prayers and sacrifices to the Gods and Goddess for relief and cure of the ailment.

During the birth of conventional medicine in late 19th to early 20th centuries, that concept was considered to be an extreme departure from ‘modern’ medicine.  With that in mind, it is interesting to note that today’s ‘alternative medicine’ is, in a way, a return to the mainstream of Hippocrates’ day:  appeals to spirituality and faith as a part of the healing process.

In this ‘new age’ of the 21st century, recognition of the power of the mind and spirit to heal the body is becoming more acceptable.  In the news, we hear about people conquering cancer, diabetes, heart disease and immune disorders through ‘positive thinking’, a change in diet and a return to nature.

Hippocrates’ most famous lesson was, “Let food be thy medicine and  thy medicine be food”.  Another of his lessons is:  “Neither repletion, nor fasting, nor anything else, is good when more than natural.”  What is ‘natural’ differs among everyone—some have lower tolerance to viruses, some have higher metabolism, while others may fluctuate between the highs and lows.

The trick is in balancing the repletion, the fasting, and the ‘anything else’ between too little and too much.  Hippocrates was the first proponent of balance and moderation in maintaining health, and probably the first ‘diet doctor’ when he wrote: “Persons who are naturally very fat are apt to die earlier than those who are slender.”

He was also the first to observe the mind/body connection:  “Persons who have a painful affection in any part of the body, and are in a great measure sensible of the pain, are disordered in intellect”, and “In every disease it is a good sign when the patient’s intellect is sound, and he is disposed to take whatever food is offered to him; but the contrary is bad.”

One concept put forward by Hippocrates especially deserves our attention today:  the concept of ‘environmental influences’ on health—that is, weather, the seasons, and the climate in which a person lives.  Hippocrates believed:  “Of natures, some are well—or ill-adapted for summer, and some for winter.” and “In autumn, diseases are most acute, and most mortal, on the whole. The spring is most healthy, and least mortal”, and also “If the summer be dry and northerly and the autumn rainy and southerly, headaches occur in winter, with coughs, hoarsenesses, coryzae, and in some cases consumptions.”

Barometric pressure plays a large role in the way we feel throughout the year, as does too much damp or too much dry, too little sun or too much rain.  Of course today, we have other environmental issues unknown in 5th century Greece:  pollution, global warming, radiation, toxic metals, electro-magnetic frequencies, microwave radiation, pesticides and a host of other problems.)  What Would Hippocrates Do?

That’s just the outdoors.  We really spend a great deal of time indoors, so sometimes our worst environmental enemy can be a ‘sick building’.  In our homes, schools and workplaces, we have rampant bacteria and viruses being spun through forced air systems while the windows remain securely sealed. The majority of our exposure to light comes from fluorescent tubes, not sunlight.

Therefore, it is readily apparent that a healthy environment is a very important factor in our health, in addition to a healthy body, mind and spirit.  Hippocrates’ writings devote a great deal of space to environmental factors which also include a person’s locale: “We must consider, also, in which cases food is to be given once or twice a day, and in greater or smaller quantities, and at intervals. Something must be conceded to habit, to season, to country, and to age.”

Hippocrates wrote his Aphorisms as a legacy to be passed down to all those wishing to become knowledgeable in the healing arts.  Granted some of his techniques, such as bloodletting, are no longer considered standard procedures today (fortunately!); however, most of what Hippocrates has handed down is still applicable.  He addresses the spiritual part of the mind/body/spirit triad in his Oath, which opens with, “I swear by Apollo the physician, and Asclepius, and Hygeia and Panacea and all the gods and goddesses as my witnesses…”  He later promises, “In purity and according to divine law will I carry out my life and my art.”

Though the Aphorisms make little mention of the influences of spirituality upon health, his Oath obviously shows thought given to the influences of integrity, honesty and purity on the part of the physician.  Although it isn’t documented, it may be that Hippocrates knew about ‘transference’—the ability of the healer to transmit either positive or negative influences to the patient, thus affecting his/her treatment for better or worse.  In this view, it is much better for the physician to put forth a positive attitude.

The primary tenet of the Hippocratic Oath is “to do no harm”.   It is commonly believed that taking the Oath is a requirement for graduation from medical school, however, that is not the case.  A student can choose to include the Oath in the ceremony only if he/she wishes but it is not mandated.  It’s a sad statement, and a reflection on our times that healers can choose to disregard the Oath.

Dr. Jack Kervorkian comes to mind as one who bears the title ‘Dr.’ yet flaunts the part of the Oath that states “I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan…”  Another hot topic in health care, patient privacy was addressed by Hippocrates as well: “Whatever I see or hear in the lives of my patients, whether in connection with my professional practice or not, which ought not to be spoken of outside, I will keep secret, as considering all such things to be private.” Who would have thought that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was originally conceived of in the 5th century?  I guess today we could call this the “HIPAAcratic Oath.”  LOL.   😉

It is safe to say that the overwhelming popularity of alternative medicine and natural healing can be traced to the desire to return to simpler times–before the days of outrageously-priced invasive surgeries, prescription medications and HMO’s.   It may also be safe to say that the next big ‘shake-up’ for the health care industry will be the masses of people either flocking to naturopathic practitioners or simply staying home and treating themselves.

Prevention is an ugly word in the world of corporately-owned health care–it implies a decrease in visits and therefore revenue.  Natural and herbal remedies are anathema to the pharmaceutical industry.  It doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than fighting it, the health care industry could embrace the wave and allow itself to return to simpler times and milder treatment.  How could it get any simpler than ancient Greece?

 

References

Hippocrates of Cos (1849) Works:  Aphorisms.  (F. Adams, Trans.).   London:  University of Adelaide Library E-books Program.  (Original work published 5th century B. C. E.).  Retrieved February 19, 2006. http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/h/hippocrates/h7w/aphorism.html

National Institute of Health.  (2000)  Greek Medicine.  (M. North, Trans.)  National Library of Medicine:  History of Medicine Division.  Retrieved February 19, 2006.  http://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/greek/greek_oath.html