What The Healthscape Podcast Is All About
Rather than focusing on disease states, Healthscape is more concerned about what you can do to improve your health resilience if you happen to be disease-free, and if you do have a chronic physical or mental condition, how you can add value and maximize the other treatments that you already may be receiving. This can be achieved by paying attention to your focus and environments, external and internal (physiology, mental state) and working on your daily behaviors and thinking patterns.
In western orthodox medicine, we generally do well with the treatment of acute, or sudden onset diseases, like asthma or a heart attack, surgical conditions like appendicitis, trauma, and infections for which we happen to have effective anti-microbials. Chronic disease outcomes, on the other hand, are often way less favorable, and sometimes frankly poor. Part of the problem for this is that most medical treatment is dominated by medication, while there is still a lot else that someone can do to optimize their situation and to effect recovery.
Over the years, there have been several landmark discoveries in biology. These include Cell theory, Darwinian natural selection theory, and the discovery and decoding of DNA. A relatively more recent, but important subcategory is Epigenetics, which refers to how other factors can change the way that our genes are expressed, without changing the DNA sequence. These factors may be related to disease, aging, environmental changes, and lifestyle changes.
The important point here is that this vital information requires a whole mindset change, in that we now no longer need to feel that out genetic makeup alone determines our outcomes, but that other factors also play a key part. Along with this, there are a group of health-associated behaviors, thinking patterns, internal and external environments and areas of focus that are essential for good health as well as recovery in chronic physical and mental disease. Clearly, we cannot just assume that these helpful and healthful behaviors are all epigenetic, as associations are way more easily made, while proving causality requires robust investigation, and far more work and evidence.
To remain healthy, we firstly need to be mindful. Mindful that we have made a commitment that requires daily effort. No surprise here, as whatever we may turn our mind to invariably requires constant effort. Whether it is to be a happy or a good person, we must think, position ourselves and behave in ways that will make us makes happy or good. A good person isn’t simply the driver and agent of good thoughts, words, and deeds; it is rather that these activities over time confer goodness upon the person and qualifies them as such. Cutting to the chase, it all starts with the work.
Too many who listen to this hear ‘toil’ instead of work. Whenever we start something new, we meet with at least some resistance or inertia, making it challenging at first. Moving to something where there previously wasn’t anything, or very little, is rarely easy. An analogy from physics is that static friction is way greater than sliding (moving) friction, requiring more energy to overcome it.
However, the good news is that with time and the accumulation of many small advantages, sound diligence is more easily accomplished, rather than requiring more or even the same effort. This applies whether you are trying to maintain your already good health and resilience or moving to a better place when ill with chronic physical or mental disease. By exercising healthful self-help techniques to maximize your overall treatment plan, you can secure or at least improve your health outcomes.
(This article was written by Dr. Trevor Campbell, host of Healthscape on the Health and Wellness channel of Voice America. He is a chronic pain consultant and expert in bio-psychosocial approaches to chronic pain. He is also author of The Language of Pain, a self-help book for those with chronic pain and their caregivers).
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