As a business owner your health is paramount, take steps and take care to “Heal Thyself”
Editors note: Part I of an ongoing series on health and wellness by Dr. Eduardo Montaña, MD, MPH, MBA
Ancient scholars implored their young apprentices of the physical sciences to acknowledge the holistic nature of true health that incorporates not only one’s physical health, but emotional, spiritual, environmental and social health intimately binding all humans.
Today with our busy lives and numerous tools that allow us to monitor our nutrition, physical activity and general health it can be easy to pass responsibility for our health to a fancy app. However, the sage advice from the Book of Luke (KJV), “Physician, Health Thyself”, written to students of medicine in ancient Greece by Hippocrates still holds true today. True balanced health is achieved with one’s self-awareness and intimate knowledge of the bodily needs, functions and idiosyncrasies
Good Health Requires Personal Responsibility
It has been postulated, that “Life Force” (Latin; Anima-Vi) is the milieu in which all animate species, whether human, animal, plant or insect coexist and interact in a living galaxy of determinant factors and outcomes of health. The Darwinian notion of “survival of the fittest” serves to further define the simultaneous symbiotic and adversarial nature of these relationships and challenges human species confront during our quest on planet earth.
21st century Homo Sapiens (Latin for “Wise Man”) preserves functional DNA from our ancestors, Homo sapiens idaltu (Latin “elder wise man”) that can be traced back almost half a million years B.C. Ancient man’s dependence on hunting and gathering and on self-preservation allowed our species to not only survive but thrive in hostile environments. How has modern man been faring? The lives of modern Homo Sapiens is in the evolving American Megalopolis, whose profound impact on human health, wellbeing and stability could not have been fathomed by the ancient Greek scholars of medicine and physical sciences.
Consider a typical 24 Hour day in a Homo Sapiens Megalopolis’ existence. Diurnal rhythms meant to establish a consistent “sleep-wake” cycle critical for physiologic regeneration (typically 8 hours deep sleep) are non-existent in the majority of busy professional’s lives. Long forgotten are the physiologic cues evolution provided humans imparting a deep sensibility to their physical state. Our ability to recognize and act upon physical threats utilizing our innate primitive “fright and flight” response has been dulled.
Replaced by an array of programmed digital alerts, pings, and synchronous sequential LED flashes, our ability to sense and interpret our body’s physiologic cues has diminished. Conveniently humans have created these ever-present distractions, known euphemistically as our “personal digital assistants”, technology that seduces and extinguishes our true human nature. Simultaneously, our dependence on chemicals, both legal and illegal including psychotropics, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiolytics, anti-depressives, stimulants and a host of sedatives has exploded globally in a self-sustaining cycle from which “Big Pharma” profits handsomely.
Continuous Work Cycles and Diminished Health
Eyes wide open and walking science fiction “automatron” may be an exaggeration, nevertheless, every day our lives are about plugging in, turning on and tuning out. We are living in the midst of the continuous work cycle and instantaneous endless information overload, which undoubtedly has improved many aspects of our lives while at the same time diminished others critically. As a result, we have less leisure time, lower levels of perceived fulfillment and a constant sense of running out of time, causing physical and emotional battle fatigue and deteriorating quality of life for many. Work productivity has not provided us the promise of greater independence and financial freedom and for many relationships and marriages have paid the price.
Human’s progressive inability to harness the God given gift of self-awareness allowing them to “Heal Thyself” naturally has been surpassed by the age of mindless consumerism and big data. The multi-billion dollar “lifestyle” market of self-help products, goods and services is a deep abyss of turbulent information flows and ebbs, that which Sergey Brin, founder of Google himself coined the “cesspool of knowledge”.
Despite highly advanced health information technology, diagnostic medical imaging, and innovation in medical treatments and procedures, the “health” of humans globally, especially in the developed western Megalopolis is threatened. Globally, “Lifestyle” diseases and comorbid medical conditions have reached epidemic proportions with childhood and adult obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, metabolic derangements, premature cardiovascular disease and decreased life expectancy being realized in our most vulnerable populations. Mental and Behavioral Health disorders, including ADHD, depression, suicide, anxiety/panic disorders and personality disorders are exponentially diagnosed.
Human’s inability to find true integrated health appears to the health professional to not even be a goal worthy of cocktail banter among friends, certainly not as sexy as one’s net worth or horsepower of our latest sports car. Lest we mistakenly draw the conclusion that truly integrated health and professional success are mutually exclusive, one must examine past, current and future trends in the health and wellness space.