DAY 355: The Wellness Concept

wellnessThis is a lengthy post, but it contains such simple, down to earth, easy to follow and yet such profound advice from a prominent medical doctor, that I wanted to share it with you.

Simple is always better!

Prof. B.M. Hegde wrote Chapter 49 in the book Holistic Wellness In The NewAge. He is an Indian medical scientist, educationist and author. He is the retired Vice Chancellor of the Manipal University and the head of the Manglore Chapter of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He has authored several books on medical practice and ethics. A recipient of numerous national and international awards including Dr. B. C. Roy National Award, Pride of India Award, Padmabhushan, he is also the Editor in Chief of a medical journal, “Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes”.

Here it is! Simple and profound.

“Human beings are not just their bodies; they have their all-pervading mind and their spirit. All three of them need to be kept healthy for total health and wellness. Usually it is not what one eats that kills her/him; it is what eats one (one’s negative thoughts) that kills. The best bet to keep good health is to have a healthy mind, which boils down to practicing universal compassion. To get into that state of mind (consciousness), Yoga and breathing techniques would help a lot. Yoga has very little to do with any religion and could be practiced by all.

To be healthy, one has to change (be the change) but can’t expect the world to change overnight. Therefore one could expect others to hurt us sometime. There again, the best antidote for hurt is to cultivate the greatest asset of forgiveness.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run, this earth shall belong to you my son, and… more, you shall be a MAN‘ wrote Rudyard Kipling years ago in his celebrated poem ‘IF’. This is the best health advice that I have been able to find in the Western literature.

Eating in moderation, the foods that please one, without too much change in the food quality from its natural state, would go a long way to help the immune system to keep the repair mechanism in excellent shape. Worrying about the micro-contents of the food is of lesser importance as long as one does not pick and choose foods according to the modern food fads and corporate advertisements.

Preserved foods are a curse. Let the food be as fresh as possible. Small frequent feeds keep the metabolism on even keel. Large meals at long intervals are not conducive to body physiology.

Each region, ethnic group and race has had its own food habits that kept mankind going for 50,000 generations. The food habits evolved over thousands of years, thanks to our ancestors’ observational research.

Modern nutrition does not have a strong foundation and the reductionist cohort studies being fed to the gullible masses lack the backing of good science. That is exactly the reason why we get conflicting advices now and then! If the Mediterranean diet is good for them in their habitat, it does not mean that it will be good for another race in another continent.

Meal times should be happy times and the family getting together at mealtime is the best bet to get benefit from foods.

The two enemies of human health are tobacco and alcohol, both of which must be kept at a distance.

Regular exercise, moderate in quantity, the best being a daily walk for an hour, would be the ideal tonic for the immune guard. Very heavy exercise might not be good for the system. The key word in every human endeavor should be moderation in everything one does. Extremes are always dangerous. Swimming is another excellent exercise but is not universally applicable and could be expensive to the majority.

There is no substitute for hard work as another good immune booster. If the hard work involves physical exertion additional regular exercise is not needed. The only qualification is that one should love one’s work to get the benefit. Hating one’s work and working under duress could destroy health.

Spirituality has very little to do with religion. Spirituality for good health is just sharing and caring! Sharing provokes the immune system and hating others depresses the same. A small child smiles 400-500 times in a day. If we take a lesson from that the world would be a better place to live. Natural smile releases so many healthy, bio-positive endorphins from the brain.”

Read it again, and again… and again.