Prevention versus Treatment
The primary approach to health is the deliberate and conscious prevention of illness and disease. Prevention is about maintaining and continually improving health. This is far more preferable to treatment, which is about attempting to regain health after it has failed and the person has become weakened and damaged
Secondarily to this, on those rare occasions when prevention is not enough, treatment of illness comes into play. This is the natural order of health. If this distinction is not appreciated, and the priority reversed, then serious breakdowns in health can be expected.
Disadvantages of Treatment:
- 1. Treatment often means we have lost the ability to help ourselves, and have become invalids and now need to put another in charge of our health.
- 2. Treatment is often slow, painful, highly time-consuming, and can be extremely expensive, even to the point of bankrupting the family of the patient.
- 3. Treatment is becoming ever more expensive and is beyond the reach of many, as well as a serious drain on our economy. Hospital wards are closing down because they are too costly to run, even as waiting lists are getting longer. Australia has a chronic doctor shortage and this is more exaggerated in remote Australia.
- 4. Treatment can often be drastically invasive, as in surgery; or permanently disabling, such as in amputation, which may happen to a person with diabetes, for example.
- 5. Sometimes, a cure may not be possible, and the best that can be hoped for is to try to manage the disease, and prevent or slow further deterioration. The patient never actually gets better, and the additional strain on the body will usually shorten the patient’s lifespan.
- 6. Sometimes containing level of disease may not be possible, and the patient continues to deteriorate, living an increasingly incapacitated and tortured life, and eventually die of the illness.
- 7. The overuse of prescribed drugs and antibiotics have bred resistant bacteria and created super viruses, making many diseases increasingly more difficult to cure.
- 8. Many old diseases, previously thought to have been eliminated, are now reappearing in more virulent strains that no longer respond to treatment, eg Tuberculosis.
- 9. Often, other diseases will manifest as side effects, complicating of the treatment program, and may be even more debilitating than the original problem.
Advantages of Prevention
- Prevention focuses on building strength and resilience. This raises the levels of immunity, which prevents diseases from occurring, and enables the system to throw off existing diseases.
- Prevention ensures a high level of vigour and vitality and increases longevity, so that the person is more comfortable, able, energetic and effective throughout his or her personal life.
- Prevention is inexpensive, and can be as simple as living a healthy life through eating natural, wholesome food and practicing healthy living habits.
- Prevention is easily done by and for oneself, and is self-empowering. It is a valid part of taking charge of our own lives.
- Prevention is about being ahead of the problem so that it cannot occur – pro-active; treatment occurs only after somebody’s health has already deteriorated – reactive.
- Prevention eliminates, or vastly reduces the need for treatment, and methods are usually the best cure of existing illnesses. The very things necessary for prevention, are also those that would also best heal and cure an existing disease.
- Prevention is harmless, painless and problem free.
One does not have to wait for a return to health, or to finish a course of prescribed medicine, before practicing preventative medicine. Preventative medicine will not interfere, but instead assist the effectiveness of any prescribed medicines.
Nutrition and Hygiene
There are two major factors to Preventative Medicine. These are hygiene and nutrition.
Hygiene is aimed at avoiding biological infections. Infections generally originate from outside the body and invade some part of the human physical constitution that is weak and vulnerable, usually via the mouth or skin. Hygiene seeks to prevent infections by eliminating the external source of the disease.
Nutrition deals with promoting health through raising vitality, inducing vigour, resistance, strength and resilience, which heal and nourish the body. A healthy body has far greater resistance to contracting diseases, and is better able to fight diseases that do occur.
The western medical system has great concern about biological infections. It focuses primarily on hygiene as a preventative measure, and takes a lesser interest in nutritional matters. We seek to make our cities, our homes and our hospitals as sterile and free from disease as possible. The same approach is made with food. As long as our food is free from disease-causing bacteria, we are relatively unconcerned about whether the nutritional content has been lowered, or whether it contains harmful chemicals, such as preservatives, food colourings, etc.
The real problem we are dealing with is how to produce healthy people. A healthy person enjoys a higher level of vitality that helps to protect him or her from diseases. Instead of promoting vigour and vitality to assist people to maintain or regain health, our medical system has been trying to prevent some already very unhealthy people from contracting diseases, which is often a futile gesture because diseases thrive in weak, unhealthy and toxic environments. We need to focus far more on promoting the good health of Aboriginal people.
The greatest reasons for the failing health of Aborigines are:
- the impoverished and adulterated nature of the processed food they eat,
- enforced, inappropriate, unhygienic living conditions,
- a non-natural, chemical medical system,
- lack of relevant education on the real issues.
The ideal foods are those that:
- are rich in the nutrients we need,
- can be digested easily by the stomach,
- can be assimilate fully by the intestines,
- do not contain harmful chemicals or bacteria,
- wastes can be eliminated without difficulty by the bowel.
Very few processed foods meet these criteria, except ensuring foods are free from harmful bacteria, and herein lies much of the problem