About Prevention

In a previous post, I discussed how the Covid spread seemed to have brought a tsunami of confusion over the protocols to implement to build up a true, strong defense against the virus.

A few months have passed from then, winter is approaching, and again we see growing restrictions to our freedom, without a significant shift in the way medical intervention is applied.

For whoever is attentive to health issues, it is quite straightforward to be thinking about prevention, that is ‘how not to be affected by the virus‘.

What is prevention?

Prevention is a collection of actions, changes, care that we should get accustomed to grow our body stronger each day, to make it fast in its reaction to adversities, adaptable, and resistant. It is about the choice and quantity of food and drinks we take, the lifestyle patterns, the social relationships, our physical as well as mental wellbeing.

What steps have been made towards prevention in the UK?

If prevention is something we need to build up, if it is about foods, drinks, activities, social relationship, happiness, then it would be expected to have the medical system, the government, and the media to insist on the promotion of habits and practices to allow us to implement prevention successfully.

I have seen the BBC alerting us of the strategies made by fast-food businesses to tackle pandemic closures, but not to promote healthier eating in relation to the pandemic crisis. I have read articles about how happy should be British Citizens now that pubs have finally reopened (and now they are closing down again!). I am puzzled. At the time I was reading that news 1.924.000 deaths were reported for alcohol abuse worldwide and a growing incidence of deaths in UK for cancers to organs, directly in relationship with food intake (e.g. Bowels, Kidneys, Stomach). Prevention could reduce these numbers. Why not strongly promoting it?

I have not seen articles, videos, interviews with people teaching us prevention, care, preparation. I have seen videos bringing fear, reduction. of our freedoms, building towards a progressive seclusion and isolation.

What steps should we be taking to promote prevention?

I’d like to enumerate from the top of my head, the basic prevention steps, in line with a Naturopathic and Physiomedicalist understanding of the human being:

  • ‘clearing your pipes’: that is, make sure your bowels are healthy, tonic, and clean
  • progressively adjust your taste to healthier foods and drinks
  • establishing new healthy exercise routines
  • considering happiness, and the emotional life, as a factor for promoting wellbeing
  • considering air quality, and exposure to the sun
  • considering the quality of foods: organic, unprocessed, biodynamic

Anthroposophic Medicine practitioners -one of the earliest medical figures to try to integrate ‘mainstream’ medicine with complimentary practices-have published an interesting article about the need for an integrative approach to bring prevention against COVID. They say for example that prevention steps are:

  • Care of personal body warmth (exercise, nutrition, clothing)
  • Fostering mental and physical balance 
  • Stress reduction, especially reduction of screen media time; conscious handling of social conflicts
  • Care of vitality-promoting rhythms: regular meal times and meal breaks, healthy sleep rhythm, sufficient nightly sleep
  • Regular exercise in sunlight
  • Wholefood diet, freshly cooked food, (bitter) vegetables, fruits (vitamin C, etc.
  • Moderate consumption of sweets, restraint with alcohol, avoidance of nicotine

How close did I get, ah? So you can see that integrative medical practices carried on the teachings of the Naturopathy, Physiomedicalism, and Nature Cure, one hundred years after and counting. The basic prevention steps are for them too directed to save body resources, avoid stressing the bodily systems, and ensure rich resources are taken and stored.

We also have Plants and Medical Herbalism, that could come in support of this. For centuries the humans survived through nature and with nature. Plants contain processes that are inversely related to those in human beings (see this wonderful book by R. Hauschka), and for that reason are able to heal us, that is promote healing processes in our organism. In the right doses, they never disrupt our organism, as chemical drugs instead and as a rule do. It is like plants and herbal remedies sit naturally in our natural vital processes and integrate well.

These times of our should get us very interested in knowing plants with anti-viral properties (such asĀ Sambucus nigra, for example): they should become the subject of in-depth studies to see if and how they could be used in therapy.

In conclusion

I have just recently signed this petition (thanks to my friend Ros for sharing), which is criticising current Government policies in their approach to the pandemic crisis in regards to providing support for business and life. I welcomed such an initiative as we need a change of focus. The initiative wasn’t exclusively about prevention but clarified the necessity of a differentiated approach to healthcare.

Is our society flexible enough to allow for such a focus change as proposed by the above-mentioned petition? Are we open to integrative practices to take in the lessons from Nature (Herbal Medicine Tradition), as in China have already been doing

in an attempt to fight the virus with all the tools available? How can change be brought about in how we conceive health, medicine, government, relationships, and society?

Until the next time, happy prevention!

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