I found the recent passing of Jim Stynes heart-wrenching from a number of perspectives. There is the obvious tragedy of a young family losing a loving father, and of a community losing a philanthropist and leader, but it is another aspect of this story that I found particularly challenging.
This amazingly strong and determined individual undertook daily coffee enemas, drank his own urine (rich in nutrients apparently), meditated, exercised daily with the discipline of his sporting days, and ate a diet practically free from toxins and pollutants. And he coupled that with the best that Western medicine had to offer.
Jim Stynes’ ill-health conquered him despite the fact he exhausted every avenue he had under his control. What was heart-wrenching for me was the sheer futility of his battle. His choices were not enough to conquer the spreading cancer which makes his plight heroic, but it screams injustice.
This makes me think of a conversation I had with a client of mine today. This beloved client has been, and continues to be a walking billboard for our business, and has so far converted a number of her friends into becoming clients of ours also. Her quest continued on the weekend past, advising a friend who ‘suffers’ from type 2 diabetes and low back pain that he should seek our services. This would be an unlikely realisation, as her friend didn’t really want to spend the money, and was reticent to change.
Let me make this point clear- type 2 diabetes and low back pain are conditions of choice.
Unlike Jim Stynes fatal illness we have immense power and control over our experience of conditions such as these. Whether we continue to ‘suffer‘, is determined by the choices we make.
Take the first example- type 2 diabetes. This condition is a side-effect of lifestyle choices. Carrying excess weight around the mid-section, sedentary lifestyle, a diet rich in simple carbs and sugars and smoking; are all associated with the development of type 2 diabetes. Those risk factors are all well within our control. Yes genetics play a small role, but our genes only affect our succeptability, they do not condemn.
Diabetes dramatically increases our risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, blindness and limb amputation (due to compromised peripheral circulation). Our choices determine whether we experience one of more of those unpleasantries.
Now for low-back pain. For the vast majority of people experiencing low-back pain the root cause is simple dysfunction of the neuromuscular system. What this means in English is the muscles around the low-back and pelvis are not functioning the way they are supposed to. Some have switched off, some have dialled up and become tight.
We know if we can correct these dysfunctional patterns, we can greatly affect our experience of low-back pain. In many people’s defence, they may be completely unaware of this (and the traditional tendency towards disempowerment from the health industry may have contributed to this) so their choices would have been limited. But when a close friend is giving you a new option and you choose to ignore, you make sympathy for your plight a challenge.
Unfortunately accessability to services such as ours is limited because let’s be honest, we don’t exactly give ourselves away for free. It is a real shame that many people are not able to access health professionals to the extent they require, as their financial situation does not allow it.
But there are many choices we can make that do not cost anything- walking during our free time instead of sitting. Drinking water instead of coke. Sleeping instead of watching television. Choosing the formers over the latters will improve our health, and are free to choose.
If you want to take things a step further, and seek professional advice to help you rectify a condition of lifestyle and choice and you are weighing up the cost- rather than focusing on the dollar$, ask yourself, what do you value.