We live in a health conscious world. And indeed, it is people who are most aware and concerned about their health that often end up seeking medical interventions. But is medical intervention always the best thing? Modern medicine has come up with many different solutions, even cures, for maladies that may once have been detrimental. But is medicine really the answer to health and longevity? Ask yourself a philosophical question: should mankind really develop cures to everything?
Lets take your annual check-up for example. While benchmarks in blood test values come from a general portion of the population, there are many individual differences in people for which benchmarks do not account. Take Cholesterol for example, a well-known substance that is feared and abhorred by most consumers. Many people after 50 are already on some kind of cholesterol lowering drug, like Lipitor (Atorvastatin). While drugs may be able to lower cholesterol. it does not mean that it it beneficial for everyone to take them.
In fact, many studies show that low cholesterol may lead to a variety of chronic diseases, such as an increase in the occurrence of Alzheimer's and Dementia. If you really do your research, the human brain is about 70% fat, and around 20% of that fat is made up of cholesterol! So when you have chronically low levels of this substance, is it any wonder that brain function starts to deteriorate?
Then there are the side effects of drugs. Statins, a very pervasive class of cholesterol drugs, have been shown in many studies to cause increased joint pain, muscle pain, weight gain, and memory loss. One long term study even reports the incidence of diabetes in post-menopausal women who take statins to be over 70% higher than those who are not taking the drug.
Thomas Malthus, scholar and contemporary of Charles Darwin, was famously quoted as saying that disease is but nature's way of controlling the population. And in a way I agree. Not all diseases are disasters. Sometimes, disease is merely a way of nature making the body stronger. Because if you think about it, curing humans of all disease and illness takes away the fundamental balance and harmony of nature. What will we do when there is over-population and limited resources? What will we do when the genetic health and immunity of our future generations are affected when genes get passed on that would have been eliminated from the population otherwise?
The Buddhists say that sickness is not necessarily evil. Sickness can often people to better understand their own bodies. After sickness, people tend to be more careful with their bodies, thereby avoiding greater, unknown potential diseases. And so, how you perceive your own health, and how you respond and recover after illness all comes down to your own mentality.
Chinese Medicine looks to nature for most solutions. Because in observing nature, observing the balance and harmony of life, we discover the way of healing. That's one of the tenants that sets Chinese Medicine apart, and what makes it a better alternative for many, especially more chronic diseases. In the end, the aim of Chinese Medicine is not to cure, but to balance, and allow the harmony of nature to take over.