The hidden resistance against staying healthy
by Dr Patrick Quanten MD
The balance of health is constantly attacked by a whole series of influences, the great majority of which we bring upon ourselves. In recognition of this there is a growing movement towards taking more responsibility for our own health as opposed to relying on others "to make us better".
In general there are four groups of negative influences that destroy our life:
1. Diet and lifestyle inappropriate to your constitution
2. Depleted life energy
3. Production and/or accumulation of toxins in the body
4. Traumas (bereavements, accidents, sudden life changes, surgery, crime . . .)
Of these the first three are influences that we can control ourselves, and should. It is worthwhile asking the question why we carry on harming ourselves even when we know what damage we are doing. What is the attraction?
A major factor is the inability to change, to overcome the pain of change. But why should a change towards health be so painful? Because we disturb the balance that body and mind has created, for better or for worse it is a balance.
Any habit which you cannot break without seriously damaging your body, mind or spirit is an addiction.
The society we live in craves intensity. Life is no longer subtle, flowing gently with the stream of the seasons, guided by the changing light of day and night. Instead we have chosen to be intense, to try and bounce from one thrill into the next, preferably without taking a breath - because the experience is so breath taking. We are pushed to taste new and exciting thrills all the time, never satisfied with any of them. Careers, leisure, relationships, all are suffering from this craving for higher intensity thrills. The nature of these "necessary" thrills is as diverse as people themselves. Anything from music, works of art, films, ballets, books, sports events, parades, perfumes, food, gambling, exercise, to sex can become the great provider of "the thrill of a lifetime", not just once, but all the time. Anything that overwhelms you with a sense of tingling excitement is a potential source of addiction.
In order to provide these thrills on a physical level our body produces brain chemical molecules that allow us to experience the exhilarating effects. By searching and craving for more and stronger thrills we start to exhaust the production of these chemicals and our body can no longer provide the natural satisfying effects of the required thrill. At this point we are starting to look for help; an external source that will allow the brain to equal and surpass the previous level. We will start to use drugs and food to help us satisfy our cravings. We use them as a crutch and after a short while we become dependent upon them because we can no longer satisfy our needs without them. We are dependent upon external sources to survive in that way. The body establishes a balance of life with the crutch and from here on whenever that crutch is taken away you will suffer, feel unwell and out of balance.
This is the main reason why humans frequently become habituated to foods which do not agree with them. We crave them because of the intoxicating effect they have. The actual food items differ from sugars, to meat, hot spices and heavy fatty foods depending on your constitution. The majority of people prefer to perpetuate the old idiosyncrasies and personality traits, using for instance foods that affect the consciousness that way, instead of improving life with a balanced diet according to their constitution.
We are addicted!
Diet and lifestyle is used to feed the need for stronger thrills. This addiction leads to depletion of life energy and the build up of toxins in the body. Illness is soon to follow. There is no escape. Or is there?
The only way out is to break the addiction habit. This seems fairly obvious when we talk about drug abuse, alcohol abuse, smoking, etc. but are we readily prepared to recognise all our other addictions. How easy is it to see that your addiction to ballet, or reading the news, or watching football is damaging your health? No habit by itself is an addiction, only when "you cannot break the habit without seriously damaging your body, mind or spirit" does it become an addiction. Just as the alcoholic says "I can stop any time, but why should I", so do we use the same excuse for any other addiction. Prove to yourself that a habit is not an addiction by stopping the habit. If you feel awful, if you are stressed, if you are irritable or physically not feeling well, you have just discovered an addiction. And just as the alcoholic knows that as soon as he takes another drink he will feel a lot better, so do you know that repeating the habit will take away your pain and will "make you feel all right".
Any habit can become an addiction unless you are extremely careful. I find it helpful to take note of anything that has become a habit and allow it to be changed without resentment or even arguing with myself. So called good or healthy habits should be no exception. Eating habits are a major cause of addiction (obsessive vegetarianism, raw food diet, macrobiotics, food combining diets, etc). Learn to relax and enjoy the change, I promise you you won't die. Exercise programs and other health programs can easily become a source of obsession. Break the habit for the sake of long term health. Be flexible, don't introduce a regime of guilt and punishment.
Openly and honestly observe your routines and allow them to be flexible and changeable to prevent addiction, the secret enemy of long term health.
Dr Patrick Quanten MD