Mother Theresa, when asked if she would march against the war, refused. Although, when asked to march for peace, she gladly accepted. For to be “for something” is empowering.
In light of the recent hysteria surrounding this year’s pandemic, I am reminded of Mother Theresa. What we focus on matters. How we perceive our surroundings matters. Do we see friends or enemies? Hate or love? Disease or health?
Pathogenesis is the study of the origins of disease, while, on the contrary, Salutogenesis is the study of health and its origins. If we focus on disease, we must work backwards to try to find a solution to a problem, and then remove the perceived problem. This is the approach of western medicine. However, an alternative to this is the focus on health and what our bodies need to be healthy. If we focus on health, we can provide our body with the ground floor materials to promote the best expression of life. What this looks like is simple: it’s keeping our environment pure and providing sufficiency in terms of the essential ingredients or nutrients that our ecosystem needs to function at its best, express life and be able to freely adapt and respond to the environment.
Even though the concept is simple, the application is difficult because there is no accurate measure for health. All the measures we have in our current model addresses ways we can measure sickness, disease or pathogenesis. X rays, MRI, CT scans, bloodwork…they are function to determine if we are in a dis-ease state or not. The problem with these measures is that our health is a continuum. Our bodies are continually adapting to its environment and the ingredients we provide it, and in doing so, can either move towards health or away from it. So, you don’t magically have diabetes the moment your fasting blood sugars are measured at 126 mg/dL. You were moving in that direction for potentially years prior your diagnosis, moving away from health. Your body was in a dis-ease state already prior to being diagnosed with disease.
So, health is a continuum. What we choose to do daily either moves us toward dis-ease in the body or away from it and so, health, like life, ebbs and flows according to how pure our environment is and how sufficiently we supply our bodies with what it needs to be healthy. The bottom line is our bodies should always be able to adapt to its circumstances. This is the key. What we focus on matters. If we are focused only on the disease state of our bodies, or the pathogenesis, we are blinded to the ability to move towards health. When we focus on health, or salutogenesis, we can address the dis-ease that occurs in the body and prevent us from entering the disease state.
This is where the problem lies. Like it or not, health requires personal responsibility. Health is a daily, if not minute by minute choice. It is our personal responsibility to take care of the body that God created for us. Everything we do; the foods we eat-are they organic, green harvested, soil deficient, the products we use in our home and on our bodies, how we move our bodies or not move our bodies, how we think- is it positive or negative, how much technology are we exposed to, how many toxins are in our environment,how we handle stress, if we forgive others, are we healing our trauma; it all matters in terms of our health continuum. And so, moving towards health requires personal responsibility.
I see a future of humanity. Those that focus on health and salutogenesis and those who focus on disease and pathogenesis. The picture is vastly different. And Mother Theresa said it best. If we focus on pathogenesis, we remove human choice and thus, are left victims to our circumstances. Our health is left in someone else’s hands whom we are powerless to. We are disempowered.
Today, I choose health. I choose to focus on salutogenesis. I do what I can, in my power, to improve the health of myself and my family. It’s my personal responsibility, not only for me, but for my children and their children ever after and also, for our earth! I choose to fulfill the purposes that God created me to do in this world. For without health, I cannot share truth, I cannot enjoy my family, I cannot create memories I choose to have. I become a victim, disempowered, hopeless. Instead, I choose empowerment. I choose to march “for something” and not “against”. I choose to no longer be a victim of circumstance. I choose health.
So, I ask you today to join me and change your focus. From fear to faith. From being disempowered to taking power into your own hands. Let’s march together.
Dr Tiffany Leonida