Critical Thinking and Your Health
To safely navigate modern food in stores and restaurants one absolutely must become an expert in critical thinking. Otherwise, how can you tell “organic” from “original,” “sugar” from “sweetener,” “real” from “natural,” and solve countless other tricky puzzles for the sake of your safety? You have to constantly remember that the food industry has stopped being your friend since the time of the industrial revolution and instead has turned into a business with an ever-growing arsenal of creative means to deceive its customers at the consumer’s own expense. As a result, the majority of us face enormous problems connected to every day eating.
The overwhelming majority of people today experience serious health problems. For example, 133 million Americans – almost 1 out of every 2 adults – has at least one chronic illness. 70 percent of Americans take prescription drugs, and over 35% of the people are obese. Based on available statistics, the number of totally healthy people in America seems to be rather insignificant. Yet, similar to all creatures on planet Earth, it is our birthright to be healthy. Could it be that we don’t spend enough money on our health? On the contrary, according to the World Health Organization, the United States spends almost $3 trillion a year. So, what is missing? Do we need to create more medicine? Maybe we are too busy? Or do we have to be more knowledgeable? How to solve this mysterious paradox?
While I am not a medical doctor and I cannot give medical advice, I have the right to share with other people my thoughts, observations, and concerns. I have been continuously and consciously researching natural health for over 20 years, and I have noticed a lot of discrepancies between real facts about human health and claims maid by food, drug, and medical industries. Based on my observations and research, I believe that most people can significantly improve their health by applying the principles of natural healing. Yet, it is only possible if we develop our critical thinking skills and start to think for ourselves. Otherwise, we can become dependent on others to decide for us. When we depend on others, in a sense we choose to stay blind. We blindly follow someone else’s instructions, perform actions that do not make much sense to us, and submit to the authority of others. When we do not think for ourselves, we give our power away to the food, drug, and medical industries, as well as to all of those who have a temptation to capitalize on our ignorance.
One time, my daughter Valya needed a wisdom tooth to be extracted. I offered to accompany her to the dental clinic. Valya asked my opinion on what type of anesthesia she should select. When I was in my twenties, I had all four of my wisdom teeth extracted with local anesthesia. I clearly remembered that it was a quick and easy procedure, after which I went straight back to work. Other members of my family also had a completely painless experience having their teeth extracted under the local anesthesia. Naturally, I recommended Valya to go for a local anesthesia. I assured her that it would be a quick, easy, and safe process, especially considering that the dentists at this clinic were specialized in tooth extractions. I advised my daughter not to worry at all.
On the day of her appointment we arrived at dental clinic. Valya was relaxed and fearless; she joyfully told me about her art projects. After we filled all the paperwork, the nurse invited us to a separate room, which was very white and cold. The nurse and Valya had the following conversation:
“So, you are going to do a general anesthesia now?”
“No,” Valya firmly replied, “I want local.”
“You are so brave!” the nurse looked surprised.
“Why?” Valya asked.
“Because it could be very uncomfortable and painful!” My daughter looked worried. The nurse continued, “you could possibly suffer from pain for several days, you will need to take strong painkillers.”
“Please don’t talk her into a general anesthesia, she has already made her decision,” I said.
“I just wanted the girl to know that it would be very painful,” the Nurse said firmly. “It is a complex procedure. Trust me, you don’t want to be awake for this.”
Then she left us alone in that cold room for about 30 minutes, and I noticed that my daughter was becoming nervous. I hugged her, “Valya, you won’t feel anything. I had my teeth extracted and it was not painful at all,” I reminded her.
Suddenly, the door opened and we saw the hospital corridor where the nurse was pushing a wheelchair with a teenage girl sleeping in it. The girl’s face was very pale and there was blood on her lips and chin. My daughter asked the nurse with trembling voice, “Is that how I will look after my tooth extraction?”
“No,” replied the nurse, “she had a general anesthesia.”
That was a bad thing for Valya to view right before her own surgery, but at this particular moment our nurse told my daughter to follow her. I saw my daughter’s wide-opened scared eyes and I didn’t have any time to give her my support. I went back to the waiting area. As I was waiting, more young people were constantly arriving for their wisdom teeth extractions. All of them chose “put under” as it was recommended.
Valya returned from the surgery with a smile. She told me that the doctors were excellent, and the operation was quick and easy, and that during the entire surgery she felt no pain at all. Not even a pinch. We drove home from that clinic, glad that it was all over.
Valya didn’t have to take any medication when the numbness was gone on that day as well as on the next days. In about a week her gums healed without any complications. The only pain she felt came from the memories of fear and pressure she felt from the nurse. Valya was saddened at how many young people were manipulated with the use of fear into a more expensive, uncomfortable, and possibly, more dangerous surgery.
In this story, young people didn’t have any way of knowing, which anesthesia would be less uncomfortable, and therefore they chose what was recommended by professionals. However, I often receive emails of approximately the following content: “I have been consuming the green smoothies for six months and I feel great. But yesterday I read on the Internet that green smoothie could be harmful in such and such way. Now I don’t know what to do. Please help!” I almost feel helpless and have hard time responding to these letters, because I realize that no matter how objective and logical my answers are, they might be overridden in a matter of days by the next well-written counter claim.
When you trust your own judgment, you can learn a lot about your health. For example, it is safer to fast for a week and to see for yourself how you feel than to follow someone’s recommendations without having any idea why. Through your own careful observations you have the ability to clearly see the results of your actions.
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