The Whole Person Blog: Week Two, Day Six, Part 1/2 - The causes of health
Interview with Dr. Mario Martinez
Friday, January 10th, 2020
Our culture has developed a very narrow view of what it means to be healthy, where it's often seen as an absence of disease. This scarce mentality causes us to settle for any condition beyond living in survival mode. Of course, this all comes back to how our culture measures success, which is what we do, what we have, and what people say about us. Health, for all intents and purposes, is an afterthought for most. Our body is nothing more than mere transportation for our brain. So long as we're not symptomatic, we're OK. I once worked with a man who was more than one hundred pounds overweight that considered himself healthy because he had not been diagnosed with any controllable diseases, such as hypertension, diabetes, or high cholesterol. There was nothing wrong with him either; he's purely a byproduct of cultural conditioning.
"Neuroscientific research has mostly focused on how the brain behaves when it has been damaged. Consequently, we have extensive knowledge of how pathology and trauma to specific areas of the brain affect behavior, but much less is known about what the brain can achieve when it's healthy. This reductionistic approach limits our understanding of the complexity and plasticity of the healthy brain. Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) research is almost exclusively concerned with the effects of stress and inflammation, and not the causes of health. The causes of health, the things that enhance our immune function range from assertiveness, to forgiveness, righteous anger, setting boundaries, engaging rituals, generosity, and practicing compassion, empathy, and gratitude."
Since learning about the causes of health, my view of it has extended far beyond the physical realm. Nowadays, I see health as happiness expressed. If someone is living a life that makes them happy, they are, by default, healthy. Happy people are healthy people, not the other way around. People often ask, so if I want to eat ice cream, stop exercising, and not go to work because it makes me happy, then that's OK? To which my response is, if that's how infinite peaceful, loving joy wants to express itself in your life, then sure, but my sense is you're selling yourself short. What it means to be happy is to recognize your freedom. Permitting ourselves to exercise our free will is what I've experientially discovered as another cause of health, which is doing what we want to do, and not doing what we don't want to do. Otherwise, without choice, we lose agency, our happiness fades, and our health follows.
"My argument is against those who profit from the misery of others by selling chemicals that can be accessed from within." Dr. Mario Martinez