In the news clip on the radio yesterday morning, I heard them saying that the Conservative MP, Dr Phillip Lee, is suggesting that people start to foot some of the bill for their health care when their disease is caused by their life style. This immediately got me into an extremely good mood. Hurrah! For quite some time I have felt that the NHS, free for all of us, makes us lazy or complacent when it comes to looking after ourselves. I think it crazy that no matter how much we abuse ourselves, the NHS picks up the bill; from the obvious drinking too much, smoking or taking drugs right through to neglecting to get enough sleep regularly, or treating food as a refuelling time, stuffing any easy to chew fodder down the cake hole. Free treatment is accepted without question. No doubt there will be people banging on about to make us pay for the drugs to help us cope with our self-inflicted ill-health is an infringement of our rights.
Life is made of choices. Of course we can smoke 60 a day – or 5 day. Of course we can neck down a bottle of wine a night. Of course we can say sleep is for sissies and that Mrs Thatcher survived on 4 hours a night. Of course we can happily boast that we live on toast, jam and coffee and feel fabulous. But all the choices we make on a day to day basis about how we are living, and what we are eating will have long term consequences on our health. And when the modern diseases from our lifestyle come home, we can then play the blame game:
- Getting older.
- Its genetic.
- We can’t help getting cancer.
- It was a misdiagnosis.
We have staggeringly resilient bodies. But they perform better with proper TLC, and as a result, these days, we age much too quickly. Our energy levels sink much too fast. Dr Lee commented that the older generation are much more stoic than the younger ones – they put up with pain and discomfort. Excellent point – but by taking different decisions about how we are leading our lives leads to much less pain and discomfort as we age – but it also leads to daring to stand apart from the crowd. Sums up my clients rather well.
The absolute assurance that the NHS will pick us up leads to people not asking the ‘Why’ question.
- Why do I feel tired all the time?
- Why do I take so long to recover from colds?
- Why am I craving biscuits?
- Why am I not exercising?
- Why do I have spots?
- Why are my nails weak/is my hair falling out?
- Why can’t I sleep properly?
The list of why questions is enormous – simple symptoms that are apparently minor, but finding the right answers leads to huge leaps in energy and vitality – and a longer, active life. As things stand, if these symptoms cause us enough concern, we trot off to the bankrupt NHS and are given pills to suppress the problem, such is the power of the pharmaceutical companies. We really aren’t better. Yes, if we have another long running cold, a course of anti-biotics cures it. But why did the cold last so very long? Why couldn’t we fight it off ourselves in a couple of days? Why did we catch the cold in the first place?
Why I am so excited by Dr Lee poking us all with a big stick is that if, in some way people, do have to pay for their health – or at least are told how much they cost the NHS that year – some people will wake up and start the long hunt for a better way. Excellent health is not cheap, which breaks my heart, since some really can never afford it. But everybody can help themselves in some way. And a financial consequence to what we are doing to ourselves is a first rate way to stop all this complacency.