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Sisters' tale shows importance of choice

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Dr. Mark Kestner

I had a preliminary consultation with a gentleman seeking acupuncture for a specific health condition a few months ago.

As I engaged him in conversation, it became apparent that he had developed the condition over time.

Unfortunately, his lifestyle of being sedentary and making poor food choices over many years had contributed to the development of the condition.

He was now in a poor health situation and desperately searching for any answer that sounded promising.

I explained that I did not have a magic needle for him. No treatment was going to make his problem magically disappear.

As I talked to him, we discussed a strategy of a combination of treatment and home activities that would help him turn his situation around during the next few months.

He realized the truth of the matter and began to work with me. Through disciplined effort on his part, within a few months he had made tremendous progress toward restoring his health. A year later he felt 10 years younger.

Only a very fortunate few are able to live well into their 50s and beyond without paying special attention to their health. Most people must live very intentionally if they want to feel vibrant and active in their 60s, 70s and 80s.

As one patient commented, “After 50, it is patch, patch, patch!”

Most logical people realize that death does not strike after one cigarette, but a lifetime of smoking steals years from a normal life. Likewise, one week of making poor activity and eating choices does not kill us, but certainly a lifetime of eating poorly and being sedentary leads to certain obesity and likely diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

A recent news article commented on the stunning growth in the amount of narcotic pain medication that is being dispensed to Americans. In the same week news articles appeared about the alarming increase of obesity and diabetes in America.

The solution for individuals to protect their health is to be extremely proactive.

I recently had a conversation with a very healthy patient that I will refer to as Lily. Lily had visited her sister for a week and returned with a story of sharp contrast.

Lily is a long-time vegetarian and is very proactive about taking care of her health.

She loves to cook and takes a keen interest in finding new recipes that include healthy food selections. She also includes reasonable activities in her life. She spends some time in relaxing activities routinely. She is attentive to her spiritual needs as well. In all, being proactive about her health and living a well balanced life are obviously important to her.

Meanwhile, when she visited the home of her sister, she was dismayed to see vegetables simply did not exist in their natural, fresh state within the home. In the cupboard there were a few cans of vegetables, but they were hidden among the “box-o-meals” that contained various forms of pasta with long lists of chemical additives.

When her sister prepared a meal, it was invariably some box of artificially flavored pasta with ground meat added in. Lily’s sister had a false sense of assurance that her children were eating well because the packages boasted that the foods were fortified with vitamins.

Lily’s sister is five years younger, but already has several serious chronic health conditions.

Likewise, Lily’s brother-in-law also deals with chronic health conditions that could have been prevented by better choices.

Lily told me that they went for walks several times during the visit and the sister and her husband would be winded and need to rest after several minutes.

It was so obvious to Lily that the contrasting choices in lifestyles had led to different health pictures.

There is no better time to start being proactive about lifestyle choices than now.

Tagged under  Health, Health Care, Living Well, Mark Kestner, Murfreesboro, Voices

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