From Sick Care To Health Care

By on September 19, 2014

I just watched a new Ted Talk today, and I was stunned at it’s vision and wisdom.

It was held by Rishi Manchanda, on the topic of how health care professionals need to be more “upstream” and focused on finding the root cause/causes of their patient’s diseases.

Simply prescribing pills won’t necessarily cure the patient in the long run.

He ends the talk with an appeal to “move from a sick care system to a health care system”. I thought that was a great way of summarizing the issue.

But my short description of the talk won’t do it justice – you really gotta see it for yourself below:

His speech got me thinking about meditation, and how we should also push for “upstream” healthcare professionals prescribing meditation as a treatment.

Why?

While there are numerous proven health benefits of meditation, one stands out in relation to disease: STRESS!

But this hasn’t always been the case, and it’s only recently been scientifically confirmed just how lethal stress can be.

In fact, three years ago there was still no evidence that stress is a direct cause of disease and health.

That was until a study was conducted at Carnegie Mellon University, and published in the spring of 2012. Science Daily reports:

“A research team led by Carnegie Mellon University’s Sheldon Cohen has found that chronic psychological stress is associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research shows for the first time that the effects of psychological stress on the body’s ability to regulate inflammation can promote the development and progression of disease.

“Inflammation is partly regulated by the hormone cortisol and when cortisol is not allowed to serve this function, inflammation can get out of control,” said Cohen, the Robert E. Doherty Professor of Psychology within CMU’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Cohen argued that prolonged stress alters the effectiveness of cortisol to regulate the inflammatory response because it decreases tissue sensitivity to the hormone. Specifically, immune cells become insensitive to cortisol’s regulatory effect. In turn, runaway inflammation is thought to promote the development and progression of many diseases.”

Disturbing news, and tells a lot about just how dangerous a stressful lifestyle may be. And not only in relation to how your body handles inflammation.

It can also lead to death by heart attack, as reported by The Telegraph:

“Stress triggers our so-called ‘fight or flight’ mechanism which sends a surge of adrenalin to help the heart pump harder and increase blood flow to enable the body to fight or run when encountering a perceived threat.

But new research suggests that stress also sends the immune system into overdrive, increasing white blood cells and worsening inflammation in the arteries.

And that can cause huge problems if arteries are already thickened with plaque.

When damaged arteries become more inflamed they produce lesions which can break away, leaving an open wound which blood platelets and clotting proteins rush to fill.

A clot can enlarge in a matter of moments and if it completely obstructs the artery, will cause a heart attack.”

Just the last two years there has also been numerous other studies on the subject, including one on the link between stress and cancer, and one on how stress can help trigger Alzheimer’s disease.

So it should go without saying that reduction of stress can cure a number of diseases – and as an added bonus increase our overall life quality.

And what is the best way we know to reduce stress?

Yes, you got it right! Meditation.

So make sure you keep up with your daily meditation routine – and if you haven’t started already I urge you to start today.

Your future self will thank you for it!

What was your biggest takeaway from Rishi Manchanda’s Ted Talk? Leave a comment below…

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