The old axiom “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” no longer holds entirely true in caring for our health. We are all looking for more accurate and safer ways to prevent illness. But to find them we’ll have to tackle a key driving force behind the current approach of excessive tests and screenings – i.e. the fear factor.
To tackle this factor we can’t continue in the same thinking that is creating the problem – “fixing humans” as if they were just pipes and plumbing. Rather, it will demand a more holistic approach to health in which the mental nature of fear is countered with a spiritual remedy.
Healthcare costs are rising in Canada, and not just because of our aging population. Canadians are undergoing more tests – and more unnecessary procedures – today than we did 20 years ago – with no obvious improvement in our health.
Our consumerism lifestyle, rapid technological innovation, and TV dramas such as House, have spawned a health care culture where the fear (both patient’s and doctor’s) of missing a diagnosis has put many a patient at risk of over diagnosis and overtreatment.
Canadian researcher, Alan Cassels, co-authored a book titled: Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease. The authors express a concern that many tests can lead to risks known as ‘false positive’ results that can lead to enormous anxiety, as well as invasive investigations, such as biopsies. They summarize that overtreatment is both financially costly and physically harmful.
If prevention steps are driven by fear, it’s tough to make good decisions. Fear of disease has been identified as something that can lead to the disease itself.
So, how can we tackle and perhaps eliminate the fear factor in caring for our health and well-being?
Here are some tips:
- take a permanent holiday from any media that is trying to sell you on sickness or on cures for things you don’t actually have;
- take up a practice of meditation or prayer – numerous studies show these lower stress and lighten anxiety;
- ask yourself and your doctor “do I really need that test?” Take caution if you sense that fear is influencing the response.
All of these will help. Still, there may be more needed to move away from fearful thinking to a sense of peace and comfort. I’ve found I can do this when I make the effort to be “spiritually connected.”
And, here are two more tips that can help you find this connection:
- consider and take to heart 1 John 4:18, where we learn that Love is the antidote to any fear – even of disease, or of missing something if we don’t get that latest test.
- acknowledge a relationship to this Love – it’s known by many different names – which replaces fear with a power greater than any disease.
As we gain a more divinely inspired sense of health and well-being, the fear of illness will diminish, reducing the need for excessive procedures and tests.
Looking for answers by being spiritually connected can be a fear-reducing, health-inducing step in the right direction.