The Relationship between Our Health and Our Environment
By Dr. Margaret Cochran
The time to create a better relationship with your health is now. The earth is the macrocosm of each of its inhabitants, and when we live in accordance with nature, it is optimal for our mental, physical and spiritual health. When we fight nature, we pollute the planet, our minds and bodies. You, the individual and consumer, have the power to perpetuate healthy and sustainable changes in your own life and with the planet at large.
Join us at the Health Freedom Expo March 2-4, 2012 at the Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E. Ocean Blvd., Exhibit Hall A. The Expo offers 3 days of dynamic speaking programs with world-renowned doctors, practitioners & health experts; over 200 booths filled with cutting-edge products, knowledge and services; informative hot-topic panels and award-winning documentary. For more information, call (888) 658-EXPO or visit: healthfreedomexpo.com
Since the ‘industrial revolution’ manufacturing goods has ruled our economy. Our economic success has been driven by the lie that people and the environment are not our most valuable and precious assets. In fact, they are often considered mere impediments to making profits. So, if we manufacture a breakfast food that consists mostly of sugar and is an insulin-raising nightmare, it is OK because it results in profit. The end justifies the means... absolutely!
And with regard to consumer responsibility for the problem, we often throw up our hands and surrender to the marketplace because we are told that if we don’t, we will be jobless, poor and unable to feed our newly-created carbohydrate addiction!
Food is chemistry after all, our bodies are electrochemical entities and to say that food powerfully affects them is a gross understatement. There is an important psychological principal which the food manufacturing industry takes advantage of daily via advertising and promotional campaigns, and of which most people are consciously unaware, and it is: ‘food affects mood which drives mood to choose food.’
If you are feeling tired, anxious, sad or even happy you will be driven to either soothe or celebrate your mood with food, and as a food manufacturer, I want to be your ‘dealer.’ Like any good ‘dealer’ I am not the least bit concerned about what my drugs are doing to you, what effect manufacturing them may have had on the people who did so, or how any waste products produced may have harmed the planet.
For example I wrote an email recently to a major food manufacturer about the fact that they continue to put trans fats into products aimed at children, in spite of well-documented evidence of the danger to human health. I received a ‘form’ response explaining to me in a condescending manner that any negative health effects trans fats may cause “haven’t been prov-en . . .” This is a classic gambit that the tobacco industry used for many years and it is now the ‘go to’ defense when anyone does not want to deal with reality. It is called denial, and we are literally killing ourselves whenever we use it.
Bottom line, we are encouraged on a daily basis, from multiple sources — educational, political and industrial — just to name a few, to think we are living in a modern and progressive society. However, despite all our apparent sophistication and advancement we have vast quantities of toxins in our environment that are poisoning us and our planet.
We have created an economy largely based on human-made chemistry rather than naturally-occurring chemistry. Now in some cases that is a good thing as we have created medicines that can save lives — antibiotics are a good example of this. Some not-so-good examples are petroleum products and farming poisons. We are so attached to our petroleum products that we are literally destroying the earth to get at its last dregs of oil so we can create gasoline, a poison whose waste and by-products are known carcinogens.
And of course we must not leave out farming poisons like pesticides and herbicides. I suspect if someone approached you and said they were going to cover your fruits and vegetables and the land they were grown on with poison to facil-itate a maximum yield, you would probably say “No thank you!”
And, of course, that’s what non-organic farming looks like, and lots and lots of people eat non-organic food. Considered in the abstract, the idea of poisoning our food and the planet that sustains us would be a laughable idea, but it’s not abstract, it’s real, it’s happening now and it’s deadly!
The world used to be a very agrarian-based, garden- and farm-to-table world. However, as we have developed a more industrial culture we have increasingly adopted a mindset of ‘lethal separation.’ We close ourselves off from basic reasoning like cause and effect. We have repressed important concepts such as ‘you are what you eat’ or don’t eat.
We are also encouraged to forget to use one of our earliest acquired developmental milestones, that of ‘object permanence.’ Object permanence is the awareness that something that has existed, still exists, even if it’s out of our line of sight.
Or put another way, the trans fats in the canned frosting you are eating will get you a trip to the cardiologist in addition to a ticket for a four-vessel bypass operation. And, when we dump garbage in the ocean and don’t see it anymore, that does not mean it’s gone away.
Here’s the good news — you have power and lots of it that you can use to affect changes in your own life and the world. All those ‘good folks’ who want to make money and are doing so by poisoning you, watch what you purchase and what you don’t very carefully, and they’re not going to manufacture what you don’t buy!
So the key concept here is something I call ‘Whole Brain Thinking.’ Whole Brain Thinking is the cognitive skill of being able to think AND feel rather than think OR feel about your life choices. When using this skill you will not be swayed by fantastical claims, sales pitches and fear mongering. Beware of anyone who says they or their products are things you cannot live without. Be cautious around anyone who wants to tell you that there is only one answer to our political, economic and environmental problems... theirs.
There are a few basic and powerful steps that can improve your life, your health and the health of our planet more rap-idly than you might think: Eat whole organic unprocessed foods. Drink the purest water possible. Breathe deep relaxing breaths several times a day.
Move! Don’t sit so much. Turn off the electronics and let your brain rest. Use Whole Brain Thinking. And attend the Health Freedom Expo.
Dr. Cochran will speak at the Health Freedom Expo March 4 at 3pm in Room 103A.
Dr. Cochran is a transpersonal psychologist, licensed clinical social more than 30 years of experience. She works with her partner, board-certified family physician David J. Waggoner, MD, at Saratoga Family Health Center, where she takes a whole-person approach to health and wellness. Dr. Cochran is a columnist for The Huffington Post and a contributor to ABC-TV, No. California. She also hosts a radio program; Whole Brain Thinking: Wisdom, Love, Magic. Visit: www.sfhc.com and www.drcochran.org