submitted by George Poulos on 26.05.2004
by Dr Archie Kalokerinos, Bingara, N.S.W.
(Dr Kalokerinos, now in general practice, was for many years health advisor to the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee in Canberra and previous to that was Medical Superintendent, Collarenebri District Hospital. He is best known for his work in preventing infant mortality and is author of the book Every Second Child [1974, Thomas Nelson].)
TO be healthy and to live a long time is the aim of nearly every person. Unfortunately) few achieve it and the reasons why need careful consideration. Obviously, many factors are involved in the maintenance of good health.
We could begin by listing genetic factors, physical fitness, the environment, psychology, diet and lifestyle. Deliberately I have omitted physicians, medications and hospitals because it is becoming painfully obvious to practitioners that their impact is remarkably small and has practically no beneficial effect on community health. Yet, in our modern society, the vast bulk of effort and expenditure goes towards physicians, hospitals and medications. As technology increases, demand for services increases and it is probable that, unless a brake is applied, our society could spend half its national income in a futile effort to buy health. Health cannot be bought.
Human nature is such that the average individual is loath to work for good health. He wants a magical prescription, an operation, an all-powerful physician or some electronic marvel that will provide answers for everything. For example, most people would prefer that lung cancer had no connection with smoking and could be easily controlled by "medical science" with "miracle" drugs. A doctor who advocates sensible preventive measures usually loses such patients to another doctor with a ready prescription pad.
Physical fitness, attention to the environment, relaxed psychology, correct diet and lifestyles are the key factors to good health. A few individuals may be genetically strong enough to ignore most of these and still remain healthy for a long time, but the average person must obey the rules--or suffer. To become a functionless mass of distorted body parts is not an accident, it results from a bad lifestyle unknowingly, or perhaps knowingly, followed habitually for years.
Diet correction is where we need to begin in the search for longevity. Over the years fads have emerged. Most have good points; most are illogical in that they consider factors out of perspective. For optimum physical fitness we must go back to how "nature intended" us to eat--like our forefathers who foraged and hunted in the forests. Their diets consisted mainly of wild fruit and various plants eaten raw, with very little consumption of fat or animal protein. In other words, the diet for good health is not "high protein" but high natural carbohydrate. To replace natural carbohydrates with refined forms (such as white flour and sugar) is, of course, a disaster no matter how careful one may be in the selection of other foods. South Sea Islanders who consume great amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables and also masses of white flour and sugar demonstrate this point clearly. They suffer from degenerative diseases such as diabetes at alarming rates and their life expectancy is poor. To live almost exclusively on refined carbohydrates is a double disaster. Processed foods, artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colorings and flavorings add to the horror of bad health. One may partially correct the problem by adding certain vitamins and minerals, but full correction is not possible.
Physical fitness is the next factor that needs consideration. Oxygen, nutritional foods and waste products cannot get into and out of cells when the circulation is sluggish. In the physically unfit, major blood vessels block, the microcirculation. in the capillaries becomes sluggish and the result is impaired cellular metabolism, the cause of degenerative diseases which include cancer.
Fortunately, and this is a major message in this book, these changes are often reversible. Thus a person who has, for example, established heart disease, can, by correcting diet and becoming physically active, improve the circulation and "cure" the heart disease. Surely this is a better way of handling the problem than open heart surgery or coronary by-pass operations that may relieve the pain. This represents, in my own lifetime, a complete reversal of principles. In my early years, patients were forced into bed and even had their teeth washed for them. How many were killed by such "kindness" is best not thought about. One knows that if tissues are to remain healthy, or regain health, a degree of activity to stimulate the circulation is necessary.
Although minor details may change over the years as more knowledge filters through, there is only one sure road to good health. Reading this book will illuminate that road. To argue against it will get one nowhere because, for the average individual, there is no alternative.
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
‘Andrew’ Anargyros Vretos Fatseas
Andrew Victor Fatseas (Andy)
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