I don't know
We hear this phrase so often you'd think we don't know anything. Get honest. I don't know really means I don't want to know. And you have to know because you're the only one who knows.
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If you can touch it, feel it, look it in the face, and talk about it—you can heal it.
Today we’re talking about the somatic-emotional and mental thought pattern “I don’t know.” We hear this phrase so much from the medical industry that it’s become its true tagline.
Ironically, we were told we do know what causes heart disease—too much fat. And everyone went on a low-fat diet craze. Then later we were told…oops…not enough good fats causes heart disease.
Maybe our problem isn’t that we don’t know. Maybe really we have a problem with education and critical thinking. Maybe we have a problem with science and accountability.
But one thing is for sure: we definitely have a problem.
Americans have the highest chronic disease rate in the world. It’s hard to prevent something if we don’t know what causes it. And saying it’s genetic is the same as saying I don’t know, because genes don’t change fast enough to explain our chronic disease epidemic.
We need to know. And we are the only ones who would know. It’s irresponsible to say we don’t know when we do.
We do know. We know only environmental factors can explain a dramatic decline in health like ours. We know enough to take action to lower our risk of chronic diseases now. We know enough to increase our emotional wellbeing now.
Because the broken medical system operates on the pretense of “we don’t know,” we each need to take personal responsibility for knowing. That’s the first step in self-care. The first step is knowing what we do know.
Let’s review some things we know. So we can establish that we do know, for those of you still thinking “I don’t know.” At The Healist, we think everyone who can drive a car could know and should know 12 things about self-care for chronic disease prevention. Here are a few things we know in a nutshell:
1. We know chronic dehydration contributes to every chronic disease.
Are you drinking enough clean filtered water or spring water every day, all day long? Just answer yes, or no. Are you or aren’t you? Don’t say “I don’t know.” You’re the only one who knows. If you drink more soda, coffee, energy drinks and alcohol than water, then you know. Is your water clean? Do you have a water filter on your kitchen tap that filters out chlorine, chloramine, and fluoride? It has to catch very small particles to filter fluoride. Do you have a filter on your showerhead? Toxins in water absorbed through the skin in a hot shower or breathed as steam go straight to the bloodstream. In many ways, showering and bathing in toxic water is worse than drinking it because your gut and liver get a chance to filter toxins before they get into your bloodstream.
2. We know chronic lack of oxygen, known as hypoxia, contributes to all chronic disease because every cell in your body needs oxygen for cell metabolism.
So do you get enough fresh air or not? Do you sit too much or not? Do you exercise 2 or 3 times a week? Do you take long walks in nature under the trees or along the beach or lake shore to breathe fresh air deeply? Do you breathe carbon monoxide from car exhaust every day? Do you live in a city with air pollution? Do you live downwind from a coal burning power plant? Don’t tell me you don’t know. You’re the only one who knows.
3. We also know chronic poor nutrition feeds every chronic disease.
So do you take control of sourcing healthy organic food? Do you eat real whole foods that are nutrient dense and free of toxic chemicals? Do you eat processed phood crap with lots of sugar, salt and additives and little nutrient value? Do you prepare most of your meals in your own kitchen? Do you get enough minerals, vitamins and good fats? Do you eat herbicides and pesticides every day? Did you know pesticides are associated with both cancer and Alzheimer’s? Do you eat genetically modified wheat doused in glyphosate herbicide, which is associated with ulcerative colitis? Do you eat a lot of meat from cows fed GMO corn, antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones? Do you eat pasteurized dairy (the most common food allergen according to the CDC), and recent studies have shown dairy is associated with Crohn’s caused by a mycobacterium cultured on commercial dairy farms. Just be honest.
4. We know poor detoxification metabolism increases your risk of chronic disease.
If your body can’t eliminate waste and toxins faster than they come in, you can get upside down. Did you know your body detoxes every day and night in the background of your busy life? Are you supporting the natural detoxification of your liver, colon, kidneys and skin? Are you adding toxic chemicals and heavy metals to your bioburden every day? Again, just be honest. Touch it. Feel it. Look it in the face. Talk about it. Black tarry stool? Constipation? Dark urine? Peeing all the time? Acne? Eczema? Ask yourself: Are my organs of detoxification functioning optimally? Go to the mirror and look yourself in the face. Are your emotions a mess because you’re full of toxic shit? Are you irritable, angry, foggy, fearful or depressed all the time?
These are 4 fundamental things we absolutely know about self-care. There are 8 more basic self-care skills we believe everyone should and could know, and you can learn about them at thehealist.com. But I think you get my point. We know so much. Certainly enough for each of us to take action helping ourselves up the ante on self-care.
In fact, the information we already know is so basic that any college freshman could learn it in a semester.
Those high school teachers out there are probably thinking there’s no reason you couldn’t teach it in high school. And middle school teachers know you could start it even earlier. The truth is, if children grew up in homes where self-care practices were all they every knew, these practices and the values of good self-care they express would be in place by age 5. Children would already know them before even starting school, because kids copy their parents. The deeply grooved lifestyle habits parents lay down early in the neuromuscular somatic memory of children are the deepest unconscious grooves we know later as adults. We learn them even before language, before we have words for them. When children experience the wellbeing of self-care, that becomes their norm. Good health becomes their norm. And the lifestyle practices that go with good health become the norm.
The truth is, industries are built on our “I don’t knows.” The health care industry—which includes health insurance, medical services and pharmaceutical drugs—sells its services and products to consumers because people don’t know how to sustain their own health. The system runs on that lack of knowledge—that unknowing.
Can we be really honest here? Our problem isn’t that we don’t know. We know plenty. In reality, we have a problem with emotional honesty. Because saying “I don’t know” in the Age of Information really means “I don’t want to know." We have a big fat “I don’t want to know” problem, and we have it on 3 levels—personal, social and environmental.
All the information is there. But so many people don’t want to hear it, or see it. So many people avoid knowing—especially when it comes to knowing their own risk of ill health, and what they can do to help themselves.
There’s a lot of interesting information on this topic. Here are some things we know that are pretty fascinating. Particularly about not wanting to know about your own health, and about behaviors you may be doing every day that increase your risk of chronic illness.
Think of how many conversations you’ve personally had with friends and family members who say “I don’t know” or even “I don’t want to know” when you ask them about poor self-care habits. Why don’t you exercise? Why don’t you eat better? Why don’t you drink more water? Why are you drinking alcohol every night? Why are you mixing pharma drugs and alcohol? Why are you walking around with that infected root canal in your mouth? Why do you still have mercury fillings in your teeth after all these years that we’ve know they are toxic? Why don’t you take care of yourself?
I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. What you’re really hearing is avoidance.
We know from studies of avoidance that that many people at high risk of HIV, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s disease, cancer, diabetes and heart disease cope with the threat by choosing to remain ignorant of their susceptibility. There’s a great article on this topic titled “Responding to Psychological Threats with Deliberate Ignorance.”
Why do people avoid information that could help them be more well? The reason is because the information they need may threaten the security of their cherished beliefs. Or it may threaten their behavioral security—their ability to behave as they choose. Or it may threaten their emotional security. People show greater avoidance when they anticipate that the information will make them feel bad. People choose instead to avoid learning their risk or what they can do to reduce their risk.
Interestingly, the remedies for information avoidance include believing you can influence your own health. The more empowered you feel about controlling your health, the more information you can process. The less fear you have increases openness about information as well. And the more time you have for contemplation about information, the better you can take information in. So slow down. Don’t rush. Balance fear of disease with faith in self-care. And do what you can to make yourself feel empowered about your own wellbeing. Ironically, the more information you have, the more know-how, the less disempowered and fearful you feel. We know that affirming people who stay positive about themselves and their condition have less information avoidance. People with negative thought patterns avoid more. So practice positive, affirmational thinking. We also know that the more resources people have to help them know what to do to improve their situation, the better. So find your resources.
The system could help too, of course. If you get too many speeding tickets, at some point the DMV tells you to take a drivers’ license test or give up your license. You have to pass a written test to show you studied, and you have to get in a car with a driving instructor to show you can safely operate your car. Shouldn’t that apply to operating your own vehicle, your body?
After so many visits with a poor health rating, your doctor could require you to take a test to show that you studied the basics of how to take care of yourself, and could set some healthy benchmarks for you. If you fail, you have several chances to try again until you pass, or lose your right to operate within the insured healthcare system.
This is similar to how it’s done in France actually, within a universal healthcare system. Under universal health care, health care is free until you consistently skip scheduled preventive checkups and follow up appointments and fall off your treatment protocol. In addition, doctors are salaried at a respectable but modest professional level of pay. That means doctors are not paid more if all their patients are sick all the time, and need more and more pharmaceutical drugs and more and more expensive procedures. The reward for doctors and patients is the same—health. More health means doctors work less serving their patients. And patients get to enjoy better health. This approach also lowers costs throughout the entire medical system, in a way that lasts a lifetime.
It could be that simple. But sadly, doctors in the U.S. aren’t taught to operate that way at all. They’re not taught prevention, much less how to teach it to patients. Instead they are taught to over prescribe over-valued pharma products to sick patients who keep getting sicker over time. Look at the stats to see the pattern. You can see for yourself this system is working to drive up industry profits, but isn’t working to prevent chronic sickness and to increase health. Instead people are being asked to get used to being chronically ill.
By the way, here’s a list of over-prescribed, over-used and over-valued pharma products:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- Narcotic painkillers
- Anti-anxiety drugs
- Anti-psychotic drugs
- Synthetic insulin
And here’s a list of over-prescribed, over-used & over-valued medical services:
- Gallbladder surgery
- Hip and knee replacement surgery
- Radiation therapy
You can read more about why these drugs are over-valued, over-prescribed and over-used and how to not need them in the book I co-authored with my cousin Natalie Boss—called the Superfeel Detox Challenge. See the chapter “Isn’t there a pill for this?”
Did you know radioactive waste from nuclear medicine has been found in the Long Beach Harbor all around the pipe that dumps sewage from LA’s waste treatment facility? On top of environmental contamination, radiation is a backward way to treat cancer from a systemic perspective, but a smart way to spin off products from our toxic nuclear industry. Everything about nuclear medicine is over-valued. It’s an insult to all humanity, and to the planet, to claim otherwise.
There are other products and services that are over-valued, like drilling and filling teeth with mercury amalgam fillings, and root canals that keep dead teeth in your jaw that eventually always get infected because they’re…well, dead. We could make a long list here…but you get the point.
Okay, for those of you who aren’t thinking I don’t know anymore, what happens when the light bulb goes off and suddenly, you doknow. Now you know, and now the question is—what do I do about it?
Suddenly, you’re in the playing field of know-how. Which means knowing how to do things, like talk to your doctor or dentist and ask smart questions—questions so smart that you may decide from the answers to choose a different doctor or dentist. Or knowing how to read labels and warnings about side-effects. Or give or decline your informed consent in a way that means you really were informed. Self-care know-how includes knowing how to eat properly, hydrate, oxygenate, detox and exercise. It also means knowing how not to do certain things, like overuse antibiotics or vaccines, or narcotic painkillers, steroids or antacids. Or eat crap. Or drink plastic. Or let a doctor give a bundle of vaccines to your infant or toddler after a round of antibiotics. Know-how means knowing how to research. Knowing how to figure things out. Knowing how to be well. Knowing how to take care of your self.
Isn’t it time to know what we know. To own it? And to act on it.
Go inside and touch what you know intuitively. Listen to your body. It’s talking to you all the time. Maybe it’s saying I’m thirsty. Maybe it’s saying I’m hungry for real food. Maybe it’s saying I’m full of shit and totally tox’d out. Maybe it’s saying I can’t breathe and can’t sit in this chair one more minute. Maybe it’s saying I’ve been here before, I’m going around in circles, and it’s time to move forward. Or I’m repeating the past. Maybe it’s saying I’m confused and afraid and need guidance and a comforting hug from somebody who does know. Go out and research so you can learn from others. Ask for help.
The other side of “I don’t know” is “I know.” The other side of “I don’t want to know” is “I want to know.” The other side of “I don’t know how” is “I know how.” The choice is yours. One of those choices is healthier.
If you want help learning more about self-care, click on “GUIDE ME” at thehealist.com and start exploring. Check out our info products designed to help you see the light. Sign up for The Healist Weekly to get self-care tips and trends sent to your inbox. Do it because your future health is waiting for you….