Health, Luck and Chronic Illness
Posted on 01 February 2017 by Leonie Satori
What role does luck play in health and illness? Should we leave our wellbeing up to chance? And, why do some people have more luck than others when it comes to health? This article considers these questions and asks: Does health have anything to do with luck?
Luck is defined as: "success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions". When we overlay this concept of 'luck' to health we come across several situations when luck is deemed to play a large role in health and wellbeing. Often a go-to explanation for idiopathic disease, being lucky (or unlucky) is considered a reasonable medical explication for many modern chronic illnesses. Please explain? Well, we have all heard the story of the fellow who drank like a fish and/or smoked like a chimney and lived a long healthy life, just as we have heard of the healthy person who is suddenly diagnosed with a life-threatening chronic health condition. Luck, fate or misfortune?
Surrendering Responsibility For Our Health
As a naturopath, I see that there are several different factors playing a role in health: genetics, upbringing, emotions, nutrition, lifestyle, toxin exposure and education are just some of these factors influencing wellbeing. However, for some people, there may be only three factors influencing their health; early diagnosis, availability of suitable medications and of course, luck. When we leave our health to just these three influencing factors, we gamble our health and surrender our wellbeing to some higher power. However when we choose to make our own' luck' by taking responsibility for our own health, we can (up until a point) be the creators of our own health and vitality.
Ayurveda and the Concept of Self-Awareness
Ayurvedic medicine is relatively new in Australia, however many of the underlying philosophies can be applied directly to modern culture. Often referred to as 'The Science of Life', Ayurveda is an holistic teaching that empowers it's students with the knowledge of self-awareness. Far more in-depth than the simplistic interpretation of constitution or dosha, Ayurveda teaches us that knowledge of our own individual makeup can sanction good health and vitality.
Critical Listening and Quiet Contemplation
Programmed to maintain equilibrium, the human body gives us often enigmatic clues to it's fine working capacity. These clues can be expressed as: slight discomfort after eating, a skin rash or a vague feeling. Ignored, these clues can become more apparent, slight discomfort can become pain, a rash can become purulent or a vague feeling can keep us up all night. Interpreting this information and acting accordingly to remedy the issue can take time and patience. We could say that ignoring these signs and lack of self-awareness can, over time create 'bad luck'.
When You Have Had 'Your Lot'
Those of us old enough to 'remember when' would understand the implications of how it's the little things that you do that come back to influence your wellbeing. Health decisions made twenty or thirty years ago can have implications beyond our capacity to remember, multiply this influence with repeated applications of mistakes and the body has a funny way of helping us to remember those silly things we did when we were younger.
As luck would have it, the cumulative effects of seemingly little influences on a daily basis create what is our overall health. Injuries that we thought healed flare up, health conditions from our past create weak areas and things that we do when no-one is looking become glaringly apparent to others. Our strength grows when we acknowledge the influence of these factors and begin listening to our body. Acting, rather than reacting takes thought and contemplation. Bravery comes from deciding to make subtle changes and good health comes from creating your own good luck.
About the Author
Leonie is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her Naturopathic clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.
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