For centuries, mankind has been searching for a single cure for all of its illnesses. From evil spirits to germs, early medical practice was focused on finding that one silver bullet that would lead to the cure of all disease.
For example to relieve the pressure caused by headaches, ancient Incans would often drill holes in the top of the skull to let the evil spirits out.
Also, as recently as hundred years ago, mercury was used as a cure-all for a number of conditions ranging from hysteria to typhoid fever. There is even some speculation that George Washington may have died from mercury poisoning, after receiving treatment for a minor throat infection.
Surprisingly, what were once considered cutting-edge medical treatments, would likely seem extremely barbaric today.
On the other hand, when it comes to the prevention of disease and illness, wellness practices have historically been equally ridiculous.
From snake oil, to bloodletting, to tropical berry antioxidants found only in the deepest recesses of the Amazon jungle - many have claimed to be able to provide health in a bottle, but rarely deliver.
The problem with many of the newer wellness and prevention practices today is that they are too narrowly focused on only one aspect of health. For example: It is simply not enough to just eat well and expect to be healthy. Or do yoga every day and expect to never get sick.
True health involves adopting multiple lifestyles’ practices that promote well-being and minimize the risk of disease and illness.
The main difference between someone who gets sick and someone who doesn’t get sick is the fact that for healthy people, health is not an afterthought.
They do not eat well and exercise only to fulfill New Year’s resolutions, or to fit into bikinis before summer vacation. They don’t visit the chiropractor or massage therapist once in a blue moon when they become injured. They don’t purchase cheaper, more toxic cleaning supplies out of convenience.
For them, health and prevention is something that they actively participate in and refine on a daily basis.
This is very different than the silver bullet approach which states: My body is designed to get sick, eventually it will break down and hopefully by then, somebody will invent a pill, supplement or surgical procedure to reverse that damage.
Of course this didn’t work for people who were into bloodletting and mercury treatments, and it probably won’t work for you either.
Regardless of your current physical state, it is never too late to start building health. Thomas Edison once said: "The doctor of the future will give no medicine but will instruct his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
If you need help getting started, finding a health practitioner who provides that level of service would be a great start.
Dr. Christian Chatzoglou, D.C. is a chiropractor, writer and natural health expert.