Health is not a gift or a sign of luck (Cover, “When ‘Sick’ Happens to You,” May 3-10); it is a choice and a practice. Sickness is not an accident; the choices and attitudes throughout one’s lifetime lead to one’s state of health.

I am not saying this to place blame on Ms. Bauman, not imply that she caused her disease. But to remove one’s responsibility, to keep thinking that good health either “happens” or doesn’t, continues the mentality that she is a victim of circumstances. This type of thinking is why we are a nation of sick people who rely on an external health care system, instead of using the system as a tool while we nurture ourselves. True preventative medicine goes well beyond knowing what your insurance benefits are, well beyond getting your yearly check-up and even well beyond quitting smoking, eating well, exercising, etc.

True prevention starts with the knowledge that “I am my health,” that the individual is integral in every step of health and disease. This knowledge allows one to understand one’s illness, and find the courage to do the work to heal. Individually and as a society, we need to come to this awareness; it is the only way we will be able to heal our failing “sick” system and ourselves.

Kristina Conner, ND

Carmel

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