And buen salud is as important to a Mexican as good health is to a gabacho. In that spirit, then, let me recommend several of my own observations, garnered over many years, that I have found salubrious to good health.
Doctors would do more good if they'd prescribe less and proscribe more.
Modern medicine in the United States, and to a lesser extent in Mexico, has become an exercise in pharmacology. It seems there is a chemical solution to every medical problem. And doctors seem to have bought into the drug company propaganda that the proper role of medicine is to treat disease – not to prevent it. If you prevent it, drug sales will drop off.
Since the word proscription has disapeared from the medical lexicon, we must take it upon ourselves to practice our own preventive medicine. If you have kidney pains, don't just keep taking ibuprofen. Find out what's causing the pains. If the pain goes away when you substitute tea for coffe, stop drinking coffee. If your blood sugar is high, don't just take a pill and keep eating until you're fat as a tick. Take charge of controlling your diet to keep your blood sugar low. It's up to you to stay healthy. Your doctor is no longer equiped to assist you in that endeavor. All he knows how to do is prescribe a pill if you don't keep yourself healthy.
Good health is like shifting a five speed – if you stop to think about it, you get it all screwed up.
My father, in his later years, was obsessed with the health of his heart. Not that he had any overt reason to fear a heart attack. He'd never had one – until a month before his 71st birthday. And that first one was fatal. It is my opoinion that my father wished that heart attack upon himself by worrying about it.
If you fret about the possibiity that you might get cancer, you are disrupting the natural functioning of your body and you are in all probability precipitating the onset of cancer. The human body has equiped itself through billions of years of evolution to protect itself, to heal itself, and to cure itself – without any help from you. Just relax and let your body do what it knows how to do. It will not disappoint you.
I came into this world crying, but I'm going to go out laughing.
"Laughter is the best medicine." If this oft-quoted quote is not attributed to Hippocrates, it should have been. I am certain the father of medicine must have been well aware of it.
Humor has been shown again and again to be the most efficatious and cost effective curative in the world. It lowers stress, arms the body against infection, ameliorates pain, relaxes and rejuvenates muscles – including the heart – and is conducive to objectivity and overall mental health.
If you want to live a long and healthy life, laugh. Search for humor in your everyday experiences. Learn to laugh at the ineptness of the bank teller, at the indolence of your kids, and at the arrogance of the clown who cuts you off in traffic. Life is, if anything, a joke. Enjoy it.
The best doctor in the world is a good woman.
This is somewhat akin to shifting a five speed. If you are really aware of and concerned about another human being in your life, your physical and mental health will take care of itself. If you are a woman reading this, substitute the word man for woman in the above dictum – although it's not quite the same. I sometimes feel sorry for women, because they don't have paragons of beauty, compassion, and grace to worship as we men do.
Women may not be perfect, but they're as close to it as we're gonna get in this life.