Disease is a dynamic process that takes place within the human experience. Our bodies are in a constant struggle to maintain optimal functioning so as to minimize our experiences with disease. The last century has seen more progress in dealing with some of history’s most deadly afflictions, epidemics, and conditions than in any previous period in all of history.
Consider that at the change of the previous century, the year nineteen hundred, the number one disease from which people died was influenza and complications thereof. To say this another way, one hundred years ago our grandparents’ and great grandparents’ number one health concern was contagious disease. This of course accounts for the major concern they had for the development of public health departments and scientific research to find specific “cures” for the many kinds of “germs” that were discovered.
Obviously, while the last one hundred years have seen major strides in the reduction and treatment of contagious disease, other diseases have come along to take their place. The diseases of today that top the list are heart disease and stroke (diseases of the circulatory system) and cancer. The numbers of people who die of these diseases far outdistance the numbers from our grandparents’ day, but even so, these are completely different types of diseases from those that were of historical concern. Heart disease, cancer, and stroke are not contagious. Their causes lie chiefly in the health behaviors of each and every individual, factors which each of us have the opportunity to influence, and thus the name “Lifestyle Diseases.”
The public health movement of the last 100 years has taught us many valuable lessons regarding the transmission of disease and how to prevent its spread. Vaccines and inoculations are now routine because they inhibit, or block the disease process for contagious diseases. How do we block the disease process with health problems that cannot be helped with medications and “miracle” drugs?
Taking our lessons from history, we have learned the root causes of such diseases and how to inhibit their development. This has led to the wellness movement in healthcare, and the development of a new branch of care — Behavioral Medicine.
(continued in Part 2)
Remember to be good to you!
Copyright © 2013 by Gary L. Flegal, Ph.D.
•Dr. Gary Flegal is a Behavioral Medicine and Health Specialist with a doctorate in “Health Education and Human Performance” from Michigan State University. He is an exciting and accomplished presenter and keynote speaker, presenting seminars for groups and companies on location and at conventions. His advanced training in stress management came to him while working in affiliation with the original Mind/Body Medical Institute at Harvard under the direction of Herbert Benson, M.D. and his staff. In addition to corporate presentations, Dr. Flegal keeps a busy schedule working with individual clients for a variety of stress-related issues, including anger management, quitting smoking, learning to relax and manage stress, and learning self-hypnosis.
Dr. Flegal’s other passion is magic. He has been a professional magician for over 30 years and continues practicing his art at every opportunity. These two passions work together beautifully as he illustrates stress management concepts with fun, visual, and “magical” demonstrations in his stress management workshops and seminars. It also allows him to share stress management with his magic audiences wherever he goes because “Laughter is the Best Medicine!” Gary is a Reiki Master and a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists.
Dr. Flegal’s specialties include stress management, anger management, positive behavior change, insomnia, smoking cessation, and exercise physiology. For individual appointments, speaking engagements, or more information, contact Gary at Professional Stress Management Services in Nashville, Tennessee, at (615)812-7280 or through his Web site: www.GaryFlegal.com.
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