Preparing for a Healthy Future: An Interview
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the problems affecting the Social Security and Medicare systems, tied to the ever-escalating cost of conventional health care. Kitty has good insight about how these issues play out in people’s lives so ‘Along The Way’ (ATW) sat down with her to find out what she thinks is a good personal approach to health care today and for the future.
ATW: We read in the news regularly now about how social security and Medicare benefits will be drastically reduced for the tens of millions of ‘baby boomers,’ and too many people know from personal experience right now how expensive conventional health care is, to a point where many can’t afford what they need. How does Oriental medicine fit into this scenario?
Kitty: Well, people have always tried to stay healthy; Ralph Waldo Emerson, a 19th century American philosopher summed it up this way: “Health is the first wealth.” What’s different today, is that our conventional health care system is so technology driven, and while many of its tests and procedures are useful, they are also so expensive that it’s benefits are becoming of little value to the millions of people who can’t afford them. So it’s important for people today to know about the ancient Chinese doctors and philosophers who knew that people of their time—like people today—needed an affordable, natural way to stay healthy to be able to live the best life possible. Their successful methods and treatments, thankfully, are still available today in what’s being called Oriental Medicine.
ATW: Based on what you’ve written in other articles on this website, it seems like the old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies to how Oriental medicine works. And since it seems like people, in general, have moved away from the belief that ‘technology” will fix all of our problems, what does Oriental medicine offer in way of “prevention?”
Kitty: Developing a “preventive” mindset is the first step, and the catalyst for taking that step is the situation you mentioned: existing systems that we’ve become dependent on are not as dependable as we thought they were. It’s similar to the way we depend on the grocery store to have the food we need. It’s a great convenience that none of us want to do without, but because it’s so convenient we have forgotten how to grow food in our own gardens. Oriental medicine is built upon ‘common sense’ — a sense which isn’t so ‘common’ anymore. The way I practice Oriental medicine helps people learn how to get back in touch with that sense, while at the same time rebuilding their resistance to disease.
ATW: What do you tell young people about maintaining and protecting their health?
Kitty: Kids feel like they’re immortal, and that’s a wonderful feeling; a testimony to the power of health that runs through them. This feeling of immortality is also a danger because the habits and attitudes young people form today, directly affect their health in middle and later years of life. I find that Oriental medicine benefits people most when they’re still young and strong. And children are most likely to reap the benefits of Oriental medicine if their parents understand the basics of 5 Element Diet and Nutrition and what used to be called ‘physical education, and in Oriental medicine, we call Chi Kung.
ATW: So you’re basically suggesting that people need to think “outside-the-box,” because Oriental medicine is so different from the conventional medicine they’ve been relying on since they were children?
Kitty: Considering that ‘the box’ is disintegrating (as represented by the skyrocketing cost of conventional medicine, and the unwinding of the Social Security and Medicare systems), the affordability and effectiveness of Oriental medicine should be part of everyone’s set of health care options.
It’s time to open up to new possibilities to make sure you get the health care you need.