As women over fifty, it is often difficult to discern truth from fiction when it comes to treating our physical concerns. Which aches and pains should we do something about? Which discomforts come with age and which should we consult on with a physician? Should we be taking the medications we are taking? Should we have the tests that are being prescribed?
The medical and health field has been in a stage of rapid advance in recent years. Like technology, it’s moving full speed ahead. What I see developing is a growing respect for alternative treatments and a skepticism regarding prescription drugs. My conversations with Aging Abundantly women regarding this subject often revolves around the general feeling that physicians often treat symptoms with medications rather than getting to the root of the problem. This is not, of course, everyone’s experience, but I hear it more often than I used to.
The questions arise: What are we to believe? Who are we to believe? Can we trust our doctors to advise us correctly? How do we know if this alternative treatment is safe? It’s a minefield of uncertainty and fear. The ability to access information on the internet has intensified the dialogue. We have, at our finger tips, detailed information that keeps us better informed, but the fact remains, we are not doctors. Can we really see the whole picture?
My mother lived to be ninety seven and rarely even took an aspirin. In her mid-nineties her doctor talked her into taking calcium and something for her allergies. She fiddled around with anti-depressants a time or two, but she would go days and weeks without taking any of them. Was she unusually healthy? Perhaps. She also modified her behavior when necessary. She ate a healthy, balanced diet, was physically active (not in the way we think of today) and lived a simple life. She gardened, cleaned the house, kept up with her friends and family, cooked three meals a day and took care of my Dad who lived twenty years after a stroke. He lived a similar lifestyle, although the stroke added some medications to his daily regime. Their first line of defense when they were not feeling well was always to modify their diet and rest.
The key to taking care of our bodies as we age is to have a sense of what they can handle on their own, and when our physical health would benefit from medical attention. I have been exploring this issue for myself and over the months ahead I will be sharing with you what I have discovered and information I have learned in my research. I will be inviting experts to share what they know on a variety of topics and welcome your input and comments.
Aging abundantly requires seeking health and peace in body, mind and soul. I do not believe we can have one without the other.