Your Health – What’s It Worth?

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Have you thought about what your health is worth? I know that most people, if you ask them would agree that it’s pretty important, but I don’t believe that most people actually really think about the implications of not having good health maybe until it actually happens to them and for those where a lack of good health comes on slowly, progressively, over a period of time, I think many still don’t actually think about the impact of it on their lives – not really. It gets put down to the aging process and accepted as the way it has to be.

I take my health, and more so, my responsibility for it, fairly seriously. It’s definitely not perfect, and I doubt it ever will be, but I’m working on it! It’s a work in progress you might say. I use the safest personal care products and cleaning products available, and I take what I’ve learned to be the best most effective supplements available. I eat organic where possible, buy clean grass fed meat where I can, free range eggs and poultry and organic ‘real’ sourdough bread. You get the picture!

As you’d realise this doesn’t come cheap and I’m not wealthy (yet!) so how do I manage to afford all this? I manage to afford these things, because I’ve made my health a priority. I still can’t do and take everything that I’d ideally like to if money weren’t an issue, but I do all that I can with the resources that I currently have.

This has been one of my biggest revelations over the past few years – we will always afford whatever we make a priority and that’s the truth. It’s not the lack of money that’s the problem, it’s the lack of importance in our minds. Don’t believe me? Look around you. No matter how low an income people are on, they will manage to buy or do whatever is a priority to them. Whether that be smoking cigarettes, smoking drugs, drinking alcohol, buying and playing video games, watching dvd’s, buying new clothes or shoes, keeping up with the Jone’s, going on holidays, having a cool car or whatever – they can be pleading poverty – can’t afford to pay the phone bill but spending hundreds or thousands per month on unessential ‘priorities’.

We used to do it! Before I quit smoking and got really interested in health, I remember that we could be absolutely skint, broke, no money and we still always found a way to have cigarettes. They were a priority! Having tobacco was probably more important than anything else – not something that I’m proud of now I must say, I didn’t know any better at the time, never really thought about it and that’s just the way it was.

I remember before we moved to Australia 20 years ago, we lived in Martinborough, NZ. Our neighbours a couple of doors down lived in a Housing Commission house that was run down, they’d broken windows and it was a bit of a mess. My husband Ray worked very briefly with one of the young fella’s from this family and he was telling Ray about how tough things were and that they were forced to eat WeetBix three times a day for meals a lot of the time. Their power used to get cut off from time to time and I don’t think from memory that they had a car that actually went. However, they managed to spend a lot of time at the pub, smoked cigarettes and every week when the ‘Mr Whippy’ van came around and parked outside their house, (on payday), they’d buy huge quantities of snowfreeze icecreams! Every single week for the two years we lived there, that was the case – Mr Whippy knew exactly where to park his van!

So, back to your health. What price would you put on it? Let’s assume that reading this now, you have ‘good’ health. You work and earn an income, you are able to participate in your favourite hobbies or sports, spend time with those that matter to you and generally live your life in a way that’s satisfactory and enjoyable most of the time.

Now, think about the opposite scenario. You are suddenly ill. You have to give up work, your income is gone. You’re incapacitated and can’t pursue the things you enjoy – your golf, or other sports or hobbies. You can’t have enjoyable time with family as you can’t get out of the house and you’re in too much pain or too sick. What is the price difference between these two scenario’s? Can you put a dollar value on it?

You can in the sense of the difference in income of course – that’s a pretty obvious price. Then there’s the medical bills – doctors, medication, surgery etc. That can be some pretty serious expense I’m told. If you’ve read other parts of my site, you’ll know that I haven’t been to a doctor for many years and don’t really have anything to do with the allopathic medical system, but I’m told it’s getting pretty expensive! The government isn’t subsidising as much as it used to (because it just can’t keep doing that – but that’s a whole other story), so everyone including pensioners are having to fork out more and more themselves for their treatments and they’re not cheap.

Many people have medical insurance or health insurance. The term ‘Health Insurance’ I think is a bit of misnomer. It should be ‘Sickness Insurance’ instead as it is insurance that pays out when you’re health is lacking for the most part. I know that some policies will pay out for some preventative ‘alternative’ treatments, but it’s a token effort generally. If the people paying for very expensive health insurance were instead to put that money spent on premiums, into prevention, then the likelihood of them requiring the surgery or medical treatments that they are insuring for would be massively reduced. The fact that so many people have health insurance, indicates that they expect to need it and that in my view ensures that they will – if only to ‘get their money’s worth’!

I’ve been frustrated many times over the years, as a therapist offering treatments that encourage good health and the ability to live life well, with the excuse ‘I can’t afford it’ coming from people who’s lives were being seriously affected by pain that could in most cases be either completely resolved or at least made manageable with regular treatment.

I also get so frustrated when I share with people knowledge about the chemicals that they’re using on themselves and they’re families every day and they get a little concerned, but then use affordability as an excuse not to switch brands.

The same thing with supplements. Many people don’t take supplements at all and their health will reveal the consequences of that over the long term. Many others, buy supplements from the supermarket or the health food store with no understanding of what they are actually buying. They buy and take a multi vitamin and mineral product for maybe $20 and think they’re getting a good deal, not realising or understanding that what they’re buying may be of dubious quality – synthetic with crushed rock for minerals that our bodies can’t use (and that will cause health problems over the long term) as well as colours, fillers and even plastic coatings with hormone disrupting chemicals such as Pthalates all thrown in for good measure!

My multi vitamin might cost me for example, $40, and so it appears to be expensive. But my questions are:

* If I spend $20 on a product that doesn’t do what it claims and contains ingredients that are going to undermine my health – is it cheap?
* If I buy a product that is twice the price, but is many times more effective and will enhance my health and do what it is designed to do – is it expensive?

These questions are not only relevant to supplements, but all products – personal care, cleaning products as well as foods. For example we now buy our bread from the SOL Bakery in Southport. It’s 100% organic ingredients and real sourdough – no yeast. It’s great bread and I’m happy to give them a plug because they’re doing a great job. The loaves, depending on variety,are around $6 each. Most people would balk at the price, but when you go in to the supermarket or to another bakery, the average price is around $4.

It’s the same deal. The $4 loaf from the supermarket or other bakery is made from commercially grown wheat, sprayed with chemicals and grown in soil deficient in minerals. It’s then processed and bleached using chemicals. The bread contains not only this highly processed flour that’s deficient in nutrients, but also preservatives, probably soy, sugars and who knows what else – all playing a part in gradually undermining your health. Is the extra $2 per loaf for the bread that’s not going to ruin my health worth it? Hell yes! It also tastes better, and you don’t eat as much of it, because it’s a lot more satisfying – as real food generally is.

So, how much is your health worth?

Author Sue Woledge – Creating a Toxin Free Future

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