The Most Radical Health Program

August 25, 2009
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av_rm2No one should feel bad that the Chinese did it first. After all, they’ve had 5000 years to noodle with these things. But before we go on we have to take a simple test. If you still believe that the quality and kind of health care we have is dependent only on the attempt to supply the finest care for the most people then this new (old) approach may be too much foryou. If you can see the influence of such extrogenous factors as money, status, power and-very important- convenience then you are ready.

This absolutely radical approach which the Chinese employed for millennia was this (and as we will see it directly relates to the practice of Qigong): you pay the doctor when you are well, not sick. If he keeps you well forever, so much the better. If you get sick his fees stop until you are better.

Let me take a second to recover myself. And I know about this. Whew, better now. Well, first off some could say we already have this and it’s called insurance but of course that’s not true because insurance you pay when you are sick OR well (there’s that convenience issue again, but not for you).

We could discuss this plan for days and turn it around a hundred ways but I want to address just one little twist in the road. Doctors weren’t stupid. They figured out pretty quickly that people really didn’t want to be sick and, better yet, if they could enlist the patient’s cooperation they would be more assured of their fees. So Chinese doctors actually encouraged their patients to do healthful practices.

Such as skiing, bungee jumping, locking and space dodge ball, right? No, they helped to design exercises which were consistent with the medical practices of the culture with a different emphasis such as longevity, conservation of energy, rejuvenation, balance, optimization of movement, reduction of stress. Qigong, Tai Chi and other studies were seen as perfectly grooving in with the needs of the people and, as far as fees continuing to trickle in, with the needs of the medical community.

We  somehow think that the pursuit of happiness is tied to returning to the slopes for the fifth time after your fourth ACL operation. I wonder if our medical practitioners would be less likely to feed this delusion if their income were tied to preventing our whimsical self destruction?

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