This page describes our beliefs and practices surrounding health care, that is, caring for the physical health of people. We are currently in the process of discussing and building a philosophy of health care and a health care system that is consistent with our beliefs.
Principles of health care
- Focus on building positive health, rather than just fixing problems.
- Give people the choice to refuse medical care or intervention, both in the moment, or ahead of time, as in a written document like a living will, that can handle a circumstance in which a person is incapacitated.
Treating health problems
- Give preference to treatments which involve otherwise healthy changes to lifestyle or diet, before exploring treatments which are more costly, involve more risks, or are not otherwise the most healthy decisions on their own.
Building positive health
We have discussed several different facets of building positive health:
- Nutrition and diet, which relate to our views on food
- Stress management
- Social support
Exercise is a key component of building both physical and mental health, and impacts virtually all aspects of health.
One problem we have discussed is the way, for most adults in modern society, exercise is treated somewhat like a chore, contrasting with children, who often get exercise through unstructured play, and have avenues like playgrounds for physically-active play. This is not only true of time specifically dedicated to physical activity, but also to social norms for the level of physical activity. For example, it is not common (or in many cases practical) to run down the hallways in most workplaces.
Exercise is also related to community design, architecture, and urban design. For example, walkable neighborhoods and commercial districts can encourage walking, whereas car-oriented design can encourage people to drive rather than walk, thus reducing the amount of exercise people get.
Nutrition and diet
Nutrition and diet relate both to physical and psychological health. Many nutrient deficiencies can manifest as psychological symptoms, which can influence people's thinking and hinder clear thinking, and contribute to problems like depression or anxiety.
When a person has a nutritional deficiency of a specific micronutrient, we prefer helping that person to obtain that nutrient through eating natural foods, and we would only recommend for a nutritional supplement or vitamin if there were a reason that it was not practical for the person to obtain that nutrient through natural foods.