As yet another long-held ‘not truth’ – that aspirin is helpful for the heart – gets invalidated, we’re left again with the reality that much of medical science and its corresponding recommendations is … vastly imperfect, if not simply crappy science to start.
For years, people have been led to believe that regularly taking aspirin is heart-protective. Now the song has changed: ‘…the benefit from taking a daily low-dose aspirin was offset by the danger of internal bleeding and other side effects …’.[article here]
Let’s keep in mind that for a reversal of this magnitude to be put out by mainstream medicine, it is safe to say that this was a not good recommendation for the past many years (decades). Doctors, researchers and scientific journals do not like to ‘reverse’ their long held positions or recommendations; and when they do, they use circumspect words so as not to sound like ‘… sorry folks, we really screwed up’. In all likelihood, along with the internal bleeding and the ‘other side effects’ of taking aspirin is probably much worse than it sounds by the wording used in this announcement of revised recommendations – meaning the downside to taking aspirin is very down.
Right answers to the wrong questions.
More importantly is to recognize that medicine is defined as ‘the diagnosis and treatment of disease’ – medicine is not about building, promoting, restoring health; it’s not part of the medical educational process or practice. So the questions allopathic medicine is asking when determining recommendations aren’t always the ones that serve you best – they are often based on achieving symptomatic relief, or forcing physiology to meet a desired outcome – a lab test or some other measurement, or worse, a misguided effort to increase profits. These are rarely aligned with getting or being healthier. And, the ‘science’ behind the questions and the resultant answers are coming from a well-oiled engine called big pharma that drives the train of medical research, medical education, medical publications, political legislation, public recommendations, media disclosures, and ultimately public perception as to what’s good and what’s bad for our health. As a result, drugs are brought to market – yes, many drugs are effective, alleviate suffering, and even save lives – but the objective is blurred between clinical efficacy and the ability to earn profit for the company that brings it to market. Those blurred lines result in biased research, fraudulent studies, and scientific journal articles being published that aren’t based on sound science [read Dr. Marcia Angell’s book The Truth About Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What To Do About It. Dr. Angell was the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine for 20 years].
Gratitude is the best free drug
Enough on that – let’s look at some positive news: being grateful, having a perspective of gratitude has wide-ranging positive effects on both mental and physical well being.
First, it turns out that the heart is constantly sending messages to the brain and the body – it does this through neurological/nervous system signals, pulse wave (biophysical), hormonal (biochemical) communication, and through electromagnetic field signalling. As a result, when you practice gratitude, your heart is sending out health-promoting communication to your brain and body.
‘Gratitude makes sense of the past, peace for the present, and a vision for the future.’ – legendary surfer and accomplished yogi Gerry Lopez
Studies show that not only does gratitude reduce the incidence and severity of depression and anxiety, but people not suffering from those conditions are happier. Who doesn’t want to be happier? And, it lasts – the positive effects on the brain persisted even after the exercise within the research study had concluded. A good overview of this research is here.
Simple Gratitude Habit: Get a blank journal book or daily diary, and every day – maybe before bed or upon waking – and write down five things you are grateful for. Watch how your attitude and level of happiness will increase, while your vulnerability to stress, sadness, depression and anxiety decrease.
[The study referenced: Wong J, et al. Does gratitude writing improve the mental health of psychotherapy clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial. Psychotherapy Research 2018; 28(2) 192-202]