In December 1999, I received an email from Sheri Murphy–Wright, then assistant managing editor of the Medicine Hat News, requesting a column for the special, millennium edition of the News. So I asked myself: What is going to keep us healthy in the next millennium? Is it going to be science and technology or something else? I looked at myself and my family to see what I could rely on for good health and happiness.
My paternal grandmother died at the age of eighty-one. She suffered from asthma and its consequences for many years. She never smoked in her life.
After twenty-five years of heart problems, my father died suddenly from a severe heart attack at seventy-nine. It happened one morning. He
was still in bed, talking to my mother about having a good breakfast. The next moment, he was gone. Just like that. He also suffered from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Overall, however, he had a long, satisfying life.
My mother died of ovarian/uterine cancer at eighty-nine. She had eight children. She’d had asthma for sixty years or more. She had mild congestive heart failure. She had two major life-threatening surgeries to remove a benign brain tumour. She suffered severe, life-threatening injuries in a taxi driven by an inebriated driver in Uganda. She spent six months in the hospital and in rehab. She made an excellent recovery, thanks to determination, perseverance, and outstanding support from her husband and children. She did suffer at the end but she had a reasonably good life. She was probably ready to die when she was given the diagnosis of terminal cancer.
My older sister died of pancreatic cancer at the age of sixty within three months after diagnosis. She had irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation) as well, although it had nothing to do with her death.
My younger brother was a healthy fellow; sadly, he died in a motor vehicle collision at the age of thirty-six.
My niece has had multiple sclerosis since she was thirty and has been disabled for several years. How can you prevent something like that?
I have had my share of health problems. It seems that cardiac problems run in our family.
For the News, I wrote about exercise, laughter, meditation, organic and non-organic healthy food, and stress relief. A few months later, I added smoking cessation; then, sexual empowerment and sleep. I feel that these eight steps will help us fight many modern-day killers.
Health Canada has identified twelve determinants of health: income and social status, employment, education, social environments, physical environments, healthy child development, personal health practices and coping skills, health services, social support networks, biology and genetic endowment, gender, and culture. In one way or another, each one of these contributes to our health as we go through life.
Some health determinants – such as genetics and gender, which contribute significantly to a person’s health problems – are beyond our
control. However, we have the ability to adjust for many illnesses, some of which are self-inflicted.
As has been said by others before: Good health is not about perfection. Good health is about what we do with what we have been given and feel good about it. Life can be very short. Follow the Eight Steps to Wellness. Have fun and enjoy it.
What Is This Book About?
Step 1: Healthful Eating
-Genetically modified foods
-Sugar . . . you are not my sweet honey
-Chocolates are sexy–are they dangerous?
-Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
-Is dietary cholesterol really bad for you?
-Mr. Heart, who is your daddy?
-Calcium and milk products
-Use of probiotics
-Nuts–what about them?
-Water . . . water
-Let us talk tea
-Fibre, flatulence, and weight loss diets
-Polypill and polymeal
Step 2: No Smoking!
-The history of smoking
-Smoking and lung cancer
-Why do teens start smoking?
Step 3: Exercise
-Fundamentals of regular exercise
-Survival of the fittest
-An exercise plan
-Many ways to be physically active
-The effect of exercise on your heart
-The role of exercise in weight-loss programs
-The role of exercise in the prevention of cancer
-The role of exercise in intestinal disorders
-Does exercise make you smart?
-Active children achieve
-Golf and exercise
Step 4: Stress Relief
-What is stress?
-How do we respond to stress?
-Are we our worst enemy?
-A holiday–a good stress buster
-Free imaginative play–another stress buster
Step 5: Sleep
-What happens to your body when you are asleep?
-Sleep cycle is driven by chemicals
-Getting enough rest can promote weight loss
-Daily siesta keeps me healthy, working, and wise
-Sleep apnea disturbs a good night’s sleep
Step 6: Sexual Empowerment
-What is meant by sexual empowerment?
-What is an orgasm?
-Erection and erectile dysfunction
-Coffee and sexual performance
-Sexual activity and mysterious headaches
-Sex, marriage, and divorce
-Sexually transmitted infection (STI)
-Preventing cervical cancer – 2013 guidelines
-Lesbians and cervical cancer
-Ladies, sex is safe in pregnancy
-Facts and fantasies about masturbation
Step 7: Laughter
-Laughter can make you stronger, friendlier, and sexier
-Why do women laugh more than men?
-Laughter and music are good for your heart
Step 8: Meditation
-Meditation is good for your health
-Regular meditation essential for good health
-Mindful meditation: A journey to personal discovery
-Walking meditation is effortless
-Other meditation techniques
One Final Thought
About the Author
3. Buy it now
- Directly from me using PayPal:
- General Store Publishing House
You can mail a money order or cheque for $20.00. Please send an email to for my current mailing address.
- Shopper’s Drug Mart, Medicine Hat Mall
- Coles Book Store, Medicine Hat Mall
- Nutter’s, Medicine Hat
- Dr. Bharwani by prior arrangement (403-526-5337)