A Mouse's Tale

Random scurryings of a writer.

Why Your Health Is Bigger Than Your Body, by Claudia Rowe

Why Your Health Is Bigger Than Your Body, by Claudia Rowe.

I absolutely loved this article about Dr. Ted Schettler. There are very few people that have come to terms with the fact that personal health is deeply tied to community, regional, and even national health. His approach to medicine is focused out looking at the ecological paradigm of health. “It sounds like tree-huggers or something, but I mean ‘ecological’ in the sense that there are these multiple systems, one within the other—a family within a community, within a society, within a culture—and that’s the way ecologists tend to talk about ecosystems. It’s accepting up front that humans do not stand apart from the environment. We’re a major species, along with the mosquitoes and fish and trees and bacteria. And there are all of these wonderful interrelationships.”

After reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and more on Maine’s interesting history with textile, pulp, and other various mills, I can’t help but wonder if a lot of the health issues I had growing up stemmed not only from my parents’ smoking habits but also from the ecological issues outside my own door. While many complained about the smell of our town’s mill growing up, very few ever complained about the health related issues that may come along with it — for those both in and outside of the mill’s workforce. (Seriously, look up “Rumford cancer valley,” my hometown has a ridiculously high rate of cancer per capita, as do many mill towns. This isn’t a coincidence.)

Looking at the health that I, my husband, and our son are blessed with now, and after reading this article, I’ve noticed a few things that I took for granted before. We live no where near a fast food restaurant. If we want to cave into a craving, we need to drive a minimum of twenty minutes. Obviously, something that helps the waistline and over-all health. We live nowhere near a mill. No pollutants clog up the air; even snowflakes taste better out here. Definitely something that my asthma and allergies are thankful for. We can’t see our neighbors houses unless all the leaves are off the trees, and even then we have no idea what they’re doing at all because they’re so far off. This gives a peace of mind in allowing us our privacy.

I never considered all these little pieces as pieces that add up to a well-rounded, healthy living. I don’t think I’ll ever take these things for granted again.


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