By Dr. Scott Tesoro
Yesterday a childhood friend took me to task for a Facebook post. The post relayed a conversation between my wife and me and our two kids, ages nine and 11, regarding health and wellness. We were discussing how healthy our kids have been to date, how few medical visits they’ve had (eight total) and how they’ve never needed antibiotics.
I mentioned in the post they have yet to drink soda or see the inside of a McDonald’s. Of course they occasionally get sick, but they recover with minimal intervention. I went on to say that we realize we have been fortunate and that our hands-off strategies don’t guarantee a perfect outcome. However, we truly believe that when provided with the essential ingredients for health (whole food, exercise, emotional support, etc), good health generally ensues.
My friend’s beef was that I was bragging. “You guys are the best parents ever,” he sarcastically replied. Now, this is the guy with whom I raided the girls bunk in sleep-away camp, and with whom I went away to college. In other words, he is an OLD friend. Old friends are not about to cut you slack or recognize that you’ve come a long way since that bowl of Johnny Walker and cornflakes in high school. The thing about old friends is that their opinions carry a disproportionate amount of weight. Fifty people “liked” the post, but HE didn’t, which caused me to wonder if this was my Facebook equivalent of a “my honor student” bumper sticker?
Now, no one would ever use social media to boast, brag or show his best face. Certainly not moi. But, my buddy’s comment did make me consider the ultimate intention for the post. Was I just bragging?
Health, wellness, sickness and disease have been my life’s work and study for three decades. So many people believe that whether we enjoy good health or are stricken by disease is mostly out of our control. We have been indoctrinated with the idea that illness is the result of bad luck, bad bugs or bad genes. However, this view is disempowering and ultimately not scientifically valid. While germs and genetics play a role in our health, rarely do they dictate our health status. True genetic illness makes up a tiny percentage of disease (Hemophilia, for instance, is the result of bad luck, bad genes). Barring such true genetic conditions, how our genes express themselves is due in large part to environmental influences — our lifestyle choices. These choices — how we eat, move and think — promote or hinder our innate capacity for health and vitality.
I teach a paradigm of wellness rather than the conventional paradigm of sickness. The body’s natural state is that of wellness. When we provide ourselves and our children with what we as humans need to be sufficient — nutritionally, emotionally, physically — then good, true health usually follows. It is one thing to help patients in the office but it is quite another to see it play out in the laboratory of my home.
So, darn right I’ll use my family as an example of good health! Not to brag but to inspire. I’m excited to share some of what I’ve learned over the years in future columns. I hope I can create conversation, ruffle some feathers and shift some paradigms.
Dr. Scott Tesoro has been serving the Roaring Fork Valley’s chiropractic needs since 1994. He currently sees patients in Willits, Carbondale and Aspen. Please comment at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.soprischiropractic.com.
Published in The Sopris Sun on February 25, 2016.