It is time for me to cheer up my readers after delving in three frightening topics that had probably scared them out of their wits. So, I have decided to take a U-turn, to focus on something positive and its relation to good health.
Perhaps, some of you may be interested to know what doctors do after they hang up their white coats and stethoscopes. Doctors certainly know more about their body and mind; how they function and what they need, to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Certainly, many doctors do what they preach and adopt a healthy lifestyle and hobbies that complement their health, quality of life and perhaps quantity of life, too.
Each of us are unique in our own ways of best living for the best health. I have mine to share. I believe they will inspire my readers towards positive change. They may not do what I do, though, but certainly if the spirit of doing something good is ignited, that little flickering flame of goodness shall slowly grow and glow, to further ignite the same wholesome spirit in those around them. And those around them may in turn ignite the same in their circle of friends and family members. This chain reaction shall spread on indefinitely, for good.
When more people in our community are getting healthier, we tend to be healthier, too, because these people are part of our environment that cast some influence on the status of our health and wellbeing. In other words, they are part of us. What they are and what they do certainly influences us. Indeed, each of them, to some extent, makes us what we are today.
Nay, in real life, we are never fully independent. Like it or not, we influence and affect one another especially those around us – those within the circle of our influence, in terms of our relationship or geographical proximity. We are interconnected, knowingly or unknowingly. We are part of our environment and our environment is part of us. Each one of us is part of our big self – the environment, or the universe. Can you see?
You may get dengue if your neighbour is infected with the dengue virus. If they keep empty cans in their open compound, they breed the Aedes mosquito that bites you, though it is no mistake of yours. Or, you may have gone over to talk to your depressed neighbour and returned home feeling utterly depressed yourself. You may be cool when your angry relative from afar shouts at you in a telephone conversation, you may lose that cool and have a bad mood for the rest of the day. Perhaps you may later pass on this infectious ‘bad mood virus’ to your partner, colleagues or friends.
On the positive side, perhaps you noticed another neighbour trimming his weight, getting healthier and happier after he adopted healthy lifestyle of exercising, dieting and dancing, and you are inspired to do what he has been doing to be as good looking, healthy and happy. Positive herd mentality like this certainly casts a positive influence in the community we live in. It’s good. We should create this, as much as possible and promote it.
Being a family physician, I am truly passionate about healing. I always want to know more than just my patients’ disease(s); I really want to know them well because their disease is not just a disease. It is part of them; very much related to who they are, what they do and eat and what sort of environment they stay in. Thus, I probe deeply around their area of concern for hair-splitting details, to get revelations in their history. Together with the clinical signs and perhaps a few tests as required, I then establish a working diagnosis and treat the disease, not just with medications because truly, healing entails modalities beyond medications.
That clear understanding of the disease and its relationship to my patient as a whole, including what he did, what he ate and the environment he stays in, are fully discussed to empower him to modify his behaviour towards better healing, better health and total wellbeing. This approach enables me to carry out the profession passionately with a wholesome purpose in mind – to heal and empower my patients to heal themselves.
To me, many professions can be carried out passionately so much so that they are not seen as a chore or burdensome work but merely a game of living with usefulness to the people around or the society we serve.
When the game is over, I hang my white coat and stethoscope, and indulge in a number of other non-clinical activities that are equally important in enhancing my health and wellbeing. Clearly, as a family physician, I probably know what’s best for me. What do I do?
Believe it or not, I turn into a farmer. I am very passionate about it. Why? I often say, “When we are passionate about something, we don’t ask why.” Perhaps the answer to that complicated question is just a simple “I like it, and that’s it, period. Don’t ask me why?”
Nonetheless, if you look at it deeply, you will realise that farming is an excellent exercise. In farming exercise, we walk, push, pull, carry, bend, stretch, jump, climb, breathe deeply and whatever. You name it. It is there in farming exercise. You burn up excess energy, your heart beats fast, your body sweats profusely, your blood flows quickly, and your muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments strengthen.
You are with nature, work with nature and seeing nature grow, transforming and taking shape from the tiny little seeds into beautiful, edible, nutritious and health enhancing foods. The great bonus is that you would have fresh organic veggies and fruits that are devoid of chemicals for your own consumption and perhaps for your family and friends as well. Farming your own food is the only way to be 100 percent sure that you are not eating food that is adulterated with poisons such as insecticides, hormones or disease causing parasites such as ova of worms from human feces used as fertiliser.
Apart from farming that is very much physical, I write to keep my mind active and practice mindfulness meditation as a way of living each moment to the fullest. The mind that is present with each present moment helps us understand the nature and purpose of life clearly.
FWM is an abbreviation for farming, writing and meditation. It is also an abbreviation of ‘For Women and Men’. My dear readers, adopt them if you can. They are good for you – fully recommended by a family physician.
My next column will be on ‘Feeling hopeless, helpless and worthless’.
Dr. Victor Ti, MD, MFAM (Malaysia), FRACGP (Australia), Dip P Dermatology (UK), Dip STDs/AIDS (Thailand), Dip. AARAM (USA), LCP of Aesthetic Med.(Malaysia) is an experienced expat specialist generalist (Family Physician) of BH Clinic, Phnom Penh. As a specialist generalist, he is skillful at diagnosing all general diseases, excluding the sinister ones. Apart from the general diseases, Dr. Victor is also known for his skills in skin diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, minor surgery and aesthetic medicine. He can be contacted via email [email protected] Tel: 023900446 or Whatsapp: +60164122977