Health Flux

Is it just me, or does looking after one’s health get more complex with every passing year? I’m talking about day-to-day maintenance, like getting enough exercise and taking in the right nutrients, as well as medical care and allied health treatments. Maybe it’s always been like this, with the specifics constantly in flux with the times, but it feels like there’s more work required over time as a matter of course.

Obviously, there’s nothing to enforce that this be undertaken – it’s all just recommendations, albeit evidence-based ones. Still, there’s a certain level of pressure to comply or be left behind, gradually disappearing into a quagmire of your own self-neglect. Comply with what, you ask? Well, what are we not expected to comply with? Infrared saunas, charcoal fasts, bone marrow rejuvenation… the list is endless.

As an example, take hyperbaric oxygen therapies. Melbourne residents, I’m told, can attend clinics and enjoy a range of benefits from this type of treatment, whatever their baseline of health. It’s said to help with both chronic and acute conditions involving reduced oxygen circulation in all or part of the body, as well as to improve the energy and wellbeing of healthy people not suffering from any particular complaint.

It makes sense and all, especially if there’s a medical issue at hand that’s proving resistant to other types of treatment. It’s just that, as a healthy person, I feel like I should be undergoing therapies of this kind in order to become even healthier. Is that a problem? Well, no – not exactly. But it does create a sort of anxiety around whether one is doing enough.

Truth be told, I’m probably creating that anxiety for myself, and I probably shouldn’t make any particular stream of cultural messaging responsible for that. I just need to accept what I already believe to be true, which is that it’s fine for therapeutic medical technologies to stay in the realm of medical treatment.