"Let me share with you what has been called the best kept secret in medicine: Given the right conditions, the body heals itself. If you whack your shin really hard on a coffee table, it can get red, swollen, and painful. But your shin will heal naturally if you just stand back and let your body work its magic. But what if you kept whacking it in the same place three times a day - say, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner? It would never heal.
You could go to your doctor and complain that your shin hurts. 'No problem', he or she might say, whipping out a pad to write you a prescription for painkillers. You'd go back home, still whacking your shin three times a day, but the pain pills would make it feel so much better. Thank heavens for modern medicine! That's what happens when people take nitroglycerin for chest pain. Medicine can offer tremendous relief, but it's not doing anything to treat the underlying cause.
Your body wants to regain its health if you let it. But if you keep reinjuring yourself three times a day, you interrupt the healing process. Consider smoking and lung cancer risk: One of the most amazing things I learned in medical school was that within about fifteen years of stopping smoking, your lung cancer risk approaches that of a lifelong nonsmoker. Your lungs can clear out all that tar buildup and, eventually, it's almost as if you never smoked at all.
Your body wants to be healthy. And every night of your smoking life, as you fall asleep, that healing process is restarted until... Bam! - You light up your first cigarette the next morning. Just as you can reinjure your lungs with every puff, you can reinjure your arteries with every bite. You can choose moderation and hit yourself with a smaller hammer, but why beat yourself up at all? You can choose to stop damaging yourself, get out of your own way, and let your body's natural healing process bring you back toward health." - Dr. Michael Greger, vegan & promoter of a whole-food plant-based diet
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