Back to communication

I just realised that the post I wrote a moment ago was rather personal and had very little to do with environmental communication or university life.

Of course, the growth-focused mindset is relevant to university studies as much as any occupation or phase of life.  And, in a way, students tend to be in a transition phase between youth and adulthood, and are moving away from pleasure-seeking toward taking greater responsibility for their own education and well-being. (That being a gross generalisation, though…)

I also believe that an excessive orientation toward pleasure is a huge underlying factor to the environmental problems we deal with. Business is all about customer satisfaction, rarely about serving their development. A big focus in societal development is toward efficiency, rarely about making things more challenging so that we are forced to be more resourceful.

Societal development is of course not only about that. The strive toward that people have their basic needs met is a beautiful endeavour. There are plenty of industries where people are encouraged to challenge themselves, such as the fitness culture.

The big killer I am struggling to reconcile, however, is certain aspects of the Western healthcare system, where the tendency is toward pain relief rather than increased awareness of the illness, it’s cause and what to do about it. A simple example of where this goes wrong is the over-use of anti-inflammatory medicine. Inflammation is a way to increase blood flow to the damaged tissue and aid its healing. Taking a drug to artificially reduce inflammation thus interferes with the healing process.

I feel I need to throw in another comment here, mainly because I expect a good chunk of you readers to be attracted to the popular trend of foods with anti-inflammatory properties. To clarify, this usually refers to systemic inflammation, which is basically internal inflammation, usually of organ tissues. A common example is systemic inflammation of the intestines. It is tempting to believe that anti-inflammatory foods would be good, then. And I’m not saying they’re not. It depends, and you’ve got to ask a critical question: is this food ‘anti-inflammatory’ because it interferes with my body’s inflammatory response, or because it actually aids the healing and so the inflammation can naturally ease quicker? In other words, does it have anti-inflammatory properties or does it have healing properties? This of course depends on the food and on the type of inflammation and on the reason for the inflammation. Does a diet high in gluten create inflammation in your intestines? Gluten is a large molecule that we cannot digest. It could scrape against your intestinal lining and damage the tissue. Inflammation in this area would be a good response to aid the healing of the area. Adding ‘anti-inflammatory’ foods like broccoli to your diet would probably not help, and might even worse the condition, as broccoli is high in fibre, also difficult to digest. (Yes, fibre is ‘good’ for the intestines, but primarily as a food source for your gut bacteria. It won’t help heal any ruptured intestinal lining.) If the inflammation is caused by high gluten intake, a sounder strategy might be to reduce the gluten intake, maybe even temporarily restrict intake of solid food at all, to give the gut lining time to heal and let the inflammation settle once it has fulfilled its purpose.

By seen0001

My name is Sebastian, but I’ve been called many nicknames under the sun: Seb, Sebbe, Sebban, Sebbi, Sebbzor, Seabass, Bob, Harry Potter, Spiderman, “The Man. The Myth. The Legend.” I am in many ways a practical optimist, an entertainer, and a solid friend. My current mission is to help the next generation live even better lives than we have. How I strive for this will evolve with time, and certainly with this course! I am interested in pretty much everything that has to do with life — life on this planet, it’s evolution, and the lives of people, in history and here and now — and the culmination is my endless strive to live life fully.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *