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Prescription for health and wellness

Joseph Cassar wrote a piece titled An Efficient Health Service (August 3), in which he argued much that is already self-evident and applauded. What he overlooked, however, is the climate of growing costs within the health sector, which is unrealistic to sustain financially.

I work with many Maltese people in a way that does not require medication but uses deep relaxation therapeutically. Increasingly I see ‘young’ clients in their mid- to late 50s who come with a list of ailments: colitis, osteoporosis, sciatica, fibromyalgia, depression and low self-esteem. Their whole focus seems to be upon illness rather than on wellness.

There is a need to transform attitudes from a focus on illness to one on wellness and to encourage people to take more responsibility for their health, be it with respect to their mental habits, or their eating habits, or in more general ways.

It is estimated that we have about 50,000 thoughts a day. These thoughts are often bound up in emotional states that are connected with the biochemistry of our bodies, such that anxiety, nervousness and worry are emotional states that create sickness in our bodies moment by moment, day by day.

Negative thoughts can have a direct, suppressive effect on the immune system and contribute to illness. A person with a strong immune system and strong self-esteem, and a positive appraising approach to problems and situations, has a greater ability to stay well. In my experience as a hypnotherapist in Malta, low self-esteem is endemic and can foster depression and low self-worth and difficulty in keeping good and enlivening health. Wellness could be encouraged by promoting self-esteem and an awareness of how our thoughts can create illness in the body. I suggest a nationwide billboard campaign with the word “Impossible”. Now add an apostrophe: “I’m possible”. This healthy banner works in Maltese, Italian and English! Let’s wake people up to sustainable health and wellness, 50,000 times a day! Now that is worth thinking about.

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