Today’s columnist, GP Mary Wren: Wise words on health

John Steinbeck
John Steinbeck
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I have noticed some interesting bits of health advice recently in unexpected places, so this week I am sharing some.

I read this in a medical journal: “A proverb is a short popular saying that expresses effectively some commonplace truth or useful thought.”

There are lots of proverbs about health in the Bible.

Here are a couple.

“Kind words heal and help, cutting words wound and maim.”.

“Don’t forget all I have taught you, take to heart my commands. They will help you live a long time, a long life lived full and well.”

Then I started noticing others. “A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ.” – John Steinbeck.

“He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors.” – Chinese proverb.

“A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” – Irish proverb.

“Diseases of the soul are more dangerous and more numerous than those of the body.” – Cicero.

Some sayings are quite challenging.

“Sometimes I get the feeling the aspirin companies are sponsoring my headaches.” – Terri Guillemets.

“The cure of the part should not be attempted without the cure of the whole.” – Plato.

“To avoid sickness eat less, to prolong life worry less.” – Chu Hui Weng.

Then there are funny sayings that have a hidden truth.

“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelt as good as bacon.” – Doug Larson.

“If one’s bowels move, one is happy and if they don’t move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it.” – Lin Yutang.

And then there is the reminder that we are each responsible for our own bodies.

“The patient should be made to understand that he or she must take charge of his own life. Don’t take your body to the doctor as if he were a repair shop.” – Quentin Regestein.

“You are as important to your health as it is to you.” – Terri Guillemets.

And here is a final thought.

“With every pill we have prescribed for us we should also be given a creative prayer, a suggested way to correct our destructive patterns of thought.” – Ernest Holmes.

Sometimes it is good to listen to wise people from the past and take note of what they say.

I think part of medical training should be to consider these wise sayings.