Dr. Betty Lacy, M.D.

What is Health Worth?

Recently I accompanied a friend to the ER. He’s normally a jolly guy whose life is busy with activities he enjoys, he works a lot and plays a lot. I’ve watched him burn the candle at both ends for many years and have wondered what would finally break. As a practitioner of preventative medicine (detecting imbalance at an early point and then correcting the trajectory so illness doesn’t develop), I encourage people to implement this approach to life and avoid trips to the ER.

I offer health advice, which isn’t always welcomed. People feel too busy or they enjoy their lifestyle too much to change. I hear “I don’t have time, it’s too expensive, it’s too hard, it’s not for me, it will disrupt my life too much….”. Why do most people wait until it’s a crisis to finally value health?

Being sick sucks. It’s inconvenient, stressful, boring, scary, and expensive. When you’re sick and you need to rely on friends and family to help with the basic chores, when you can’t go to work and earn a living—you’ll give anything to have your health back.

Here’s the good news: you can optimize your health and be resistant to illness by the lifestyle you choose to live.

We’re willing to spend our money on cell phones, vacations, cars, clothes, toys, eating out, booze, tv—things we like. But really, what good are all of these things when you feel like crap?

We’ve grown up in a culture that expects health care to be cheap and paid for by insurance. We want solutions that are easy and fast, and that don’t require much of us. The system encourages this way of thinking.

I’ve been working in the medical industry for about 20 years now and I’ve seen how sick people are. If I hadn’t been privileged to hear people’s private health stories, I wouldn’t know that most of us are suffering from something. We go about our business with every variety of ailment. From headaches to insomnia to rashes to indigestion to cancer and diabetes and dementia. My journey from a mainstream medical education into the brilliance of natural medicine has taught me how absolutely avoidable these illnesses are. But the public isn’t taught this information.

Health is the thing I value most in life. When I’m healthy I can enjoy everything. When I’m sick, I can’t. My top priority and goal is to maintain my health for as long as possible. The question that I carry with me these days is how to help everyone see how important it is to invest in their own health.

We can live vital, healthy lives. The resources, supports and guidance are available to everyone. Once we realize that health care does not come from a pharmacy; and once we see that an illness is not a sudden event but rather it’s the result of years of simmering imbalances—we can then begin to reclaim our individual power and make the correct choices.

Once we become willing to make health a priority, we’ll understand that it’s an investment of money, time, effort. Everything you do is either making you healthy or making you sick. It can feel overwhelming, it will take time, you will need to educate yourself. We can help.

If you’re sick now, if you’re healthy now - begin cultivating health now. Human needs are universal: whole nutritious food, restorative sleep, socializing, learning, play, connection to nature, movement, clean living, freedom from toxins and chronic stress and the guidance of a practitioner who understands whole systems healing.

Being healthy requires a shift in values. How are you living your life? It’s so much easier to prevent illness than to reverse it. And it’s so much easier to reverse illness when we’re mostly strong. Are your lab results normal, or are they optimal? There’s a big difference. Find a Functional Medicine practitioner or a Naturopathic doctor to support you toward a life of optimal health and vitality.

Betty Lacy, M.D.

Dr. Lacy specializes in the field of brain health, cognitive resiliency, genetics, and mental health. Learn More >

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