Monday’s Metro had an article, “Sick leaves ailing TTC,” which reported how the Toronto Transit Commission estimates they will overspend on their budget this year by $3.8 million to cover employee sick days. Additionally, the article mentioned that sick days have been costing the TTC an average of $20 million a year! That’s a lot of tax moula just to pay people to get well so they can return to work.
The sad part of this story is that this is a common occurrence across industries all over North America. People are just now coming to the realization that this old adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” has some truth to it.
For instance, did you know that the common cold is not supposed to be common at all? Dr. Elson Haas is an integrated medical practitioner who combines allopathic and naturopathic medicine in his practice, and he suggests in Staying Healthy with the Seasons that:
“The misuse of foods and other substances we call “foods” is a main factor in the formation of many acute and chronic ailments. The “common cold” and “flu” are primary signals that the body needs to clean and rest itself. Overindulgence in foods, improper intestinal elimination, and the intake of more toxins (unusable materials) than the liver or the kidneys can detoxify result in a buildup in the tissues and organs. This must be regularly balanced by the abused body in bouts of elimination which we know as “illnesses.” Intoxicants like nicotine, alcohol, sugar and caffeine, as well as the sprays and chemicals used to grow and prepare foods, affect individual organ functions and weaken the whole system.”
So according to Doc Haas, we have a certain amount of power to decide if we get sick or not. We simply have to:
- find the proper health information to maintain a strong immune system
- get to know our own bodies better
- avoid weakening our systems with extra substances that may help us in the short-term but have undesirable side-effects
So back to the ailing Toronto Transit system… which has decided, in reaction to their financial cost forecasts of sick days, to expand an early prevention program. That’s fabulous! But I’d like to see this program and I hope at least %50 of it covers natural stress-reduction education and practice.
Why? Because public transit workers go through a lot of crap. I’ve seen it, heard it from the horse’s mouth, and read about it in the papers. And not only does stress do a number on your immune system, but many people use substances to relieve stress. Over time, it may lead to substance abuse and addiction. Which, in turn, worsens any existing health problems and the vicious cycle continues.
The 1st Part of the Cure to the World’s Financial Woes
The best part of the article, however, is the quote by TTC chair, Adam Giambrone in conjunction with revealing their plans to also transform the workplace culture. Says Giambrone: “People who are engaged in the workplace may feel more able to come to work, especially if they’re suffering from something like a cold.”
It’s so funny how people think that colds are simply unnecessary nuisances, like sweating. Many people believe that just because we have the meds to stop our symptoms that we should use them and get back to work. I don’t agree and neither does Dr. Haas:
“If your body cannot handle toxins through the normal eliminative systems, the excess toxins and mucus may begin pouring out through the sinuses. The pouring forth of mucus is in fact a cleansing as the body tries to get better; but full head, full mind, and no energy may be the result until this process completes itself. You can stimulate this cleansing process by drinking lots of fluids – water, juices, teas, and soups – and getting proper rest and staying warm, rather than blocking elimination by taking cold tablets and eating congesting foods.”
We live in a very suppressive world and I believe it’s this suppression, from medication to antiperspirants to hiding our emotions, which cause most of our problems! It’s natural and healthy to be expressive and so this is part of the cure to the world’s financial woes: be more open to natural functions! And do as Madonna suggests: express yourself!
The 2nd Part of the Cure to the World’s Financial Woes
For all the companies and governments out there who would rather spend their dollars wisely, and for folks who are tired of getting sick, it might be beneficial to listen to Dr. Haas:
“The prevention and cure for the common cold is to stay in tune with your life and to develop common-sense attention to your diet, your physical activity, your emotional state, and to rest and relaxation. Learning to pace and nurture yourself and your loved ones is important.
Moderation is key to prevention of illness and to health maintenance. A balance of intake of food and output of energy as work or exercise will affect your day-to-day health. Remember that extremes tend to create their opposites, as well. Excessive activity may require periods of prolonged rest, and fasting from food can lead to overeating. A new understanding of foods as energy, what they do, and how they affect you is very important. Learning to relax mentally and to express your emotions is vital to keeping your energy flowing.”
What do you think, Readers? A bunch of baloney or does it sound right to you? Let us know your thoughts!