Inner and outer resources

Health is all about managing our inner and outer resources.

In modern times managing health has been largely relegated to technology that is beyond the means of the average person. In the olden days when there was little technology to fight disease or extreme measures to save life, the focus was on inner resources – simple self care including nutrition and herbs, touch and community, and deepening spiritual connection as death inevitably comes. With the growth of outer resources there has been a commensurate decline in reliance and understanding of the inner resources that sustain health and allow acceptance of death when it eventually comes.

Human beings in one way or another live in community and inner and outer resources are always available, so it’s an issue of balance and not one type of resource being better than the other. But the advent of technology in modern times has drastically increased our reliance on outer resources and consequently inner resources are undervalued or neglected. If a person gets a life threatening illness and recovers over time, would the high tech medical care received be given credit, or would the patient's support and care from his or her spouse and family members be credited for the recovery? Typically, the medical care is seen as crucial to recovery and the non-medical care is viewed as necessary but not as important. This attitude is evident from the enormous financial resources dedicated to maintaining and upgrading technology in healthcare.

What if there were no biases about inner and outer resource? If the touch or a caring word of a loved one was seen as equally important as technological intervention. If our inner life force and our connection to those around us was seen as equally important as drugs or surgeries or other interventions to make the body better. This might lead to a shift in attitude that could move us beyond a medical system in crisis that works too hard to meet unrealistic expectations. No amount of technology can cover a lack of self-care and community and make up for what we lack on the inside. Natural therapies are a low-tech attempt to lead us back to managing our inner resources and nurturing our life force. Those who practice or use shiatsu and bodywork as one way to maintain inner resources will stay healthy even with our increasingly stressful and challenging environment.