Health, Luck and Chronic Illness

What role does luck play in health and illness? Should we leave our well-being up to chance? And, why do some people have more luck than others when it comes to health? This article considers these questions and asks: Does health have anything to do with luck?

Luck is defined as “Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions”. When we overlay this concept of ‘luck’ to health, we come across several situations when luck plays a large role in health and wellbeing. Often a go-to explanation for idiopathic disease, being lucky (or unlucky) is considered a reasonable medical explication for many modern chronic illnesses.

Please explain?

Well, we have all heard the story of the fellow who drank like a fish and/or smoked like a chimney and lived a long healthy life, just as we have heard of the healthy person who is suddenly diagnosed with a life-threatening chronic health condition. Luck, fate or misfortune?

Surrendering Responsibility For Our Health 

As a naturopath, I see that several different factors play a role in health: genetics, upbringing, emotions, nutrition, lifestyle, toxin exposure, and education are just some of these factors influencing wellbeing. However, there may be only three factors influencing their health; early diagnosis, availability of suitable medications, and, of course, luck. When we leave our health to just these three influencing factors, we gamble our health and surrender our wellbeing to some higher power. However, when we choose to make our own’ luck’ by taking responsibility for our own health, we can (up until a point) be the creators of our own health and vitality.

Ayurveda and the Concept of Self-Awareness

Ayurvedic medicine is relatively new in Australia; however, many underlying philosophies can be applied directly to modern culture. Often referred to as ‘The Science of Life’, Ayurveda is holistic teaching that empowers its students with the knowledge of self-awareness. Far more in-depth than the simplistic interpretation of the constitution or dosha, Ayurveda teaches us that knowledge of our own individual makeup can sanction good health and vitality. 

Critical Listening and Quiet Contemplation

Programmed to maintain equilibrium, the human body gives us often enigmatic clues to its fine working capacity. These clues can be expressed as slight discomfort after eating, a skin rash or a vague feeling. Ignored, these clues can become more apparent, slight discomfort can become pain, a rash can become purulent, or a vague feeling can keep us up all night. Interpreting this information and acting accordingly to remedy the issue can take time and patience. We could say that ignoring these signs and lack of self-awareness can, over time, create ‘bad luck’.

When You Have Had ‘Your Lot’

Those of us old enough to ‘remember when’ would understand the implications of how it’s the little things that you do that come back to influence your wellbeing. Health decisions made twenty or thirty years ago can have implications beyond our capacity to remember; multiply this influence with repeated applications of mistakes. The body has a funny way of helping us remember those silly things we did when we were younger.

As luck would have it, the cumulative effects of seemingly little influences on a daily basis create what is our overall health. Injuries that we thought healed flare-up, health conditions from our past create weak areas and things that we do when no one is looking become glaringly apparent to others. Our strength grows when we acknowledge the influence of these factors and begin listening to our bodies. Acting rather than reacting takes thought and contemplation. Bravery comes from deciding to make subtle changes, and good health comes from creating your own good luck.

The information provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. We recommend you consult with a GP or other healthcare professional before taking any action based on this article. While the author uses best endeavours to provide accurate and true content, the author makes no guarantees or promises regarding the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information presented. If you rely on any information provided in this article, you do so at your own risk.

About The Author

Leonie Satori

Naturopath and Herbalist Leonie is passionate about women’s health, especially perimenopause and all that midlife encompasses for women - anxiety, gut health and hormones. Her holistic and down-to-earth approach to well-being incorporates wisdom from traditional healing practices, including Western herbal medicine and Ayurveda plus over a decade of clinical experience. In her free time, you’ll find Leonie bush-walking, gardening and living life slowly.

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