January 23, 2015
It’s no coincidence that diversity is both a cornerstone of Earth’s nature and a principle of our culture. As humans we’ve done a good job observing the world around us—what works, what doesn’t—and passing down the lessons that have taught us the most. Diversity has provided us with a tremendous amount of wisdom, and, for the most part, has been integrated into our everyday lives.
It’s the spectrum of skin tones you see on a crowded subway platform, the global kingdom of predators and prey, springtime’s dynamic arrangement of floral and fauna.
So why is it missing from medicine?
Despite what we want to believe, diversity is not part of the conventional medical model. We have doctors for each organ and system, believe in one pill cure-alls, and treat symptoms of diseases instead of their root causes. This unfortunate and sometimes dangerous approach has become so enmeshed with our healthcare system that it can be hard to see the forest for the trees.
But we’re here to make it clear: diversity is essential to achieving optimal health.
The more diversity in an environment, be it your backyard, belly, or biosphere, the more interconnected the systems within become, and the better results you’ll yield. This dependency gives way to mutual survival where more variety and greater diversity ensure natural sustainability and resilience.
Remember how the hip bone’s connected to the leg bone, and so on? Well, the song wasn’t lying. Millions of years of evolution have made our bodies well-oiled machines with systems that function beautifully under a give-a-little-get-a-little relationship. Each organ and system has a purpose, and that purpose directly supports the purpose of another organ or system. Without a piece to this puzzle—that’s right, just one missing piece—the bigger picture becomes flawed. All the more reason to treat the entire body as an interdependent organization rather than mere host to autonomous activity.
What does all this mean for our health and well-being?
A lot of things, but mostly that diversity should guide your wellness journey. This is the foundation of our work at The Kellman Center and at the heart of what we teach our patients.
We don’t fixate on one problem or one solution and we don’t see health as black and white. (Your body doesn’t and you shouldn’t either!) From what you eat to how you treat it is important to explore the full range of possibilities and, in turn, experience the height of your body’s potential. Ditch that repetitive diet for one that is as vibrant as you. Stock up on supplements that play well with others. Listen to your body and how its communicating with you and itself.
After all, they meant what they said: variety truly is the spice of life.