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Just a Little Paradigm Shift for Community Health

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I have become convinced that human health is deteriorating at a very rapid pace.  Chronic illness is on the rise and sometimes I feel people enjoy the “respite” of being ill because they have become completely overwhelmed with what to do to be healthy.  In fact, many people don’t even know what it feels like to be truly healthy!

Our lifestyles have overtaken our innate wisdom.  We become duped by media and the joy and pleasure of ease, good taste, comfort, fast foods, and medications to cure us when we overdo.  But laced with these desires are the pollutants surrounding us contributing to ill human and animal health, deteriorating agricultural practices, and abysmal animal husbandry aimed to serve the masses.  We, as people, are at risk and our choices to accept this new norm jeopardizes the health, well being, and sustainability of our planetary home.

We ask ourselves, “but what can I do?  I hold two jobs, I have a family, I have bills to pay!”  The answer always lies in personal choice.  But before that comes the recognition that a problem exists and the solution lies realistically in choosing to go against the present societal grain, make a difference for ourselves, then reach out to expand that difference by sharing our personal successes at health improvement with others.

I just heard on NPR about a community that began raising chickens in their unused alleys.  How wonderful!  Not only did they get great organic eggs, they learned about chickens and bonded as a community of neighbors.  The children enjoyed the experience of collecting the eggs, learning about raising animals, and about their neighbors.  It became an evening gathering place.  The neighbors enjoyed the kids coming around to distribute eggs and no one held to and “even-steven” protocol.  Rather, whoever needed eggs received eggs.  What a delightful concept.  With so many unused alleys in Sandpoint, why not urban chicken agriculture? Chicken raising in a city environment has recently been adopted by our community leaders as viable.  The possibilities are wide open. If a neighborhood joins together, works together, and benefits together, we have the beginnings of positive and healthy change.

Perhaps block gardens will then emerge and “Voila!” we have a healthier community of citizens taking responsibility for improving their health in the mutually fun environment of neighborhood camaraderie.  Think about the possibility of talking with your neighbors and designing a plan.  Good health looms before you—one easy step at a time and can be most fun as we join our hands in mutual and sustainable health practices.

Krystle Shapiro is the founding member of The Sandpoint Wellness Council and owns Touchstone Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus!  She can be reached at 208/290-6760.

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