Tuesday, June 14, 2011



Jim Rohn said, "Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live", which succinctly describes the importance of each of us acknowledging and accepting sole responsibility for our own health and wellbeing, for our very life may depend on it.


In today’s so-called “modern” society, including Thailand, many people totally outsource their health and wellbeing to medical practitioners, who they rely upon for providing a “response” to even the most minor of ailments. I use the word “response” deliberately, rather than the word “solution”, as so much of what “modern medicine” offers is no more a solution than taking a pill for the rest of your life can be considered a “cure”.

In addition to outsourcing the response, many people also outsource the “knowledge” about their own state of being. Yet how can anyone else, except the owner of the body, who cares to acquire some readily available information and “listen” to their body on a day-to-day basis, know the body better than the well informed owner? In your case, you are your owner!


Like Jim Rohn, I believe each of us should take self responsibility for our own health and wellbeing, not for the major issues whose only response is the intervention of an experienced medical practitioner, but for all the day-to-day issues which, in any case, if attended to on a timely basis as part of a wellness-oriented lifestyle, can prevent the small issues from becoming the major issues requiring a drastic response, if a response is even still possible.

In fact, by simply focusing on four key aspects of daily life, it is possible to either prevent or cure almost all chronic ailments that millions of people around the world, including in Thailand, now suffer from.

With only one body to live in, with only one life to live, why outsource your health and wellbeing to people or organizations who are most likely only in it for the money!


The tragedy of the age we live in is that as society’s, like Thailand and others, modernize, the health of the society deteriorates - this is true for “modern/developed” society’s as well as for “developing” society’s.

Chronic, non-communicable ailments and diseases are now the major cause of disability and death worldwide, accounting for 59% of all deaths and 46% of the financial burden of diseases - all due to industrialization, urbanization, economic development and increasing food market globalization.

People worldwide are consuming more foods that are dense in energy, high in sugar, high in saturated fats, high in salt, whilst eating less fresh fruits and vegetables.


In the United States alone, the prevalence (number of people who have a condition at a given time) of people having selected mostly non-life threatening chronic conditions, but conditions that nevertheless cause disability and diminished quality of life is:

· 1 in 7, 19 million, with anxiety

· 1 in 61, 5 million, with constipation

· 1 in 18, 14 million, with depression

· 1 in 30, 8 million, with dermatitis

· 1 in 18, 15 million, with eczema

· 1 in 5, 54 million, with fatigue

· 1 in 6, 45 million, with headache

· 1 in 26, 10 million, with hemorrhoids

· 1 in 28, 9 million, with indigestion

· 1 in 8, 32 million, with insomnia

· 1 in 9, 28 million, with migraine

· 1 in 49, 6 million, with psoriasis


In the United States alone, the prevalence of people having selected life-threatening chronic conditions is:

· 1 in 4, 62 million, with cardiovascular disease

· 1 in 17, 16 million, with diabetes

· 1 in 3, 101 million, with high cholesterol

· 1 in 3, 50 million, with high blood pressure

· 1 in 3, 101 million, with overweight

· 1 in 6, 40 million, with obesity

Increasing numbers of people in Thailand are also experiencing non-life and life threatening chronic ailments, in all likelihood due to adopting “bad habits” of so-called modern living, such as eating more convenience, junk and processed foods.


Being over-weight or obese, has a global incidence rate of 1.6 billion adults being overweight and 400 million adults being obese.

For chronic life-threatening diseases, the major causes of disability and death, on a global basis, are:

· About 220 million people worldwide have diabetes, of which about 1.1 million people per year die from the disease - these numbers are projected to double by 2030. Diabetes is significantly preventable.

· About 12 million people per year are diagnosed having cancer, with the most common being lung, stomach, colorectal, liver and breast cancers. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 12 million deaths in 2030. Many cancers are significantly preventable.

· Cardiovascular diseases, caused by disorders of the heart and blood vessels and including coronary heart disease (heart attacks), cerebrovascular disease (stroke), raised blood pressure (hypertension), peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure, is the number one cause of death globally - by 2030 nearly 24 million people are projected to die from cardiovascular diseases. Many cardiovascular diseases are significantly preventable.

· Chronic respiratory diseases of the airways and other structures of the lungs, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), respiratory allergies, occupational lung diseases and pulmonary hypertension, are suffered by hundreds of millions of people globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 300 million people have asthma, 210 million people have COPD, while millions have allergic rhinitis and other often under-diagnosed chronic respiratory diseases. Many chronic respiratory diseases are significantly preventable.


A large number of chronic non-life and life threatening ailments and diseases are preventable.

The WHO estimates if the major risk factors for chronic diseases were eliminated, at least 80% of cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes would be prevented and at least 40% of cancers would be prevented.


The primary modifiable causes of all chronic non-life and life threatening ailments and diseases are well-established, well known and the same three - an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

These primary modifiable causes, expressed through the intermediate risk factors of raised blood pressure, raised glucose levels, abnormal blood lipids, overweight, obesity and stress, sometimes in combination with age and heredity, explain a significant proportion of new cases of cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, some important cancers and diabetes.

According to the WHO, more than 2.7 million deaths per year are directly attributable to low fruit and vegetable intake and more than 1.9 million deaths per year are directly attributable to physical inactivity.

These numbers are incredible, so let me say them again - that’s 2.7 million people dying from lack of eating fruits and vegetables and 1.9 million people dying from lack of physical activity!


Unhealthy relationships can cause non-life and life threatening ailments and diseases.

Whilst it is not in itself a biological ailment or disease, the deterioration in “relationship health” between people is also of increasing concern in today’s world, including Thailand, due to the potential for unhealthy relationships to cause biological ailments and disease leading to unhealthy bodies.

Especially in “developed” society’s, people are increasingly doing and experiencing less of what makes for a healthy relationship - less caring, children, commitment, communication, empathy, fidelity, interest, love, money, sharing, talking, time, trust, etc. This often results in feelings of anger, disappointment, fear, grief, panic, resentment and sadness, which can cause significant emotional and physical stress.

Left unchecked, significant relationship-induced on-going stress can lead directly to, amongst other ailments and diseases:

· Anxiety and depression, resulting in an inability to function normally.

· An increase in blood pressure, resulting in cardiovascular diseases.

· A reduced production of hormones, resulting in female and male infertility.

· Skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis, resulting in a reduced quality of life.

· A decrease in immune system functioning, resulting in lowered capacity to counteract cancers and chronic respiratory diseases.


Keeping your body holistically healthy is the key to life, in practice.

The opportunity for YOU is to be and to stay healthy, by simply designing and living a lifestyle comprised of four key elements:

1. Healthy Diet

Consume more natural/organic algae, crustaceans, fish, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, good oils, legumes, mollusks, mushrooms, natural yoghurt, nuts, seeds, teas, tisanes, water, whole grains. Enjoy free-range chicken, turkey and eggs, goat and sheep cheeses, grass-fed lamb, real butter, wild game. Consume optimal alcohol, coffee, salt. Do NOT consume artificial sweeteners, corn, “food-like substances”, pasteurized or homogenized milk, margarine, processed foods, salty foods, soft drinks, sugar, white wheat flour. Do more chewing. You don’t need a medical practitioner to do this for you, you can do all this for yourself - it’s easy, simple, and enjoyable!

2. Regular Physical Activity

Do on a regular basis, preferably daily, at least a moderate amount, some physical activity that you like doing, such as exercise, sport, playing, running, swimming, walking, yoga, etc. You don’t need a medical practitioner to do this for you, you can do all this for yourself - it’s easy, simple, and enjoyable!

3. Healthy Lifestyle

Do not smoke. Drink the optimal type and amount of alcohol for good health, which is wine, preferably red, no more than one glass per day for women and two glasses per day for men. Get the optimal amount of good quality sleep every night, usually between 6 hours and 8 hours per night. Relax, let go. You don’t need a medical practitioner to do this for you, you can do all this for yourself- it’s easy, simple, and enjoyable!

4. Healthy Relationships

Find a kindred-spirit significant-other, love him/love her, every day, for all days. Love family. Nurture good friendships. Forgive. Smile. Socialize. Be curious. Use your imagination. Have zeal, for something. You don’t need a medical practitioner to do this for you, you can do all this for yourself - it’s easy, simple, and enjoyable!

Also try to live your life based on a philosophy of loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity, to nourish, preserve and restore YOUR-SELF first, and then the animals, other people, plants, and the one earth we call home.

As Brian Carter said, “Your lifestyle - how you live, eat, emote, and think - determines your health. To prevent disease, you may have to change how you live”.


Premchit Praeteap Na Thalang is an internationally certified Aromatherapist, organic cosmetics Formulator, natural Perfumer, acclaimed Chef, inheritor of 12 generations of ancestral Siamese healing wisdom and secrets, and the creator of EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Natural Wellness Retreats and PREMCHIT Ambrosias and Elixirs.

For nearly 200 years Premchit’s family traded with the British East India Company, including her ancestor Thao Thep Kasatri, the heroine of the Battle of Thalang (now called Phuket) in 1785, who supplied Sir Francis Light with aromatic and medicinal plant products.

Premchit’s mother and father have passed all they know of their family’s ancestral wisdom and secrets for growing, harvesting, using and dispensing indigenous plants and traditional knowledge for beauty, medicinal, nutritional and perfumery benefits to Premchit.

In creating EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Natural Wellness Retreats and PREMCHIT Ambrosias and Elixirs, Premchit has embraced the essence of her family’s long heritage, that of nature, creativity, benevolence, enlightenment, healing, service, spirit, trade and engagement.

If you would like a pdf copy of this article, please contact Premchit@ExperiencePremchit.com.


The popular online magazine, “Cat & Nat Living The Thai Life” has graciously given its permission for the use of this article on this site, as has the author.

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By Terry Herman

Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In addition to writing and reviewing, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker. She also serves on EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness Advisory Board, which is comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa, and is Group Manager for the popular LinkedIn group, The Spa Buzz. You can email her at terry_h60559@yahoo.com.


(Photo credits as represented from the specific brand.)