The plodding tortoise beat the frantic hare in a race, we know the fable. But the moral goes further than humbly chipping away at a task. It applies to health too. The new normal is doing more and doing it quickly; but in fact keeping up in today’s fast-paced society is doing more harm than good. It is essentially putting people on the back foot and slowing them down.
The solution? Decelerate. A slow movement towards taking your time to cook, eat, exercise and recuperate is emerging as the way to sustainable health. The focus is shifting away from always ‘getting better’ and is moving towards ‘staying well’. This means maintaining our natural, sometimes slower rhythm instead of giving in to the addiction of speed to meet deadlines and juggle responsibilities.
Homeopathy is happily within the arena of the slow medicine movement because it takes time to examine the whole person and their problem. It also acknowledges that symptoms which have been around for months are naturally (no pun intended) going to then need months to be cured. This is not to say there are no quick-acting remedies for more sudden symptoms like fever, but rather that the idea of being cured in the homeopathic sense, is not to be managed or medicated, but to be back to your healthy self without a crutch.
Back in the day when patience was a virtue and ankle-length skirts were hip, there was a word for the time needed to get better: “convalescence”. It meant taking time out to help your body do what it needed to do to recover. Rest, fresh air, good food. No deadline.
When our bodies ‘crash’, the repair process needs to be respected by allowing it to recover at its own pace. It is tempting to hurry health and bounce back quickly, but the frustrating long-term result is being constantly susceptible to crashing again and again.
A longer-term perspective is needed if we want to be healthy. Health is a habit, not something we do for a little while just to reach a weight, exercise or sleep goal. It is a resource that is created step-by-step, day in, day out and one that we will be able to rely on to get us over the finish line on those days where we're dashing from A to B.