This article contains book chapter excerpts from,Recovering Common Sense:Conscientious Health Care For The 21st Century, written by C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., Sergey Sorin,M.D., DABFM & Amber Massey-Abernathy, Ph.D.

Common Sense Is In Medicine The Master Workman.
—Peter Latham

In the 14th century, when the word “disease” first appeared in medieval English, it had nothing whatsoever to do with medicine: Referring to the anxious cares of life, it meant “uneasiness” (that is, the absence of ease), “disturbance,” and “trouble.” Only later would it stand for illness as a medical condition.

Today, holistic practitioners have sought to restore its original meaning as dis-ease—as
the lack of physical, emotional, social, spiritual equilibrium in life. A life lived joyfully, healthily, lovingly, peacefully is a life lived “easily.” And dis-ease is its opposite: a life of anxious cares, disturbances, and troubles. Our holistic approach acknowledges that dis-ease leads to disease.

Sadly, most Americans live in a near-constant state of dis-ease: imbalanced, restless, care-worn, anxious, and unhappy. We’d go so far as to declare dis-ease an American lifestyle, one grounded in stress, bad choices, bad habits, and dangerous behaviors—a lifestyle lacking in conscientiousness.

The cure for dis-ease is not medical.

It can’t be cured by alcohol or drugs (prescription or otherwise), though these seem to offer temporary escape.

We can’t work or worry our way out of it.
We can’t buy or consume our way out of it.
We can’t marry our way out of it.

A vacation or a change of scenery or of occupation or of a spouse might seem to offer respite, but it will come back, so long as our lives lack physical, emotional, social, spiritual centeredness, stability, and equilibrium. Individually and collectively, we have a choice to make.

We can live in dis-ease and allow the stresses of life to spiral downward into physical-mental-emotional-spiritual disease.

Or we can choose to live conscientiously, and with common sense.

Gentle reader: If you choose the latter, you already know where to start.

You’ll be mindful of lifestyle choices that optimize health and wellness.

You’ll eat nutritiously, maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking, and get plenty of exercise and plenty of sleep.

Choose feeling happy
Over feeling crappy.
Put a voice to your choice—
And make it snappy!
—Georgianne Ginder.

Five Basic Health Essentials

Only 2.7% of Americans consistently practice all five essential habits. And failure in any one of these habits increases one’s risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer. The average American dies twenty-two years too early through lack of conscientious health habits.

The most common sense commitment in the Universe is to choose health!

-Normal body mass index of 18 to 24. Less than 30% of Americans have this “habit.” Obesity is now the number one cause of premature death.

-No smoking. Over 22% of people still engage in the number two cause of premature death.

-Eat a minimum of five servings daily of fruits and veggies. The average American eats 2.2 servings. (And French fries and ketchup are not vegetables!)

-Exercise thirty minutes five days a week. Only 10% of Americans do this.

-Sleep seven or eight hours every night. Well over 40% of Americans fail this one. Those who sleep five hours or less have 1.7 times the risk of early death.

Now that you know what these five basic health habits are, will you be implementing them all?

If not, what is the reason?

I’m always baffled why not more people can make good on these habits. It is indeed interesting that the anti-aging industry is a multi-billion-dollar business and yet these free health habits are often overlooked, dismissed, or ignored.

These five basic health habits are foundational. It’s a starting point and creates greater resilience to meet life’s challenges.

If you have the world’s best health habits, you can tolerate a lot of negative stress…Only 2.7% of the world’s population practices essential lifestyle habits. Anything less than this, if you smoke, eat junk food, don’t exercise, you are a sitting duck.

Here’s some simple advice: Keep your diet “lean and green” (focusing on lean protein and fruits and veggies) and limit your intake of simple carbohydrates and sugars, including sodas (whether naturally or artificially sweetened).

And if you find it hard to eat “lean and green,” just remember what’s at stake: Proper nutrition can radically reduce incidents of degenerative disease, including heart disease (75%), cancer (78%), respiratory ailments and infection (79%), and diabetes (52%).

Diet, however, is just the starting point.

An “informed consumer” (of food, as well as of medical advice) should understand “the science of food”: that is, “the processes by which the organism ingests, digests, absorbs, transports, utilizes and excretes food substances.”

That’s a fancy AMA definition for a seemingly simple term, nutrition. And food, the AMA reminds us, “consists of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and other substances (minerals, vitamins and enzymes) that are essential for an organism to sustain growth, repair, and to furnish energy for all activity of the organism.”

The following discussion may seem simple. It’s meant to be. Some readers may know some of the following.

But don’t think of it as “food science for dummies.” Unless you’re a dietician or physician, we predict that you’ll learn a thing or two about the roles nutrition and digestion play in health.

For more information or to buy a copy of this book, please visit,

Author's Bio: 

Norman Shealy, MD., PhD Father of Holistic Medicine,CEO of Shealy-Sorin Wellness Institute, Inventor of the TENS, Creator of BIOGENICS, Author of 35 books & many other medical breakthroughs and inventions.

This article contains book chapter excerpts from, Recovering Common Sense:Conscientious Health Care For The 21st Century, written by C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., Sergey Sorin,M.D., DABFM & Amber Massey-Abernathy, Ph.D. Copyright © 2021 Shealy-Sorin Wellness Institute. All rights reserved.

The views expressed in this work are solely those of the authors. The authors of this book do not dispense medical advice or prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical, emotional, or medical problems without the advice of a physician, either directly or indirectly.

The intent of the authors is only to offer information of a general nature to help you in your quest for emotional and spiritual well-being. In the event you use any of the information in this book for yourself, which is your constitutional right, the authors and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions.