Men Talk Articles - Apr / May 2014
© 2014 Dan Gorbunow, AMT
Ever heard a man complain about taking too good a care of himself? Spending too much time on self improvement or even satisfied with the amount of attention paid to self care? Chances are you won’t, and there’s lot’s of reasons for why most men don’t give health a top priority. In fact, a man is less likely to address any health concerns than to take care of a car problem - but why? Here’s three reasons why men don’t rank their health very high, and three ideas to improve care for the most important asset men have: the self.
(1) Mostly, men today are still caught in the cultural attitude or illusion that their bodies don’t matter that much, nor for that matter, their mental health, nor emotional, nor spiritual, you get the idea. Somehow, men have gotten stuck with the idea that the self is something that is used to attain wanted things - work, money, pleasure, kicks, new experiences or well worn comforts - but not necessarily worth putting much effort into for it’s own sake.
(2) Another tragic imprint from male culture: men are supposed to “tough it out” or “cowboy up”. No Pain, No Gain, or maybe that’s the excuse men tell themselves in order not to feel the full impact that lifestyle, work, and relationship habits have. Men often ignore “health alarms” and body alerts.
(3) “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” The self is not a machine, it functions way past a crisis point- still, men are prone to wait until extremes of symptoms, pain, exhaustion and loss of function force a consideration of intervention - which is the worst time to start looking for help.
Men are starting to turn the tide on self care, and many men have incorporated self healing goals and strategies that support total well being. Here’s three radical ideas to consider for improving men’s health:
(1) Prevention is to men’s health what investments are to financial security: take proactive steps to create surplus and build a “rainy day” or “happy retirement” supply of good health - poor health is far worse than being poor on cash. Proactive steps address imbalances and sets goals courageously. Act now, act decisively, and get over any resistance to total self worth now.
(2) The body belongs to the earth. This indigenous concept equates the body’s ecology with the earth’s well being, and vice-verse. Men can stand up for earth healing right now by taking better care of themselves. Making the body a sacred place of the earth is a grand healing act of service for all people. Consider the beauty and power of ancient or pristine places like Machu Piccu, Stonehenge, or the Boundary Waters, and give this same respect to the self.
(3) Spirit and energy are the roots of health. An old Taoist physics adage: “Energy precedes matter”, meaning, big physical manifestations come from small energetic changes. Also, the spiritual health is the source of the physical. Men need spiritual “bread and wine”, or communion with spirit through meditation, ritual, mentorship, wisdom studies and practices, and healthy father energy from any source available: conscious men and relatives, star gazing, prayer.
In summary, men need to value themselves more, can take more preventative actions and set healing goals to help adjust the total well being. Finally, men need more support to engage in spiritual and energetic practices to feed and balance the source of healing: the deep, fearless, wild, father-blessed, masculine self.
Dan Gorbunow, AMT is trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine and offers ritual, divinations, and healing bodywork for men based out of the Uptown studio he shares with his wife, Red Earth Sanctuary. Dan also facilitates the monthly Men’s Healing Ritual at TCMC. Please email Dan for any comments or questions: email@example.com