11/26/2012 11:05 am ET Updated Jan 26, 2013

Just Because We Can, Does It Mean We Should?

Watching television and walking around most stores lately, it has become pretty clear that there is a "cure" for just about everything out there. If you wander around the pharmacy, you will find a pill, gadget or gizmo that you can ingest, apply or insert for just about anything that ails you. Just because there is a self-proclaimed "remedy," should you use it?

It occurred to me after reading so many of my colleagues' articles suggesting that people are getting sicker at earlier ages and that the severity of those illnesses has intensified greatly that maybe we need to simplify our lives more instead of over-correcting them. For example, when I see a commercial on television advertising medications to cure dry skin but the side effects can be several different forms of cancer, I ask myself once again, "Just because we can, does it mean we should?"

We all have moments of vanity, but if the risks to our health outweigh the benefits, it is time to ask ourselves what is more important -- our appearances, or our lives? The same can be said about what is in many of the cosmetics and hair care products women use. When many of my female friends found out about the dangers of certain hair treatments that they like to get in the summertime to avoid frizz, they were not dissuaded. These same women agree with me in theory, but not when faced with the decision to part with their favorite, frizz-fighting hair product.

The list can go on and on of things that we do on a daily basis to "poison" ourselves. Surely we've all asked ourselves the question, "What is so different about our generation than generations past?" With advances in technology come complications that we are, sometimes, not prepared to handle. I am an advocate for technological advancement, however, I believe that we need to know all the facts and make educated and informed decisions about what we do to our bodies instead of just jumping on the bandwagon. We have become a society of "quick fixes." The mentality is often, "I can just take a pill for that or fix that surgically" instead of doing things the old-fashioned way. For example, when you used to want to lose weight, you would diet and exercise. Often now, people will turn to diet pills. Instead of a good night's sleep -- an energy drink. Just because those options are available to us now, doesn't mean we should opt for them. A good night's sleep will always be better than artificial energy. I realize how tempting those shortcuts are, but they are simply not worth it in the end.

As a society, we are doing serious damage to ourselves and we need to ask why. Maybe it is time to get back to basics. There are enough contaminants in the world that are beyond our control. We certainly don't need to add to the factors contributing to our failing health. I never thought I would be the kind of person to want to turn the clock back a little to a simpler time, but when it comes to my health, I'm more than willing to jump back a few decades to a more organic time.

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