I met a dermatologist another day that made my skin creep. He was in his thirties, tall, slender, and unsmiling, like many doctors nowadays. But what stood out was a fresh-looking, full-color, eye-popping tattoo on his right arm which snaked its way up out of his wrist, circumvented his forearm, and slipped beneath his short-sleeved top to unknown anatomical locations.
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I believe he had a tattoo on his left arm, but I was too gobsmacked at the opportunity to take note. Now, you may think, as I do, a tattooed dermatologist is an oxymoron. It doesn’t require much imagination, or research on the Internet, to understand that tattoos are bad for the skin. The most obvious problem is that tattooing is done by puncturing the skin, causing skin trauma and risk of disease.
Interestingly, there’s research that links the injury to the skin made by both vaccinations and tattooing as a cause of numerous skin reactions, including cancer. The inks used are also a problem, causing allergies and exposure to heavy metals. It’s fairly common for people to have an allergic reaction to the dyes used in tattoos. Ink is in fact full of many chemicals and unnatural ingredients which may irritate a person’s skin. There’s also a link to skin cancer.
When it comes to cancer, black ink can be particularly dangerous because it comprises a very substantial amount of benzo(a)pyrene. Benzo(a)pyrene is currently listed as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Black ink is the most widely used colour for tattooing. You may believe that this physician might have gotten his tattoos before becoming a doctor, so that he did not know any better. But this was a new tattoo.
And he was flaunting it, not hiding it. Tattoos are common nowadays, and fashionable in certain circles. Doctors want to appear cool, like everybody else. They grew up like everybody else, exposed to, and brainwashed by, the identical cultural messages. They simply decide to enter medicine. I also met with a cardiologist who smoked cigarettes. He was also morbidly obese, and ate a big, juicy hamburger with fries for lunch.
Needless to say, being fat, smoking and eating fried foods may raise cardiovascular disease. An obese, smoking cardiologist eating fast food makes as much sense as a tattooed dermatologist. Maybe these physicians are drawn to their own specialties because they know they will require treatment from that specialty because of their lifestyles? It’s like when mentally-disturbed, neurotic folks become psychologists or psychiatrists.
How about female physicians who constrict their breasts with tight bras for long hours each day? There are lots of female breast health specialists, including breast surgeons, who use breast-harming bras. Their medical training never said tight clothes as a cause of circulatory impairment and lymph stasis. These doctors voluntarily snare and change their breast contour, conceal their nipples, and essentially re-design their breast look for cultural reasons, and do so despite the documented harms due to bras, such as inducing breast pain, cysts, and cancer.
Wearing bras is only something every girl is expected to perform, even physicians. Is this hypocrisy? Should we expect physicians to be paragons of wellness and healthy lifestyles? More basically, once we seek help, does it matter if the helper is in exactly the same mess we’re in? To put it differently, can you anticipate a lifeline from somebody in exactly the exact same boat as you? We seek help in several areas. Would you go to a priest who was a known pedophile? Would you use a mechanic whose car is broken down? Would you go to a hairdresser who is having a “bad hair day”? Would you use a plastic surgeon that has a large nose, cock-eyed chin, and facial scars? How about eating at a restaurant where the cook is out due to food poisoning? You may also go into a health food store and purchase chips, candy, coffee, beer, wine, and plenty of other unhealthy stuff.
Then there are the drug addiction recovery programs that provide coffee to everyone, among the most addictive substances we have. Clearly, there is a issue here. We live in a culture where there are tons of products and actions that could harm us. In actuality, the largest cause of death and disease is that the culture and all of the terrible things it teaches us to believe, feel and do. We consume these cultural messages in the uterus forward, because our character becomes modified by our civilization. This applies to everybody. It has doctors, too. Just because a person studied medicine, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they eliminated all harmful cultural practices in their own lives.
he identical cultural causes of disorder that fill their waiting rooms fill their private lives. In actuality, the medical culture is even worse on physicians. For some reason that’s not clear, the medical system exploits physicians with long work hours and sleepless afternoon and night shifts. Doctors are rushed and pressured, catching unhealthy snacks on the go. They become tempted to abuse drugs to keep going, but might settle for drinking 10-20 cups of strong coffee, instead. In addition they become tempted to use drugs to relax, but might settle for a couple of alcoholic drinks. They have very little recreation time, or time with their families.
And based on their specialization, they are exposed daily to infectious diseases, radiation, death, the soul-robbing sights and scents of physicians, and the melancholy of treating endless lines of ill people, frequently using therapies that do no good, and for conditions which have no known cause. Clearly, being a physician can make you sick, emotionally and physically. No wonder there are so many physician suicides. Just practicing medicine is slow suicide.
This also suggests that doctors aren’t the ones to inform patients to clean up their lifestyles. The physician’s lifestyle is at least as bad, and really worse. They participate in the exact same unhealthy culture as everybody else, addicted to a number of the very same things, and afflicted by the exact same psychological and physical difficulties. But they are the people that are intended to treat those issues. This is a simple reason medicine doesn’t emphasize lifestyle or other ethnic causes of disease.
How do doctors tell patients to do things that they do? This is why many discoveries of the cultural causes of disease are left unnoticed by medication. For instance, when smoking was accepted as good and safe for you, everybody smoked, including physicians. In the 1950’s, there were advertisements by tobacco companies using physicians to promote smoking. New study that showed smoking caused lung cancer has been ignored, ridiculed, and opposed vehemently by many in the medical profession.
Nobody likes to be told that what they’re doing is wrong and may damage them, especially physicians that are considered to be the experts on health. Telling smoking physicians that their habit is in fact bad is a challenge to their authority. And how do they inform smoking patients to stop? Another example is found in the modern debate over the health dangers of bras and their connection to breast cancer. I know about this matter personally, since the co-researcher, together with my spouse Soma Grismaijer, of the world’s first study focused on the bra-cancer link. There are now many studies globally which link breast cancer with the wearing of tight bras.
Essentially, bra-free girls have about the same risk of breast cancer as men, while the tighter and more the bra is worn the greater the risk rises, to over 100 times greater for a 24/7 bra user compared to some bra-free woman. But this info is still being resisted by a civilization that has become as addicted to bras since it was to cigarettes. Women have become conditioned into thinking they want artificially-shaped breasts to be acceptable in public. Even physicians have bought into that message.
Under the spell of the lingerie business, the notion of being bra-free in people sends a chill down the backs of women who would feel ashamed and nude without their breasts being jumped by a bra. MeToo world. Must women’s breasts be continuously sexualized by pushing, squeezing, prodding, pinching, compressing, constricting, cleavaging, and lifting their breasts? Ironically, many female physicians using bras are insisting that under no conditions can bras cause illness, particularly cancer.
The reason is they can’t envision themselves being bra-free in the office, and it is a logical conclusion of the information. If they understood that bras were causing illness, then they would need to defend their bra dependence. This means that there’s an additional problem brought on by physicians being as ignorant as everybody else with respect to unhealthy lifestyles.
Does the bad-lifestyle physician model bad lifestyles, but that physician might also be emotionally and personally invested in defending those terrible lifestyles. They don’t need to quit doing what everybody else is also doing. They would like to belong, exactly like everyone else, even if this requires smoking, drinking, or performing other harmful behaviors. But their denial carries weight with patients. Doctors model and teach implicitly by their own behaviors. Should doctors have to practice the most recent lifestyle trend alleged to enhance health and protect against disease?
Before anything like this can even be contemplated, the larger obstacle for physicians is their particular medical culture that abuses them and compels them to suicide and depression. Provided that the institutional and corporate forces that control medication continue to abuse physicians with a harmful medical culture, do not expect medicine to concentrate on culture. Medical culture is a glass house which won’t throw stones in pop culture. And because the medical industry profits from the discovery and treatment of the resulting diseases, there’s actually financial incentive to keep the cultural status quo, even if this culture is also killing physicians. There are lots more pre-med students waiting to take their place. This is double-blind medication. The patient and doctor are in the dark. It’s the blind leading the blind, except that the blind leaders refuse their blindness and scoff at those who see the light.