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Health

  • If only we could be old and sick while we're still young and healthy enough to put up with it!

  • Health is not a condition of matter, but of Mind ...

  • Harry was extremely liberal with free pills, diagnoses and advice. On occasion, he was more effective than a regular doctor, since he was unhampered by training, medical ethics or caution, and some of his cures were miraculously quick. These were the ones his friends remembered.


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  • Next to gold and jewelry, health is the most important thing we have.

  • Avoid the necessity of a physician, if you can, by careful attention to your diet. Eat what best agrees with your system, and resolutely abstain from what hurts you, however well you may like it. A few days' abstinence, and cold water for a beverage, has driven off many an approaching disease.

  • ... health in all lands is among the indispensable guarantees of human progress.

  • Talk health. The dreary, never-ending tale / Of mortal maladies is worn and stale; / You cannot charm or interest or please / By harping on that minor chord disease. / Say you are well, or all is well with you, / And God shall hear your words and make them true.

  • Health can make money, but money cannot make health.

  • If we could learn how to balance rest against effort, calmness against strain, quiet against turmoil, we would assure ourselves of joy in living and psychological health for life.

  • Ours is an age which consciously pursues health, and yet only believes in the reality of sickness.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • "Simone Weil" (1963), Against Interpretation ()
  • The mind and the heart sometimes get another chance, but if anything happens to the poor old human frame, why, it's just out of luck, that's all.

  • Thousands upon thousands of persons have studied disease. Almost no one has studied health.

  • As I see it, every day you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself.

  • It is strange indeed that the more we learn about how to build health, the less healthy Americans become.

  • We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.

  • ... in this society, dominated as it is by the profit-seeking ventures of monopoly corporations, health has been callously transformed into a commodity — a commodity that those with means are able to afford, but that is too often entirely beyond the reach of others.

  • No one ever went to their deathbed saying, 'You know, I wish I'd eaten more rice cakes.'

  • Indeed, doctors argue that medicine is an 'art' rather than a science. And naturally, it is much more difficult for physician-peers to criticize and evaluate each other's 'artistic' judgments and performances than it would be for them to hold each other responsible for conforming to standard practices in objectively measured situations.

  • Indeed, the very definition of what constitutes a medical mistake is carefully controlled by doctors.

  • Maslow had the genius to study 'well' people rather than the sick and discovered that all fully functioning, joyful, productive, and self-actualizing people have one trait in common: chosen work or vocation.

  • I consider myself an expert on love, sex, and health. Without health you can have very little of the other two.

  • I hereby confess / That of all I possess / I'd most gladly be minus / The sinus.

  • In a word, I am always busy, which is perhaps the chief reason why I am always well.

    • Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
    • 1900, in Theodore Stanton and Harriot Stanton Blatch, eds., Elizabeth Cady Stanton As Revealed in Her Letters Diary and Reminiscences, vol. 2 ()
  • This is the first generation to know that the choices we're making have ultimate consequences. It's a time when you either choose life or you choose death ... Going along with the current order means that you're choosing death.

  • [On acupuncture:] The needles are small and won't hurt at all. In fact, they'll feel good. Ha, ha! Just kidding. They feel like needles. Because they are.

  • Now, it is a good sanitary principle, that what is curative is preventive ...

  • I had the constitution of a missionary.

  • ... as we acquire new aches and new pains, our health care is, of necessity, being supplied by internists, cardiologists, dermatologists, podiatrists, urologists, periodontists, gynecologists and psychiatrists, from all of whom we want a second opinion. We want a second opinion that says, don't worry, you are going to live forever.

  • As we understand the doctors, you can live much longer if you quit everything that makes you want to.

  • We are fast moving toward an aristocracy of health.

  • Every theory in medicine, if medicine is to remain healthy, must be beaten out on the anvil of skepticism. So do we weed out charlatanism.

  • ... even though disease and sorrow are all about us, health and happiness are the normal state of man.

  • You cannot keep up a nightlife and amount to anything in the day. You cannot indulge in those foods and liquors that destroy the physique and still hope to have a physique that functions with the minimum of destruction to itself. A candle burnt at both ends may shed a brighter light, but the darkness that follows is for a longer time.

    • Coco Chanel,
    • in Djuna Barnes, I Could Never Be Lonely Without a Husband ()
  • ... I would desire you to heed some of the same advice you offer me, by not immersing yourself so deeply in your studies that you jeopardize your health too markedly; for if your poor body is to serve as an instrument capable of sustaining your zest for understanding and investigating novelties, it is well that you grant it some needed rest, lest it become so depleted as to render even your powerful intellect unable to savor that nourishment it devours with such relish.

    • Virginia Galilei,
    • in Dava Sobel., trans., Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 ()
  • Health is not simply the absence of sickness.

  • My body was never entirely the same from day to day; there would usually be some newly sore toe or something pinching or rubbing or aching somewhere to create an annoying backbeat for the day's trudge — the ache du jour. After age forty, it's always something. But after eight-five, it's always nearly everything.

    • Doris Haddock,
    • with Dennis Burke, Granny D: Walking Across America in My 90th Year ()
  • You never realize how long a minute is until you get a mammogram.

    • Jan Henkelman,
    • in Howard J. Bennett, ed., The Doctor's Book of Humorous Quotations ()
  • Fact One: Cataract surgery is simple, painless and (except with implants) risk free ... the whole procedure is common, routine and nothing to worry about. Fact Two: Fact One applies only to cataracts on the eyes in somebody else's head.

  • Our ignorance in attaining health lies chiefly in not knowing what to put in our stomachs.

  • Medication without explanation is obscene.

    • Toni Cade Bambara,
    • "Christmas Eve at Johnson's Drugs N Goods," The Sea Birds Are Still Alive ()
  • ... your healthy people are always prejudiced against medicine.

  • It's a well-known fact: in order to follow doctor's orders, you have to be healthy as a horse.

  • Some people take pleasure in regaling one and all with details of their poor health. They are happy to give an organ recital to anyone who will listen.

  • To me good health is more than just exercise and diet. It's really a point of view and a mental attitude you have about yourself.

  • Being a physical person, as a woman, and knowing how to move your body, how to balance, how to run, how to turn, how to be in confrontation whether physical or mental is a very empowering thing. It gives you a tremendous amount of confidence in everything you do.

    • Dawn Riley,
    • in Christina Lessa, Women Who Win: Stories of Triumph in Sport and in Life ()
  • The seed of health is in illness, because illness contains information.

  • Health care is news, partly because of costs and partly because of length of life, both of which exceed expectations.

    • Helen Hayes,
    • with Marion Glasserow Gladney, Loving Life ()
  • We have never seen health as a right. It has been conceived as a privilege, available only to those who can afford it. This is the real reason the American health care system is in such a scandalous state.

  • Nobody complains about hospital food anymore; perhaps hospitals no longer need to serve food, since all the patients are sent home before dinnertime. Consumer advocates urge us to get tough with our provider organizations, demand our rights, and stomp out in a snit to try elsewhere, but this is a lot to ask when we're wobbly and feverish, or perhaps unconscious.

  • Poor kids are much more likely to become sick than their richer counterparts, but much less likely to have health insurance. Talk about a double whammy.

  • Our health care system will not truly serve the needs and welfare of the public until it is separated from profitmaking enterprises.

  • Just as physicians have regulated medical practice to maximize their autonomy and profits, so will the giant corporations and their administrators use the health industry to build up power and profits.

  • What we have is 'sickness' care.

    • Maggie Kuhn,
    • in Dieter Hessel, Maggie Kuhn on Aging ()
  • Time was when medicine could do very little for critically ill or dying patients. Now it can do too much. Where to draw the line is the subject of a broad, heated debate throughout the country, a debate that becomes louder with each new medical miracle or impossible case ....

  • We are fast moving toward an aristocracy of health.

  • How much ... did the volume of disease in a nation account for its spirit? If so, the eradication of sickness, as far as it was possible, was a responsibility a democracy must assume for its people.

  • We currently have a system for taking care of sickness. We do not have a system for enhancing and promoting health.

  • Health care delivery is one of the tragedies still in America.

  • No private scheme can ever be devised that will bring medical service to the majority of the people of the United States. We are gradually learning that under our economic system of 'free enterprise,' adequate medical service can never be paid for as a private cost.

  • France, like every other Western country except the United States, has long accepted the principle that comprehensive health care is the right of every citizen. No Frenchman need ever fear that catastrophic illness will wipe him out financially. How long, do you suppose, will it take us, in the United States, to catch up?

  • There is little doubt that the trend today is toward some form of 'controlled' medicine in the United States.

  • ... America must deal once and for all with an utterly irrational health care financing system that allows private interests to make billions in profits from the pain and suffering of their fellow citizens. America is the only country in the industrialized world that does not provide tax-supported universal health care coverage in some form.

  • Health is a human right, not a privilege to be purchased.