Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

World Health Organization

I am at the moment deaf in the ears, hoarse in the throat, red in the nose, green in the gills, damp in the eyes, twitchy in the joints, and fractious in temper from a most intolerable and oppressive cold.

Charles Dickens

A bad cold wouldn’t be so annoying if it weren’t for the advice of our friends.

Kin Hubbard

Everyone should be his own physician. We ought to assist and not force nature. Eat with moderation what agrees with your constitution. Nothing is good for the body but what we can digest. What medicine can produce digestion? Exercise. What will recruit strength? Sleep. What will alleviate incurable ills? Patience.


The great secret of doctors . . . still hidden from the public is that most things get better by themselves.

Lewis Thomas

If one’s bowels move, one is happy, and if they don’t move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it.

Lin Yutang

Sometimes I think our ancestors would laugh through their tears if they could see how we eat. . . . We eat mostly from colorful boxes and cans. We spray our vegetables and fruits with deadly chemicals, then ship them halfway around the world before we eat them. . . . It’s been a grand experiment in the wonders of technology, but what a price we’re paying [with] our health!

Kristina Turner

I don’t understand why asking people to eat a well-balanced vegetarian diet is considered drastic, while it’s medically conservative to cut people open and put them on powerful cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.

Dean Ornish

If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking, and loving, you don’t actually live longer; it just seems longer.

Clement Freud

Seeing modern healthcare from the other side, I can say that it is clearly not set up for the patient. It is frequently a poor arrangement for doctors as well, but that does not mitigate how little the system accounts for the patient’s best interest.

Ross I. Donaldson

I think the biggest problem with healthcare today is not its cost — which is a big problem — but for all that money, it’s not an expression of our humanity.

Jonathan Bush

You need a good bedside manner with doctors or you will get nowhere.

William S. Burroughs

Why don’t we train our healthcare providers in compassion so that they can do what they’re supposed to do, which is to really transform suffering?

Joan Halifax

Even doctors — or perhaps especially doctors — need to be touched by something personally to understand the suffering of others. We’ve been taught about the enormous power over life and death that is invested in us. . . . Almost instinctively we view death, incurable disease, and disability as challenging our power. . . . I guess that we have to defend ourselves against the human suffering that confronts us every day, otherwise we’d quickly go under. Medical jargon helps keep us remote. . . . If we think too much, we realize that we — and our loved ones — are just as vulnerable as the rest of humanity.

Jane Wilson-Howarth

In the face of such overwhelming statistical possibilities, hypochondria has always seemed to me to be the only rational position to take on life.

John Diamond

A good physician is a changer of beliefs. He will replace an idea of illness with one of health.

Jane Roberts

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.

Sylvia Plath