Men's Health. What about it?

Time and time again, we drop the ball on men's health. Sure, the health industry will address fitness, viagra, and other quick fixes. However regarding public health information, we fail at helping men understand the basics of their life transitions; physically, mentally, and emotionally. Even existential subjects are shoved into a gender neutral bag, despite individual needs and gender specific issues.

Statistically, the lifespan of men is increasing. The lifespan gap between men and women is decreasing. Men still visit the doctor more seldom, ask fewer questions while at the office, and under treatment. Yet, many feel uncertain at some sneaking point in life. A sense of change is experienced, but seldom verbalized. 

As people live longer in general, our previous understanding of life phases is being redefined.  We no longer think in terms of transition from young adulthood to middle age. We now need to think in terms of First, and Second Adulthood before hitting what middle age used to be. Afterall; fifty is the new forty, and sixty is the new fifty.

Change can feel creepy, and especially when accompanied by physiological change. We drop the ball on helping men to understand these transitions; which include, but are not limited to physiology. Unfortunately, our Western cultures still insist on molding men into the same-old definitions of stoic strength, regardless of how they are maturing.

"Men may not equate change with growth. Generally speaking, they associate change with loss, giving up, being overtaken, failing. It is not seen as a positive part of inner growth and the road to a new power. Particularly in the first half of their lives, men are rewarded for putting blinders on and pursuing their narrow career path: life seems straightforward......The crucial innings of Second Adulthood are neither played by the same rules nor scored in the same way as a young man's game. But most men are so focused on winning the first half, they usually miss the signals that can prepare them with a winning strategy for middle and later life." (Sheehy, 1999, p.5, p.11)
I realize I wrote a book for women, but some of my favorite people to work with throughout the years have been men. There is something so uniquely fabulous about the male 45+ age group. All adult men, for that matter. The potential energy of the power, wisdom, and experience residing within them ready to be utilized in new ways is amazing. With a little more knowledge about caretaking themselves throughout their transitions, that energy can be focused in ways that may feel meaningful. 

“It is not what he has, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.” –Henri-Frédéric Amiel 

Stay safe and warm wishes,
Tamera Daun

Sheehy, Gail. (1999). Understanding men's passages. New York, NY:Random House Publishing Group.

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