It’s up to you

Three stories that illustrate the first rule of health care

There are few things in life that are more important than health. Wealth, fame, power—all seem relatively unimportant to anyone who is incapacitated by illness.

How can we best stay healthy? We can and should begin, of course, by taking good care of ourselves. But even healthy people sometimes have to see a doctor. There too, however, those who take an active part in solving their health problems, working in partnership with their physicians, usually have better results than those who don’t.

In this special package, we present the stories of three people whose experiences illustrate that, the more involved you are in your own care, the healthier you are likely to be.

Beginning on this page is a story about the new phenomenon of body scans and a local woman who got the scare of her life—and then did her homework.

Following that is a personal essay on meditation, an increasingly popular tool that has the potential not only to make people calmer and happier, but also to help them understand themselves much better.

Finally, we take a look at one man’s battle with back pain, examining the causes of and cures for a condition that afflicts many millions of Americans.

We wish all of our readers good health.

Lessons from Cleveland

Just sitting and breathing

Oh, my aching back