Imagine a healthcare system that is focused on being healthy and staying healthy, instead of what we do today…recover from sickness or just stay sick. Individuals would be taught how to eat right, exercise properly, postural correction, stress management skills, as well as ways to improve the function of their nervous system (the master controller of the human body). These techniques would provide the individual and their family with the lifestyle skills to be healthier and happier. Imagine the patient actually taking care of their body and having monthly checkups so they won’t get sick in the future. There is a term for this type of healthcare and it’s called preventative care.
Under preventative care, each individual would finally become responsible for their own health! Your health is not the insurance company or your doctors’ responsibility. Yes, they both play an important role in your health and make recommendations to improve your health and your lifestyle but it is you who has to make the decisions about what types of foods you will consume; what type and how much exercise you will perform; how many hours of sleep you get per night; and how you are going to respond to different stresses of everyday life.
Luckily, there already is a healthcare system that focuses on preventative care and not sick care. This healthcare system is called chiropractic. Chiropractors not only adjust joints of the body to activate the nervous system, restore range of motion, and decrease pain, they also examine the patients’ diet, exercise habits, posture, occupational and lifestyle stresses to find the problem causing the patients’ symptoms. Too often with sick care, patients are given prescriptions drugs to cover up the symptoms.
YOU MUST FIRST ASK YOURSELF THREE QUESTIONS:
- Does the Risk out-weight the gain? These drugs may work wonders for the symptom they are prescribed to get rid of but most have harmful side effects that can cause more damage than the symptom they are prescribed to treat.
- Is there a safer more natural way? Whatever your condition, educate yourself about other treatment options. It may not be the easy way, but it will be a healthier way. Simple changes to your diet and physical activity can work wonders as well as conservative treatments such as chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, and natural supplements that have zero side effects.
- Are symptoms an indicator of your health? We might think so, but symptoms are very poor indicators of one’s own health. Think of the many people that tragically die of heart attack. The majority of individual’s first symptom is death. How many people walk around with undiagnosed cancer? These are things to think about.
Let’s take a deeper look into sick care with other analogies. Let’s look at low back pain for example. Typical sick care (for a lack of a better term): patient complains of low back pain. After further exam patient has low back pain and muscle spasms. Patient is given an anti-inflammatory pill to decrease the inflammation in the area, pain pill to block the pain receptors and also a muscle relaxant to decrease the muscle spasm. If we realize that pain is a symptom and not the problem then this treatment doesn’t make sense. What is causing the pain? Why is the body inflamed in that area? What is the mechanism that initially started the pain? If you block the pain receptor the problem is still there, your body just won’t be able to respond to it.
Imagine if you woke up in the middle of the night because our fire alarm is going off. Instead of looking to see what is causing the alarm to go off, we just take the batteries out and go back to bed. Does this sound safe? Why do we treat our bodies in this way? Our bodies have a natural ability to heal on their own. In fact, our bodies are self-healing, self-regulating systems. Think about it, if you are cold what happens? That’s right, you develop goose bumps and begin to shiver. If you are hot, you start to sweat (your body is naturally regulating your body temperature). If you eat something that has been cooked improperly you will probably vomit. This is another protective mechanism that naturally protects you from toxic and possibly harmful substances unless of course you took a drug that over-rode this natural mechanism. We already possess the tools and ability to be healthy, but you as an individual have to take responsibility for your own health and decisions about health.
Is there a time for medications and surgery? Yes, often when we abuse our bodies to a certain point our bodies’ natural systems can’t repair all the damage. But first we should always try conservative care and if that isn’t successful then try medications and surgery. Emergency care is much needed and those doctors deserve all the credit in the world. But if an individual comes in with diabetes and they don’t try exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes first, you haven’t fixed the problem. The healthy way may be the hard way but once you discover true health you will thank yourself for making the best decision of your life. A great example of this is the show “Biggest Loser.” Individuals start the show weighing 300-430 lbs with associated health problems such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and atherosclerosis to name a few conditions. After 16 weeks of eating right and exercising they have lost hundreds of pounds of fat and they no longer have diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol. All it took was a new healthy lifestyle, and of course some hard work and dedication. Only thing that they have high levels of now is self esteem and motivation to keep improving their health and their family’s health in the future.
Your health, your decision. What are you waiting for?