Be Your Own Health Advocate
Lets face it, everywhere we turn we are being bombarded by advertisements and marketing about the newest, latest, greatest, magic bullet to fix all your health care concerns. Unfortunately there is no one thing that will heal your body and restore your health and vitality. There are however certain things that when used in conjunction with proper diet, exercise, and rest that can aid in your recovery and help keep you healthy.
There are a couple of different philosophies that exist in our society today about healthcare. There is the sickcare model that is followed by most allopathic doctors. Their philosophy is that when you become ill, they look to diagnose the one cause of your disease, and treat that cause by prescribing medications to reduce your symptoms or cut the problem out with surgery. The healthcare model is utilized more by chiropractors, naturopaths, and acupuncturists, to evaluate the person as a whole and treat the whole person to help restore homeostasis or balance back to the person, which will also reduce their symptoms and keep them healthy. This is done through lifestyle modification, spinal manipulation, nutritional compounds of vitamins, minerals, and herbs and meridian balancing. These are general categories and not all doctors’ fit just one side or the other. There are medical doctors that try and see the whole picture of a person’s health, and there are natural minded practitioners who only focus on certain aspects of a persons health and not on the whole person either, like joint pain treated only by manipulation, or just using supplements to treat health issues.
So it gets complicated, and how as a consumer do you know who to trust and what to choose for the right tools to keep you healthy and vibrant? It would be great if money grew on tree’s and you had endless resources to dedicate to your health, but in reality we can be very limited in our choices because of our budgets, the type of health insurance you have, and the doctors who you choose to see and their advise that you follow.
No one knows your body better than you. You know if you have pain, you know if your digestive system is working correctly or not, you know if you have plenty of energy, what you don’t know is what to do to fix the problem you are experiencing. Now you have to make a choice. For some people this is easy because you have a team of health care providers that you can trust with your problems, but for many people they don’t have a good team of doctors and go to the first place that they can get into hoping to find relief.
Does this sound familiar? If so then you need to start researching and finding the right doctors to fit your health care needs. Just blankly accepting your health care without question is a recipe for disaster. I explain it best by comparing the sickcare vs. healthcare. Sickcare stops death from happening by using medicine to force physiology to be different. Healthcare works with your body to remove the interference with health and let your body physiology do what its supposed to do, which has been the same for thousands of years.
Becoming informed about your health does take time and there is a lot of material to sift through, so if you don’t have 8 years to dedicate to school to get a degree in some form of health care, the next best thing is to start gathering information and comparing treatment options and then looking at the reasons why you are having trouble in the first place.
Being your own health advocate will be a bit challenging at first, but as you stay dedicated to your health you will find that many things start to repeat themselves and your ability to find good advice will come from many of the same places. The internet is full of information, but be careful of Dr. Google because many of the top sites that come up will be trying to sell you something. There are many great pod casts that have wonderful information to help you educate yourself on all sorts of health topics. Make sure however to check the credentials of the person giving you the information, did they actually study at an accredited institution? It is also good to see if you can find more than one reference that supports the information you are looking for.
Besides the internet there are many local resources that can be very helpful at finding more natural approaches to health concerns. Local periodicals (like Bozeman Magazine) often have great health tips for you to read about. There are also many great organizations and local groups that get together like the Weston A. Price chapter here in Bozeman. If you’re working out at a local gym reach out to some of your friends there and ask them where they get their information and which health practitioners they use as resources for their health challenges; most people actually really love to talk about their health.
Be open to looking outside of the box if you truly want to regain your health. Health will never be found in a prescription or supplement bottle. They may aid in your recovery and move you down the journey towards better health, but they won’t actually heal you. Healing comes from within, and remember to be healthy you have to eat well, move well and think well all at the same time. Focusing on health as a whole will relieve most of your healthcare concerns and help you to live a healthy, natural, and optimal life.