Monday, July 4, 2011

The Goal is Health

The Goal Is Health
As a chiropractor and health coach I routinely ask patients a few simple questions
Do you want to be healthy? Or, do you want to be sick?
How much do you value your health?
It’s a no-brainer! Everyone says they want to be healthy, and that they value their health.
And yet, so many of us are so sick; struggling with a host of daily symptoms, aches, pains, fatigue and stress, spending huge sums of money and innumerable hours and days of our lives in doctors' offices, hospitals and pharmacies, and even more time wrestling with insurance companies; living lives propped up on, and clouded by, a multi-pharmacy of lifetime medications. Not to mention, the time, money and effort spent caring for other sick family members. There are many reasons for this which I will expand upon in future blogs, but for now, let’s start at the beginning.

So, if everyone says they want to be healthy, and that they value their health, the real question is why are we so sick?

The bottom line is that we have lost sight, and understanding, of the real goal. How so?
What is your definition of health?
If you are like most of my patients, and the many health professionals I have asked, you are struggling with an answer to this simple, and most basic, question. I encourage you to ask others, especially your doctor.
The most common responses being:
1. the off the cuff answer: “feeling good.”
2. the dictionary answer: “the state of mental, physical and spiritual well being.”
3. the medical answer: “the absence of disease.”
None of these answers, least of all the medical one, define health. If anything, they describe some of the positive 'side-effects' of being healthy.
Lack of a clear definition almost certainly puts the goal out of reach. After all, one can 'feel good,' and be very unhealthy; a ticking time-bomb. The 'absence of disease,'..that merely indicates a sub-clinical condition, without overt symptoms, but not remotely robust health. Again, a ticking time bomb. 'A state of well being;' closer, but really only substitutes the words well being for health, and skirts the definition.
The more clearly a goal is defined and understood, the more likely it will be achieved.
Health is your body's innate capacity to maintain homeostasis (balance), and adapt to chemical, physical and emotional stressors that challenge that balance. Health, in other words, is your genetically hardwired set-point. You do not get healthy. You become sick. Disease is the absence of health!
Understanding this simple truth changes the paradigm. We can move away from our current failed disease-based , sickness care, so-called prevention oriented medical model as providers of health to a wellness model in which we nurture our innate capacity for health through informed and healthy daily lifestyle choices and actions.
After all, what's more important for, and will have a greater impact on, your health; worrying about your blood pressure, cholesterol, sugar and your weight, and taking a lifetime of multiple daily medications? Or, actively living a lifestyle that promotes health?
The question isn't so much; Do you want to be healthy? Or, do you value your health? as it is:
What are you WILLING TO DO, to change your life to nurture health verses create disease?

1 comment:

lee said...

Health = our natural state of being.

I take my cues from nature and, so far, I've not seen any animal strapped with a bottle of pharmaceuticals. Then again, they are not conditioned into believing it is necessary and most likely more readily adapt to the soil depletion of nutrients and all the other deficiencies of which we are continuously informed.

If you learn of a potential problem you may have or "develop" through a ready-made packaged solution filled with side effects... think thrice!