We certainly are going through interesting times where even the average person is getting exposed to so many aspects of the modern American “health care” system.
Every day we see the heroic efforts of our doctors and nurses who are putting themselves in direct contact with a highly transmissible and potentially deadly virus. I think that these people are incredibly noble and brave and are operating from a high sense of obligation to ease the suffering of their patients.
As time passes and we can look in the rearview mirror at this pandemic infection, one of the many assessments that we’ll undoubtedly make is that we missed the opportunity to properly prepare our health care system for this sort of disease. As we’re already seeing, the politicians and pundits will argue over who’s to blame and who failed to do the right thing but I believe that there are even bigger lessons to be learned from this experience.
The current model of “health care” is mismatched for our needs, it is woefully incomplete in its arsenal and has too long been completely driven by pharmaceutical profits and administrative bureaucracy. It lacks the ability to even consider non-pharmaceutical interventions to promote health.
I’ve often said that one of the most insidious misnomers in the world today is calling today’s medicine, “health care” instead of the more apt term “disease management“. According to the World Health Organization (also getting a lot of press these days), the definition of health is “the state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Therefore caring for one’s health must go far beyond the “saving” of lives inside of a gargantuan, complex, and insanely expensive procedure-delivery system.
The truth is that most medical physicians know this fact. They are leaving the practice of medicine in large numbers as a result of the impact of “moral injury” from an inability to deliver the outcomes that they know they want to deliver. (1)
Of course, the need for heroic medical intervention will never go away completely. There is no way to eliminate all trauma, accidents and microscopic bugs that would create a need for invasive procedures. We know that chronic, preventable disease is responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths in America every year and accounts for over 75% of our national health care expenditures. (2) These chronic conditions won’t be solved by a “disease” focus but rather by a focus on the habits that sustain and create health.
True health care recognizes the continual process by which one nurtures a state of proper function and optimization of their body’s inborn healing potential. This is accomplished through appropriate lifestyle choices (movement, diet, hydration, stress management, sleep, and recreation, etc.) that allow one to live a life that is rich, happy more vital.
In the ideal state of health, you have an opportunity to live an abundant and inspired life.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself what model you are living in:
- Are you suppressing symptoms or supporting the normal function of your body?
- Do your actions reflect an attitude that your health is your doctor’s responsibility or yours?
- Do you primarily use treatments consisting of toxic chemicals or do you try to utilize natural products that promote your well being?
- Does your approach often produce unwanted side effects or side benefits?
- Are you waiting for a disease to develop or are you proactively creating wellness?
- When your symptoms go away, do you discontinue the thing that you were doing?
One response to “Health Focused or Disease Focused?”
This understanding is critical yet gets turned around in our minds so easily. Even when we understand the concept it is so easy to go at healing backwards. I needed this message today.