What we call health care in America is in reality “sickness care”. In other words, you ignore your health; you get sick; you go to the doctor to get better. The doctor takes care of your sickness. Treatments are designed to manage symptoms. Patients are given anti-inflammatory drugs for pain, antibiotics for infections, cholesterol lowering drugs for high cholesterol, Ritalin for ADD and so on. The primary concern is the symptoms; the cause is ignored.
Wellness care, on the other hand, focuses on staying well when you are healthy. If you are having health problems, wellness care focuses on finding and eliminating the cause of disease. While it is desirable to eliminate symptoms, in many cases it is more important to treat the cause.
It is necessary to focus on symptoms when they are life threatening. In acute appendicitis, for example, you would rather remove the appendix and prevent it from rupturing than to concern yourself with the cause of the appendicitis. Improving the diet may be a good follow-up afterthe surgeon treats the symptom and saves the patient’s life.
An anti-depressant drug may not address the cause of the depression, but if it keeps the patient from committing suicide, it is a useful therapy. A patient who is mildly depressed may do better with natural therapies that address the cause of the depression.
A Guide to Wellness Care
You can approach your health in a systematic manner, eliminating the cause of any current health problems and preventing health problems later in life. Chronic health problems like asthma, allergies, digestive problems, colitis, joint pain, muscle spasms, back pain, fatigue, depression, anxiety, skin problems, obesity, headaches, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, gastric reflux, menstrual problems, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, immune system problems etc. often respond best to natural therapies. By focusing on the cause of health problems symptoms can often be eliminated permanently and without side effects. Even in some severe chronic conditions, symptoms can be reduced and health improved.
Triad of Health
Wellness care means treating the whole person. There are three major areas that have to be addressed when treating the whole person: Structure, chemical and mental (or spiritual). This is holistic health care. You don’t treat a headache; you treat the person who has the headaches and all aspects of his or her health. A person suffering from headaches may have a structural problem-vertebrae in the neck can out of place (subluxations) can create nerve irritation and headache pain. The headache may have a chemical component, nutrient deficiency, allergy and low blood sugar can all cause headaches. Your mental state, stress and worry for example, can also be a cause a headache. In any chronic condition, it is wise to treat the whole person and all three aspects of health, structural, chemical and mental.
Structure: Probably the best example of treating structural health is chiropractic. For over a century chiropractors have been treating the body’s structure. Chiropractic is based on the idea that misalignments of the spine (called subluxations) can irritate nerves. The nerve irritation caused by subluxation can create pain and affect the function of various organs.
There are other examples of how structure can affect health. Tight muscles, for example, can cause fatigue. Your body doesn’t know the difference between a muscle that is working and one that is in spasm. Keeping a muscle tight requires energy. Keeping a proper balance in the spine, muscles and other structures of the body is important for good health.
Chiropractic and other systems of balancing the body’s structure are not only good for treating pain, they can positively affect all aspects of health. Good structural balance is an integral part of wellness care.
Chemical: Drug therapies are medicine’s attempt to treat the body’s chemistry. A more natural way to balance the body’s chemistry is the use of nutrition and herbal remedies. Everything the body does involves a chemical reaction. Digestion, pain, movement of muscles, signals from the nervous system, production of energy and even thought all are chemical reactions. Food, vitamins and minerals provide the body with the raw materials for these chemical reactions. Poor nutrition, digestion and absorption of food can create chemical imbalances and even disease. Informed use of vitamins, minerals and other nutritional products can balance the body’s chemistry restoring health and preventing disease.
Mental (or spiritual): Your mind can contribute to illness or to health. Mental stress creates hormonal changes, adversely affects the immune system, uses up vitamins and causes minerals to be excreted. Stress increases blood pressure, heart rate and increases blood clotting (implicated in athlerosclerosis). Mental state can affect healing. Studies have indicated that counseling, visualizing and positive thinking are all linked to healing. Survival rates of cancer patients have been doubled by counseling and support groups.
The Importance of Wellness Care
Good health is more than just not being sick. Health is the optimal functioning of all organs and systems of the body. This is attained by balancing the body’s chemistry and structure and from good mental health. This program is designed to help you identify and improve all of the areas that affect your health. It is a way to systematically look at all of the areas of your health.