Why is it that our health takes a backseat to just about everything else in our lives? When you feel physically ill, you still go to work. Taking a day off due to illness is almost unheard of now that most people have the ability to work from home. And you can forget about unplugging during vacation.
Did you throw your back out? Well, that yard work still needs to get done. An evening full of kids’ activities after a long day at work means you don’t have time to prepare a healthy dinner. If you lose a loved one or go through a period of emotional stress, you dive right into your everyday routine without taking any time to process what happened.
I’m convinced that one of the main reasons why health isn’t a higher priority is the fact that most people don’t know what health means. They don’t know what kind of care is available beyond prescription medication, and they don’t realize how much control they have over their health.
What Is Health?
The dictionary defines health as the state of being free from illness or injury. For most people, that’s enough. The World Health Organization defines health as a state of physical, mental and social well-being. This is quite a leap from the dictionary definition.
Instead of settling for not being sick, let’s focus on doing what we can do to feel our best in all three areas of the Triad of Health – the physical, nutritional, and psychological. This involves becoming educated and making better decisions about what you eat, how you exercise your body and your brain, and how you manage stress.
By taking steps to build and maintain an optimal state of health, you not only reduce the risk of disease, but you also gain the ability to recover and bounce back from illness quickly and fully.
Health Care vs. Sick Care
In our country, we have a “sick care” system. We wait for people to get sick and reactively treat disease, usually with medication, which masks symptoms instead of fixing the problem. This is why we have a chronic illness epidemic. Three-quarters of health care costs go to the management of chronic illnesses, most of which are preventable and even reversible.
In a true “health care” system, health is a priority. We focus on proactively preventing disease by making better lifestyle choices. If someone gets sick, we pinpoint the root cause, address the problem at the source, and treat the whole person, not individual conditions. We learn why someone gets sick, not just what disease they have.
This is functional medicine. Instead of focusing on how to treat disease, we focus on creating and maintaining health. After all, you can’t achieve or regain a state of optimal health unless you identify and treat the cause of the problem. We take a functional medicine-based approach at Natural Healthcare Center
Take Control of Your Health
Finally, another big reason why health isn’t a high priority is because most people don’t realize just how much power they have. In an environment where it might seem like insurance companies hold all the power, you’re in charge.
You have the ability to make lifestyle decisions that improve your health and reduce the risk of illness and injury. You have the ability to choose your doctors and therapists based on who you feel is right for you. If you don’t like the care you receive from a doctor and their staff, you can switch.
You’ll see me talk about this quite a bit in 2020 – getting back to the foundation and fundamentals of health, understanding what good health is and is not, and making health a higher priority. This is critical to feeling better, functioning better, and living longer.