You might be wondering what I mean by active or passive when it comes to your health and your healthcare. Maybe you’re thinking that nobody does it for you so you must be active. We will explore this because if you really desire to be healthy then this is one of the most important considerations.
Before We Answer the Question…
Where Does the US Rank in Health?
The United States spends more money per capita on healthcare and a larger percentage of our GDP than any other country. On top of that we certainly have a high standard of living. So, it would be natural to assume that we must rank high in individual and population health.
Here are a few tidbits to indicate how our system of healthcare is faring:
- The US ranks last among western nations in health outcomes – these are the important things like life expectancy.
- Highest infant mortality
- Lowest life expectancy
Back to Passive or Active
Along with our terrible outcomes and the obscene amount of money we spend on health care, our medical system is passive in nature. When I say passive it means that you are not really an active participant in your health in the western model.
Western medicine relies on 2 primary tools to treat illness and disease. And, if you go to your doctor you are likely to receive one or more of these tools. Perhaps, you might have to undergo some testing, but after the testing you get one of these tools:
1. Medications: this is number one in western medicine. If you go to an MD you are more than likely to receive a prescription for one or more medications. It is routine for someone over 40 years old to be on multiple medications.
Did you know that medical error is the third leading cause of death in this country behind heart disease and cancer?
2. Surgery: this is the second of the two big tools of western medicine. Surgery is so routine that we seem to take it for granted. But, it should be treated as a big deal. There are always risks of complications with even the most minor of surgeries.
Discussing the role of both drugs and surgery is the subject of another article. For now let’s look at how the medical system approaches health and what the alternative is.
Medicine is COMPLETELY Passive
Medicine takes the approach of doing something to you. It might be a drug or it might be a procedure like an injection or it might be surgery. All you need to do is show up. If you could drop your body off and pick it up later it would not change much.
A great analogy for this is your car care. You bring your vehicle to the mechanic or the tire shop and drop it off for repairs and maintenance. After the work is done you pick it up and drive off. That is akin to how our medical system approaches health.
IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY! Well, that is how it works but that isn’t the path to health. And, as a consequence the health of people who rely on this passive approach is declining year over year.
Check this out: the current generation of children is the first projected to have a lower life expectancy than their parents.
What we are doing is clearly not working!
And, being a passive participant in your own health is a big reason why.
The Key is to be an Active Participant in Your Health
It’s been said that a healthy person has a thousand wishes but a sick person only one.
You must be an active participant in your health. Your expression of health has much more to do with how you live day in and day out than it does with taking a prescription when you get sick.
Research has demonstrated that it is much less your genetics that determines your health and much more about your lifestyle. This is called epigenetics. It’s about how you live.
Lifestyle practices like:
- Movement and Exercise
- Time in Nature
- Self-care like Chiropractic, Massage
What you do and how you live day in and day out has the biggest impact on your expression of health. I think of health like a garden. If you tend your garden regularly by watering and weeding it becomes productive.
Treat your health like a garden. You should be doing things daily that contribute to your overall health and well being. The practices that nurture health are the practices that you do daily, weekly, and monthly.
About the author:
Bringing more than 3 decades of practice experience, Dr. Bill Berkowitz focuses on balancing and corrective care, applying his expertise to provide patients with predictable, repeatable and measurable results.
Dr. Bill consistently strives to enhance the well-being of his patients by addressing the root imbalances of their problems and promoting optimal balance, alignment, and function of the spine and nervous system.
Bill’s wealth of knowledge and experience has allowed him to develop a nuanced understanding of the human body and its intricate connections. With each adjustment, he supports the body in returning to a state of balance that goes beyond mere symptom relief, focusing instead on long-term correction for his patients’ well-being.
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