As an osteopath I meet people of all ages and all walks of life. Some are very health conscious and others health oblivious. My goal is always to greet each person where they are on their health journey and help them take a few more steps towards a healthier lifestyle.
I’ve always viewed health as a scale. At the top-end there is wellness and at the bottom-end their is illness. Then there is the in-between, the grey area, the merry-go-round. The place where symptoms have not yet commenced but the body is struggling to cope with the demands placed upon it.
Our current medical model primarily deals with the bottom half of this scale. Modern medicine has made leaps and bounds that have dramatically increased life expectancy and when we are symptomatic our doctors are often able to restore us to an asymptomatic 'healthy' state.
I applaud the researchers and physicians who have made this possible. But in my opinion asymptomatic does not equal health and wellness. Unfortunately ‘asymptomatic’ is often where medical treatment, care & support ceases. One of the primary reasons for this is the cost and time required for on-going care. Our medical professionals are doing the very best they can with the time and resources that they have available to them but the truth is they’re simply swamped and will forever be fighting against the tide.
The problem with asymptomatic states is that once we reach them, we lose motivation and forget to address the underlying factors that caused our complaint in the first place. The risk is reoccurrence. Getting stuck on the merry go round.
Can we change the tide? Can we embrace responsibility for our own health? Can we change the system and our nation’s health by shifting towards preventative and integrated medicine?
I spent the first six years of my career working in an incredible health centre with an amazing team of professionals, who are at the forefront of integrated medicine. Currently there are close to 40 practitioners across 15 modalities all working together to help clientele move not just from illness to an asymptomatic state, but onto wellness and health.
Integrated medicine requires us to recognise that modern medicine is now so complicated that one practitioner can’t be responsible for every element of health. As practitioners, we must acknowledge that we need to work as a team and truly communicate if we’re going to get the best results.
I believe that prevention is always better than a cure. I believe in empowering people to take responsibility for their own health, and in doing so, help them take advantage not just of a longer life expectancy but of an incredible quality of life too.
I have a lot of clients who admit they have difficulty knowing who or what to believe when it comes to health. They are disenchanted with our health system. They want to make positive changes but don’t know where to start. There is so much conflicting information out there and yes, I do realise the irony of throwing yet another voice in the mix.
My advice? Hop off. Start somewhere and persist. For starting is better than not starting at all. And persistence, well, without persistence we'd never achieve anything that's truly worth achieving.
I hope that for some of you, this blog might be the starting point and resource you need to make those positive changes and move towards a healthier you.
If you have a question about something specific regarding your own health, get in touch. I don't have all the answers, but I will listen. And I will help you to the very best of my ability.