Thursday, April 9, 2009

Health Care vs. Sick Care: Prevention and Integrative Health Care

I have been a proponent of integrative health care since I began studying Natural Health. We all want the best care when we're sick, so it just makes sense to have people with many levels and courses of training available to take care of us. Why limit oneself when health, well being and quality of life is at stake. It's sensible to keep ALL options open.

The truth is that we don't need to choose between allopathy and naturopathy, as the integration of the two is best for most of us. After all, we (usually) don't need to have our lives saved every day (allopathy), but we do need to learn to take care of ourselves through means of disease prevention as well as to live and be well on a daily basis (naturopathy). With escalating health care costs, it makes sense for all of us to become educated in Self-Care. The current state of health care in the US is indicative of my point.

Dr Dean Ornish recently testified at a senate hearing that $2 Trillion was spent on medical care last year. From that, 95 cents of every dollar went into treating disease after it already occurred. 

75-80% of all health care costs is being spent on 4 diseases:

- diabetes

- breast and prostate cancer

- obesity

- heart disease


When we are educated to live well balanced lives, health care costs will lower and people become able to better care for themselves. I am not anti-pharm, but pharmaceuticals are not the answer in all cases. Medical professionals are trained to use pharmaceuticals as the 'fix'. Although they can be helpful in treating disease and saving lives, drugs aren't the answer for all health issues.  Nor are drugs without a laundry list of negative side effects.  One of our nation's top MD's admitted, "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail".

As a point of clarification, the US does not have a Health Care system, we have a 'Disease Management' program. This thinking needs to shift to become that of Prevention and Health Care vs. Sick Care. Integrative health care and public education to assist with self care (prevention) are two helpful steps to achieve an improved health care and an improved economic climate in the US.

I never thought of myself as an activist, but I do have compassion for our people, and concern for the future of our country and the world -- and I'm not alone in this boat. My generation grew up in a time of 'plenty'.  In 2009, many of our natural resources are rapidly depleting. It's time for each of us to give back in our own way before there's nothing left to pass to our children.  

My contribution to this end is Health Education.

What will you commit to giving back?


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