I find it interesting, and encouraging, that everywhere you turn, people are looking to find ways to make their life better. After all, who can blame them? Everyone wants to enjoy their life. Let’s face it, we all share a common desire to be happy–just ask any parent what they want for their kids! Unfortunately, there are some things in life that can be waiting just around the corner that can get in the way of and disrupt our pursuit of happiness. In fact, if you don’t know what I’m going to share with you in this article, there’s something that can, and typically will, get in the way of living your dreams. More specifically, if you’re not well prepared to fight off aging and disease, at some point in your life–and that age is getting younger and younger for most folks–these degenerative forces can impose serious limitations on your ability to live, love, laugh, and enjoy life.
So how do you know if you are prepared? I like to tell my patients that when you’re taking steps to being stronger and wiser each and every year–physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and immunologically–it’s only natural to have the energy, vitality, enthusiasm, and Immune Power you need to create balance and abundance in all areas of your life, and to fend off the forces of aging and disease. Unfortunately, this is an ideal that has become lost in the shuffle of our fast-paced, high-tech, high-stress lifestyles. As we get older, our lives are no longer being defined by strength and wisdom. For most folks, age brings all sorts of health complications that get in the way of our ability to recreate, play, love, support our family, serve our community, and further our cause. Fatigue sets in, the mind slows down, the body starts to break down, and eventually long-term illness–such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s–catches up with 80% of our population by the time we retire.
Today I want to help clarify how you can go through life without having to suffer from these kinds of illnesses and long-term diseases that most people have to face. It’s important to realize that you don’t have to become another one of these statistics; you don’t have to turn your long-term health and happiness over to the forces of aging and disease. You can take steps, starting today, to make sure that you are a vibrant, passionate, whole, Well-Being–throughout your 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and beyond! In order to do so, however, you need to be prepared. It’s important to be clear on the faculties and resources you need to have in place to grow older without illness. With that in mind, let’s take a moment and reflect on the following question.
- What is the single most important ally you need to have on your side to protect the long-term wellbeing of you and your loved ones?
a. Is it having a good insurance plan?
b. Is it having access to the best doctors, medicine, and diagnostic technologies?
c. Is it you, your lifestyle choices, and your ability to create a powerful wellness plan?
While all of these certainly play an important role, the idea behind this question is to get you thinking about who and what plays the primary role in protecting you from the long-term illness and disease that most people have to face. Is it your doctors? Is it your insurance plan? Could it possibly be you? Let’s take a closer look at the different options.
Your Doctors and Traditional Medicine
You can’t underestimate the value of having access to the best medical doctors. For example, whenever you get sick or have a medical emergency, your medical doctors are well trained to make sure that you are taken care of–usually by providing means of intervention such as drugs and surgery. For this reason, sometimes I like to refer to Traditional Medicine as Intervention Medicine. Intervention Medicine and our advanced medical technologies, surgical procedures, and miracle prescription drugs, I’m proud to say, are very effective when it comes to urgent / acute care, treating infectious disease, and diagnosing illness. For example, you break your arm and need to go the emergency room, you’re experiencing chest pain and need to know if it’s something more serious, or you develop an infection and need to have it treated. Whenever a medical emergency arises, you can rest assured that you will get the help that you need. As valuable a role as Intervention Medicine plays in all of our lives, relying solely on our doctors to keep us well is an incomplete approach to protecting our long-term wellbeing. As we’ll discuss in more detail in this article, this strategy isn’t very effective when it comes to:
1. Empowering individuals to prevent illness to begin with, and
2. Treating chronic or degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and type II diabetes
With this in mind, one of the main points I want to share with you today is we’re not meant to rely on Traditional Medicine for our health–only for giving us medical support when we are sick. Said another way, our traditional medical doctors aren’t necessarily there to teach us how to be well and prevent being sick to begin with; they’re trained to take action once disease or markers for disease have already presented themselves. In this way, I like to think of Traditional and Intervention Medicine as a means of disease-care rather than a means of health-care. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not trying to minimize the value of medical doctors. As we’ve discussed, it’s obviously invaluable to have access to the best disease-care possible if you or one of your family members ever faces a serious health challenge. This is one of the reasons our government’s current healthcare reform policies are primarily focused on improving both the affordability and the accessibility of this kind of disease-care.
The problem is, as we’ve prioritized disease-care as the central focus of our healthcare delivery model, we’ve started to rely on disease-care for our health–a function it was never intended to do. To put this in perspective, relying on a system of disease-care for our health is the equivalent of relying on our military to balance our fiscal budget; or looking to your tax accountant to redesign your website. It just doesn’t work! Our military is there to defend our freedom, not to work on public policy. Your tax accountant is there to ensure you are correctly filing your taxes, not to work on rebranding your internet business. In the same way, Intervention Medicine is there to help us when we’re sick, but it can’t be relied upon to keep us healthy in the first place. It can’t be relied upon to fight off the forces of aging and disease.
In other words, as we’ve dedicated our energy to improving our model for disease-care, we’ve lost sight of the importance of having a health-care plan in place that works proactively to prevent disease and keep us vibrant, energetic, youthful, and well. As we’ve immersed ourselves in a world of high-tech diagnostic technologies, advanced surgical procedures, and new pharmaceutical drugs, we’ve lost touch with the non-drug, non-surgical, low-tech, day-to-day care that keeps us well to begin with. In this article I’m going to make the case that a low-tech, day-to-day wellness plan is by far and away the most important thing you can do for your long-term wellbeing. Even though all the attention of our current healthcare reform focuses on the quality, accessibility, and affordability of disease-care, I’d like you to consider that the steps that you and I and our loved ones take to prevent illness to begin with are the biggest assets we have in protecting our long-term health. Said another way, I’d like you to consider a healthcare strategy for you and your loved ones that prioritizes the merits of Prevention over Intervention; a healthcare model that, first and foremost, relies on the principles of Preventive Medicine to keep us well and turns to Intervention Medicine for support when we’re ill. Let’s take a closer look.
Prevention or Intervention?
Were I to ask 100 patients whether they would prefer Prevention or Intervention, all 100 of them would say they would have preferred to prevent the complication to begin with if they had the opportunity. Who wouldn’t? Think about it for a moment. Would you prefer Prevention or Intervention (drugs & surgery) when it comes to the health and wellbeing of you and your loved ones? Fortunately, whether we realize it or not, we typically have a choice in the matter. Interestingly enough, the vast majority of health complications can in fact be prevented–whether it’s upper respiratory infections, ongoing indigestion, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or chronic illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. How so? Through a simple wellness plan! In other words, when you eat right, exercise regularly, find effective means for managing stress, and develop your immune system’s infinite potential to ward off disease, the overwhelming majority of health complications can be prevented!
Unfortunately, due to a lack of wellness education within our current healthcare delivery model, most folks aren’t aware of the steps they need to take to develop their Immune Power and prevent illness. As a result, we end up with a disease-care model that only offers Intervention when symptomatic disease arises, and our opportunity to choose prevention is lost in the process.
To make matters worse, when it comes to chronic illness–such as cancer, heart disease, and type II diabetes–once symptoms arise it’s oftentimes too late. You see, drugs, surgery, and Intervention Medicine have limited effectiveness when it comes to treating chronic and degenerative disease. The symptoms of these degenerative illnesses can be managed in some cases, and modern medicine can often prolong life in a morbid or chronically ill state, but the underlying conditions are very difficult to cure through Intervention Medicine. While there are certainly exceptions, once chronic illness becomes symptomatic, the great majority of cases go on to significantly undermine the quality of the patient’s life. They start imposing serious restrictions and limitations on our pursuit of happiness. This has become particularly problematic given that 4 out of 5 Americans are diagnosed with at least one chronic illness by the time they retire, the average American has 2 to 3 chronic illnesses by the time they are 65, and bodily decay and markers for long-term disease are starting to show up in our 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.
That’s why developing a wellness plan is so important. Without some simple wellness planning, it’s unlikely that we can protect the long-term wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones from the epidemic of chronic illness and degenerative disease. Without a commitment to some basic, low-tech, non-drug, non-surgery, day-to-day care, we leave our wellbeing exposed and vulnerable to the forces of aging and disease. In the process, we narrow our healthcare options to the limitations of Intervention Medicine, and are deprived of our opportunity to prevent illness to begin with.
What About Insurance Companies?
So far we’ve talked about the role that our doctors, drugs, and advanced medical technologies play in protecting our long-term wellbeing. What about insurance companies? How do they figure into the equation? Insurance companies are essentially there to help fund disease-care. Whenever you are sick or in need of a medical emergency, it’s important to have an insurance policy in place to help pay for the care you are receiving. In other words, having an insurance plan and having access to the best disease-care possible go hand in hand. What a lot of folks don’t necessarily think about, however, is when they’re buying their insurance policy, they’re not really buying health insurance. So what are they buying? They’re buying disease insurance! In fact, true health insurance can’t be bought at all! Fortunately, even though it may not be for sale, health insurance is still available to each and every one of us. What exactly do I mean by that? When you empower your immune system with a positive mental attitude, nutrient-rich foods, the habits of happiness, and physical fitness, you’re creating the only true form of health insurance available on the market–a powerful wellness plan!
At the beginning of this article we wanted to come to terms with who and what plays the primary role in protecting your long-term wellbeing, so you don’t have to turn your health and happiness over to the forces of aging and disease. Now let’s take a look at what we’ve learned so far. Our disease-care system, as it is currently structured, is not set up to help you prevent long-term illness. In other words, our doctors and insurance companies, for the most part, are designed to action once disease or markers for disease are detectable. They’re not necessarily there to provide us with the health-care resources we need to prevent the chronic and degenerative disease that has become epidemic in our society today. While this is cause for concern, there’s a lot we can do to resolve this predicament. Fortunately, as we’ve discussed, the great majority of disease and chronic illness can in fact be prevented. How do you go about doing that? By building Immune Power; by taking some simple steps on a daily basis to create nutritional, emotional, metabolic, and immunological balance.
Does that mean that doctors and insurance plans aren’t important? Absolutely not! But it’s important to recognize that they don’t play the primary role in regulating your long-term health. They need to be viewed as a support system. At the end of the day, it’s up to each and every one of us to take responsibility for our health and be the primary line of defense when it comes to our wellbeing. In other words, in order to ensure the best possible health-care, we all need to build a powerful immune system and develop our natural ability to fight off aging and disease. We can then look to our traditional medical doctors and Intervention Medicine for support, if and when we are ever in need of disease-care.
That means that we all need to take a more proactive role in creating self-enriching living habits that build-up, protect, and sustain our health and happiness. We need to embrace the principles of Preventive Medicine and the low-tech, low-cost, non-drug, non-surgical, non-invasive, day-to-day care that we can all incorporate into our lives to stay well. What happens when we get into trouble? In those instances, we have our doctors and insurance plans to support us through any health challenges we may be facing. That is the essence of a truly integrated healthcare delivery model. As individuals we are educated and empowered with a wellness plan that builds our Immune Power and enables us to take primary responsibility for our wellbeing; meanwhile, our doctors, insurance plan, drugs and surgery are there as a back-up system or a secondary line of a defense.
Said another way, the #1 industry secret in fighting off the forces of aging and disease is the steps we take every day to build, protect, and fortify the infinite potential of our immune system–our body’s built in mechanism for self-governing, self-repairing, self-rejuvenating, and fighting off disease. Our safety net, however, is making sure we have access to the best disease-care possible if a health challenge happens to arise. Together, working side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder, we can have the health-care and disease-care resources we need to protect the long-term wellbeing of ourselves and our loved ones. With that in place, we can make a newfound commitment to growing stronger and wiser-as individuals, as a healthcare delivery system, and as a society.
Do you have a wellness plan in place to build your Immune Power and secure the long-term health of you and your loved ones? Interested in getting started? Let us know how we can help!