As the debate continues to rage on in Congress over health care reform, one fact remains crystal clear: real health care starts at home, not in the doctor’s office or emergency room. For most of us, it is what you do on a daily basis that has a larger impact on your overall health than what is done when you finally make it to the doctor’s office.
The current health care system is more concerned with treating existing health problems so that you can live with symptoms, but the goal should be preventing illness and injury by living a cleaner more active life. While your physician can guide you in this aspect of your life, the responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of each and every one of us.
Treating vs. Preventing
In our hectic lives we only really notice a health problem once it has become a significant problem. Whether it’s back pain, obesity or cholesterol, it is your responsibility to listen to the signs your body is sending you to let you know your health is not 100 percent.
Treating problems, while effective, is costlier than taking preventative steps. For example treating obesity may require high blood pressure medication, treatment for diabetes and heart disease, whereas prevention simply requires a healthier diet and an increase in physical activity.
Medical treatments are costly and time consuming, while prevention simply requires a bit of effort in your everyday life in order to ensure a healthier, longer life. Some of the things you can do to take charge of your own health care include;
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables daily
- Add more dark leafy greens to your diet
- Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day
- Cut down on consuming artificial sugars
- Reduce the amount of fast food and processed foods in your diet
- Sleep 6 to 7 hours every night
- Get a checkup once each year
- Monitor your weight for extreme gains and losses
- Quit smoking & reduce alcohol consumption
- Don’t delay visits to the doctor when something seems “off”
Make more of an effort to live healthier and you’ll find you reduce your need for costly treatments and medicinal side effects.
One fundamental tenant of natural medicine is the recognition of the body’s innate ability to heal itself. So when something goes wrong, we look at what we can do to help the body heal itself naturally as opposed to relying on synthetic drugs and invasive surgery whenever possible.
This means you should always seek out an all-natural treatment when possible to treat what ails you. There are many websites and books that can provide you a list of natural treatments for common health concerns. Using herbs, flowers and your diet can help heal many different problems without using over the counter or prescription drugs. While effective, chemical drugs can have plenty of negative side effects, be addictive and help you build up a tolerance that requires even more drugs for basic treatments.
Every American deserves the right to choose their own healthcare option without governmental interference such as a requirement to visit a “qualified” doctor or to use only “standard” treatments – which may not even be as safe or effective as those offered through natural medicine. Many holistic professional may not be considered qualified, but that does not mean you should discount the effectiveness of massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure or herbal treatments.
Yes, it does require a self-education and effort to take personal responsibility for your own healthcare as opposed to going to a conventional medical doctor, citing a list of symptoms, and driving to the pharmacy to pick up some prescription which only masks those symptoms instead of getting to the root of the problem. But the rewards in better health are worth the investment.
Besides you owe it to yourself to place your healthcare in your own hands, after all who knows your body better than you do?
Written By: Updated: October 27,2009