For most of the past 100 years, the mainstream medical approach to health was to wait until someone was ill before treating them. This is not surprising. After all, it would seem odd to be treated if you are well, don’t you think?
However, over the past 3 or so decades, an alternative health movement emerged in the western world. A curious notion known as “preventative” approaches to caring for your body emerged. Interestingly, this alternative – or preventative — movement had been around in the eastern world for centuries and was even the western world’s traditional healing style prior to the “come in when you’re sick” approach it has today.
What is Alternative Healthcare?
Quite simply it is anything that is not exactly like the “get sick first” approach of the emergency room. If the current western model is an ambulance at the bottom of the hill, alternative healthcare is a fence at the top. Why let someone get sick in the first place? We don’t line the bottom of a cliff with ambulances do we? So why take this approach with any other aspect of health?
We tell people not to smoke or eat unhealthy foods because we understand the value of not waiting until emphesyma or heart disease drives people to the emergency room? We are beginning to awaken to the notion of seeking maximum health instead of flirting with disaster or just “getting by.” Most people are unhappy living pay cheque to pay cheque. So why treat your health any differently?
How Can I Treat My Body with Alternative Healthcare?
My patients are well aware of my love for alternative — or preventative — healthcare. I consistently attempt to put my patients in a place where they do not simply come to get treatment when they are in pain. The goal of my practice is to place them in a state of well being. This is done by implementing the following strategies:
1. STOP hurting yourself! Most patients hurt themselves without knowing it. They are lifting wrong or sitting incorrectly throughout their work day and damaging their spines. Educating them on how not to hurt themselves is priority number one!
2. Get STRONG! Corrective exercises will make your body more resilient and increase your pain threshold. Every single one of my patients is given a home therapy and home exercise program to make them stronger for life.
3. Stay on top! Don’t wait until you are in pain to get treated. Periodic treatments that include soft tissue work, stretching and joint mobilization (or manipulation) are the maintenance care of the body. We apply this to all of our important investments. We periodically run virus scans to protect our computers, we get our expensive bicycles tuned up and our oil changed for our vehicles. Do the same for the single most important machine you own: your body!
I greatly encourage all of my patients to apply an alternative approach to their health. Get strong, get well, and stay that way. You don’t ever have to visit the “dark side” of health if you don’t want to.