Being proactive has become essential
by Dr. Bill Rawls
Last Updated 10/31/16
My grandfather and great grandfather before him were both country doctors. They treated whatever came through the door and made house calls on those who couldn’t make it to the office.
But they didn’t treat chronic disease.
The concept of chronic debilitating disease is actually relatively new. Before 1960, “chronically ill” was not an excuse to seek medical help; people only came to the doctor for acute illness. The fact that some people were “sickly” with chronic health issues was just accepted by society; the medical system had little to offer beyond treating acute symptoms.
I can distinctly remember one of those sickly individuals. He would show up on the doorstep of my grandparent’s summer cottage whenever he thought the doctor might be around. His standard list of complaints always included feeling run down and aching all over. My grandfather would compassionately administer a shot of B12. It was all he had to offer… but freely admitted that he thought it was just a placebo.
Today that man would probably be classified as having chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, and not a whole lot has changed in what the medical system has to offer. Since its very origins, modern medicine has always focused on treating acute disease. Even today, chronic disease is treated acutely. What I mean by that, is that treatment is directed at acutely relieving symptoms of disease, and not at actually helping the person overcome illness or restoring wellness.
So, getting the best use out of the medical system means using it for what it does best. We all need to have health insurance (yes, everyone needs to be covered) and we all need access to the system. If you fall off a ladder (which happens more often than you think) or develop an acute pneumonia, the system will be there for you. In fact, the US healthcare system is possibly the best in the world for treating acute illness and life-threatening situations. And with new coding systems planned for the fall of 2015, treatment of acute illness will likely get even better.
But not for chronic illness. The best option for chronic illness is not allowing yourself to become chronically ill. To do that, you must be proactive. All disease is the result of environmental factors; what you eat and how you go about life matters.
Genes primarily define what disease or diseases you might end up with, but for most chronic diseases, genetics plays only a minor role. In other words, you do have more control over your destiny than you might think. You can choose to be healthy for most of your life.
If you are at a point in life where chronic illness is starting to creep in, you can do something about it. The body has a remarkable capacity for healing—it just needs to be given the right opportunity. When a healing environment is created within the body, remarkable things can happen.
But it doesn’t happen spontaneously. Being proactive is essential. For motivated individuals who are ready and willing, Vital Plan provides the products and resources necessary for taking control of your health and getting your life back.
If you need professional help, a health coach is actually a better investment than a doctor for overcoming chronic disease. Health coaches get you pointed in the right direction and keep you moving forward. They will guide you through every step of the recovery process. Health coaches help you create that healing environment inside your body. For overcoming chronic illness, this is often more important than medications.
Save doctor visits for an evaluation when you are not quite sure what is going on, or when you just need reassurance that you are on the right tract. The medical system is also important for routine screening and evaluation. And sometimes a drug prescription can be beneficial for quieting symptoms or slowing a disease process until the healing systems of your body can catch up.