It’s one of the most discussed topics in recent memory. How to save the healthcare crisis. While both political parties are squabbling over who’s going to pay for what, I contest that we start asking better questions with regard to healthcare. First the bad news. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) predicts that if healthcare costs continues as it has the past 10 years at a rate of 6.7% we will be spending $4.3 trillion dollars per year on health care in America by the year 2017. That calculates to $49 million per hour or $133,000 per SECOND spent on health care! One quarter of which provides zero health benefit. This burden is unsustainable and it’s bankrupting our nation, communities, and families.
It’s interesting, if you google “health” on the internet you’ll have over a billion pages respond back within a second. With all this information on health why are we so sick, tired and overweight?
Here’s our present reality. Our so called “healthcare system” revolves around the treatment and management of sickness rather than care and maintenance of our mind, body and spirit. Although the USA is only 5% of the world’s population, we ingest over 60% of the world’s prescription drug supply. Crazy, isn’t it? I would contest that “healthcare” is not the real issue here. We just have to many sick people.
Managing sickness is big business and accounts for nearly 20% of our GDP, leading all industrialized nations worldwide. If broken down that equates to almost $10,000 per every man, woman, and child annually. You might be saying to yourself right now, “I know I didn’t spend $10,000 on healthcare last year”. Actually you did. Twenty percent of all purchases you make have the cost built right into it. That $20 dinner you had last night at the restaurant has a $4 “healthcare” cost built right in. This 20% increase has affected every purchase. GM now spends more on “healthcare” for their employees and retirees than they do on steel to build the car! For a $30,000 car, that’s $6,000 going towards healthcare costs. We all pay for this. These healthcare costs would be understandable if we had a healthy population but we don’t. Presently the U.S. ranks 39th in health by the World Health Organization. Since it is a profit driven system not everyone is interested in making America a healthier place to live.
Now the good news. What I do realize by being a lifestyle doctor and chiropractor for more than 20 years is that the question is everything. I’ve always said the quality of one’s life is directly related to the quality of the questions we ask about ourselves, our community and the world we live in. The question is everything. Here’s the question. Why are we so sick and what is it going to take to get and be healthy?
I will expand on this topic in coming months but let’s first define what is “health”. Dorland’s medical dictionary defines health as “a state of optimum physical, mental and social well-being not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” The next question is what governs the body to function optimally? We first must look at the master control system of the body. The nervous system. It reigns supreme in the control of all life. The nervous system controls and coordinates the function of every cell, tissue and organ in our bodies. It tells the stomach to digest, the heart to pump, coordinates movements, thinks, feels, creates and manages hormones etc. All the time, in every situation, no exceptions.
The next question to ponder is if your nervous system is functioning optimally? If you can’t sleep properly, your energy is low, your hormones are out of balance or you have high blood pressure why is that? ‘Why’ is a much better question than ‘what’. Until nerve function is assessed all other answers will be incomplete as a solution. “Why do I have high blood pressure?” is a much better question than “what pill do I take to lower it?” (this question I will follow up in the future articles).
Because the nervous system is located in your skull and spine, spinal care plays a significant role in the maintenance of overall health and well-being of our bodies. Doctors of Chiropractic are the only healthcare professionals to detect spinal stress creating a disturbance to the nervous system function. As such, chiropractors offer services that cannot be duplicated by other healthcare professionals and can play a major role in restoring human function physically, mentally and socially. The human body is amazing! If you take care of your nervous system, it will take care of you.
Your health is your responsibility. The more aware you are of what it takes to be healthy the greater chance you have of taking positive steps to achieve what you deserve. A greater quality of life!
In our next month’s issue I’ll discuss your lifestyle choices affects your health. See you next month.