Change Your Mindset to Think About Health Beyond Healthcare

We are all “patients” and we need to create a culture of health in our everyday lives.

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Everyday you hear about that latest trend in healthcare, always something new to try; and no one really knows if it’s going to make a positive impact.

Here’s something to think about: Our bodies were designed to be “well” and function in an ecosystem. The choices we make about our health matters within that construct.

I had a great conversation with Dr. Ben Rall last week and he pointed out the healthcare ecosystem should model this reality yet it doesn’t. He gave the analogy that we have car insurance but that doesn’t cover oil changes, tune-ups and tire rotations, etc. The owner is expected to take care of the car so it will work properly, not the insurance plan. “We have to stop expecting the healthcare system to take care of our health.”

Adopting a healthier lifestyle is better than just relying on medical care. This is more sustainable in the long-run and in tune with our individual systems.

Dr. Rall is a chiropractor and one of his current projects is working with a local hospital system to help reduce costs. This hospital would like to offer vitalistic care as well, which will allow the patients an opportunity to heal. It’s not to collect more data. More data sometimes has “an unintended consequence to add more medicalization (and costs).”

Then there is Dr. Rich Joseph. He recently wrote an Op-Ed for the NYTimes titled Doctors, Revolt! It’s fantastic that Dr. Joseph is speaking up after taking care of another doctor, Dr. Bernard Lown – who was a pioneer in cardiac resuscitation, professor of cardiology at Harvard and the author of “The Lost Art of Healing” from 1996.

Dr. Lown is 96 now and his personal experience as a patient made him feel like he was in a factory. He was someone in need of healing but instead he felt like “a transactional component of a system.” He became a victim of what he warned about 20 years ago.

The two doctors connected over that experience and Dr. Lown is asking others to “fix the system.” We all have to work together to create the changes needed. Doctors need to go to work knowing and understanding the perspective of a patient and “the heart of a healer.”

“…a large majority of health problems are shaped by non-medical factors like pollution and limited access to healthy food.” ~ Rich Joseph

This is a grassroots movement really. We are all “patients” and we need to create a culture of health in our everyday lives.

A common-sense approach is to focus on an individual’s lifestyle. The standards include your diet (what you eat and drink), physical activity, and sleep. We should also think about the social and community aspects, and environmental conditions.

I encourage you to include a Moment of Zen at the end of each day and consider the health benefits of praying and having faith. The act of praying triggers a relaxation response, and this state of mind is linked to mediation and yoga.

Understanding the values of faith is also what helps: respect, compassion, gratitude, charity, humility, harmony, meditation. This will reduce stress (lowers blood pressure) and help give you an optimistic attitude, better self-control, a sense of purpose, and a network of social support.

Change your mindset about health beyond healthcare. Ready to get started?

Originally published at

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