I was asked this week by a fellow practice member, “why are there so many varying opinions in healthcare regarding how to help someone get better?”
I thought this was a great question that would benefit our entire practice…
My answer was simply, “It’s all in the questions you ask…” Nothing is right or wrong, it’s all in how you define better, or to say it another way, it’s all in the results you’re seeking or taught are even possible!
You see, if someone wants to “simply feel better”, there are many ways to accomplish this, and the advice and interventions to yield this outcome will be appropriate for this goal.
Conversely, if someone wants to “function optimally”, the advice will likely differ greatly.
Let’s break it down.
“I want to feel better” is often associated with a comfort mindset. Comfort is viewed as being healthyand feeling fine, and when uncomfortable, intervention is sought to reactively bring them back to comfort or health in their view. The return-point they are seeking is comfort, the strategy is wait and react, and the expectation is a quick fix to return them back to comfort.
Again, this is totally understandable as no one wants to be in pain or sick, and realistically, WE ALL fall into this mindset to some degree.
On the other hand, “I want to function optimally” is associated with an understood, and often welcomed level of discomfort or inconvenience for the hope of long-term gain. In this, the individual understands that health is not a destination of feeling good or comfort. Rather, because every moment we are alive and every decision we make takes us closer toward sickness or closer toward health, health is defined as a daily pursuit of fulfilling the body/mind’s requirements, irregardless of how one feels. The return-point they are seeking is optimal overall function, the strategy is nurturing of their body systems through daily decisions, and the expectation is an overall greater life experience; i.e. high energy, mental clarity, strong immune system, muscular strength/stability, high cardio-respiratory capacity, and more leading to overall optimal function and longevity.
As a metaphor, it’s making sure your gas tank is filled, your wheels aligned, your engine tuned, your break pads strong, and your car is squeaky clean and polished, instead of waiting to react when the engine and warning lights appear.
Ultimately, what you desire for an outcome will dictate the advice you resonate with or follow regarding everything from diet, to exercise routine/frequency, supplements, sleep position, footwear, and on and on…
As I think this is such an important distinction, you will likely see this concept peppered in future emails from me with specific examples. Or, if you would like me to clarify something specifically for you, please write back and I will either address it privately with you or in a post such as this.
In Optimal Health,