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  • Writer's pictureDr. Kevin Arnold

Crisis Motivation vs. Wellness Motivation

Crisis management. That is what our society is all about. And when applied to health, it makes little sense – we are motivated to be well when we get sick. When we find ourselves sick with osteoarthritis, obesity, diabetes, or heart disease, we finally find the motivation to eat right, get exercise and try to live a healthy life. Shouldn’t we, instead, be motivated to change in order to have and keep a great quality of life? Of course we should!

That is what the wellness movement is all about. Instead of being at the crisis end of the spectrum and seeking cure, you want to be at the wellness end of the spectrum seeking improvement. The big question when considering wellness is:

“How can I improve my current level of functioning?”

By asking this question, you can apply the wellness model at any point in your life. If you are currently suffering from some illness or disease, or if you are free from any symptoms, asking this question will move you forward.

Living Life – a Long Life

Have you ever wondered why it takes a crisis to want to be healthy? The answer lies in the

philosophy of modern medicine. We are taught to believe that aging is a process of disintegration. The Merriam Webster Dictionary’s definition of aging is: A declining phase of life. So many people believe that we are born, we live, we get disease, and then we die. This doesn’t have to be the truth!

There was a time when 40 years was a long time to live. What if we all still believed that – imagine how much of life we would miss. Now that is said of 80 years. But what is our real potential? And does our life at the end of our years have to be sickly? Scientific evidence says no! Many people live well past 80 years and are happy, healthy and energetic.

Instead of thinking about a body design meant to deteriorate with disease, think instead of a body design meant for continuous progress. That is not to suggest that you can live forever. You can, however, live up to your best potential throughout all your years. Isn’t that a much better way of seeing life?

Demanding Wellness

As more and more people see that the wellness model allows them to live a longer and healthier life, they are beginning to demand wellness care.

This demand is happening all around you. For instance:

• Dads are now in birthing rooms – there was a time when the father smoked cigarettes while pacing a waiting room.

• Alternatives to using an OB-GYN for childbirth such as a midwife or doula.

• Eating organic food instead of food laden with chemicals. The U.S. is now the largest

market in the world for organic foods.

• Seeking complementary health care such as chiropractic. According to a nationwide government survey released in December 2008, approximately 62 percent of those in the U.S. use some form of alternative medicine. Because of this demand, virtually all health insurance companies and HMOs cover alternative medicine practices.

Once they begin to offer these benefits, the trend is that they continue and expand to add other services. Kaiser Permanente’s Senior Vice President of Health Plan Strategy and Product Innovation has said, “It’s interesting how chiropractic started out alternative, then became complementary, and is now mainstream.” This is what happens when consumers demand wellness over crisis. In addition to demanding wellness, people in general are becoming more educated about their options. In fact, they are often as informed or more informed than their primary care doctor. Although patients still view doctors as an expert and seek their opinions, they no longer take those opinions as facts. The patient has become the decision maker where health is concerned. And that decision is often toward wellness.

Chiropractic Wellness Care

Chiropractic can be an effective component of wellness care since the nervous system is central to the health of your body. Communication flows back and forth between the brain and the spine and the cells, tissues and organs. If the communication gets blocked, then a breakdown of the body occurs.

If you already have aches, pains, illness and disease, correcting the subluxations will allow your body to operate at its optimal level. Once operating efficiently, the body’s innate power will seek to heal itself.

Once this optimization is achieved, you will want to keep it there. It makes no sense to be functioning at an optimal level and assume that there will never be another subluxation. Our lives are so full that subluxations are simply a fact of life. Imagine getting your engine tuned up so that your car now sounds beautiful, uses a minimum of oil, has great gas mileage and rides smoothly. Now, you take that car on a cross-country trip. After the trip, you continue to drive the car without taking it to the mechanic again. In short order, your car will not

be running smoothly. It uses more oil and your gas mileage is lower. Then the “check engine” light come on and you have to rush the car to the garage.

A regular tune-up after the trip would have prevented the crisis. The same is true for our bodies. Once you have your body working well, a “tune-up” in the form of chiropractic maintenance care will keep your body running smoothly. This is what wellness care is all about.

Just as a tuned up car has benefits, so does chiropractic wellness care. They include:

• Flexibility

• Healthy joints

• Improved posture

• More energy

• Properly functioning nervous system

• Stronger immune system

• Better sleep

• Stress relief

• Disease prevention

Maintaining a properly functioning nerve system is essential if you want to be your very best. Treating disease is important and everyone deserves the best chance to heal and recover. However, we need to change the focus from treating to preventing.

We ride in cars that have the latest and greatest in safety features. We are strapped in and surrounded by bags in case of a crash. We have anti-lock brakes to keep us from hydroplaning when we try to stop. Everything about the driving experience is meant to prevent problems and keep us safe. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do the same with the care of our body? We can. It’s called wellness care, and wellness care can and should begin with chiropractic.

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