To decentralize your health means to empower yourself by taking responsibility for the choices that directly impact your health, such as diet, fitness and lifestyle. We can seek advice concerning health conditions, nutrition, exercise and other factors, but ultimately, it’s up to us to implement the changes and take action.
It is human nature to want to know what we’re dealing with, as the human body may seem a mystery to those who haven’t studied it. Which is why many of us Google symptoms in search of an answer as to what could be wrong. However, if you were to present this information to your doctor, they likely will not care to look at your research and may even frown upon you doing your own work to understand your health concerns. But can we blame them? After all, they have on average approximately 15 minutes to spend with you to perform a physical and discuss any concerns. And the typical routine of prescribing what is often toxic medication by many doctors to mask symptoms of a disease for only immediate and temporary relief is a prescription for a bigger problem. Most physicians will only begin to treat a patient once they exhibit symptoms of a condition. This moves from the realm of preventative medicine to what has been labeled as “sick care.”
Are you starting to see the picture that is forming here? It’s a paint-by-numbers scenario. The diagnosis and the resulting prescription plan is already laid out for you and every other patient your physician sees. There is no creative problem solving or looking at your health from a bigger picture. In my practice, I always consider the uniqueness of each individual and take a personalized approach that suits them best. Yes, there is value and incredible innovation in Western Medicine and there are always exceptions. I refer my patients to Western colleagues on a regular basis for further evaluation and treatment, if necessary.
The lesson to be learned here is we also shouldn’t outsource our health to anyone else, especially the medical system. So, what can you do to take your power back and become responsible for your own health? The answer is that you are responsible for your own data.
As mentioned earlier, diet is key. Oftentimes, with just a change in diet alone, one can begin to feel better almost immediately. Although diet is pivotal in making vast improvement to your overall health, it should be coupled with a regular fitness routine.
Having touched on prescriptions, fitness in itself is a drug, and you don’t need any fancy equipment or even a gym membership to get started; you just need movement, every day. Start off small and give yourself challenges and goals to meet. This will increase your stamina and endurance, enhance your mood and improve your cardiovascular health thus increasing energy.
Supplements play a vital role in overall health, and there is strong evidence to suggest that they can have both correlative and causative effects on various aspects of health.
Sleep is incredibly important, as it serves as your body’s time to recover. Not getting enough sleep can lead to health issues such as weight gain, high blood pressure and heart disease to name a few. And with all these things, consistency is key.
It is also very important to collect, analyze and compare the lab data to keep track of your health improvement or decline. It is not just a blood test, but data on hormones, microbiome, immune function and even the genetic data.
We offer convenient and inexpensive lab testing, blood work, hormonal testing, stool tests and genetic testing. And, as consumers, we’re fortunate that we have a plethora of tools at our disposal to take out some of the guesswork when it comes to our health. You can use self monitoring devices like an Applewatch and Fitbit. These help with exercise tracking and monitoring sleep and heart rate. There are glucose monitoring devices one can use, including wearable devices, that track your blood sugar. It is also important to pay attention to the amount of food you consume by keeping track of what you eat. All these tools help to bring the responsibility for your own health back to you and away from the centralized control of one doctor.
Decentralizing your health does not mean you don’t need a doctor; it means you are in control of your health. But, you can do this under the advice, supervision and counsel of a doctor who understands and takes time to do all this.
As a Doctor Of Oriental Medicine and naturopathic practitioner, I have a more holistic and balanced approach to health and one best suited to help you to decentralize and take control of your health.