Posted by: admin in Articles on November 7th, 2012

Wellness” has become a buzzword among the public, health care practitioners, and legislators alike.  But what exactly does it mean, and how can people benefit from it?  The Amerian Chiropractic Association (ACA) defines wellness as “an active process that promotes health and enhances quality of life.”

“With the enactment of health care reform legislation this year, the public is going to hear more and more about the importance of wellness, staying healthy and ultimately reducing health care costs caused by chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes,” says ACA President Dr. Rick McMichael.  “It’s time for people to undertand that they have the power to take charge of their health and be well enough to do the activities they enjoy.”

Dr. Scott Bautch, a doctor of chiropractic from Wausau, Wisconsin, explains wellness further.  “We consider wellness the act of adding potential to peoples’ lives.  Whether that potential is the ability to avoid cholesterol problems, quit smoking, or exercise more, it’s all individual to each person.  In other words, wellness is about giving people specific skills that will help them flourish in life.”

Finding a Wellness Coach

“If you’re interested in health and wellness, a good place to begin is by talking about it with a doctor of chiropractic.  They are well-known for their expert care of back pain, neck pain and headaches, but they also offer patients a variety of conservative recommendations and counseling on general health and wellness,” says Dr. McMichael, “while medical doctors screen you for diseases with lab tests and by examination.”  Your chiropractor will screen you for diseases, but he or she will also ask you about your lifestye and behaviors that may put you at risk for injury or illness.  The chiropractic approach is drug-free, instead of writing a prescritption, and offer spinal adjustments, rehabilitative exercises, nutritional counseling and lifestyle modifications to move patients toward optimum function and wellness.

Typically, when a new patient visits a DC, one of the first things the doctor will assess is functional capacity.  The DC will focus on decreasing pain and returning the patient to normal daily activities, including exercise.  In the intermediate stage, a chiropractor will continue therapeutic care, but also begin to address factors that may have led to the patient’s pain by recommending lifestyle modifications.  An example of intermediate care might include managing the patient’s obesity with counseling on diet and exercise.  In the final stage of wellness care, a DC will help the patient take responsibility for his or her own health through patient education, enabling the person to independently maintain and even advance the level of wellness achieved.

Adjust Your Attitude

Learn coping skills to deal with life’s ups and downs.  The way you deal with stress can be a huge factor in whether or not someone is well.  You can boost your attitude in a variety of ways:  enjoying nature, looking for humor in life’s mishaps, listening to relaxing music, and creating a support system of people who you can turn to in times of trouble and stress.  Taking a yoga or a Tai Chi class may also be helpful.

Start Moving

Increase daily movements by walking more.  Take the stairs when possible.  Adding more motion to your life can be a huge step toward living well.

Food For Fuel

Once the first two components of wellness are addressed, the doctor of chiropractic will address a patient’s diet.  It’s surprising for some to learn that making even a few simple changes, such as eating more raw or organically grown foods, drinking more water and consuming 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day, can positively impact your health and help prevent a variety of adverse health issues in the future.*

*(Reprinted with the permission of the American Chiropractic Association)

No individuals, including those under our active care, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related condition. Diagnosis and treatment of all health conditions should only be performed by the doctor or other licensed health care professional.
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