If after reading this post you have questions regarding alternative medicine, integrative medicine, chiropractic, weight-loss, diabetes or pre-diabetes prevention, nutritional supplementation or how to become a new patient, please feel free to contact our office. Advanced Healing Center of Orange County, the practice of Dr. Marcus Ettinger BSc, DC. Phone: 714-639-4360, E-mail: info@advancedhealing.com, Mail: 630 South Glassell Street #103. Orange, CA 92866.

Integrating prevention into ‘health’ care

Due to successes in public health over the last 75 years, we are all living longer and increasingly, we are living with one or more chronic conditions for decades. This places new, long-term demands on our health care system and our loved ones. Not only are chronic conditions projected to be the leading cause of disability throughout the world by the year 2020; if not successfully prevented and managed, they will become the most expensive problems faced by the world’s governments and healthcare systems. People with diabetes, for example, generate health care costs that are two to three times those without the condition. In this respect, chronic conditions pose a threat to all countries from a health and economic standpoint.

Many costly and disabling conditions – cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases – are linked by common preventable risk factors. Tobacco use, prolonged, unhealthy nutrition, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol use are major causes and risk factors for these conditions. The abysmal, dwindling-spiral we call “our daily diet”, expressed through an ever increasing consumption of high calorie, high fat, high sugar, high salt and nutritionally deprived food products are contributing to the rising burden of heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. Changes in activity patterns as a consequence of the rise of motorized transport, sedentary leisure-time activities such as television watching, computer and video game playing, have led to an pandemic of physical inactivity in all but the poorest populations.

Our current system of ‘disease’ care

Many of today’s medical conditions are completely preventable, yet our current healthcare system does not and will not make the best use of their available resources to support a panacea – prevention. All too often, healthcare workers (MD’s and nurses) fail to seize patient interactions as opportunities to inform patients about common-scenes health promotion techniques and disease prevention strategies.

Our current healthcare system is based solely on responding to a patient’s acute concerns. Testing, diagnosing, relieving symptoms, and expecting a cure are all hallmarks of our contemporary healthcare model. While these functions are appropriate for acute and episodic health problems, a notable disparity occurs when applying this model of care to the prevention and management of chronic conditions, the most abundant group over-burdening our healthcare system. Preventive healthcare is inherently different from healthcare for acute problems, and in this regard, our current healthcare system falls remarkably short, to the point of practically being non-existent.

How my brand of alternative medicine and preventative health care responds to this challenge?

Given that most body conditions are preventable, every healthcare interaction includes comprehensive prevention support. When my patients are systematically provided with information and skills to reduce health risks, they are more likely to reduce substance use, to stop using tobacco products, to eat healthy foods, and to engage in regular physical activity. These risk reducing behaviours can dramatically reduce the long-term burden and healthcare demands of chronic conditions; they can also contribute to vibrant health, increased vitality and youthful aging.

To promote prevention in healthcare, awareness rising is crucial to promote a change in thinking and to stimulate the commitment and action of patients, their families, healthcare professionals, communities, and policy-makers.

Essential elements for action

  1. We all need to embrace and support a paradigm shift towards integrated, preventive health care.
  2. Equip patients with needed information, motivation, and skills in prevention and self-management.
  3. Make prevention an element of every healthcare interaction.
  4. Make health promotion a fundamental component in our personal lives.

I know all of you want perfect health. It’s an unreasonable notion that most of us take better care of our car than we do our body. You can always buy a new car; you only are given one body.