“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas A. Edison
What’s Wrong With The Current System?
I was discussing with a work colleague today about the future of health and wellbeing. It felt more like a rant about the current conditions in the world relating to health, fitness and wellness. It seems there’s a blurred distinction between being ‘fit’ and ‘healthy’.
In my job and within my industry, individuals and companies are hell bent on selling you information and products to achieve a flat stomach, lose weight and have you look aesthetically pleasing. I have no problem with people achieving any of these qualities – as long as their pursued with the best interest of the consumer.
Most advice and programs though are sold via the internet or via third party sources, where there is little or no human interaction and/or communication. The individual is not assessed, no medical records are checked, no blood work is taken and no health history is recorded. You tell them what product or service you wish to purchase, enter your credit card details and presto – instant magic potion appears on your doorstep!
This approach is fraught with danger, since it implies the ‘one size fits all’ approach is applicable to the masses. This is the furthest thing from the truth. We all have different needs and requirements in relation to our health and wellbeing. I would never consider buying a fitness or health regime over the internet without first consulting with a well trained health professional.
As stated previously – health is not an event, it is a process. My concern with weight loss centres and clinics, as yet another industry designed to promote weight loss, is the limited focus placed on achieving results immediately. I’ve heard numerous complaints from people who adhered to their strict program – only to regain the weight they initially lost. Weight loss requires that you learn and grow to fine tune your mind and body’s requirements. It is an ongoing process. I am still learning what works best for me. My body changes every second, so how can I possibly apply a formula to treating it?
The Future Is Closer Than We Think.
I believe the future of health and wellbeing lies in Mind Body centres around the world. People will check in to have their body, mind, emotions, thoughts, movement and exercise and nutrition assessed. A subsequent program tailored toward their needs, will be prescribed with thorough intervention along the way to ensure their progress.
The Mind Body centres will be places where one can learn about stress, emotions thoughts, self awareness and spirituality. They will learn how these elements impact their health and wellbeing serving one’s long term success. They will learn to effectively manage these aspects of their life and fine tune them where necessary. You are an entire being. You have so much beneath the surface which western medicine fails to recognise as relevant to your long term health.
Weight loss, fitness, health and healing require a greater perspective than selling you a product in the form of a pill or program. People need to be taught how to be mindful of their thoughts and emotions, if they wish to effectively maintain their health and wellbeing.
The current model to assist you losing weight is based on the premise a program or prescription will be adhered to by the individual over the long term. What is fails to recognise is people have bad days. They may have bad weeks. These might include relationship, career or financial hardships. Your thoughts and emotions may take a blow during these times, reflected in the way you nurture your health.
Most people do not respond favourably during stressful periods of their lives, often neglecting their health. The need to move into survival mode predominates, as the brain shunts much of its resources away from the relaxed state to a stress state. If you work in a stressed environment and desire to lose weight, it is almost impossible since the stressors in your life outweigh the ability to build muscle and lose fat.
The body is incredibly resilient and ingenious at the same time. It works at maintaining your survival as its most primitive function. It will not allow you to lose weight during stressful periods, since it believes your survival is at risk.
I like the quote at the top of the page by Edison. Who would have thought his prediction all those years ago may just become a reality some time soon. Holistic wellbeing is an important function of health and wellness. Doctors are now becoming versed in the mind body connection and homeopathic treatments to better serve their client’s needs. We’ve also seen doctors such as Dr Don Colbert, Dr Judith Orloff, Deepak Chopra (a trained endocrinologist), Dr Dean Ornish and many others embracing spirituality and a holistic perspective in their practise and teachings.
The future of health and wellbeing will have no place for doctors who readily prescribe drugs or Western treatments. It will have no place for drug companies selling you pills, potions, formulas, diets and programs to lose weight ‘instantly.’ There will be no ‘get thin now’ approach to health, as consumers will be open and aware to other aspects of their wellness.
Hopefully blogs like this one will have opened people’s awareness and understanding to other dimension of one’s wellbeing. They will be well equipped to know that fitness, health, healing is a journey – not a destination. They will appreciate that they’re an organic organism comprised of many elements; each of which requires attention.
Examine your relationship with your health. Do you believe it’s a quick fix journey or are you in it for the long haul? I can almost assure you if it’s the former, you’ll be on a roller coaster ride for the rest of your life and never achieve the results you truly deserve. You’ll convince yourself in the long run that it’s just not possible to get fit, healthy, ultimately accepting it as a way of life. Either way – as Henry Ford said – you are right!