How do we describe the industry of health? How we describe it will in turn influence what we study, how we study it, where and how we focus our energy, talents and resources. So what is it we want? More health? Greater vitality? Improved expression of our potential? What do you want for yourself and your family? Where is your focus?
Let’s take “health care”. While the thought is to promote health, “health care” the way we use it is at best early detection or management of an existing problem that has strayed so far off course to be labelled a disease. Meaning that the expression of health is already reduced, altered or lost. Rarely is “health care” used to promote what’s needed to maximize potential. As I mentioned in Salutogenesis, the common element is to focus on putting us back to where we were. But what if where we were wasn’t really so great in the first place? We make the assumption that if we are put back to where we were, then that equates to health.
When I look at studies, by far the majority reflect people who are already sick. Why is the focus not on “what is it that makes and keeps healthy people, healthy?” Wouldn’t it make sense to adopt the things that work right for people who demonstrate maximized expression, potential and then promote that?
More candidly, there is the use of “health care” more often than not, when we are already “sick” or in crisis. This differs in my mind from emergency care for trauma.
So in discussing health care, are you making day-to-day decisions that move you towards a higher expression of health, vitality and wellness? If not, then what direction are you taking?
While there is a continuum and shades of grey from the extremes of one end to the other consider this:
|Past Model||Future Model|
|The person seeking care:||Patient is a passive receiver. Term “patient” implies sick or that something is wrong||Client is an active participant in care. Not called a patient because not seen as “sick”|
|Provider orientation:||Modulate, fix or cure system not functioning properly||Maximize wellness through cooperative strategies as partner|
|Occasion for seekting care:||Symptom, disease, illness||Enhance wellbeing, vitality and potential|
|Focus of attention:||Pathology, etiology, disease||Physiology shift to maximize ideal life in accordance to natural law, Salutogenesis*|
|Locus of control:||Outside the person, external||Change arises from within|
|Usual culprit:||Blame something external to us bad genes, bad environment, bad luck||Epigenetics, less than ideal choices made over time|
|Values traded:||You fix what’s wrong with me||I take responsibility and partner with you to make different choices|
|Short-term impact:||Somewhat fast change through regulation of the body||Takes time, usually slower, takes discipline and diligence|
So when visiting any health provider the question I ask myself is, ‘“Am I seen as a part to fix and the focus is on what’s wrong, or am I seen as a person with potential who needs direction to get back on course to manifest health?” It may seem picky yet it can make the difference between the glass half empty or half full.
* “The term describes an approach focusing on factors that support human health and well-being, rather than on factors that cause disease. More specifically, the “salutogenic model” is concerned with the relationship between health, stress, and coping.”