Real Life Wellness: Hometown Healthcare…The answer to the Chronic Disease Crisis?
By Bill Hemmer
We all have stories about the hometown doctor of our youth. House calls, delivering a baby in one room and setting a broken arm in the next room. They were the person everyone could look up to and count on. They always had your best interest at heart. There were no expensive tests to run or insurance coverage to check on. They just took care of your needs and added value to your life by teaching you what you needed to know. They were also there to help you not make the same mistake again in the future.
These doctors were full of common sense and experience. They told you to eat right, move, get enough sleep, have a good attitude and only come to see them if you couldn’t take care of a problem yourself. They didn’t have computers or thousands of drugs to choose from. They knew that you were your own best doctor, and that you could take care of the majority of your daily problems yourself. You only need them for special occasions.
Our current medical system of healthcare is almost the complete opposite. There is a revolving door of doctors that come and go out of your life. You are sent from one doctor to another and undergo test after test that all lead to the same conclusion, more medications or surgery. You become more dependent all the time because different doctors take care of different parts of your health and many times one is not sure what the other ones are doing.
This is why we all long for the old-time doctor of our youth. But what if there was a way to get this person back while continuing to move forward with the latest innovations about getting and staying healthy for the rest of your life? This exact concept has been gaining stream around the country and it is called Functional Medicine.
A Functional Medicine practitioner can be any type of doctor. An MD, DO, Naturopath, DC, PA, or anyone else who has advanced degree that understands human physiology and biology. Functional Medicine providers use diet, lifestyle, exercise and community to change people’s health. All of the recent research on chronic diseases, such as, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity can all be managed and even reversed using the Functional Medicine approach.
But here is the problem. The patient must take total control of their own health. No one can be there to stop you from putting junk food in your mouth or sitting in front of the TV instead of taking a walk. You must be ready, willing and able to take control of your life and pay the price of swimming against the social norm of letting someone else being in control of your health.
Just like the hometown doctor of years gone by would do, you can become educated in diet, exercise, lifestyle and attitude and only use medicine or surgery as a last resort. We all want freedom from chronic disease. Now we all have a path to this freedom, Functional Medicine is that path. Are you ready to take the journey?