BY Braden Eck
In an effort to better understand the health care web and how the patient interacts with it, we sought out health professionals in our area and held deep dive interviews to those currently serving a client population. Through discussing patient health with certified diabetes educators, health coaches, dieticians, physicians, and chiropractors, we found exactly how involved they are in their patients care, and how they choose to help them through a journey to a healthy lifestyle. This research has shown that many health professionals are thinking along the same lines when it comes to overall client population health.
I will describe four main components used to address health and wellness on a personal level: Structure, Systems, Fuel, and Evaluation.
Then I will go on to summarize how these four components can contribute to the beginning steps in the right direction to living a healthy lifestyle. Although this is mainly intended for the use of managing an individual’s health, I believe it can also be used in managing your day to day life and maximizing your potential as a human being.
Let’s get started…
Structure: “Big buildings have deep foundations”
- By meeting with chiropractors we found that before any type of adjustment is made they must first evaluate the structure (how the overall body is functioning). They check the motion of the body, the spine, and joints. Then they decide where to go from there. Without having the integrity of the structure evaluated, it would be harder to know what to work on.
- How do you apply this to your own health and wellness? You should start by checking the integrity of your own structure: Emotions, Nutrition, Heart Health, Joints, and Pain Points. What do you want to work on, and what do you NEED to work on? Health concerns should be addressed before those that are less important. You must start somewhere. Just take the step forward!
Systems: “I value self-discipline, but creating systems that make it next to impossible to misbehave is more reliable than self-control.” – Tim Ferriss
- Diabetes educators work on developing systems with their patients. The systems that the AADE use are monitoring, taking medication, problem solving, healthy coping, reducing risk, healthy eating, and being active. Also, making sure patients return to the clinical setting for follow up appointments.
- Through nutrition, physical activity, sleep, positive eating habits, etcetera, you can begin to implement systems. For example, having a systematically sound morning routine each day can result in less stress and anxiety throughout your day (especially if the routine consists of working out). Another example would be if you love QuikTrip’s taquitos: Stop driving by QuikTrip! Having proper systems in place can make up for a general lack of self-discipline.
Fuel: "If I knew I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself." - Mickey Mantle
- Dieticians are firm believers that you get out what you put in. They want to know what your current eating habits are, and what your diet currently consists of. Also, they like to know the extent of your current health conditions and how you react to certain types of food. Some dieticians even work on the nutrition literacy and education of their patients.
- When applying this to yourself you need to figure out your current eating habits. Are you eating too late at night, or eating unhealthy snacks in between meals? How much do you really know about the nutrition density of your food? Also, should understand your current health conditions because certain combinations of healthy foods may help. Furthering your education about nutrition can result in a much healthier lifestyle, particularly when combined with exercise.
Evaluation: “A truthful evaluation of yourself gives feedback for growth and success.” – Brenda Johnson Padgitt
- You can have the best systems, structure, and fuel, but without evaluation you won’t know where you were or how far you have come. When meeting with physicians we found evaluation and collaboration to be the norm. Physicians evaluate reasons for care, health care information, allergies, cardiopulmonary decisions, integumentary conditions, and more. They understand, in order to advance, you must first evaluate where you are.
- The evaluation of yourself will result in a better understanding of where you are and how you react to certain things. Also, you will be able to make changes based on your constant evaluation. Understanding where you are, how far you have come, and where you wish to be will illustrate the course of action necessary for success.
These four components alone will not guarantee success in living a healthy lifestyle, but they will definitely get you started in the right direction. Collaborating with health professionals throughout your healthcare web can increase your own health knowledge, and then help you put together an implementation strategy for managing your health. Of course, there are also tools, apps, and books that can dive even deeper into this dynamic. As always, your feedback is appreciated and I would love to collaborate with you.