In dealing with health care reform, insurance premiums should not be our only focus. There are other factors related to high medical costs. This includes how we, as individuals, manage our own health care needs.
A contributor to our excessive health care spending is the high rate of clinic, hospital and emergency room visits for the treatment of preventable diseases. According to the CDC, the top 3 causes of death in the U.S. are heart disease, cancer and stroke (ref. CDC stats). Diabetes is #6, and may be rapidly climbing the chart. The fact that these diseases are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, means that we already have the power to reduce our health care spending.
It’s vital that we take back control of our health. Not only must we include healthy habits in our daily lives — such as exercise, a healthy diet, relaxation time, and adequate sleep — but we must also invest in our well-being with the use of preventive medicine.
Preventive medicine strengthens the body to prevent — or withstand, naturally — the onset of illness. It is a non-invasive and natural form of health care that includes systems like ayurveda, massage therapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and spiritual healing. There are also do-it-yourself practices that serve to maintain health such as yoga, exercise, meditation, and healthy eating.
Don’t you feel that preventing disease is better than allowing it to mature? Nowadays, the norm is to treat disease after it has taken root, where the standard treatment is toxic drugs and/or invasive medical procedures like surgery. Such standard practices are expensive!
Of course, there are other reasons for high national health care spending that need to be addressed. But preventive medicine and healthy lifestyle choices are things we can do for ourselves right now, regardless of what happens on Capitol Hill.