Sick Care vs. Wellness Care: A Shift in How We Understand Health Care

Image result for wellnessThe mainstream medical system tends to support the idea that you only need to go to the doctor when you’re already sick. Think of this as a sick care model of treatment. It’s a good thing modern medicine has given us powerful treatments for sickness, but you don’t need to wait until you’re sick to receive care. Wellness care, on the other hand, is the model of medicine that promotes well-being through preventative care and on-going maintenance check-ups. Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture are paradigmatic examples of the wellness care philosophy.

When I treat patients with Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, they often ask how quickly they will feel better. The number of treatments will depend on how chronic or acute the case may be and how quickly the body reacts to the treatments. Most people tend to see positive results within three or four treatments. What I also like to encourage patients to consider, however, is coming in to see me before they start feeling sick, or before the symptoms become burdensome.

Shifting our perspective to a wellness model encourages us to play the long game. You should invest in your wellness before you get sick in order to prevent sickness. Some ways to invest in your health include:

  • eating a whole foods and, as much as possible, plant-based diet,
  • moving your body regularly (whether that means going to the gym, a yoga class, or for a walk around the block– it doesn’t matter, just move!)
  • visiting your acupuncturist for maintenance check-ups one to two times per season to help ward off imbalances that lead to illness.Value your health before sickness comes!

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