By Dr. Darin Stokke, DC Lifestyles Healthcare Group
Your back hurts, your knees “crack” when you get up from a chair, you’re losing flexibility, you have pain in your elbows when you turn a doorknob, you’re feet hurt in the mornings, your shoulders are sore making it hard to even comb your hair, and you can’t sleep well at night. It seems like everything is falling apart and “old age” is setting in. It doesn’t seem fair. The golden years are turning into the rust years as it seems like everything is breaking down, slowing you down, and making life more challenging.
I understand. I hear it all the time. But it doesn’t need to be this way. There is hope.
Hope starts by gaining an understanding of what health really is and what it is not. When we begin to feel physical things like pain, inflexibility, loss of balance, fatigue and achy joints, these are the signs of a body that is out of balance and in some stage of dysfunction. In the most general sense, health is a state of balance in our body and in life. We tend to disassociate our body from our life yet everything is interconnected and associated with health. There are 7 key areas of our life including spiritual, mental, vocational, financial, familial, social and physical. When any one of these areas becomes severely chaotic or imbalanced in some way, all the other areas also are affected. Consider how the loss of a job takes a physical toll on a person’s body or when a person feels stressed they get a headache, tight neck or even ulcers. When a person goes through a divorce, loss of a loved one or a bankruptcy, consider the toll it takes on the other areas of that person’s life including that person’s physical health and mental well-being. When a person is suffering through a physical illness or disease including cancer, consider how that affects relationships, finances and even spiritual well-being. We’re more than just a body, more than just a job, more than just a bank account, and more than just a title. We are all whole beings living out a whole life.
When a person comes to our office with pain, we understand that the pain is not really the problem. The pain or discomfort may be causing a secondary problem such as keeping that person from working, enjoying a relationship, or playing a round of golf, yet the pain itself was caused by a different underlying cause or causes that must all be dealt with to truly correct the problem and bring a better balance back to the person. This is what makes true health care a holistic approach. When we rely on a pill, potion or lotion, we are ultimately only covering things up for a period of time. Health insurance has changed over time from one of insuring against an unforeseeable health crisis to one paying for management of sickness. This isn’t cost effective and it isn’t “health” care but rather “sick” care. You cannot get health out of a sick-care model and expect insurance to support that model while keeping costs down. This is the reason costs are skyrocketing.
The answer to all of this is to find balance in all 7 areas of life each day. It means being an active participant in your life rather than simply letting life happen and then reacting to it. It means making choices each day that support your highest values and goals of living a long and fruitful life. It means starting today to take control of your diet, your exercise habits, your thoughts, embracing positive relationships with friends and family, deciding to do things you love and find value in, and being grateful. It means letting go of anger and resentment. It means being proactive and doing the things you already know in your heart you should be doing. What if time stopped tomorrow for you? Would you be happy that you did your very best to live each day to the fullest? Start today!
The real answer to all of the aches and pains associated with “old age” is simply getting life back into balance, the body back into balance and being pro-active rather than reactive. While our office helps correct the problems causing pain, we excel at pro-actively bringing balance back to the body and teaching our patients to do just that at home and in life. I believe that’s true health and the best type of health-care for the future.