by Todd A. Hoover, MD, DHt
The above model displays the optimal approach to maintaining and improving our overall well being. You must first create the strongest foundation possible. The basic building blocks of proper sleep, diet, exercise, work and management of relationships and personal expression are essential for establishing and keeping your vitality. Once this is in place, other steps in the pyramid may be appropriate depending on age, genetic and familial risk factors, and specific environmental stress exposures.
Prevention programs should be focused around your particular risk factors. Family history of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer should lead you to preventative programs dealing with these issues. Education is essential to implement known strategies to help risks for nearly every inherited disease. Accident and injury prevention awareness cannot be overstressed. While at Lockheed Martin, Inc. and in my private practice, I have designed preventive programs in all of these areas as well as access to smoking cessation, weight loss, immunizations and travel recommendations.
Early disease detection through screening programs helps identify breakdowns in health while the possibility for curative treatment remains high. Annual screening programs for Prostate and Breast Cancer, and Heart Disease, as well as screenings for any potential health hazards related to work, hobbies or habits are an essential component of preventive medicine.
If you have developed an acute or chronic disease, various treatment strategies can be considered to help you regain a balance of wellness. While it is easier to maintain a balance of health, rather than try to restore one's lost wellness, there are many tools to address these types of issues. Homeopathy, nutritional therapies, herbal medicine, western medical treatments, acupuncture, hands-on therapies and psychological therapies are just a few of the tools I employ in my practice to help patients regain a satisfactory level of health.
Hopefully, with some help, you will be able to sustain and even improve the level of health and vitality you currently enjoy. The more active you are in promoting the wellness activities of the lower tier of the pyramid, the more likely you are to enjoy sustained health.
For most people wellness is merely the absence of disease. But true health and wellness are much, much more. Imagine a consistent state of vitality, a relaxed sense of joyfulness, strength and endurance, and ease of being in the world. Health is reflected by your individual ability to adapt to all the various stresses presented in daily life. Human beings are wonderfully adaptive to stresses like gravity, weather, bacteria and viruses, family life, and work. The greater your ability to adapt and respond, the greater your health will be.