Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Antioxidants?
Which of the following is an antioxidant?
Vitamin E
Vitamin B
Calcium


 
 
 Self-Care: The Growing Trend Toward Self-Responsibility for Health Part II  
 
Four major trends fuel the growth of self-responsibility for health.

Trend One: The Shift from Professional Care to Self-Care. In medicine as in other economic areas, laypeople are now doing an end run around professionals, using new institutions, new technologies, and new methods of communication to deal with problems directly rather than relying on professionals. This shift is occurring in other economic sectors as well.

Ten years ago, if you had a sum of money to invest, you probably put it in the bank. The bank would invest your money pay you a fixed rate of interest, and pocket the difference. Today we are much more likely to invest that money ourselves—in a money market account, a mutual fund, a certificate of deposit, or elsewhere. We have realized that bankers do not have a monopoly on investing.

In the same way, we have realized that doctors do not have a monopoly on health. Under the old system consumers were encouraged to believe that doctors could "fix" virtually any health problem. Under the new self-care oriented system, we know that there is frequently little the doctor can do, but that if we take reasonably good care of ourselves, we will rarely need health professionals. It is an irony of medical history that as the result of the current medical malpractice crisis, the American Medical Association is now waging a public relations campaign to convince consumers not to expect too much of physicians.1

Trend Two: From "One Ill, One Pill" to Multiple Options. A decade or two ago, most things were done in a pretty standard way. When there was a choice, it was usually of the either/or variety: Dad went to work. Mom stayed home and had 2.4 kids. You either got married or you didn't. You drove a Ford or a Chevy. When you ordered ice cream, you could choose from either vanilla or chocolate. All bathtubs were white. All telephones were black. That was the way it was.

It was much the same in health care. You went to the doctor, gave a history, and described your symptoms. The doctor would ask some questions, thump you a time or two, perhaps order a few lab tests. Then out came the little white pad and you received a prescription.

That's not the way it works any more. Consumers can now choose between multiple options—John Naisbitt, author of the book Megatrends, calls this today's "Baskin-Robbins society." Today, everything comes in at least 31 flavors. The new car buyer can choose from among more than 750 different models. There's a store in New York that sells 2,500 different types of light bulbs. You can currently choose among several dozen herb teas.

Health care offers more choices as well. Most conditions can be treated in a number of ways. If medical treatment is called for, there are frequently a variety of alternative drugs and dosages. The same is true if the choice is between alternative remedies. Consumers now expect to consider their alternatives and to chose the one that seems best. This may mean choosing among several drugs, or choosing no drug at all. It may mean visiting another doctor, seeking a second opinion, or seeking advice from any one of a growing number of alternative practitioners. Or it may mean using exercise, nutrition, relaxation, visualization, psychological approaches or other non-specific pro-health measures to help deal with the problem.

If there is a downside to self-care, it is that it requires a good deal more effort to do it yourself. Despite the changes described above, many people still prefer to be told what to do. Trend Three: The Home as Health Center. According to home health care industry sources. roughly 25 to 30 percent of patients now in hospitals don't really need to be there. They could be cared for just as safely and much more economically at home. Millions of patients have already avoided needless hospitalization, making home health care the most rapidly growing part of the health care system.2

CONTINUED    1  2  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Tom Ferguson MDTom Ferguson, M.D. (1943-2006), was a pioneering physician, author, and researcher who virtually led the movement to advocate informed self-care as the starting point for good health. Dr. Ferguson studied and wrote......more
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Eating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar