There are three main ways people tend to approach healthcare: reactively, proactively, or with a mind toward whole-body wellness. Which one do you generally choose? Which one will help you best avoid injury and speed recovery? Let’s find out more about these approaches.
The reactive healthcare model is like putting your seatbelt on after you go through the windshield of a car. Having been a healthcare provider for the last 20 years, I’ve seen this time and time again: people only going to the doctor when they have an injury. It’s no surprise; the disease-and-crisis-care system we have in this country has been ingrained into our psyche. Unfortunately, this system is the least effective at keeping us well, and the most effective at making sure we stay dependent on drugs, surgeries, and injections.
The proactive healthcare model means taking care of yourself on a regular basis. This includes things like stretching, warming up, taking supplements, eating good foods, and engaging in smart activities. These are good approaches to living and they will help you much more than just being reactive in the care of your body. But, are they enough to help you reach your highest potential?
The real magic is in wellness. Wellness is when you’re doing things to improve yourself, not because you want to recover from a problem, and not because you want to prevent a problem, but because you want to be your best and centers around your body’s ability to reorganize. This change in thinking changes everything.
Maximizing your internal capacity to heal is the first step in avoiding injury. If you increase your body’s healing capacity, then you less likely to get injured in the first place. Your body is smart, and it has an incredibly intricate system of nerves that send millions of messages every moment of the day to coordinate all aspects of your healing. The responsiveness of this system is critical. People who want to maximize their performance and thrive always maximize their internal capacity to heal. NeuroStructural dysfunctions are significant inhibitors to your body’s capacity to self-heal.
Your body’s structure is the foundation of your performance. If your body’s structural integrity is less than optimal, you are more likely to get injured and suffer slow recovery times. The alignment of your pelvis, your spinal curvatures, and muscle strength and state can be significantly off even if you have no pain or symptoms. Maximizing your structural integrity is just as wise as brushing your teeth even when they don’t hurt. NeuroStructural shifts seriously impact a person’s structure and unfortunately often go undetected until reaching a point when people are considering drug or surgical options.
People often work on increasing their performance in terms of external functions – how fast they can run, how many laps they can do, how many push-ups or jumping jacks they can do, etc. However, most people don’t necessarily realize that you can maximize your internal functions, too. Diminished neural efficiency will decrease your response time and make you more prone to injury. Simple surface electromyography and thermography studies can easily and accurately determine the functional capacity of your nervous system. If that capacity is diminished and affecting motor nerves or autonomic nerves, your capacity to heal will be diminished as well. Bottom line, keeping your structure and function at its best will help you avoid injury and improve your healing times.
In my last 20 years of taking care of people, I most often hear people say that their healing time has improved. People who have been told by doctors that it usually takes X number of weeks to improve from a particular kind of injury but they improved in just one week. People who tell me: “I’ve had this kind of fall before and I was laid up for a few weeks and this time when I fell, it didn’t affect me for more than a few days.” This is what happens when you increase your body’s internal capacity to realign, re-correct, retrain, and recover from injury.
Another key to maximizing recovery from injury, or avoiding injury in the first place, is increasing your adaptability. Your amazing body has to adapt to millions of stimuli a day and that adaptability is crucial to your wellbeing. In fact, the majority of diseases and conditions that people develop are caused by a decrease or loss of adaptability. An important way to measure your adaptability is a heart rate variability test. If your body is holding on to hidden body stresses, this can show up in your cardiovascular system and its heart rate variability. This heart rate variability test is performed on astronauts to see if they’re space-travel worthy. They may be in incredible shape but if they don’t pass a heart rate variability test, they’re not going into space because they’re not adaptable. A decrease in the capacity of a person’s body to reorganize in response to stress frequently happens as a result of the structural, behavior and perception changes from NeuroStructural dysfunctions.
There is a classic example of poor adaptability that is always shocking when it comes on the news: an extremely fit person like a marathon runner or a professional athlete, who seemed to be the picture of health with normal blood pressure and normal cholesterol levels, ending up dead of a heart condition. Well, the culprit often is low heart rate variability of adaptability. Your cardiovascular system should be extremely adaptable. It should respond to stimuli and be extremely responsive with a high degree of variability rather than being static. When your responsiveness drops down, your heart rate variability is a key indicator of earlier mortality, depression, weight gain, and many other health disorders.
Maximize your ability to avoid injury and recover from injuries by improving your function, improving your structure, increasing your adaptability, and keeping your body at its best. Not simply because you want to recover from an injury, or because you want to avoid a negative, but because you want to thrive in today’s world and perform at your optimum.
Learn more about a consultation to discuss maximizing your ability to avoid and recover from injuries.