Why You Need a Health Team in 2021
As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’. Yet, the UK spends approximately 15 billion pounds per year on preventable lifestyle driven diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
Healthcare in the UK is a ‘mess’ with a bloated and strained NHS ‘stretching beyond its means’ to ‘manage’ conditions instead of addressing the root cause of many diseases (1).
The current medical paradigm is outdated, offering reactive disease management rather than holistic proactive care. It has become a conveyor belt delivering ‘pills for ills’.
“The Government needs to transform the NHS from a sickness service to a health and well-being service”Lord Ara Darzi
But what if we were to say, it is possible to prevent you taking those pills in the first place?
A growing body of evidence suggests that we have the power to change our trajectory towards chronic illness and how we age. The dietary and lifestyle choices we make everyday can significantly impact the ageing process and our likelihood to develop chronic disease (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
“What’s common isn’t always normal”
Old age has now become a ‘risk factor’ for an array of conditions from diabetes, heart disease to arthritis to dementia.
Just because chronic disease is currently associated with age does not make it normal!
Studies investigating the health of primitive tribes such as the Hadza, Kitavans and The Maasai indicate they have a very low prevalence of ‘age associated diseases’ like arthritis and dementias.
While they have increased prevalence of infections due to basic hygiene, most geriatrics reach ‘old age’ in full function with all their faculites.
We cannot rely on Government for Prevention
The sad truth is we can only rely on government to a very limited extent for our own health and well-being. And why should we rely on them?
Governments and healthcare systems by nature are reactive, and do very little to prevent and optimise health so you can age gracefully and enjoy your ‘golden years‘ (9).
But that’s ok, because we are lucky enough to have choice. After all freedom is the greatest asset we will ever own (even before health).
We can choose to work with many groups of professionals who can help us prevent and address any root causes of our issues.
After all, health is a team sport, requiring different players with different skills providing synergy for our health and well-being.
So what is a Health Team?
A health team is simply a group of people (usually professionals) from an array of disciplines who work to serve your greatest good and help you fulfil your potential.
In it’s simplest form, your health team could consist of your family doctor and either a health coach or nutritional therapist. Together, you will be able to identify and integrate the important habits and behaviours that will help you optimise your health.
When I was recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I had a nutritional therapist, a TCM practitioner, a GP, and a Bodytalk therapist.
And by the way, your health team do not all have to be professionals. Several of my friends were in my health team, because not only did they made me laugh and offer new perspectives to problems, they made me feel supported.
What about cost? Do I have pay for this?
I am going to say something that may surprise you. Many NHS doctors have private healthcare insurance.
Nobody can deny the resources we have available in the NHS are truly wonderful and awe inspiring and I feel very lucky to be apart of it.
BUT, if you struggle with a chronic condition, private care serves a very important role.
It forces you to invest in yourself and offers you the time and personalised approach you deserve.
“You must be the change you want to see in the world”Mahatma Gandhi
If you invest in caring for yourself for example: Everybody wins including the people around you and society as a whole because you are taking ownership of your health.
From my perspective, there is nothing more rewarding than watching a client be proactive, take action for themselves and ultimately feel well and healthy again.
So what are you waiting for?
Wishing you well on your path to health,