The New Year is just a couple of days away. Many people stop and pause about this time of year to reflect on their year and set new goals and resolutions for the year to come. But, when it comes to your health, what are your goals?
After meeting with and taking a health history from a new practice member, I like to ask, “what are your goals” or “what would you like me to help you to do? I’m always a bit surprised when I get that ‘deer in the headlights’ stare, and that inevitable question, “what do you mean”?
All I really want to know is what are your goals as they pertain to your health. If you come to me because you have pain, is your goal simply to be rid of the pain, or are there many other short term and long term goals you have in mind? Perhaps you come with headaches as your chief complaint. And, let’s say that you have headaches every day and they rate a severity of +7 out of 10 most of the time, and occasionally even worse.
You may have a short term goal to reduce the severity and duration of the headache. Another short term goal may be to reduce the number of headaches you have in a week. Those are all good short term goals, but I’ve found that my practice members rarely think about their longer term goals. How about a mid-term goal of no headaches for 7 days? What about all the neck tension and pain that may have triggered the headaches in the first place? Wouldn’t a great longer term goal be to eliminate the headache’s triggering factor, whether it’s a physiological reaction to stress, hormones, foods, chemicals, or spinal subluxation? What about all the limiting factors of having the headache, like fatigue and zapped energy, low productivity, foggy thinking, poor mood, and etc..
Want to talk really long term? Then ask yourself this question, “How do you want your body to function when you’re 80 years old”? Do you think about it? I do. I know what’s possible – I’ve seen it in the people who show up every month in my office for their adjustment. They are committed to living not only pain free, but free of a lot of health problems many of us simply believe we’re supposed to deal with once we reach a certain age. Set your goals high and see where you can go – you might be surprised.
There are many other ways to define your goals in terms of performance of daily activities or even to be able to perform an exercise you had not previously been able to perform. We can discuss them and I’ll take ‘notes’ for you, then my job is to design a care plan that will help you to meet those goals. The plan will be specific in duration, frequency of care, and home care, and there will be progress questions and exams along the way to ensure that you are on course. Once optimal results are achieved, we’ll come up with a plan to help you maintain those results, or perhaps meet another goal.
Now, life is hectic, and things come up that can throw you off course. This is where my staff and I become your team of coaches, keeping you on track, on task, and on schedule. When it comes to your health, we have a one track mind, and that’s, the road to better health – your ultimate goal. If you miss a scheduled care appointment, we’ll call you to reschedule it as soon as possible. After all a good coach wouldn’t let her players miss workouts or practices. If you aren’t performing your home care exercises, we’ll know it, and we will encourage you each and every time we see you to keep up with the prescribed plan. Just remember it takes time to dig out of that hole of damage caused over the course of years, but once you’re out, the only way is up. Be persistent and you’ll get there – we promise.
We’ll also encourage you to adopt a more healthy lifestyle, such as limiting sugar, caffeine, and carbonated beverages, adding exercise and stress reducing activities, as well as incorporating nutritional supplements into your diet and quitting bad habits such as smoking.
Reaching and working towards those long term health goals, can sometimes be like joining a gym. Initially you’re gung ho and ready to do whatever it takes to meet the short term goals, but soon enough, you and your commitment takes a back seat to everyone and everything else. Without the encouragement to keep on keeping on, most gym members drop out within the first month. We don’t want that to happen to you under our care, because we know that your goals, whatever they are, once reached will change your life! Imagine how losing a significant amount of weight can change someone’s life. Believe me, just weight loss alone pales in comparison to having a healthy body and optimally functioning nervous system.
If you, however, have changed your mind and you don’t wish to follow through with your plan of action, it’s ok, it’s your body and your life. All we ask is that you let us know what you’ve decided so we can take you off our ‘roster’. When you’re ready to begin again, we’ll be here for you.
Once you reach that point of not just feeling fantastic, but living fantastic – it’s all a matter of what needs to be done to maintain what has been achieved. Whether we’re talking about weight, dental hygiene, or even your car, regular maintenance is key to keeping things functioning the way you would like them to. It’s strategic aging versus random aging. Start now to strategically plan how you’re body is going to maintain its functions for the next 20, 30, 60 or 70 years (considering the average life expectancy is 85 – you do the math).
Please keep in mind my staff and I are here to help. You may seek only pain relief as your goal, and we’ll honor that…while quietly praying for so much more than that for you.