But sometimes your individual knowledge and expertise can only help so much. Sometimes we need to seek out others to help us through challenges whether they are physical, dietary or even emotional. This month we change your outlook on health from an individual challenge to a team challenge. November’s Sparkling Hill Resort Health Challenge is to:
Start building a DYNAMIC HEALTH TEAM
Part of staying healthy is knowing when to ask for help from others. Unknowingly, many of us already employ a small health team … think about your trips to the doctor, or chiropractor, or massage therapist. You are already tapping into your health professionals in an attempt to make your life better; the trick is to get everyone on the same page so you get the most favorable outcomes. In North America most of us are still using a non-collaborative health system, meaning you see different people for different problems but very seldom do you have everyone working together towards a common goal: getting or keeping you healthy. Whether it is rehabilitating from an injury, working through a chronic condition, or just getting through life; different people offer and can do different things for your health. Knowing who to see along with communicating with each other will dramatically help you to get healthier faster.
If you have health benefits through work or private insurance, take advantage of them, build your team and get on track to a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately for most of us, we never build a truly dynamic team and end up leaving out many health professionals that can help us lead healthy lives. So in order to build a great team we must know what each player can do. The following are some of the most visited health professionals and what they do:
*Please note that this list includes many but NOT all health practitioners
Medical Doctors treats acute and chronic illnesses, in addition to providing preventative care and health education to patients. You should see a doctor when an injury causes severe pain, swelling, or numbness, you can’t put any weight on the area, an old injury hurts or aches, an old injury swells, or if a joint doesn’t feel normal or feels unstable.
Naturopathic medicine is a system of natural medicine and preventive health care integrating scientific knowledge with traditional healing wisdom and can include: Homeopathy, Acupuncture/Chinese Medicine, Botanicals and nutrition. A Naturopathic Doctor uses safe and gentle therapies to assist the whole person in maximizing the body’s inherent self-healing capacity.
Psychiatry is focused on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors qualified to assess both the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems.
Chiropractic is truly concerned with the care of the entire body but chiropractors often pay particular attention to your spine and the nervous system. If you find that aches are limiting you from sleeping well, sitting or walking, see your chiropractor as soon as possible.
Physiotherapy is anchored in movement sciences and aims to enhance or restore function of multiple body systems and aims to maximize a person’s ability to move and function. Many people think physiotherapy is only used for musculoskeletal (muscle and joint conditions), but the profession actually provides both preventative and rehabilitation treatment for an array of mobility issues, injuries and/or diseases.
Kinesiologists most commonly design and implement exercise programs related to human performance and other lifestyle related health conditions. Kinesiologists emphasize prevention and enhancement of function through pro-active exercise, quality movement patterns, along with a healthy lifestyle.
Massage therapy involves the manipulation of soft tissues of the body and can be beneficial to help alleviate the discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses, muscular over-use and other chronic pain conditions. Massage Therapists can work with a variety of patients in the treatment of illness, injury rehabilitation and disability (both acute and chronic).
Osteopathy is another form of manual therapy that focuses on healing the body as a whole. Osteopathic therapists work not only with the spine or joints or muscles but with tissues, scars, fascia and fluids as well. They look not only to help alleviate symptoms but improve how your body functions overall including: musculoskeletal, or nervous system, or other systemic issues.
Dietitians are effective nutrition counselors and have both the scientific knowledge as well as the counseling skills necessary to provide helpful food and nutrition advice. Dietitians can tailor nutrition advice to your unique needs and circumstances in order to improve your health.
Occupational Therapists help to solve the problems that interfere with your ability to do the things that are important to you in daily life. When an injury, illness, disability or other problem limits your ability to take care of yourself, participate in work, or enjoy your leisure time, then you may want to learn some new skills from an occupational therapist.