So, here we are at the beginning of the year, the time of the season when Christmas bills are due, deductibles are reset, the New year is in full swing, new stress’s upon us, and who knows whatever else might go wrong. OR can go right?……
Being in the healthcare field it has / is a double edge sword. Having to take insurance as a provider but also having to have insurance myself (amazing Kaiser) I realize that it’s really not HEALTH insurance but its SICK insurance. The big Insurance companies don’t really want you to be healthy at all and yet they claim to have your best interest in mind. If that was the case, when was the last time your MD actually put their hands on you instead of writing a script telling you to take time off and take these pills. Just to be clear, I’m not against the MD’s at all what I am not for is the model we have adopted as gospel.
Want to know the real problem with healthcare “insurance” in this nation? It’s not federal overbearance; not the liberty-robbing purchase mandates; not unscrupulous doctors nor pill-pushing pharmaceutical companies. The fact is the real issue is your, mine and everybody’s attitude towards health insurance. Or, put more accurately, our misconception of what healthcare insurance is truly supposed to be. The issue is one of mental conditioning. You and I have been conditioned to believe that healthcare insurance is something that it is not. Or at least that it was not intended to nor should it be. We have become conditioned to not be self-reliant but rather to depend upon the system to “take care of us.”
Even how health insurance functions in this country makes it quite different than all other insurance products. Automobile insurance protects against unforeseen and catastrophic events, such as a vehicular damage, theft, and human injury. There is no “preventive” insurance as seen with health care.
When the mechanic tells you it’s time for brakes and we may as well service your transmission while it’s in, what’s the first question you ask? When you go to the doctor and she says she’d like to send you to the lab or a clinic to draw some blood and get a urine sample so they can run a battery of tests you don’t ask the doctor, “How much is that going to cost?” Why don’t you ask? Because you don’t care. Someone else is paying for it. You’re just going to show up at the clinic, present an insurance card at the counter, pay your $20 co-pay and the balance — how every many hundreds or thousands of dollars that is — you don’t have to worry about. Someone else is paying that.
If I pay a premium to GEICO, it does not cover the cost of tire rotations, brakes, new batteries, or oil changes. Similarly, homeowner’s insurance pays for storm damage to a roof, but not the price of roof replacement from normal wear, tear, and aging. Even the assumed theory that preventive care reduces overall health care expenditures is arguable.
Let’s get a bit deeper here.
You smack your car into another and the repair bill comes in at $3,300. You file an insurance claim. You have a policy for the express reason of accidental, catastrophic loss. No one buys an auto insurance policy and then expects the insurance company to cover windshield wiper changes, tire rotation, air and oil filters. You pay for those things out of your own pocket. You are self-reliant for the more trivial, mundane expenses; are insured for the larger, non-routine unexpected ones.
Healthcare insurance, however, is the opposite. As is the case in so many other areas of our society, we’ve been conditioned to an entitlement mentality toward healthcare insurance; to believe that we are entitled to something at little or no cost to ourselves. Insurance should be a safety net. Something that’s there in the event the worst should happen; i.e. to cover catastrophic event(s). But instead of being the safety net it was intended to and should be , it has now become a sidewalk .
When did we become so engrossed in NOT wanting to get better on our own accord but let’s just take some time off and see what happens. Did you do that when you got a cold? How about your kid getting sick? Or that potential lump on your back? We are so programmed to be proactive towards our health when it comes to sickness. But when it comes to orthopedics, we are very reactive in nature. We wait for something to go wrong and then act on that problem. Ex. It’s that time of season and your kids have the sniffles. So, you walk into your doctor’s office, and he/she conducts a physical. Tests results from your labs come back and you’re cleared.
Conversely, you were out playing with your kids and since you’re like the other 200 million Americans that have stopped moving your back gives out because you bent over to pick up that soccer ball. You head to your local MD, and he/she tries to figure out what went wrong. The prevention portion actually should have started a long way before the ball incident. And NO, it’s the weight gain, or lack of exercise, or the “I’m just too busy” comment, or I just don’t want to. They are all excuses we make to hopefully make ourselves feel better about the fact that we just don’t MOVE WELL anymore. Overtime we become programmed to our reactive nature and chalk up our pain as normal and part of day-to-day activities. Is your cold part of your day-to-day activities?
We are all full of excuses that make us into what and who we are today. As most of you know when you come to see us here we are always trying to stress move more…. But when some of you have the busiest schedules in the world and cant move can you expect to NOT be in pain when you want to go for that run?
Some of the best excuses we hear are:
I Don’t Have Time: Clearly one of the most popular excuses we hear all the time. What I hear is your health is not a priority. We make time for what is important and when you’re in pain and your reactive mind kicks in you find the time. Certainly there is something less important throughout the day that you can substitute 20 mins for.
I’ve Tried And Failed In The Past: It’s true that it can be difficult to get motivated to try something after you’ve failed before, but isn’t your health worth another try? If you’ve been unsuccessful at exercising in the past, then re-evaluate what went wrong. Did you try to do too much, too quickly? It’s very common for new exercisers to be overzealous when starting their workouts and end up either burning out or getting injured early on. Did you set unrealistic goals for yourself? Try to stick with small goals that are truly achievable. For example, that you will workout three times per week for the next month.
I Can’t Afford A Gym Membership: You don’t need a gym to get out and move. Look at all the playgrounds out there are going unused because our kids are now inside on their phones, computers, iPads and playing these games about playing. OUTSIDE IS FREE…
I’m Too Fat (or out-of-shape): This is a huge excuse. Size does not matter unless your are flat on your back and cant move at all. Set a realistic goal, not something that is more than likely so unattainable that you fall back in to the category of been-there-done-that and it didn’t work.
I Don’t Have Any Exercise Equipment: Refer back to up to the gym membership. Go outside and learn how to play again. We did it once before so why cant we do it again. Get in tune with what your body can’t do and work on it. So many of us want to lift heavy weights, use machines or jump on a treadmill etc… but our own basic movements are so sloppy that just basic movement skills can smoke us.
I Don’t Know What Exercises To Do: GO PLAY!!!!
I’m Too Old to Get Started: We don’t get stiff because we get old, we get stiff because we STOP MOVING!!!
I Just Can’t Get Motivated: Make your daily routines exercise. Walk up the stairs instead of the elevator. Learn how to squat again instead of that modified version you have been using because 20 years ago you felt a pop In the knee and now you think its going to be there again when you squat that way.
I Hate Exercising: So do I….. Lately I have been telling people that they need to stretch every time their cat or dog does. If they have kids they have to do what their kid is doing as well. Is that exercise? Well it will feel like it after you have sat in the squat position for 5 mins or have done that downward dog, neck rotation and leg shake 50 times today
I’m Too Tired: This excuse can create a vicious circle because the more sedentary you are then the more tired you become. Of course, the more tired you are then the less appealing exercise sounds. So, try to nip this in the bud quickly. Exercise can actually make you feel more revived then a nap. Regular physical activity increases your energy level. Plus, exercisers tend to fall asleep faster and sleep better, which allows you to truly feel rested every day.
What is insurance, anyway? It’s something that you buy in the hopes that you will never actually have to use it. It’s protection against horrible things. I have life insurance. Do I hope to use it? Hell no. I have car insurance. Do I hope to “get to” file some claims? Hell no! I have malpractice insurance. Do I hope to use that? I hope I NEVER do! Even medical or dental… I love my dentist, and I like my MD, but… to be honest, I hope to hardly ever have to see them for treatment.
So don’t let YOUR INSURANCE dictate your care. What is your shoulder, knee, ankle, back worth to you? Start from the basics and build a solid foundation. My good friend Flex Wheeler would always say my rehab is “a marathon NOT a sprint”. We can’t run before walking so why do we want our healthcare to be the same. Work at it and it will pay off.
Here are a few simple ways to incorporate more movement into your life:
- Go barefoot. At home start to go barefoot. Get those feet working again. We all want to feel better but most of our feet are horrible. Take those shoes and socks off and pick up everything (within certain limits obviously) with those toes.
- Wear minimal shoes. You’re going to put a shoe on anyway! How about picking ones that allow more of your body to participate in the day’s activities?
- Build a standing (or sitting-differently) workstation. It does not take extra time to sometimes stand in front of your computer, loading your bones and muscles. How about sitting on the floor with your laptop or getting a chair that allows you to sit in alternative positions.
- Go furniture free(ish). Why do you need to go to yoga class to assume different positions for an hour? You can do it at home, on your floor, all evening long!
- Walk short distances instead of drive. And then while you’re at it, why not walk a long one every now and then?
- Get a Squatty Potty. I mean, you were already sitting there anyway, right? Why not get a little more bang for your buck?
- Carry your kids or groceries. And not always in a backpack. You’ve got an entire shoulder girdle aching to be used.
“Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato
Since Plato, individuals have been trying to exercise their way out of the diseases of civilized living. And to be fair, “exercise more” is a fine goal to begin with. But, as Plato and modern scientists recognize, the goal to “move more when I’m not exercising” is foundational. This significant movement recommendation is often lost when we focus on exercise as a means to a ripped body or high-octane performance, and we forget that moving is as essential as eating. Before we go big, we must go basic. Back to the essential human movements and frequency of movements that provide the context for a human to flourish.