Medicine, Health, & Wellness

Hi all, how is everyone? When I ask that, I'd like to think about it in terms of our health and our wellness. For me being in isolation has come as a bit of a shock to my system. For those not quite sure what I do, I'm a massage therapist. And more specifically one who really enjoys helping clients connect and become more informed about being in their body. I miss my clients! I miss the connections and what I'm able to facilitate with them. But this time means that I also get more time to connect and be with my family which is so amazing. I'm also using this time to have more time for myself to health and well. I get time to put into projects that I just haven't had time for..(Yes Elise, maybe even clean the basement)

I'm going to be writing in the coming days about how to best use this time to be well and healthy and can't wait. It is a time when we get to stand on our own feet and look at how we've been "living" and hopefully some ideaasdfaasdfasdfs on how to inhabit this body of ours and connections with others.

Today I'd like to start the ball rolling with an idea to think about. What is the difference between medical care, health, and wellness? And for good measure, why would it be important to differentiate these.

I like to differentiate these concepts as they tend to get muddled. and I'm going to use a bicycle to help illustrate these ideas. Well, a bicycle mechanic, taking care of a bike and a leisurely ride in the country to be more specific. So let’s dive in.

Medical care is like our great bicycle mechanic. They know the parts and pieces, how to take it apart and put it back together again and make it run smoothly. They have the best tools, and environment to work on our bikes when they need it and also let us know when things are wearing down a bit. They can even replace pieces with better pieces as they wear out. Yeah!! A thing to note about a bicycle mechanic. 1. They might not take good care of their own bike (in fact they may be so busy taking care of our bikes that theirs is sitting out in the rain getting a bit rusty. 2. They might not know how to ride a bike (not likely, but possible) 3. They might not know very much about how you like to ride your bike. (you might like leisurely rides in the country and they like to race 🙂

Health care and being healthy is more about how you take care of your bike and how you use it. You ride it regularly, make sure there’s air in the tires, have decent tires, make sure your brakes work, don’t leave it out in the rain to get rusty. It is kept clean and well maintained. Along with this and it goes without saying is you don’t just leave it in the shed or locked up to your fence for months on end. Essentially, you take care of and use your bike well. This way it’s in good shape for a Saturday ride, to commute to work and back and can even be enjoyed in winter. One of the great things about this is you can be any age from kids to grandparents. Anybody can have a healthy relationship with their bike.

Taking this idea further, there are some great instructors and coaches who might help you become a better rider or to try things you haven’t tried before. Maybe taking a course in trail riding or trying out a fat bike. One thing about people who help us with healthy living. Usually they really want to learn something and do it for ourselves.

I was thinking a bit about healthy and fit and if there were some differences. I have to think some more about this because I have worked with some clients who are really fit, but I wouldn’t call them healthy.

Wellness: This has a lot to do with how we enjoy our bike and what it allows us to do. It would carry a component of how we interact with the world around us, other people on bikes, cars and pedestrians. We use our bike to go on community rides or bike tours. On our bikes, we feel connected with nature, we feel present and the ride to work gives us a chance to breathe and see what’s going on around us. There may be a component of wanting to ride more so there’s less impact on the earth. We also understand that using the bike more will help us be healthy and will help us feel better.

Some things to think about from this. It is possible to have great medical care and not be healthy. It is also possible to be healthy and not have a connection to wellness. But working the other way. When we devote time to learning about wellness and committing time to this, there is usually a trickle down and we appreciate and make time for activities that make us healthy. Also having a sense of wellness can be a big help in preventing the need for medical care or when we do require medical care, we have better outcomes.

I personally would like to see what happens if we as a society devoted more time to wellness and healthy pursuits. What would the effect be on requirements for medical care. Our medical system is often bogged down because people keep bringing their bikes in to the mechanic because they left their bike out in the rain or didn’t bother to put air in their tires.

It is important to differentiate these ideas because the system doesn’t work well when we mistake medical care for health care or health care for wellness. We actually need all three with probably a little more emphasis on wellness and health. We will always at different times need medical care….but maybe less which would leave the medical system free to take care of those who really need it.

I’ll write more on this and unpack some more ideas and some concrete practices to help in both health and wellness.


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