Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Functional Spectrum of Wellness and Disease

Dr. Len Saputo, M.D. from his book A Return to Healing, has another great tool to asses health and wellness. The Functional Spectrum of Wellness and Disease

0% - 25% - 50% - 75% - 100%

When working with clients, the goal is to help clients move closer to 100%. Any increase in health toward 100% is success. Whether it it something small like reducing smoking from 3 packs to 2 packs, or something large like heart surgery, movement towards 100% is what healthcare and wellness care is about. Keep in mind, however, 100% is different for everyone. 100% for one person may appear as 25% for another. Anything below 50% is where symptoms begin to surface and functionality becomes impacted.

So what is the best way to move a patient towards ideal health? Dr. Len Saputo has also developed a hierarchy of treatment modalities.

1) Lifestyle strategies such as diet, sleep, exercise, stress reduction, weight control, reduction of toxic chemicals, balance, etc.

2) Noninvasive complementary and alternative (CAM) services such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic, massage and bodywork, homeopathy, counseling, health coaches, and energy medicine.

3) Natural-medicine approaches such as orthomolecular medicine, functional medicine, bioenergetic research, and advanced testing.

4) Very careful and sparing use of pharmaceutical drugs, surgery and other invasive strategies as a last line of defense.

Seems to me to be a reasonable, cost-effective, patient empowering model of healthcare. It starts with prevention and self care, supplemented with trained medical professional help to encourage and promote the natural healing process. When prevention and support does not work, targeted testing and individualized medicine determines what is going wrong and what needs to be done to move the patient towards a more functional wellness. The use of pharmaceutical drugs, surgery, and advanced procedures in this context can then be used to finally tip the scales towards health and wellness when the disease or condition is unmanageable without further intervention.

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