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Four Healthcare Myths that Make You Sick

Four Healthcare Myths that Make You Sick

As I shared in a recent post, the U.S. healthcare system continues to have a lot of room for improvement. Despite being quite expensive, it does not keep its citizens as healthy as the systems in other industrialized countries.

The debate for how to improve the healthcare system continues. Meanwhile, those of us who are served by this system are wise to understand its strengths and weaknesses so that we can be proactive about getting what we need.

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Six Ways to Get the Most from Your Primary Care Visit

Six Ways to Get the Most from Your Primary Care Visit

Between changes in insurance, the looming shortage of primary care providers in the United States, short times allocated for each primary care visit, and questions being raised about the value of annual "check-ups", it isn't surprising that many people find primary health care somewhat confusing.

It's true that our health care system has room for improvement. Despite the growing pains of our health care system, though, research has repeatedly found that having access to primary care creates better health outcomes. As health care providers have become increasingly specialized, it is particularly helpfui to have a trusted relationship with a health care provider that knows you well, and who can help guide you to resources that are appropriate for your level of health and well-being.

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Four Ways our National Health Care Crisis Affects You (and What you Can do About it)

Four Ways our National Health Care Crisis Affects You (and What you Can do About it)

These days, we hear a lot about problems with our nation's health. As a country, we've got some challenges. Our health is getting worse, and our expenses are getting higher. Meanwhile, our current health care system is not doing a good job of turning this trend around. Consider this evidence:

More than 1 of every $6 in the U.S. economy is devoted to health care spending.Our national health spending is nearly double that of other industrialized countries.Despite our high spending, our risk for early death is 68% higher than in other industrialized countries.95 cents of every health care dollar in 2008 was spent on health problems after they had already occurred.

So, how does this affect you and why should you care? Here are four reasons why our national health crisis affects requires our personal attention:

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The Myth of the Magic Bullet

The Myth of the Magic Bullet

If you've seen the TV series, ONCE, you'll remember the wily Rumpelstiltskin character. He often pops up in the stories, particularly when one of the other characters is facing some desperate situation and needs a solution that is beyond his or her power. As he strikes a deal with them, his signature line is "All magic comes with a price."

We are wired to look for easy answers (especially when we are desperate.) As a species, we are constantly seeking easier, more convenient ways to do things. When we are successful at saving time, effort, or money, we can redirect those resources to new areas. Some say that western civilization is built on this drive. It has certainly provided us with lots of innovative solutions.

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Ignorance is Bliss -- or IS it?

Ignorance is Bliss -- or IS it?

Several years ago, just as I was deciding to expand my wellness work, I had a conversation with a dear family friend - and it has haunted me to this day. He had just gone through a bad health scare, and as a result had begun delving deeply into the causes of heart disease and lifestyle approaches to preventing and reversing it. He is a smart, accomplished man, but he soon learned about a whole world of health information that he had never encountered before. When we spoke, he shared his shock and sense of betrayal about his former health care providers: "Why didn't somebody tell me sooner?"

In his case, ignorance of his condition — and how he could have prevented it - was definitely not bliss.

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5 Ways to Mind Your Microbiome

5 Ways to Mind Your Microbiome

If you're like me, you grew up thinking of all microorganisms as "germs" and something to be avoided at all costs. Wow, have things changed! While it is true that some microbes cause disease, we now know that each one of us is walking around with about 100 trillion microorganisms on board - outnumbering our cells 10 to 1 and adding between 2 and 5 pounds to our body weight.

We used to view our relationship with these tiny beings from an antagonistic, "us-vs-them" perspective. Now, we understand that our "microbiome" is more like an eco-system which we are only beginning to explore, and that we are dependent on this system for some important functions. Among other things, micro-organisms help us digest food, synthesize vitamins, regulate glucose, and maintain a healthy immune system.

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Transformation

Transformation

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." ~ Albert Einstein

Last week, I had the opportunity to accompany a friend to attend a preview of a new documentary, "Escape Fire". The film has already won a number of awards and is purported to be for the American Healthcare Crisis issue what "An Inconvenient Truth" was for Climate Change. Since healthcare transformation is a passion of mine, I was very eager to see it! The film was a provocative attempt at creating new thinking about a critical problem, and I recommend it for anyone interested in this topic.

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