One of the least known and least practiced aspects of medicine is prevention. If you look at a list of medical specialists that have evolved in our system of western medicine, you will not find a Doctor of Preventive Medicine. You will find a physician for every part of our body -- but none for the whole.
Most people do not realize that the essence of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), which finds much of its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine, really has to do with prevention. It is a little known fact that traditional Chinese doctors were paid on a regular schedule to maintain the total health of their patients. In other words, they were paid to prevent them from getting sick. They would accomplish this by providing regular acupuncture, herbal treatments and other therapies, as well as nutritional counseling. If one of their patients suddenly became ill, the physician's payment was immediately stopped and he was required to treat his patient for free until his health was brought back to normal. At that time, the patient resumed his regular payment schedule to his physician for the prevention of disease and the maintenance of his health. The patient was required to follow through with all of the care and treatment recommendations his physician would make. So in essence, the patient was accepting responsibility for his or her own well-being and practicing prevention.
Even today with the tremendous growth of the complementary and alternative medicine industry we often see that CAM practitioners are being used in the same way that we use our Western trained physicians. That is, if we have a problem we go to the doctor to be cared for. Although there is nothing wrong with seeking help when needed, if we look a little closer we see that there tends to be a certain lack of responsibility for our own health. This is largely due to the expectation that our health care practitioner will take care of our difficulties when they arise, so for the most part we have done little or nothing to take care of them ourselves.
Let's look at this from a different perspective for a moment. Think of a business that has a lot of customers who really depend on a product that the business produces. Now think of your body as being the only machine that produces this product, so everything depends on your working at peak efficiency. If you are properly maintained you will run for many years with only a few minor adjustments. If you are not properly maintained, you break down -- and then what happens? You have a lot of unhappy customers and coworkers. In life, those unhappy people are your family and friends; and you're pretty miserable yourself because, unlike a machine, you have feelings and emotions.
So now that we all feel like a broken popcorn machine in a movie theater on opening night, what are we supposed to do about it? The first step is to accept responsibility for our own physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
The time to start is now!
As we become older, chronic musculoskeletal conditions and injuries become more common. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, over 43 million Americans suffer from arthritis, and nearly 50% of people over the age of 65 have the disease. The CDC reports arthritis sufferers have "a substantially worse" health-related quality of life than those without arthritis. Musculoskeletal problems account for 40% of all work related injuries and diseases worldwide, with back injuries alone accounting for nearly half of that number.
Preventing back injury...
Chronic back pain is usually the result of many years of repeated stress due to an acute injury or a series of injuries. Your spine works 24/7, and if you are out of shape or stressed, you are more prone to back injury. Over time, repetitive stress can cause parts of the spine to degenerate. The condition of your spine at the time of an injury is an important factor in determining how fast you will recover, as well as the risk of the injury turning into a chronic back condition. Your spine has three natural curves:
Cervical -- inward curve at your neck
Thoracic -- outward curve of your middle back
Lumbar -- inward curve in your lower back Good posture is the result of the proper positioning of your spine, which is properly maintained by having good muscle tone. Recommendations for a healthy back:
Learn how to lift, move objects, and reach for things correctly. When lifting, let your legs do most of the work and hold the item close to your body, regardless of its weight.
If you smoke, QUIT. Nicotine decreases blood flow to your back, which makes you more prone to injury and increases healing time.
Walk or swim everyday. (But don't forget to check with your doctor first.)
Change your position periodically during the day. Standing or sitting for too long may aggravate (or even cause) a back problem.
Exercises to strengthen your back muscles and improve flexibility, as well as relaxation techniques to relieve stress, can be very helpful. Be sure to have a qualified professional design a program that is right for you. What Therion products can help a chronic back problem?
If you are uncomfortable sitting for long periods, use a magnetic seat pad. A combination of high resiliency and viscoelastic foams relieve the pressure on your back. A deep-penetrating magnetic field is produced throughout the entire pad, relaxing muscles and improving blood circulation.
There is also a lumbar cushion available for the pad. Elastic straps and clips to hold it securely in place as it comfortably and properly supports curvature of the spine.
Wear a low back brace to help support the natural curve of your spine and relieve stress on your back. Therion's low back support provides a deep-penetrating magnetic field to relieve discomfort. Patented Stomatex neoprene regulates the amount of body heat retained, while providing excellent support and stability for your lower back -- without sacrificing comfort.
If your back bothers you while sleeping, try the Advanced Biomagnetics® System 2000. You'll feel like you're floating on air as the viscoelastic memory foam adjusts to your body, relieving pressure on your spine for proper alignment. The magnetic mattress pad soothes your body as its therapeutic magnetic field relaxes muscles and improves blood flow. Preventing other types of musculoskeletal injury
As we all know there are countless ways that we can injure ourselves, so what we will try to address are some basic prevention recommendations to help keep you from injuring or re-injuring your muscles, bones and joints.
To help prevent falls:
Make sure that hallways and stairwells are well lit.
Remove or repair anything that could make you trip (loose rugs, electrical cords, toys, etc.)
Install handrails on inside and outside stairways.
Install traction strips in bathtubs.
Rub the bottoms of new shoes on a rough surface, such as concrete before using them to avoid slipping.
If you live in a cold climate be sure to put salt or sand on the walkways. When you are away from home:
Watch out for slippery surfaces, curbs and other obstructions while walking. Always wear seat belts while in the car.
Never drive after drinking alcohol or while taking certain medications.
Be alert for hazards in your workplace and follow all safety rules.
Magnetic therapy has been shown to be very effective in relieving the symptoms of chronic musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. Numerous scientific studies and articles are available to you in the Learning Center.
Orthopedic supports and braces have been shown to be very effective in the prevention of injury and for the relief of musculoskeletal symptoms due to an injury or chronic condition. A large-scale study conducted by UCLA on the use of back supports in the work place for prevention of injury, found there was a 34% drop in on-the-job injuries after the back-support policy was implemented.
Are you proactive about your health?
Whether you're a weekend warrior, enjoy playing golf or other sports, or prefer to just relax at home, you owe it to yourself and your family to stay healthy. If you have a chronic condition or a weak area prone to injury, you have to be proactive in order to prevent further injury. By not taking preventative measures, you greatly increase your risk of injury.
Be careful how you bend or perform a task; try not to twist or turn suddenly; and wear the appropriate support or wrap for added stability and relief of discomfort. Therion supports are uniquely designed to provide you with numerous therapeutic benefits with Maximum Field Integration and Stomatex® construction. These are the only supports in existence that are comfortable to wear during any level of activity, in any climate, for as long as needed.
While there is no way to completely prevent injuries, if you follow the recommendations provided here, you can substantially reduce your risk of further injury -- and most importantly, the days, weeks, or months that it would take to recover.
by Bruce Spiegler, Reg. Magnetic Therapy Practitioner, H.H.P.Steven Schenkman, President Emeritus, New York College for Health Professions
Bruce Spiegler, Therion's founder, is a registered magnetic therapist and has spent over eleven years researching the effects of magnetic fields on the body. He has developed new engineering and design methods that significantly improve magnetic field effectiveness, product comfort, and long-term durability.