Welcome to Our Healing Roots, a blog exploring natural medicine that returns us to the roots of health and wellbeing. Our Healing Roots, LLC, is a private natural healthcare practice and experiential learning center that advocates the safe use of integrated, natural medicine. Many healing ways have gone by the wayside with the advent of conventional medicine. While it is important to receive professional medical advice for serious conditions, there are many things we can do at home to prevent disease and maintain our health. The Latin word for doctor is docere, which means to be a teacher. Our Healing Roots wholehearted embraces the importance of teaching in healthcare, so that people feel empowered about their health and wellbeing. More information about this business can be found at www.ourhealingroots.net.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare

On Sunday afternoon, I was thumbing through an earlier issue of MaryJanesFarm Magazine. I was fortunate to come across a small article about the movie Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare. I found the website (www.escapefiremovie.com) and watched the movie online.

Escape Fire perfectly describes the struggle with medical care we are currently experiencing in the United States. In our medical system, we pay based on the quantity of services and procedures, regardless of the quality of care or clinical outcome.  A doctor can get paid $1500 to put a stent in a person's heart, but only $15 to counsel a person in how to prevent and reverse cardiac disease. Furthermore, studies have concluded that more procedures do not equal better clinical outcomes. Our system has been broken. We pay based on the wrong measure.

We, the people, are part of that system. As the customers of medical care, we drive the expectations. Think about it--how much do you value preventative care? If you went to see a doctor about getting a prescription, would you be frustrated if they only talked to you about low cost, evidence-based interventions of diet, exercise, and stress management instead of giving a prescription? Would you value and employ the advice you receive? 75% of our health care costs are spent on diseases that can be prevented with diet, exercise, stress management, and lifestyle modifications.

Here I am--a naturopathic doctor. I am deeply grateful that I received years of professional training in preventative medicine. I am lucky to be in a profession where I have the time to provide this type care to patients. Preventative medicine often needs more than 8 minutes, the average time a doctor gets to spend with a patient. There is no doubt in my mind how powerful diet, exercise, stress management, and lifestyle can be in reversing and preventing disease, but I question how much people value it. Will we be able to step outside our current cultural expectations of prescriptions and procedures and move towards a sustainable, healthcare future?

I invite you to check watch Escape Fire and to check out the movie website for yourself. If you are interested in learning more, I also invite you to listen to an interview with New York Times correspondent Elisabeth Rosenthal called "Paying Till It Hurts" (http://www.npr.org/2013/08/07/209585018/paying-till-it-hurts-why-american-health-care-is-so-pricey).  

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