By Dr. Fabrizio Mancini
In our society, we are bombarded with messages that healing comes from sources outside ourselves. Patients are told that taking these drugs or having these medical procedures will make them well. As a result, many people have turned over responsibility for their health, to a large extent, to medical professionals.
Fortunately, a growing number of people are taking responsibility for their health, acknowledging that true healthcare begins with each person. This does not mean turning away from healthcare providers, but making them partners, along with ourselves and our families, as we unlock our bodies’ natural healing powers.
A new study from the University of Oregon shows that patients who take an active role in their health have lower medical costs. Researchers found that the average health care costs of those with the highest levels of motivation, knowledge, skills and confidence to manage their own healthcare were 8 percent to 21 percent lower than those with the lowest levels.
The average healthcare costs for each American is $6,280 per year — more than $25,000 per year for a family of four, according to a study in the journal Health Affairs. Imagine how much wealthier you would be if you could save that much each year, or even half that amount! And that is just a bonus to the fact that you would enjoy a life of emotional, physical and social wealth far beyond the financial benefit.
How can we take charge of our own health and well-being? Start with these simple steps:
- Engage Your Family: Share your health goals with your loved ones. Are you dedicated to getting out and walking 30 minutes each day? Ask them to encourage you. Are you trying to cut down on junk food and sweets and focus on healthy, whole foods instead? Make it a family affair. Ask your spouse and children their favorite healthy foods and together choose some meals and snacks that you all love.
- Enlist Your Doctor: Many people are afraid to speak up when they visit their doctor or healthcare provider. They may feel intimidated and reluctant to assert themselves. Remember, you live inside this body. You know, more than anyone else, the state of your emotional, physical and spiritual health. Always ask what non-drug, non-invasive alternatives are available for your treatment. Ask what lifestyle changes you can make to relieve your symptoms and enjoy better health.
- Take Time Each Day for Self-Care: Taking charge of your own health begins with believing that your health comes from within, not from exterior sources. Find ways every day to take care of yourself and your own health, whether it is drinking enough water, eating healthy regular meals, laughing with loved ones or going for a walk to relieve stress.
Remember, you can choose each day to live a healthy life. Pay attention to your body and what makes you feel healthy, joyful and full of energy. Your body has an innate intelligence that can guide you to healthy choices. Understand that you are connected to something greater than yourself, an intelligence that is always acting in your best interest. But it’s up to you, through your choices, actions and behavior, to support your self-healing.
Dr. Fabrizio Mancini is an internationally acclaimed wellness leader, educator, bilingual speaker and authority on self-healing. His best-selling book, The Power of Self-Healing, was released in paperback Jan. 15, 2013. He has been featured on Dr. Phil, The Doctors, FOX News, CNN Español, Univision and other top media. He is president emeritus of Parker University in Dallas, Texas, and a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. For more information, visit http://www.DrFabMancini.com.