Well Care vs. Sick Care

Well Care

The American Heritage Dictionary states that health is, “Optimal functioning with freedom from disease and abnormality.” The two components of that definition – optimal functioning and freedom from disease and abnormality identify the two different approaches in heath care.

Sick care is based upon a philosophy of health called mechanism. Mechanism is a philosophy that views the body as a sophisticated machine, but a machine nonetheless, and that life is equal to the sum of the body parts. The objective of sick care is to diagnose and treat disease – essentially destroy your enemy (disease) before it destroys you. It is also typically about treating effects rather than causes. These effects are often treated with drugs and surgery. Symptoms are also considered to be intrinsically harmful and must be removed or combated.

An example would be to treat a cold with a cough suppressant. Does that deal with causes or effects? Why is the body coughing in the first place? Are we helping by suppressing this bodily function? What are the consequences of suppressing that bodily function?

Well care is based upon a philosophy called vitalism. Vitalism is a philosophy that recognizes that although we have mechanical aspects, we are more than sophisticated machines and that we are more that the sum of our parts. There is an immaterial part of life that can be recognized but cannot be measured. For example, what is the difference between a live person and a corpse? They have all the same parts yet they behave quite differently. That is what vitalists refer to as the immaterial aspect of life. That is also why they assert that we are more than the sum of our parts.

The objective of well care is to build up your body so that you can heal yourself by addressing causes rather than effects. Symptoms are considered the body's attempt to get rid of harmful agents as opposed to problems in and of themselves.

How do you build yourself up? By providing better circumstances such as better nutrition, exercise, rest, hygienic food handling, cleaner indoor air, positive mental attitude, and removing vertebral subluxations.

Because addressing a cause makes much more sense to us than treating effects, our health care approach is focused on well care.