In today's world of high technology and medical wizardry, people have grown to expect instant gratification for their aches and pains. We have become used to hearing about miracle cures and quick fixes. Occasionally, these promises even come true. Far more often, they do not.

As a society, new awareness of the limitations of medicine is beginning to emerge. Consequently, more people are now turning towards an increasingly holistic view of their health and lifestyle. Part of this step involves taking more responsibility for one's health. This may include evaluating lifestyle habits as well as practicing preventative health measures. Such personal initiative on a large scale could not be more timely: recent data show that annual deaths are hugely affected by ones behavioral choices 1-5. In 2005 it was shown that 1 in 3 of the 7 million cancer deaths was related to lifestyle choices.

From chiropractic's perspective, society's new interest in a more holistic, more personal-responsibility based approach to health is a large step in the right direction. Fundamental to chiropractic is respect for the body's natural ability to attain and maintain optimum health. Chiropractors believe their role is more of a facilitator than a healer: they help facilitate healing and health by working to create optimum conditions. With optimum conditions the body is then able to heal itself. How these optimum conditions are created requires commitment and teamwork between patient and chiropractic doctor. Restoring normal spinal, muscular and nervous system function and adhering to a healthy lifestyle are vital to creating correct conditions for the body to regain its health and to maintain wellness.

As a chiropractor, clinical experience has often demonstrated to me the profound impact active patient involvement in their own recovery can have. When patients take responsibility for their health, remarkable things happen!

1. Choi, B.C. et al. (2005). Disease of Comfort: A Primary Cause of Death in the 22nd Century. Journal of Epidemiology Community Health. Dec 59 (12); 1030-1034.
2. Danaei, G. et al. (2009). The Preventative Causes of Death in the United States: Comparative Risk Assessment of Dietary, Lifestyle & Metabolic Risk Factors. Journal of Medicine.
3. Mirkin, G. (2005). Cancer risk affected by your Lifestyle Choices. Lancet; Nov 19.
4. King, D.E et al. (2009). Adherence to Healthy Lifestyle habits in US Adults 1988-2006. American Journal Medicine. June 122 (6); 493-494.
5. Wainwight, N.W. et al. (2008). Sense of coherence, lifestyle choices and mortality. Journal of Epidemiology Community Health. Sep 62 (9); 829-831.

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