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If you’re like most people, you love your doctor.

In fact, you’d LOVE to spend more time with him or her discussing your health concerns and having your preventative care questions answered. And no doubt your doctor would love to spend more time getting to know you and offering his or her expert advice.

Unfortunately within the current medical system, our doctors are limited in the amount of time they can spend with each patient…often to the tune of about 7 minutes per visit in the United States.

That’s not a lot of time to conduct a thorough intake and investigate puzzling health issues; let alone provide individual recommendations on how to live a healthier life and prevent disease.

As patients, we are frustrated by this, and so are our doctors…but the truth is their hands are often tied.

Tied to the hospitals who run their practices for a profit, tied to “medical quotas” that demand they see a certain number of patients per day or tied to insurance companies that dictate the level of care they can provide to each patient.

In this toxic healthcare climate, it’s no wonder patients slip through the cracks and are left feeling under-served, while doctors report the highest levels of job dissatisfaction in history.

Our question to you is: do you intend to stay lost and under-served within our current system or are you ready to take your own health back into your own hands?

If you prefer the latter, read on to discover the empowerment that comes from building an affordable layer between you and the medical system in the form of a Health Coach.

What is a Health Coach?

A Health Coach is a trained healthcare professional who specializes in guiding and empowering you to implement the fundamentals of health creation to maximize wellness.

The expertise of a Health Coach can vary from practice to practice, but typically they work alongside your doctor or healthcare provider to educate and support you in your individual health progress and wellness goals.

Think of them as your medically-supervised partner in self-health creation, who can advise you on all the proactive ways you can support and maintain your health.

At kNew Health, for example, our Health Coaches are all trained in Functional Medicine and work with patients to implement a customized wellness plan that includes optimizing nutrition and detoxification, stress management, exercise and other fundamentals of self-health creation.

Why Innovative Doctors LOVE Health Coaches (and you will too)

Smart doctors, who understand the value of lifestyle in preventing and treating disease, often employ Health Coaches to help them offer a higher level of personalized care.

For example, many of the well-known integrative “celebrity” doctors employ Health Coaches to help educate and motivate their patients, which enhances the patient’s experience while producing superior health outcomes. This also allows the doctor the time they need to focus on initial visits, complex cases, advanced lab work, medication management and performing medical procedures.

The doctor-health-coach dynamic is not meant to replace the patient-doctor relationship, rather to support healing by enhancing individual patient communication, education and service.

Which is why innovative doctors love Health Coaches, and so do their patients.

The Benefits of Working with a Health Coach

Aside from more individual attention, some key benefits of working with a Health Coach include:

  • Easier communication—it’s typically much easier to get in touch with a Health Coach than a doctor. For example, our kNew Health Coaches are available and accessible through out online platform when you need them most.
  • Better health results and outcomes—accountability counts when it comes to making changes in your lifestyle habits and health, but it can also help you prevent and overcome chronic disease. For example, a 2016 study conducted by University of California San Francisco, showed Health Coaching can play an important role in chronic disease management, with patients fairing significantly better in achieving their clinical goals when assigned a Health Coach(1).
  • Better education—unlike the time constraints of typical doctor visits, it is your Health Coach’s job to take the time to ensure you have the education and tools you need to make lasting changes and progress. Plus many Health Coaches, like those at kNew Health, are available and accessible online without an appointment.
  • Motivation when you need it most—though most of us wouldn’t think of trying to contact our doctor when feeling demotivated, it is your Health Coach’s job to check in with you frequently on your health goals and provide that much-needed motivation when you need it. Accessibility like this results in greater patient empowerment and better outcomes.
  • Decreased healthcare costs—studies have shown that working with a Health Coach can help save you tons of money by reducing medical costs and hospitalizations (2).

Is a Health Coach Right for You?

As the studies cited above suggest, a medically-supervised Health Coach is an ideal choice for those dealing with acute conditions, chronic  disease (like diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune conditions, etc.) and those looking to improve their overall health and wellness.

Plus, they act as that “layer” of affordable individual care between you and your doctor.

This relationship allows you to super-charge your treatment and preventative care, by keeping up on disease markers, optimizing your lifestyle and nurturing a foundation of health that lasts a lifetime.

Plus, your doctor will be thrilled by your state of health come check-up time.

At kNew Health, our medically-supervised certified Health Coaches specialize in helping members add that layer between them and their doctor, at an affordable rate.

Click here to learn more about our membership-based healthcare programs, and get affordable access to feeling good again.

And click here to learn more about the 7 fundamentals of self-health creation.

-The kNew Health Team

References

1:http://www.annfammed.org/content/13/2/130.full

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20860506/

 

One of the most empowering ways to take back control of your health, reduce healthcare costs and prevent costly chronic disease is to participate in your own health creation.

What does this mean and what would it look like?

It means there are certain undebatable laws or “fundamentals” of health creation you can follow to prevent disease while enhancing your health; like good nutrition, movement and stress management. And once you master these, you greatly reduce your risk of future illness.

What is looks like is: you practicing these fundamentals regularly and having great energy, better clarity of mind, sounder sleep, easy digestion and better overall health.

And, despite what you may have been led to believe, creating health doesn’t have to be difficult, cumbersome or complicated—all you have to do is master the basics one by one.

To help make this easy, our medical director and functional medicine doctor Dr. Jeff Gladd and director of Health Coaches Tracy Harrison, MS have distilled the key principles of self-health creation into these “7 Laws of Self-Health Creation”. Each of which can be applied to your lifestyle to start creating massive shifts in your health straight away.

Without further ado, let’s get started with:

The 7 Laws of Self-Health Creation

Self-Health Creation Law #1: Optimize Food and Nutrition

If there’s one area we’ve been expertly-advised-and-deceived to death on, it’s food and nutrition.

From low-fat, heart-healthy, plant-based eating to paleo-inspired high-fat, low-carb dieting it seems everyone has an opinion (and even the science) on what it takes to “eat healthy”.

Want a bit of good news that speaks to commonsense?

First, there is not one perfect diet for everyone.

With so many variations in ancestral backgrounds, health conditions, food sensitivities, stress levels and availability of food how could there be? So put the idea of a “perfect diet” out of your mind.

Secondly, eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated, extreme or unpleasant. Food is as much about nourishment as it is about enjoyment and pleasure.

That said, here’s how to get the most out of your food to optimize overall health:

  • Avoid processed and packaged foods (if it comes from a box or bag, opt for something fresher).
  • Buy organic and naturally-grown food as much as possible to reduce pesticide consumption.
  • Eat plenty of vegetables, aim for 5-7 servings a day.
  • Cut back on sugar.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners which have been linked to a variety of health issues including obesity, diabetes and heart disease (to name but a few) 1.
  • Opt for moderate amounts of unprocessed fats like olive oil, butter and coconut oil.
  • If you have a chronic condition or autoimmune disease, take gluten out of your diet and you will see a difference.

If you’re looking for help implementing a specific nutrition regime or need some extra motivation to eat better, our medically-supervised Health Coaches can help. Click here to learn more.

Self Health Creation Law #2: Avoid toxins and enhance detoxification

Toxins are everywhere, it’s true. But avoiding the most hazardous every-day toxins is remarkably easy to do by following these tips:

  • Avoid toxins in your food by limiting process foods and buying organic and/or naturally-grown whenever possible.
  • Avoid toxins at home by quitting smoking, investing in a air purifier, opening the windows to let in fresh air, choosing natural personal care products, using non-toxic, natural cleaners and adopting a no-shoe policy (studies have shown shoes carry in a ghastly number of germs, bacteria, heavy metals and other unsavory toxins2).
  • Avoid toxins in your environment, though we can’t control the outside world you can avoid key toxins in your environment by choosing non-toxic gardening and lawn care services, using an air purifier in your car, drinking filtered water and getting out into nature to breathe fresh air as much as possible.

Self Health Creation Law #3: Stay hydrated

While experts debate on the “perfect” amount of water to drink daily, Dr. Gladd and our health coaches recommend drinking 8-8oz glasses of pure filtered water per day.

If you live in a very hot climate, exercise vigorously or consume coffee and/or alcoholic beverages, you will want to increase that by 1-3 glasses.

Drinking enough water ensures all your bodily functions run smoothly, and helps enhance cognition and focus, detoxification, digestion and promotes healthy skin.

Self Health Creation Law #4: Remember to breathe

This law is so simple it’s easily forgotten, but the quality of your breath is central to the quality of your health.

For example, it has been shown that just a few deep breaths can stop your stress response in its tracks3.

To get the most out of your breathing, practice deep belly breathing where you breathe in deeply through your nose filling your belly with air (without raising your shoulders), and then exhale fully through your mouth…ahhhhh.

Repeat this every hour or two and you’ll see a remarkable change in your stress levels.

Self Health Creation Law #5: Exercise and move

Though exercise is important to maintaining a healthy heart, weight, digestion and more, natural movement is equally important in self-health creation.

For exercise, choose something you enjoy doing for 20-30 minutes a day like walking, dancing, yoga, burst training or cycling.

To increase natural movement, look for opportunities to move more whenever possible. Try a standing desk or sitting on a yoga ball at work, park further away from the store and walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, stretch for 5 minutes, when you wake up or cancel your lawn service and mow it yourself.

Self Health Creation Law #6: Make sleep and restoration a priority

In our fast-paced, 24/7 electronic world, sleep and restoration are perceived as more of a nuisance than a welcomed necessity. Those who value them are seen as weak or “unproductive”, when the reality is the less you rest the weaker and even less intelligent you become.

This has been proven of late by the discovery of the glymphatic system, a newly-discovered system in your brain that acts as a garbage collector of old cells, proteins and waste…and it’s only activated by deep, natural sleep (pill-induced sleep doesn’t count)4.

Moreover, sleep is the time your body engages in what’s known as synaptic pruning, where old knowledge is pruned away to make space for new information5.

Sleep is also the time the rest of your body repairs and rebuilds itself, so if you’re getting less than 7.5-9 hours a night you’re weakening your entire body and brain.

If you have trouble sleeping, try any of the following solutions:

  • Get enough exercise early in the day.
  • Shut off devices 2-3 hours before bed.
  • Naturally enhance melatonin production (your master sleep hormone) by getting 20-30 minutes of bright morning light and keeping your room completely dark at night.
  • Meditate and/or journal before bed.
  • Stop caffeine consumption after 2PM.
  • Drink calming herbal teas before bed such a chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, skullcap or valerian.
  • Eat protein at dinner to avoid blood sugar crashes at night.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed for deeper, uninterrupted sleep.

If after trying the above strategies, you’re still struggling to get enough rest, contact us immediately so we can look at how we can support you in creating healthier sleep hygiene.

Self Health Creation Law #7: Connect through community

Our country is the midst of a social-health crisis. One where, despite our many means of communication, people are feeling lonelier and more isolated than ever.

Fortunately, experts like Dr. George Slavich, director of the UCLA Laboratory for Stress Assessment and Research, are helping shed light on the pathology of this social-health-crisis through the emerging science of Human Social Genomics.

Through this research, Dr. Slavich’s team, and others, have discovered our social environments, and how we perceive them, have a direct impact on our basic biological processes—including gene expression6.

So how to do we remedy this amidst the lonesome world of social media friendships and work-a-holism?

Use online resources to create offline connections.

For example, sites like Eventbrite and Meetup offer a free online platform to search for local events and groups like fitness groups, health talks, hiking clubs, mom’s groups, new comer’s clubs, etc.

You can also search online for volunteer opportunities, churches or other spiritually-minded practices like meditation groups or intentional communities.

The point is to get offline and make face-to-face connections as much as possible, make it a goal to spend time with friends, family or a like-minded group of people at least once a week.

For more information on the 7 Laws of Self Health Creation, click here to download “Top 10 Ways to Save on Healthcare in the Trump Era…and Beyond”.

Or to learn more about how kNew Health’s medically-supervised certified Health Coaches can help YOU take back control of your health and save money, click here.

 

As outlined in our previous post: “The Top 10 Reasons We All Knew Our Healthcare System Was Broken”, it’s no secret our American healthcare system is in dire straits.

Insurance premiums and deductibles are at an all-time high, chronic disease is rampant and the cost of medications are unaffordable for those who need them most.

With all this (and more), coupled with the ultra-confusing government healthcare laws and ever-changing expert health advice out there—how can a well-meaning person get healthy (and stay healthy) without breaking the bank?

The answer: it’s time to take back your power.

How? By becoming an active, savvy participant in your own health creation, which in turn will free you from over-reliance on a broken healthcare system.

If this sounds easier said than done (after all, there are as many “proven ways” to get healthy and save money as there are healthcare laws) consider this simple yet effective starting point: follow the ABCs of getting healthy while saving on healthcare costs in this order…

Take Back Your Power With The ABCs of Getting Healthy While Saving on Healthcare Costs

A: Agreements

There are few ingredients more powerful to creating healthy habits than making a pact with another person such as your doctor, a Health Coach or an accountability buddy.

Studies have shown those who enter into agreements about improving their diet, exercise or other lifestyle factors with another person have remarkably higher outcomes than those who don’t[i],[ii].

What does this have to do with saving on healthcare costs?

The Centers for Disease Control estimates chronic diseases,like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune conditions are the most common, most preventable and most costly conditions[iii].

In other words: chronic disease is bankrupting our healthcare system.

The good news is, these diseases are largely preventable through specific lifestyle changes.

What agreements do you need to make about changing your health and lifestyle?

Perhaps you wish to cut back on sugar to lose weight, switch to a high-deductible insurance plan and put that extra money towards preventative care or spend more time outdoors for stress relief.

Whatever your goals, they will be more attainable when agreed upon and conquered with your doctor, Health Coach or friend.

B: Basics

Now that you understand the importance of lifestyle in preventing and treating chronic disease thus saving you money on healthcare costs, let’s look at the basics of how you can create lasting health.

Here’s a quick run-down of the 7 basics of self-health creation, courtesy of kNew Health’s medical director, Jeffrey Gladd, MD and Director of Health Coaches, Tracy Harrison, MS:

#1: Optimize your food and nutrition by eating real whole foods, buying organic as much as possible and avoiding packaged and processed foods.

#2: Avoid toxins and enhance detoxification—by following the advice above on food, and by increasing your intake of detoxifying vegetables like leafy greens, brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts), cultured foods and healthy fats like avocados, olive oil and coconut oil.

Avoid environmental toxins by investing in

an air purifier and using non-toxic personal care and cleaning products.

#3: Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of filtered water per day and avoiding sodas, energy drinks and too much coffee.

#4: Remember to breathe by focusing on deep belly breathing. If raise your shoulders when you breathe, you’re not breathing deep enough. And if you’re not breathing deep enough, you’re not getting enough oxygen. Instead, focus on filling your belly with air and breathing deeply in and out.

#5: Exercise and move by aiming for 20-30 minutes of enjoyable exercise per day. This keeps your heart healthy, increases oxygen, helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduces stress and keeps your blood sugar more balanced.

#6: Make sleep and restoration a priority by ensuring you get 7.5-9 hours of sleep per night, and taking time out for stress-relieving activities such as exercise, walking, spending time with friends, meditation or listening to music

#7: Connect through community. Studies have shown that loneliness and social isolation are now a leading cause of mortality in affluent countries[iv]; which means your social life really counts. Make it a point to meet up face-to-face with friends, volunteer and spend quality time with family members regularly.

To learn more about the 7 basics of health creation, check out our free report: “The Top 10 Ways to Save on Healthcare Costs in the Trump Era (and beyond)”.

C: Coaching

With your foundation of self-health in place, now is a good time to consider who can help you implement these 7 strategies, and/or help you overcome an existing condition.

You could turn to your general physician, but chances that will be costly…especially if you have a high deductible plan.

Smart doctors know this, which is why the most progressive MDs employ certified Health Coaches to serve their patients.

What is a Health Coach?

A Health Coach generally focuses on positive psychology and helping people hit their goals, and may have additional training in nutrition and lifestyle. Health coaches either run their own practices, or work with doctors to serve their patients at a more affordable rate.

At kNew Health, our medically-supervised Health Coaches are all certified in functional medicine which allows them to help you get to the root cause of your ailments by empowering you toward implementing the fundamentals of health creation (as listed above).

A good Health Coach acts as a mentor, practitioner and health partner to inspire you back to health and help you maintain that health long-term.

To learn more about kNew Health’s medically-supervised certified Health Coaches, click here.

D: Doctor

Notice employing the services of a doctor is fourth on this list, not first. That’s because a doctor will often be the most expensive route back to health. Of course, if you’re experiencing a serious health issue or medical emergency seek medical attention immediately.

However, if you’re dealing with a condition that’s manageable, you can save a lot of money by starting with the ABCs.

And if you’re not getting better through agreements, honoring the basics and coaching, it’s time to seek out a doctor.

At kNew Health, we believe the majority of acute and chronic ailments can be solved through the ABCs of getting healthy while saving on healthcare.

However, every person is an individual, and every individual will require the care of a doctor at some point. If your inner-knowing tells you it’s time to see a doctor, then by all means listen and reach out to us.

We have an extensive world-wide community of vetted functional medicine doctors and practitioners we would be happy to refer you to.

E: Emergency

Despite that Emergency Rooms visits are at an all-time high—including increased visits for chronic disease, per The American College of Emergency Physicians[v], the Emergency Room should be the last resort on your list…unless you have a true medical emergency, of course.

The is truer for those in socialized countries than the United States (since Americans tend to avoid ERs more due to their high costs), but the advice stands for Americans too.

Not only is a trip to the ER and hospital admittance expensive (not to mention the increased risk of contracting an infection), but a chronic-disease-related trip to the ER may have been prevented had the ABCs been followed early on (injuries, true emergencies and freak accidents excluded, of course).

The Therapeutic Order

If the ABCs of getting healthy while saving on healthcare sound familiar, that’s because they follow what’s known as “the therapeutic order”. Wherein you always turn to the least expensive least invasive solution first and the most expensive most invasive solution as a last-resort.

Though this may seem like a no-brainer, this commonsense approach has been lost within our current healthcare system that nearly always employs a drug-based approach FIRST…which is neither safe nor cheap.

It’s time for a new standard of care that puts the patient FIRST and honors the ABCs of getting healthy while saving on healthcare costs.

To learn more about how kNew Health’s approach to the ABCs is saving our members thousands of dollars on healthcare, click here.

You can download a printable list of the ABCs of Getting Healthy While Saving on Healthcare by clicking here, and thanks for reading!

-The kNew Health Team

References:

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8775648

[ii] http://www.apa.org/topics/obesity/support.aspx

[iii] https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm

[iv] heart.bmj.com/content/early/2016/03/15/heartjnl-2015-308790

[v] http://newsroom.acep.org/2017-09-13-ER-Visits-Increase-To-Highest-Recorded-Level