Developing a more appropriate model for primary care requires that we create a new diagnostic algorithm and clinical care model that serves the core of personalized health care - the individual. For any model to be successful it must provide the foundation on which to build a system that has the depth and breadth necessary to meet the unique demands of a broad population on a personal level. The core of any new model of primary health care need not be redefined or reinvented as the definition presented in the Declaration of Alma-Ata, adopted at the International Conference on Primary Health Care in 1978, is more than sufficient starting with the section highlighted below.
“Primary health care is essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of selfreliance and self-determination. It forms an integral part both of the country's health system, of which it is the central function and main focus, and of the overall social and economic development of the community. It is the first level of contact of individuals, the family and community with the national health system bringing health care as close as possible to where people live and work, and constitutes the first element of a continuing health care process. .” Declaration of Alma-Ata
Bringing health care closer to where people live is as key to the process of developing a new model as any other part of the statement above. Lifestyle diseases (or diseases of longevity) have increased in notable frequency as countries have become more industrialized coupled with the fact that people are living longer. These diseases include Alzheimer's disease, atherosclerosis, asthma, cancer, chronic liver diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, chronic renal failure, osteoporosis, stroke, depression and obesity. Of these diseases the WHO notes that heart disease is the leading cause of lifestyle related disease worldwide.
The rate at which this shift has been happening hasn’t gone unnoticed, in fact it has been talked about now for almost 40 years. We can see how the WHO has observed trends within the system and attempted to bring notice of these trends to light via their annual reports. The information below includes select titles of World Health Reports along with a summary of those reports demonstrating the observance of trending needs. The following are summaries from each respected report offering insight as to what trends are being observed over the last two decades.
The reports above provide us with some perspective of the shifting demands worldwide, including an aging population, growing influence of chronic disease, loss of primary care support and the changing needs related to health care strategy. The WHO along with other groups like the Committee on Quality of Health in America (CQHCA) have been documenting, researching and presenting their findings on health care needs for over a decade. The depth and breadth of the issues we face in health care today are clear and the value of this research project is to dig through this information to find what information can be applied more effectively.
The Everspring Integrative Oncology program is dedicated to focusing on your quality of life before, during and after treatment. We work with any program with which you are currently engaged and support you throughout your treatment program. Our clinical focus is on therapy integration, cancer is a complex disease and we need all resources on the table to make sure we optimize your experience throughout treatment. The foundation of our program is focused on stress, nutrition and your ability to sleep as these three key elements dramatically influence quality of life and overall success in any oncology program. The most challenging issue we have found during treatments is the demand on the mind and body. Exhaustion from both treatment and just life management is the number one demand we seek to reduce. From there we seek to make sure you understand your options for everyday living, how to manage these options and make decisions that bring you the most benefit. We work with individuals at any diagnostic stage and we have the experience of working in concert with any program your oncology team might be planning for your care.
We use strategic planning to help reduce stress, improve diet and improve sleep and to develop dynamic program modifications as we anticipate progression throughout the care plan. We often use acupuncture and similar therapies to reduce pain, nausea and neuropathy. We help you understand and plan for nutritional options to improve fatigue and endurance through both chemo and recovery stages. Further, we use nutritional programs to help make home life more productive and comfortable. This is very important as the digestive system is taxed throughout the treatment programs. Our practitioners also serve as a source of comfort during stressful or demanding times and help bridge the gap during times of waiting and recovery.
Symptoms we seek to help reduce include - Fatigue • Insomnia • Stress • Dry Mouth/Difficulty Swallowing • Loss of Mobility • Constipation/Diarrhea • Hot Flashes & Night Sweats • Low White Blood Cells & Platelets • Weakened Immunity>
For the first time in human history chronic disease is the leading cause of medical need, responsible for 68% of all deaths globally according to 2013 WHO statistics. Cardiovascular diseases are now the number one categorical cause of death worldwide. And this is only the tip of the iceberg of a burgeoning health trend that is dominating both individuals and businesses. As the Harvard Business Review has suggested "we have largely ignored one of the most important fixes to our health care system" "every dollar we invest in our workers’ health, we see a return of more than $4 in reduced health care costs, lower absenteeism, and improved productivity" HBR Article
Research over the past decade suggests that conditions like heart disease, joint disorders and digestive disorders are near the top the list of U.S. healthcare costs at $107 billion, $62 billion and $51 billion respectively. If we dig into how chronic diseases affect our daily lives, we see issues such as migraines, which influence the daily lives of approximately 17% of the population at a cost of care and lost productivity estimated as high as $17 billion per year. It is estimated that almost 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes with an estimated $62 billion in healthcare costs and $69 billion in lost productivity. One in three Americans are said to have at least one of the top 7 chronic diseases, with a current overall economic impact of $1.3 trillion -- of which $1.1 trillion is lost workplace productivity.
The significant challenge we face in healthcare is that the current healthcare system was developed during a time where the leading medical need was from communicable diseases. To effectively address communicable disease versus a chronic disease requires a very different strategy for both treatment and delivery of care. We need a system and a standard of care that acknowledges the principles and the variables that influence chronic disease. At the same time our strategy must include a target that can be realistically pursued instead of the current standard of care which suggests that chronic diseases can only be managed.
The pursuit of quality of life must be the target of a new standard of care when considering chronic disease. The paradigm of chronic disease dissolution needs to shift to one where healthy aging and healthy living become the foundation of any treatment protocol. The key to successfully executing within this paradigm is a therapy and lifestyle centric program. Everspring Health is an emerging leader in this area of integrative healthcare and can help you, your family or your business take advantage of these resources today.
Principles embraced by the Members of the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine
The skin is the largest organ in the body and is often a reflection of our systemic health. When we observe how the skin reacts to stressors we can often catch chronic or even potentially serious issues early. The most common issues people face include acne, bug bites, cold sores, eczema, hives, ringworm, rashes, psoriasis and shingles. Many of us suffer from these common skin issues that can range from an inconvenience to something demanding enough to consume or interfere with our daily lives.
At Everspring Health, we’ll look at the health of your skin and any history you might have with a skin condition. Based on your diagnosis, we can make a plan that will seek to reduce symptoms and address any underlying systemic cause. Stress, diet and sleep will be the prime elements of an effective program as well as a specific nutritional program to target the primary symptoms.
We often can use therapies such as acupuncture and massage to help address systemic issues and help with the body’s normal system regulation. Since each case is unique, each treatment will be specifically tailored to you and your needs. Dermatological conditions are often the hardest to treat because of the daily commitment needed to support the healing process. We will educate you about these demands but it is important to understand that if these issue have been chronic for sometime it make take some time to appropriate repair the tissue not just eliminate the symptoms.
At Everspring Health, our pursuit of healthy weight involves creating a solid awareness of how stress, diet and sleep influence our body composition. Too often we are made to believe that a healthy body is an extension of healthy weight, when in reality healthy weight is an extension of a healthy body and healthy mind. The people who are credited with the healthiest and longest lives focus on living good and fulfilling lives, they don't chase marketing fads. They eat real food, they relax alone and socialize with friends, they move as a natural part of their day and their weight naturally corresponds with this reality. There is no issue in pursuing healthy weight as a primary goal but the most successful people who pursue this goal embrace the fundamentals of health and build it into who they are and the lifestyle they lead. By creating a foundation of fundamentals it allows us to understand the principles of healthy weight a true reliable resource evolves, one where we can always return to for reliable results. The Everspring Health healthy weight program focuses on awareness in our daily lives, on nourishment of our body and mind, where healthy movement is a natural extension of our day.
The fundamentals begin with awareness. Awareness is focused on three lifestyle factors: stress, diet, and sleep because these three things influence all disease and are primary fundamental principles in the pursuit of healthy body composition. When discussing stress we are looking to reduce inflammatory burden on the body which is demanding on tissues and creates waste products that can interfere with healthy cellular function. As we are able to get waste out of the way, we want to leverage diet to make sure each cell gets the nourishment it needs to optimally function so the body can safely lose weight. Sleep then becomes key time to remove waste from the body and the to make sure the cells and tissues get a change to repair to function at their optimal level.
Once we establish a connection to our body and awareness of how our lifestyle habits influences our body then we seek to understand how movement influences our day. For many, we have the opportunity to move more in our day than we might realize. We should first seek to maximize this opportunity as this fits right into our daily life. From here we can begin to seek other opportunities to move in ways that are both enjoyable and productive. The key here is to seek to move in a way that is sustainable and productive. Too often, our ambitions lead to burnout or injury and our troubled relationship with weight continues.
At Everspring Health we talk about the value of a healthy life and the relationship with a healthy body, mind and spirit. We seek to help you create reasonable health goals and create a lifestyle that results in long-term optimal weight. We use clinical therapies to help improve digestion, regulate metabolism and reduce stress. As movement and exercise plays a more key role, we help you develop a program that will balance workouts with proper rest because that is most productive. We help you develop a personalized dietary plan, which will help you sustain a long term healthy weight and empower you to understand how food influences your life. Ultimately, we create a space where you can be healthy, and then we let your weight adjust to your improved level of health.
Stress is one of the three primary influences of health we seek to address for every program we provide because it plays a role in everyone’s quality of life. Short-term demands of stress can influence how we feel which can influence how we carry ourselves (posture) and can further interfere with how we sleep and eat. Long-term stress can lead to exhaustion and even more substantial experiences with depression and anxiety. At Everspring Health we seek to help you develop and cultivate your mental health program whether it be self directed, lead by us or facilitated by another provider. Many people who come to us don’t feel the need to go to a counselor, but are looking for a space to cultivate a more mindful experience in their daily life, increase energy while seeking long-term relief from the demands that stress imposes on their day. Others come with a clinical diagnosis and treatment plan already in place and we create an integrative program working alongside your current program to support the progress you might already be experiencing.
Creating a balanced, integrative, whole person program begins by examining your past history and along with a series of constitutional diagnostics: some people may have experiences labeled as anxiety that are actually normal despite them not being ideal, some are experiencing discomfort that should not be considered acceptable and others have a little bit of both which often leads to compounding stressors. Integrative diagnostics will help us understand what’s normal for you and what can be improved upon thus leading to a more complete program customized to your needs. We can employ acupuncture and massage, as well as using herbal therapies to help ease stress and get you functioning at peak capacity. We also make sure to examine how your diet and sleep might be affecting your mood because these two components are crucial to a stable, productive mood. With proper diagnosis, patience, and persistence we can help you find long-term solutions to what you’re experiencing and enable you to be in control.
The desire to break undesirable habits varies from person to person and thus the programs for helping one quit must also vary. The cornerstone of any program must include the motivation to actually quit and change one’s lifestyle for the better. In any addiction body chemistry is highly invested in the chemical pathways on which it has been trained over the course of months or even years. To break these chemical pathways one will inevitably be challenged by the body as it will prefer to reinforce the current habit versus deciding to break from these normalized patterns. It is for this reason that having the desire and motivation to quit is really a key component for changing our lifestyle.
The next key component is to make sure the body is well supported to reduce the demands from both the chemical withdrawal as well as the habitual withdrawal. At Everspring Health, we want to know why and how your habit formed and what enables it to remain a part of your daily life. Does it help alleviate stress? Is it something you do with friends? Is there a pattern to when or where your habit is strongest? Understanding how your habits influence your life helps us build a strategy that will be the most successful for you. As mentioned above we need to both break from the body chemistry as well as the mental or emotional connection with the substance. Everspring’s lifestyle, health and healing programs integrate well with any outside program you may be utilizing, including support groups.
Acupuncture, diet and sleep along with herbal therapies can all reduce the intensity and frequency of cravings, and even get rid of them entirely. At the same time we educate you about what the cessation process will be like, and how you can position yourself to be most successful. Ultimately, we help you understand and identify what kind of life you want to create - one that doesn’t need to rely on an addiction - and proceed towards creating that experience. By pursuing what we want it becomes much easier to let go of the things we don’t want.
Our society tends to tell women with discomfort caused by PMS or menopause that it is normal and provide little support to help improve the quality of your life. Your body's natural cycles are not something you should have to suffer through, hide from, or feel guilty about; you are not alone and many women experience similar challenges. It is important for you to know that there are very effective therapies available which can reduce and eliminate many issues, such as pain, irregular cycle, mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, dryness, clotting, chronic infections and many other gynecological challenges which can occur at all stages of a woman’s life.
At Everspring Health, we’ll look at your relationship with your body, as well as inquire about your mother or other female relatives’ experience with their reproductive cycles. Based on your diagnosis, we can make a personalized plan that will both reduce symptoms and pursue better health. Therapies, such as acupuncture and massage, can be integrated with herbal therapies to help create a healthy balance and we target the influence stress, diet and sleep have on your hormone system. Since each woman is unique, each treatment will be specifically tailored to you and your needs. Solutions are often more accessible than you might think, though it is important to note that due to the nature of the reproductive system it can take time to regulate. We work with you to create a lifestyle that further dissolves the pain and discomfort associated with your reproductive cycle. Ultimately we help you pursue a healthy rhythmic cycle and enhance your quality of life by balancing your body and providing peace of mind.
Digestive issues are some of the most common challenges individuals face on a daily basis. Many people think that some of these issues are ‘normal’ and are just a part of life but they don't have to be. The variety of issues individuals experience can be quite diverse: abdominal bloating or pain, frequent gas, fatigue, irregular bowel movements, low appetite, excessive hunger, GERD, IBS, IBD, Crohns disease, Colitis, SIBO, C Diff and many more. Whether you experience mild and uncomfortable symptoms or you have a more severe digestive challenge, these issues can be addressed quite effectively.
At Everspring Health, we can usually do something right away to give you short-term relief from your digestive disorder while developing a personalized health program seeking to eliminate to condition as much as possible. We start by learning everything we can about your past and current health history in order to form an accurate diagnosis. You will be educated on how diet and stress affect how you feel, as well as how sleep affects the digestive tract. Herbal and dietary therapies are often a primary strategy, alongside acupuncture and massage. Each person is different – some people will need to come in more frequently, while others will need to return less. We can find a long-term solution with time and patience.