Fixing America’s Health Crisis Starts with Your own Mindset


Submitted by Dr. Jaron Banks for Russell Chiropractic 

Dr. Jaron Banks
Dr. Jaron Banks

How can America have the most expensive yet least effective health care system of all wealthy, developed nations1? It’s not that Americans have bad genes, live in poor environments, or lack access to medicine. We have greater resources for “healthcare” than any other nation, yet the problem still exists—and it’s based on two factors: our paradigm of health care and our lifestyle habits.

Sick Healthcare

Americans typically follow a treatment-paradigm of health care. We generally don’t think about our health until we feel ill or have pain. When ailments limit our quality of life, we typically seek out the quickest fix in a pill or a surgery rather than making necessary changes to our lifestyle or habits that are causing or exacerbating the problem. We—and the specialists we seek—also tend to look at single parts of the body that are acting up rather than looking at the bigger picture of health as a whole organism.

A movement is afoot, however, to change the public and provider perspective from a reactive treatment paradigm to a proactive wellness approach.

Chiropractors, in particular, have long taught that regular wellness care can increase the balance, function, and health in your body as a whole. The idea is to catch little problems and dysfunction before they become so far advanced that classic symptoms show.

Western medicine as a whole is also starting to talk about this proactive approach. As early as the 1950’s, a few influential doctors were pioneering this “new” mindset when they helped the World Health Organization redefine health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” 2

One of these pioneers, John Travis, M.D., opened one of the first medical Wellness Centers back in 1975. There he empowered his patients to be self-directed and learn high-level wellness habits as an alternative to traditional symptom and illness-oriented care. Travis published a model (below) showing the limitations of treatment paradigms compared to a wellness paradigm on a spectrum of health.

The spectrum illustrates a dramatic point: most of us sit comfortably at the neutral point or somewhere a little to the left waiting for signs or symptoms to tell us something is wrong. The danger of hovering on the left side is that life can be unpredictably short. For example, the first symptom of heart disease can be chest pain from a heart attack. By then, it’s too late to think about heart health. We may have disease brewing internally long before we notice any signs or symptoms. So, to fix America’s healthcare problem in your house, ask, yourself “Where am I on this Illness-Wellness Continuum?”Wellness chart

Your Lifestyle and America

Every single choice you make—every day of your life—shifts you towards the left or to the right of this scale: illness or wellness; function or dysfunction. To prevent premature death or the need to react to a preventable chronic illness, notice where you currently sit and make a plan for improvement, wherever you are. Choosing to move towards the wellness side is the first step in the right direction!

Start by becoming aware of the daily habits that keep you from wellness and add practices that move you towards your wellness goal. Every bit of movement and any exercise in your day can add to your health while prolonged periods of inactivity slowly move you left.

Every time you eat processed foods with added sugars, chemicals, and preservatives, you also move your body to the left. Everything that’s fresh, nutritious, and natural springs you towards wellness.

As you become aware of the unconscious habits in your life and ascend to a healthier lifestyle, you will be amazed by the positive changes your body will experience. You will add years to your life and life to your years.

Wellness Doctors

Finally, to help America out of this crisis, seek wellness doctors who will teach you about your body and health rather than visiting “sickness” doctors after problems are limiting your quality of life.  Find wellness specialists who can help you tune your body to its highest levels of performance instead of those who simply treat symptoms.

Chiropractors, for example, are generally wellness and prevention-oriented rather than symptom-based in their patient care. They are trained to identify problems early, before they cause significant disruption in your body–especially in your central nervous system which is in charge of regulating every function in your body.

The so-called “alternative” medicine practitioners are, in many ways, the answer to the old problem-treatment model that played (and is still playing) a major role in creating America’s current health crisis.

Thankfully, the solution for you and your family is within your power. Decide now to be proactive rather than reactive with your health and prove with your daily habits your commitment to becoming your best self.


Jaron Banks, D.C. is a Doctor of Chiropractic at Russell Chiropractic Center in Tumwater, WA where he and Matt Russell, D.C. empower their patients and clients to attain new levels of health and wellness by helping restore balance to their bodies and educating them on wellness habits specific to their needs. With effective conservative care they also help people with a wide variety of ailments and injuries.

Follow Dr. Banks on Facebook here.

Russell Chiropractic Center

3948 B Cleveland Ave., Tumwater





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