The first time I studied the "Sickness-Wellness-Fitness Continuum" at a CrossFit trainer course it totally resonated with me. I often use it during speaking engagements to illustrate my view of health and has become a model for the way I practice medicine.
We all have a spot on this health "continuum" and depending on how our day (or week, or month, or year!) is going, we move along this curve, either to the right or to the left.
Most of my patients are initially somewhere between the "Sickness" and "Wellness" points on the curve. They often tell me they are tired a lot, have difficulty adapting to stress, under-recovered, muscle deficient (and therefore have slow metabolisms), frequently getting sick, experiencing digestion issues (like gas & bloating, constipation, etc.) and have symptoms of hormone imbalance.
My first priority is to get these individuals moving toward wellness, and prevent them from getting sicker.
I do this by combining researched nutrition methods such as the FODMAP diet, Anti-inflammatory diet, Paleo diet, Intermittent Fasting, etc. with macro-based eating and a few carefully selected evidence-based supplements.
I also give instructions on the type of exercise (i.e. HIIT, strength, steady-state, etc.) that will be most complimentary based for their current state of health and body composition.
The ultimate goal is to get my patients past the "Wellness" mark and closer to the "Fitness" mark.
Take a look at someone who only makes it to the "Wellness" mark and stays there. When a major stressful event hits their life, they fall closer to "Sickness" and their health becomes compromised again...digestive issues, migraines, hormone imbalance, insomnia, fatigue, poor immune systems, and mood changes return.
Now take a look at someone who remains consistent with their progress and strives for "Fitness" on the continuum. When they encounter bumps in the road, they move left on the curve, but they are still "well", they can cope with the situation, deal with the obstacle, and still have the energy to turn their direction around and move toward "Fitness" again.
"Fitness" doesn't just mean you exercise and "look good" on the outside. It means that you sleep well, you digest food properly, you have regular bowel movements, you rarely catch a cold, your LDL cholesterol is normal despite a strong family history, your mood and hormones are stable, and you have the energy to live life fully.
So, what do you think? Do my methods of delivering health care resonate with what you are looking for? Let's work together to get you past "Wellness" and moving toward that "Fitness" mark. It might seem overwhelming and far away right now, but with the right guidance and small changes in habits over time, you CAN do it!
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Be well and happy,