arrow sign pointing to healthHealth is more than just the absence of symptoms. And the good news is that more Americans than ever understand that.

According to a new survey from Samueli Integrative Health Programs, more than 9 out of 10 Americans today say health is about much more than not being sick. It also includes being happy (59%), they say, or being calm and relaxed (56%), or being able to live independently (53%)

Yet most also say their primary care physician seldom talks with them about more than their purely medical needs. Factors we know play a significant role in a person’s health and well-being are routinely overlooked.

  • Barely half of respondents – 51% – said their doctor talked with them about exercise.
  • Just 44% talked about diet; 40% about sleep.
  • A bit more than a third talked about mental health, while only 10% spoke of spiritual health.

“The current model of medicine,” says Dr. Wayne Jonas of Samueli Integrative,

focuses on providing pills and procedures for addressing physical symptoms and prescribing quick fixes…. But younger patients want more. They are looking for options that fit their lifestyle and personal needs. This generational shift proves that more and more patients will be seeking out ways to address the underlying causes of health.

But while there indeed appears to be a generational shift, it’s not just younger folks who are wanting a more expansive approach to sustaining or regaining their health. We hear it from older patients all the time. Often, it’s only after they’ve spent years being bounced from provider to provider with no one connecting the dots among their health concerns, including the role that oral conditions may have played in their development. Some may have even had their mercury amalgam fillings replaced or root canal teeth removed, yet saw little improvement or even a worsening of symptoms because it wasn’t done in a big picture context.

Once you do grasp the big picture – a total view of your health story – you can then take a more comprehensive approach to restoring or maintaining health, one that acknowledges the true nature of health – body, mind, and spirit thriving as they were designed to do.

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