I’m going to go out on a limb here and say you and I probably share a very similar desire: we wish good health for ourselves and loved ones. It’s just part of the human condition. We are in the pursuit of healthiness. But what is healthiness? And how do you achieve it?
Healthy Body & Mind
When I think of healthiness, the first words that enter my mind are diet and exercise. They are followed by medicine and treatment. But that’s a pretty narrow view and it makes me feel like I am neglecting parts equally important to me in achieving healthiness: mind and spirit. Where were the words hope, optimism, friendship, love, passion and happiness? More importantly, should they even be there?
Well, I looked into it and was pretty astonished by the evidence proving a significant connection between body and mind. A healthy mind is associated with decreased risk of disease, better immune functioning, and increased longevity. One study found optimism to cut the risk of coronary heart disease in half. And in accordance, most definitions of health I found did include both body and mind. The CDC wrote: “Health is more than the absence of disease; it is a resource that allows people to realize their aspirations, satisfy their needs and to cope with the environment in order to live a long, productive, and fruitful life.”
The Osteopathic Approach
That’s where Osteopathic Medicine came into my radar. If you’re like me, you probably know some physicians who carry MD after their name, and others who carry DO, but never really gave too much more thought to it than that. And all in all, you don’t really need to. Both degrees produce talented, qualified, and caring physicians. The main difference in training is this emphasis on the “whole person” to reach a diagnosis. Instead of focusing and treating symptoms, Osteopathic physicians are trained to identify and correct structural problems, which can assist in the body’s natural tendency towards health.
So, I was curious to know how a DO viewed healthiness. Meet our good friend, and DO, Dr. Justin Berthold. Dr. Berthold is a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician at Rehabilitation Physicians of Pittsburgh, and this is what he had to say about healthiness: