Featured Guest Author

Justin Berthold, DO – Rehabilitation Physicians of Pittsburgh

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician

I once was asked to define healthiness. I was an osteopathic medical student at the time, invested in learning about the human body – its framework, visceral organs, vascular structures, neural and lymphatic elements, and fascial connections. It was apparent early in training that all parts of the human body were interrelated, and that disease (the opposite of healthiness), was a manifestation of a poorly functioning system. I saw healthiness as a state of optimal bodily functioning, similar to what Merriam-Webster would define as “the condition of being sound in body”.

Understanding the Osteopathic Approach

Now a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), my understanding of what healthiness means remains the same. The osteopathic philosophy has four main principles:

  1. The body is a unit (body, mind, spirit)
  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health maintenance
  3. Structure and function are reciprocally interrelated
  4. Rational treatment is based upon an understanding of the basic principles of body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function

At the Rehabilitation Physicians of Pittsburgh, our focus is on improving the function and quality of life of our patients. We use a personalized approach to medicine, evaluating and treating each patient comprehensively, looking not only at their presenting symptom(s), but also ways to improve their overall health and in turn, their happiness. We believe in spending time with the patient and attentively listening to their needs – as the “father of modern medicine,” Sir William Osler said, “listen to the patient and they will tell you the diagnosis”.

Osteopathic Tips for Healthiness

The pursuit of healthiness should be viewed as a life-long journey. It takes a commitment from the patient. To improve the likelihood of success, here are 3 Osteopathic tips for healthiness:

  1. View your physician as a partner in achieving healthiness
    A strong relationship with your physician; one who understands your needs and goals, one who is comprehensive and attentive in their approach, and most importantly, one who is equally as committed to making a positive difference in your life as you are, will significantly improve your efforts.
  2. Take care of both your mind and body
    Physical health is only part of the picture; to achieve healthiness one cannot overlook the mind and spirit. A positive attitude will boost your physical health and keep you motivated and persistent in achieving your goals.
  3. The best form of medicine is prevention
    Adapt your view of medicine to include more than the treatment of symptoms. Medicine is a means to pursue healthiness. Your physician can help you develop attitudes and lifestyles that don’t just fight illness, but that also help prevent disease.

For more information about Dr. Justin Berthold or the Rehabilitation Physicians of Pittsburgh, please visit their website, www. REHABPGH.com, or contact (412) 816-1400 to learn more about their patient-centered approach.