The Hierarchy of Health – Part 3

September 27, 2018 by

In the hierarchy of health, each approach produces a different set of results. The key to success is knowing which set of results you desire and then applying to corresponding strategy.

In the first 2 articles (which can be accessed at Part 1 and Part 2)of the series we looked at Symptom Treatment and Addressing the Cause. While these approaches do produce vastly different outcomes, what they share is that they are both reactive – meaning that they wait for problems to arise before taking any action.

The next two approaches in the Hierarchy of Health make the shift to proactive strategies. In my opinion, this is the most important shift a person can make when it comes to their health and the healthiest people I know spend most of their energy and time being proactive. The reason being proactive is so important is that it is much less costly (in time, energy, stress, and money) than being reactive, and the benefits are exponentially greater.

Most people are familiar with the idea of being proactive when it comes to other areas of their lives. We get oil changes and tune-ups for our automobiles BEFORE problems arise. Why? Because it is a much less costly way to operate AND it gives us the best chance to have a smoothly running ride!

Other examples of being proactive is purchasing insurance for our homes and cars, having a security system, having financial investments, fertilizing and over seeding a healthy lawn, eating healthy food, and regular dental visits, among many others.


The first proactive approach on the Hierarchy of Health is preventative and what we call Protection. Protection typically (but not always) begins after we have had a problem, did the work to Address the Cause, and choose to take regular steps to protect themselves from the problem returning. If I don’t want my car to break down, stranding my family and I on the side of the road until expensive repairs are carried out, I will schedule regular maintenance appointments to prevent such an occurrence.

After a health crisis such as a heart attack or a battle with cancer many people who had been reactive their whole lives will ‘see the light,’ and take steps such as exercising, eating a better diet, and maybe taking up meditation to protect themselves from future issues.

The benefit of Protection is two-fold. First it is WAY more convenient and less painful than dealing with one problem after another. Changing your oil every 6 months is much easier than having your engine replaced. The second benefit is that your overall level of health will improve and stay that way for the long term. You may eat a better diet to prevent a heart attack, but it also enhances your general health and well-being across many domains for a lifetime. In effect, you are raising the standards for your own health and committed to maintaining that standard.


At Nexus Chiropractic, once we have Addressed the Cause during the Initial Phase of Care, we offer a couple of proactive options – one being Protection. While they are completely optional, most people choose one of these plans. Why? They are convenient, easy, and they just make sense.


Take a moment to evaluate where in your life you are reactive and where you are proactive. Where can you shift to becoming even more proactive? How will being more proactive benefit your health and life in both the short and long-term?


A great way to start becoming proactive is to attend one of our special presentations at Nexus. They take place most months and cover a variety of topics to help you take control of your health. See the schedule at Nexus or phone the office for details.


Thorin Gault, D.C.



2018 – The Best Year of Your Life Part 2

January 18, 2018 by

Health Focused vs. Symptom Focused

In the previous article, we talked about how healthy people lived by a different set of principles as unhealthy people. We also discussed that most people were not conscious of the principles with which they lived, making it both difficult to change faulty principles and apply successful principles in other areas of life.

This article will explore the first principle lived by the healthy minority of our society. That principle is to be health focused as opposed to symptom focused.

If you ask the average person what it means to be healthy, what will they say? In my experience the average person believes that they are healthy if they don’t have any diseases or symptoms. Essentially, if there is nothing ‘wrong,’ they are healthy.

How this belief shows up is that very little, to no focus is placed upon health outside of the treatment of disease and symptoms. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ is sometimes proudly stated by people with this belief.

One of the challenges with this approach is that the underlying process and pattern leading to symptoms and diseases (secondary conditions) can often be present and growing for some time (even years and decades) before we feel it or become diagnosed with it. Waiting for crisis can leave lots of damage to be undone. Not paying attention to your health until you have a heart attack means that even if you are fortunate enough to survive, there will be lots of work to do.

Another challenge is that when we focus on symptom treatment, we often miss what the symptoms are trying to tell us. If you treat a headache with a pill, maybe you are missing that you were just dehydrated and needed to drink some water. Or perhaps you were reacting to something you ate? The headache goes away, but the underlying problem goes unchecked.

Years ago, I was playing in the World Masters (old timers) Fastball Championship in Australia. We played 15 games in 8 days which was more than any of us were used to. Early in the week, the entire team was achy and sore. Many of my teammates were popping pills before and after games and dousing their arms and legs with liniments to numb their pain. On many occasions I was offered pills and potions but declined because my philosophy was that if my body was trying to tell me to NOT do something, I wanted to be able to feel it. Luckily, it never got to that point and I was able to play all the way through. What was interesting is that by the last couple of days I was feeling great while those who covered up their early symptoms were crashing and burning.

The final challenge with a symptom first approach is that sometimes the TREATMENT for the SYMPTOM actually harms our overall health. While this may be an acceptable trade off in cases of our life being in danger with a disease like cancer or life-threatening infection, is it really worth damaging your health because of some pain and discomfort? While doing so occasionally may not be a big deal, many people walk around with pain killers in their bags and purses in case a symptom should arise.


The healthy minority see things differently. These people live by the principle of being health focused, where symptoms and diseases are important messages that something is off – not ‘things’ to be eradicated. They see health more like the literal WHO definition: ‘…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’

Because health is seen as something to be attained for its own sake, these people seek to create it in their lifestyle. They live, eat, exercise, and seek professionals to optimize function, have vitality, lots of energy, and feel great (not just not bad).

Unlike the symptom focused folks, in many ways this group gets healthier as they age, to go along with the wisdom they gain with experience – which is a beautiful thing to behold.



The cruel joke is that one of the outcomes of the health focused lifestyle is that they tend to have less pain and disease than the symptom focused group. Why? Because they are healthier.

Does this mean that they are bulletproof to pain and disease? Of course not – they are human. Does that mean that they never treat them? Nope, there is a time and place for these interventions. Those who live with the principle of being health focused use treatments to buy them some time while they make the lifestyle changes necessary.


The care provided at Nexus is consistent with the principle of being health focused. While it is true that most people seek out our care because the have secondary conditions that other approaches have not been able to help, we know that we must help the person WITH the condition to get healthier for it to no longer be a factor. We do this by addressing the underlying patterns creating the symptom. In doing so not only does the condition get handled, the person gets healthier as they progress through care.

It is for the same reason that many of our patients continue to see us AFTER their initial complaint is gone – to continue to protect and optimize their health.


So, look at your health and notice times that you have been symptom focused and times you have been health focused. How can you move yourself more towards the health focused side?

Now, look closely at the other areas of your life. Are there areas that you have been numbing the pain to avoid making a change? Have you ignored the health of your finances or career or relationships for the sake of comfort? How can you make a shift to improve the health of those parts of your life?

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the next health principle. If you missed the opening article of the series, you can find it HERE.

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