At Advanced Balance Clinic, we firmly believe that health is more than the absence of disease. Therefore, the core of our treatment philosophy involves addressing the areas of health that are easily overlooked but critical to improvement. Some medical providers have a lot to give to their clients in terms of technical knowledge and skills, but may not be great at making personal connections. However, there is so much more to be offered by trusting, caring relationships between clients and providers. We prioritize relationships and motivational support for our patients along with providing a healthy dose of education and knowledge. In our experience, we are fighting an uphill battle if we do not address mindset along with physical health.
In the clinic, we have 5 pillars of health we focus on with each and every client. True wellness involves looking at the person as a whole and guiding them to fulfillment in every area of life. We address each of the 5 pillars on a first visit with a new client, and the starting point might look different for everyone. Each pillar is highly important as your “health house” will not stand without a solid foundation in each of these.
For most people, we encourage only focusing on one area at a time. Often getting one pillar in place helps the others fall into place as well. The focus areas might change from day to day. We encourage our clients to use these pillars to learn how to listen to their own needs. For example, some days sleep might take priority over physical activity. Other days, mental health might take priority over eating the right things. Life fluctuates daily and our health habits should reflect that. We also encourage clients to write down what they ideally want each of these aspects of their life to look like. This serves as the basis for establishing new health habits. This list should be looked over and updated on a regular basis.
Above all else, we make sure we talk to our patients about WHY they want to be better, what their goals are, and how their health impacts every aspect of life. Without a why, addressing the smaller details of a healthy lifestyle become meaningless. Changing health and lifestyle habits for the better is not always an easy undertaking, so it is important that we always remind our clients of why they wanted to do this in the first place. Read our blog post here for specific examples and the process you should go through to identify your why.
Sleep is also a priority to address with new clients because it is essential for the body to heal. Inadequate sleep is linked to a host of health problems, so addressing eating habits and physical activity without first addressing sleep is the equivalent of putting a bandaid on a broken leg. We have written in the past on the importance of routines and setting up the proper sleep environment.
We are going to let you in on a secret… We hate the word “diet” and avoid using it at all costs. It carries a negative stigma and implies that depriving ourselves is necessary for good health. Nothing could be further from the truth. We can all find enjoyment in foods that nourish us and leave us feeling good in the long term. Eating choices are also highly individualized. What works for one person will not work for everyone. The process of finding what works for you can take some time, and that is okay. We avoid shaming and labeling certain foods as “good” or “bad”. Instead, we focus on what we can be added to leave you feeling energized and nourished.
When discussing eating habits with new clients, our first and only question is, “How is your appetite?” This questions gives so much information, avoids judgement allowing clients to open up and ask us more specific questions, as well as maintaining a focus on quality and abundance over depriving oneself. If someone does not even have the desire to eat anything, we know this is the first area that needs to be addressed. Without taking in adequate nutrition, the body cannot repair itself. The next step is to focus on how we can add more quality to the diet, which again will look different for everyone.
Movement is generally why our clients initiated services with us in the first place. This might be due to any number of reasons, the most common being pain, muscle weakness, or balance issues. But having better movement involves the whole lifestyle. To encourage better movement, we help our clients find what makes them motivated to get up and move. For some, that might be a traditional strengthening program. For others that might be dance, CrossFit, or yoga.
Movement is a human physiological requirement, but there is more than one way to benefit from movement. This is another area we avoid using the terms “good” or “bad” to label different types of movement. Movement is just movement. Not all movement is the same, and depending on your goals, we emphasize the movements that will improve your health. For most people, this starts small! Getting on and off the floor a few more times per day or taking a few more walks around the block counts. Movement goals will change over time, so we are constantly helping our clients problem solve and upgrade their movement as they improve.
Another core of our business philosophy is emphasizing sense of community. Isolation has a negative impact on health. Community comes in different forms. This might include family and friends, or groups and clubs. At the clinic, we provide a community of like-mind movers to help our clients thrive. If a client expresses in interest in finding other health-related communities, we help them through that process by guiding them toward the right community resources.
This sums up our 5 pillars of health that should be addressed with each and every person! We believe in treating people as a whole and hope this information can help guide you on your journey toward better health.
Based on our years of experience in helping our clients reach their health goals through better movement, we compiled this list of our top 10 tools for starting a movement practice. Get your free copy today and sign up for our newsletter!