Sitnews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Compliments to Your Health

by Joann Flora,
Acupressure, Nutrition Counseling, Qigong


May 08, 2004

Modern technology has brought many miracles to human life and health. Life expectancy has increased and diseases are diagnosed much earlier than than in the past. Treatments for pain, inflammation, and disability have improved the quality of life for those living with long-term conditions. Yet, there are some who seem to flourish in spite of their challenges while others remain victims of their disorder. Why is this? What is it that allows some to live with or recover from an illness while others have a life that is about their illness?

Many people have come to rely on the modern health care system as though it is the solution to that which ails them. Generations have been taught to "just do what the doctor says and don't ask questions". We have been taught to have blind faith that "they" will think of something, that "they" will make us well. Whereas people living many generations ago relied, out of necessity, upon themselves for their well-being, modern humans have evolved into dependents of the health care community. We have become weak and powerless in our reliance upon "them".

That being said, I wish to be clear that I am not advocating abandoning the fine systems and advancements that are available to us. We have the best testing and crises management tools the world has ever seen. There are truly miraculous procedures and pharmaceuticals available. And, we have the widest variety of health care options to choose from that has ever been known. What separates those who control their illness and those who are controlled by their illness is the M.A.P. Factor.

MAP is a acronym I use for Motivated Active Participant. This is the factor that appears to separate those who heal from those who wish someone would heal them. MAP people possess qualities that separate them from their victim counterparts. They are educated and not content to sit at home hoping to recover; they also don't take medications or have procedures without fully understanding the full implication of what that means. MAP people ask lots of questions and do their own research. They become informed about their illness/disability as well as the treatment options available. They understand how both will affect their lives. They are not afraid to ask questions, get another opinion, or decide for themselves if they will or will not undergo a procedure or use a drug. MAP people say "no" when they are not comfortable with the direction their care is heading.

Another quality of MAP people is that they look outside of the norm for their health care options. They don't subscribe to the theory that headaches are only cured by pain killers, or that chronic pain is something they must learn to live with. These people look beyond chemotherapy and radiation for cancer treatment; they also know that conventional therapies can be combined synergistically with complimentary treatment and self-care. In essence, they want 'the most bang for the buck', and explore how many ways they might achieve this. If they don't find the answers they are looking for, they keep looking.

A third quality found in MAP people is that they routinely make their own decisions where their health care is concerned. After they have educated themselves about their condition, and explored the options available to them, they decide how they wish to approach their illness, and then they take action . You cannot dictate to a MAP person. You cannot require them to proceed upon a certain path. The wise provider will present the best evidence they have for the treatment protocol they wish to persue, recognizing that it is the recipient of treatment who ultimately determines the path.

Here is an example of illness being influenced by the MAP Factor:

Ms. X is a Type II diabetic using oral medications and injectable insulin (conventional)

Ms. X contacts the ADA (in person or on-line) for information about the disease

She collects information and is referred to her local Diabetes Educator

Ms. X is advised to to control her diet and increase exercise to raise her metabolism (conventional)

She begins to eat 5 - 6 small meals a day, lowering her carbohydrate intake
She starts walking 30 minutes per morning, uses stairs at work, and bikes 3-4 times per week

Ms. X visits an holistic physician to explore other remedies (complimentary)

She begins Devils Club Tincture to lower her blood sugar
She takes a medical qigong class to balance her organ chi and add additional exercise
She meditates to lower her stress levels

RESULT: Ms. X loses weight, reduces her need for insulin, and her sugarsstablize.

Ms. X educated herself on diabetes, looked at conventional and complimentary options for treating diabetes, made decisions about how she would persue her care, and took action. Instead of allowing herself to become a victim of her disease, she became a Motivated Active Participant. She has a high MAP Factor, whereas the person who resigns themselves to being powerless over their disease has a low one.

In this day and age, when we have so much knowledge, so many options, and so many resources available, there is no reason for anyone to become victimized by an illness, injury, or disorder. Perhaps we can't cure or fix everything, but it is certainly within our power to improve our situation and enhance our quality of life. Developing our MAP Factor, not merely relying on the medical community, is the key. We are the ultimate decision makers where our health is concerned. The medical community works for us, we are not controlled by them. To whatever degree we have health and wellness is entirely dependent upon how involved we are. How high is your MAP Factor?



E-Mail Joann Flora
 E-mail Joann Flora


©Compliments To Your Health
Joann Flora 2003


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