Vail Valley: Creating a culture of health |

Vail Valley: Creating a culture of health

Besse Lynch
Daily Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyDr. Robert Blaich will talk about natural health care in the Vail Valley Thursday

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado – While the the health care debate has reached a fervor lately, the U.S. and the Vail Valley have been discussing the topic and its many facets for quite some time. From reform to prevention, and universal coverage to mass epidemics, health care has been a major news item in the U.S. for years. And, now, our legislators in the Senate have finally agreed to a formal debate on the subject.

So what are some of the things they will be discussing? It is a given that they will primarily discuss the rising cost of health care, and how we can manage to pay for all of our citizens to have access to the treatment they need. It is also likely that they will barely touch upon the role that complementary and alternative medicine can play in lowering long term costs, and creating a healthier society.

This is the issue that Dr. Robert Blaich, an internationally recognized expert in natural health care, would like to see on every American’s mind. And its one of the issues he’ll discuss at the Avon Library on Thursday evening.

“It is essential that we acknowledge the fact that 78 percent of health care dollars spent in the U.S., now go toward paying for chronic disease. Chronic diseases are not ones that we ‘catch’ or get infected with, more often they are the conditions that we create ourselves,” Dr. Blaich said.

Nearly all of the life-threatening diseases of the last century now have a viable treatment or cure. Traditional western medicine, including advances in medication and surgical techniques, have saved millions of lives. However, as the nature of our illnesses evolves so must the treatment. Dr. Blaich explains in his book “Your Inner Pharmacy,” that today, technologically advanced countries face different challenges to health, one of which is an enormous increase in chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and Type 2 diabetes. All of these conditions are created by our lifestyles and require a comprehensive and long term approach to treatment.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

“The same attention that people use to take care of their cars should also be applied to their own bodies, and that means routine maintenance,” Dr. Blaich said.

Chronic illnesses are often the result of poor nutrition, joint misalignment and stress related injury. If you can identify and treat the underlying problem, then the likelihood that you will need medication or even surgery is reduced. So, just as you take your car to a mechanic for a routine oil change and fluid check, so should you bring your body to a physician to make sure all of your parts are properly working.

Complimentary and alternative medicine has a significant role to play in preventing illness and creating optimal health. Yet, there is still a significant role for traditional western medicine to play. Vail Valley resident Sheila Linn came to be a patient of Dr. Blaich after a serious knee injury forced her onto the operating table a Vail Valley Medical Center.

“Dr. Blaich was able to determine exactly what my body needed for recovery, and in such a specific way that my recovery was very fast,” she said. “The doctors at the medical center threatened to make me patient of the year.”

Linn and her family now see Dr. Blaich on a regular basis in conjunction with their visits to a primary care physician.

“What Dr. Blaich adds to my treatment is complementary. I have a deep respect for all of my health care providers, both traditional and alternative,” Linn said.

There will always be a place in the U.S. healthcare system for medication, surgery and other immediate treatments. They are an unfortunate necessity. Could there also be room for complementary and alternative medicine to play a role in creating optimal health and treating chronic illness? The answer may very well be yes, but Dr. Blaich argues there must first be a shift in culture to create a general feeling of responsibility.

“Our health is not the responsibility of our government, our insurance companies, or even our employers,” he said. “We must take responsibility for the lifestyle choices that lead to chronic illness and take steps to create a culture of health rather than illness.”

Besse Lynch works at The Bookworm of Edwards.

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