Health Care Cost Solutions

Written by Barbro Brost, D.C. The Brost Clinic

Everyone’s deductibles and premiums are higher than ever for health insurance and January 1st, they are getting another substantial hike.

The “Affordable” care act has been anything but affordable for most families, where the cost for health insurance now often is higher than their house mortgage.  Health care reform needs to be reformed and we need to get the focus shifted to actual health care instead of sick care, which is today’s model.

Because of the higher deductibles there is a change in thinking, from waiting until something goes wrong with the body, to trying to keep healthy to avoid needing to use the expensive health insurance.

There is a financial incentive to switch from a sick care model to a health care attitude: How can I better take care of myself to stay healthy?

80% of all health care problems are lifestyle related, so there is a lot that can be done to prevent problems and save lots of health care dollars!

  • Eat a healthy diet: lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, fruits and berries.  Avoid sugar and grains. Stay low on dairy.
  • Take vitamins.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
  • Exercise at least 3 days per week.
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Keep your nervous system, which controls all other body systems, well-functioning with regular chiropractic care.

Chiropractic patients have 60% less hospitalizations compared to the general population and their overall health care spending is 50% less.  So if you have not yet discovered chiropractic, now is a great time to do so!

Chiropractic has always been focused on wellness care, long before it became popular!

Alternative Health Care
Expands 100%

Article written by Barbro Brost, DC, the Brost Clinic, Wayzata

As this country struggles to figure out a working health care system that is effective and not cost prohibitive, chiropractic emerges as a winner with several key alternative systems following directly behind. A new Gallup poll studying over 30 million people shows that 14% of the population used chiropractic care last year. This is a 100% increase from the 7% usage that was the norm for many years. When health care consumers have to personally pay more of the health care costs, they tend to be smarter consumers and research both effectiveness of care and cost.

Chiropractic care for low back pain and neck pain (which are the conditions most big studies focus on) is very effective and significantly less expensive than medical care. Add the fact that more and more people are getting leery of the prescription medications often used to address these problems. The NSAID drugs (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, etc.) are tough on livers and kidneys. The opioid drugs like Vicodin,Oxycodone, etc. are very addictive. Many patients have traded a back ache for a drug addiction.

When dealing with the many stresses that can affect our lives todays woman is seeking a safe, non-invasive, and very effective means by which to treat their problems. Utilizing alternative health care options as a primary care choice for all back and neck conditions as well as the many other stress related issues we deal with on a daily basis would represent a cost savings for the health care system and patients that would be tremendous. The loss of work days would drastically decrease and drug rehab centers would have time to take care of the people that have primary drug and alcohol problems instead of rehabilitating people that got addicted to the medicine that was prescribed to help them!

Raising Healthy Kids

Article written by Barbro Brost, DC, the Brost Clinic, Wayzata

A healthy child is a happy child. As parents we are entrusted to protect and care for our children as they navigate through their childhood towards a happy, productive life as adults. They need shelter and warmth, food and water, advice and guidance, but most of all lots of love!

Raising a child in today’s world takes a lot of attention as a parent. There are many new dangers that the previous generations never had to worry about. A lot of them come seductively packaged with bright colors and sparkling lights. Tobacco, street drugs, bad TV shows, computer sites unsuited for kids are pretty obvious things you want to avoid in your kid’s lives, but what about the less obvious hidden dangers lurking everywhere? Fast food, food processed with unhealthy chemicals, genetically modified foods, foods sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, foods that make your kids sick instead of nurturing them. Foods and drinks that are marketed by giant corporations to be fun and “normal”. It takes some strong parenting to stand up against that, it is much easier to go with the “flow” and give in to your child’s cravings for sugar and junk foods. We need to teach them about healthy food and healthy habits. A healthy breakfast with good protein, like eggs, before school instead of a sugary cereal. Extra vitamins for strong immune function. A healthy snack after school and a healthy dinner together as a family whenever possible (sports and other after school activities can be a challenge here).

Encourage play time outside instead of plopping down in front of a TV or computer. Plenty of time set aside for homework to avoid late nights and a set bed time to allow adequate sleep. Preschool and elementary kids need 10-12 hours per night. If they don’t wake up by themselves, they didn’t get enough sleep! There is strong research showing that all the above sets the stage for better health and better performance in school and sports.

Unless a medical emergency, like a fractured leg or severe bacterial infections (remember antibiotics have no effect on viruses), children are best treated naturally. If they get a cold or flu, rest and fluids with a lot of immune boosting vitamins is the best cure. If they have falls or injuries take them to the chiropractor!

If you stop and think about it we all take our kids to the dentist regularly to avoid cavities. If their teeth aren’t perfectly lined up we pay for years of orthodontics. Doesn’t it make sense to take as good care of their spine, which is crucial for optimum function of the body? You can replace teeth, but you can never replace your spine!

7 Keys to Great Health

Article written by Barbro Brost, DC, the Brost Clinic, Wayzata

Research shows that 80% of chronic diseases are created by the lifestyle we live. If you had the keys to the knowledge of greatly increasing your odds to live a longer, healthier, more vital life, would you use them? What if I told you most of them are free?

Realizing that we have 80% control of our health is powerful. Here are seven of the most important keys.

  1. Don’t smoke!
  2. Motion. The body is created to move, not sit on a chair all day. Exercise and an active lifestyle is imperative for a healthy future.
  3. Diet and Supplements. Organic, fresh, locally grown foods are now available to us even in regular grocery stores. No excuses to eat foods sprayed with poison! Weight control is one of the biggest health issues. Even being 10 pounds overweight decreases your health odds. Everyone needs a basic multivitamin, Omega 3 fatty acids, and minerals. Some need more specific supplements.
  4. Water. Water is greatly under rated but imperative for the body to function optimally. Even 2% dehydration slows some of your organ function and affects your mind. Three quarts/day is a good rule of thumb.
  5. Sleep. We live in a culture of sleep deprivation. Most people don’t get the 7-8 hours of sleep that the body requires to repair and for the brain to re-charge. Turn off the TV and go to bed!
  6. Happy Relationships. Relationships and a stimulating social life are very important to our health. The body and the mind work in concert. Stop hanging out with negative people. Surround yourself with friends that make you happy! Laughter is one of the best ways to stimulate your immune system!
  7. A Well-Tuned Nervous System. This may be new information for some of you: It is your brain and your nervous system that regulate and coordinate all the functions in your body. It is also the communication between your mind and your body. Irritation or blockages in nerve flow set the stage for malfunction and disease. To ensure a well-coordinated and functioning body you need regular chiropractic check-ups. Chiropractors are specialists in detecting and removing pressure or irritation on the nerves where they are most vulnerable, at the exit point from your spine!

Car Accidents Happen

Article written by Barbro Brost, DC, the Brost Clinic, Wayzata

The Minnesota winter is fast approaching and roads are getting slippery.  Driving defensively, keeping longer distances between vehicles on the roads, and using good judgement regarding speed becomes more important!   Despite being a cautious driver, we are more likely to get into accidents in the winter, since we have no control over other drivers on the roads.  Fender benders at 5-10 mph can cause significant neck injuries even if your car does not have much damage.  Bodies are a lot more vulnerable than cars!  Your 10-12 pound head is like a bowling ball on top of your very vulnerable neck and creates a violent “whip” back and forth even in a minor accident.  A whiplash injury strains muscles, sprains ligaments, misaligns vertebra and can damage discs.

Our first thought, after an accident, is to call the insurance company to get an estimate for car repairs.  They will send an adjuster to assess the car damage which isn’t always obvious from the outside inspection.

The other call, which is often not made, is to a chiropractor experienced in whiplash injuries, to assess the injuries to your neck and the rest of your body.  Just as with cars, these injuries are often not apparent on the surface.  It takes expertise to evaluate the delicate structure of your spine and to treat any injuries that result from the accident.

Often there is pain, swelling, or muscle spasm to let your know that you got hurt, but whip lash injuries can be sneaky and not produce a lot of symptoms the first few days, sometimes not for weeks.  It is best to get an evaluation as soon as possible after an accident so any injuries related to the incident can be documented and thereby covered by your car insurance.

Surprisingly many people don’t realize that care for bodily injuries resulting “from the operation, care or maintenance of a vehicle” as the law reads, are 100% covered by your car insurance.  Care for these injuries are not handled by your regular health insurance, so you are free to see any doctor you choose and are not restricted to your particular health insurance network.  Medical and chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy, etc., are all covered when you have been injured in a car accident.

Don’t let injuries go untreated, since they can come back to haunt you years down the line with degenerating discs and arthritis.

Drive carefully this winter, but if an accident happens remember that your body is actually a lot more important than your car!