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In these times one might ask, "Why expand your business?"
My answer is, "We have no other choice." Let me explain.
To listen to the politicians in Washington you would think that the biggest problem with health care in America is the system itself—perverse incentives—inefficiencies—unnecessary tests and procedures, lack of competition, and greed.
No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three- quarters of health care spending now goes to treat "preventable chronic diseases."
As Michael Pollan wrote in a recent New York Times article, "we spend $147 billion to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat obesity related type 2 diabetes, and hundreds of billions more to treat obesity related heart disease and cancers."
Real reform will come not from the government but from the American public once they realize that the cause of most chronic disease comes from poor lifestyle choices and not from bad genes.
As Senator Tom Harkins' committee found while drafting the Prevention and Public Health section of the proposed health care reform legislation, 95% of every health care dollar is spent treating illnesses and conditions after they occur; a large majority of which would never have occurred if proper lifestyle choices had been made.
The proof in the pudding, so-to-speak, is while the average life expectancy in the United States is 78 years, there is a group among us whose life expectancy is a full ten years longer. The members of the Church of Latter Day Saints view their bodies as a gift from God and as a result they don't smoke, they eat right, they maintain a proper weight and they exercise. As a result, their average life expectancy is 88 years. In comparison, the average life expectancy of a smoker is 64 years.
A recent study found that lifestyle corrections reduced the risk of getting the most common and deadly chronic diseases by about 80%.
One of the major components of a healthy lifestyle is the maintenance of spinal motion and mobility. Average Americans reach peak spinal mobility around 23 years of age. By the time they reach 60, typically 75% of that mobility is gone leading to a steady decline in activity levels, and contributing to the progression of chronic degenerative spinal diseases.
With our expanded facility we can now provide our patients with a wide array of fitness management tools such as spinal adjustments, targeted stretching techniques and core exercise, massage therapy, lifestyle counseling and monthly lunch and learn programs put on by various prevention specialists on such topics as smoking cessation, weight control, proper eating and stress management.
And how effective is the prevention approach when it comes to spinal care. A four year retrospective claims data analysis comparing 700,000 health plan members with chiropractic coverage and 1 million members from the same plan without a chiropractic benefit showed chiropractic care drastically cut health care costs. The study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine, published by the American Medical Association concluded chiropractic care cut the cost of treating back pain by 28%; reduced hospitalizations among back pain patients by 41%; decreased back surgeries by 32%; and reduced the cost of medical imaging, such as X-rays and MRI's by 37%.
So with a solid commitment to preventative spinal care and fitness management, April, Gillian, Courtney, Linda, Mary and I cut this ribbon.