My name is Saundra I am a strong advocate of self care. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjogren’s Disease and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I practice self care daily by maintaining an autoimmune diet, exercising and taking my recommended supplements.
What is The Self Care Movement?
The self care movement is a movement that provides consumers of health care the ability to actively participate in their health care plan by taking responsibility for their care outside of the clinical setting.
The self care movement is a movement that is quickly gaining support from health care consumers, some health care companies and alternative care practitioners. Both Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine practitioners practice patient-centered medicine that requires that patients take some responsibility for their health care.
Many people with chronic illnesses are unable to get better using conventional medicine treatments so they are looking for alternative medical treatments to improve their disease outcomes. Alternative medicine practitioners are having success treating chronic illness because they look for the root cause of diseases through in-depth testing then develop treatments that involve patient-centered, self care treatment plans.
Self Care Catalysts’ Self Care Mvmt is a leader in the patient-centered self care movement. They have developed “Health Story Line” apps that allow people with chronic illnesses to record their illness-related symptoms, medications, disease notes, mood and data daily. This information can then be shared with family, friends, support team members and professional care providers. The Self Care Catalysts’ team has developed a number of disease-specific apps as well as a main app (#selfcaremvmt that is not specific to any chronic illness. Their mission is to “build innovative and patient-centered self-care solutions that compliment medical modalities that will enable patients to continue managing their care outside of the clinical setting.” (2) These apps allow users to incorporate their ability to perform every day tasks into their set of data. Users then have the ability to share this information as appropriate. Users can also track their historical data over time.
I am convinced that the self care movement will grow in the future because:
- Our conventional form of medicine is broken. It is too costly and is not working. That is why so many of us are spending thousands of dollars every year on supplements and alternative treatments.
- As Leonard Kish states in a recent blog “nobody wants to be a patient.” (4)Those of us living with one or more chronic illnesses want access to treatment, but we do not want to loose control of our health care. The self care movement provides us with the ability to manage our own care.
Why Is it Important for Those of Us with Chronic Illnesses to Be Connected to a Self Care Movement and to Become a Self Care Advocate?
There are many reasons that those of us with chronic illnesses have a responsibility to join and advocate for the self care movement.
- Enhance Research. Not much research has been done on patient centered care, but enough has been done to prove it’s value. If we become involved in the movement and use apps to collect data about our diseases, that data is available for use by researchers. Our data can also be used to add a personal dimension to data already available for our specific diseases.
- Gain Control Over Our Disease Process. As mentioned above every one of us looses control over our own disease process if we are not the center of our personal care plan. Our lifestyle, beliefs and preferences need to be an integral part of our care plan or our care plan will fail.
- We can learn a great deal from others with our same disease. Sharing our data also provides us with a support system from others with the same diseases.
- Gain a historical perspective about our disease. Our health is driven , in a large part, by the decisions we make each day. We can compare data over time to identify which treatments improve our disease and which treatments cause disease decline. This information can be shared with our professional care providers.
- The bottom line is: patient-centered self care is what we all want. We want control, autonomy and participation in decisions that involve the health of our bodies. That is one of the basic reasons our current system is not working. Many physicians, pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies control our health care without any regard for our individual care needs.
Let’s Join the Self Care Movement
I hope you will seriously consider getting involved in the self care movement and become a strong advocate. I believe it is our responsibility to be a part of this movement. We will not be successful in changing our current health care system without a grass-roots campaign that demands some changes. It is up to us to help spread the word about the self care movement.
You can learn more about Self Care Catalysts’ Self Care Mvmt by clicking on this link or following them on:
Facebook Page here
The app developed by #selfcaremvmt is the only one I know of that collects everyday accomplishments of people with chronic illnesses as well as medical information. This information provides a very realistic face to the problems of living with a chronic illness.
To Your Good Health,