Biopsychosocial Health Care
posted: Apr 24, 2018.
Health care providers often makes significant effort to diagnose a specific cause for a person's suffering. There are specific “codes” applied for billing and used to guide treatment. In the medical setting, we look to address the cellular or molecular basis for a condition or the specific anatomical structure that is causing symptoms, in chiropractic or physical therapy that may be a tight muscle or a joint that is either not moving well or is out of alignment. While there is merit and scientific understanding behind this process, it can be akin to providing care with blinders on. An abundance of research is showing value in whole person health care or holistic health care.
In 1977, Dr. George Engel wrote about and outlined what he referred to as the Biopsychosocial Model of healthcare that encourages healthcare providers to consider many factors to help patients manage their conditions or their suffering. This model includes attention to biological and physiological functioning (or dysfunction as the case may be), as well as psychological factors and social factors that may contribute to a persons condition(s). While this was a new paradigm to the medical establishment in the 70's, yoga and ayurvedic healthcare have described and attended to this paradigm through the Koshas for thousands of years.
The links between the physical body, the psychological states and social factors have been elucidated through an abundance of research since the 70's but does not require diving into research to acknowledge. For instance, we know that common psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety can manifest as chronic pain. We know that social habits such as smoking can lead to cancer, alcohol consumption contributes to liver disease, or, more subtly, stress contributes to neck and upper back tension which further contributes to poor posture and potentially a cascade of other symptoms. But is can go the other way also, pain from an injury may cause excessive medication use leading to psychological crisis or decreased social connection with friends and loved ones.
While these associations have been well demonstrated to exist and the Biopsychosocial Model of healthcare may be superior to mono-focused (standard medical model) care many healthcare providers fail to provide holistic care. At Gallatin Valley Chiropractic the doctors will ask about and offer suggestions regarding many of the factors that contribute to an individual's health that goes beyond mechanism of injury, posture, alignment, tightness, pain and/or subluxation. For well rounded holistic care that is compassionate evidence informed and effective, the doctors at Gallatin Valley Chiropractic are your best choice and if you care to discuss or learn more about the overlap of yoga and the Biopsychosocial Model feel free to schedule with Dr. Steven Blair.
Call for an appointment today. 406-551-2177