| Column | october , 2020 | The Health
Mainstreaming total wellness
A holistic approach needed to enhance productivity and reduce healthcare costs for businesses
BY ZULKIFLI AHMAD
These daYS , other than the Covid-
19 scourge , lifestyle diseases like cancer , stroke and heart disease are regularly killing people .
In conventional healthcare , doctors treat the symptoms , prescribe medicines and antibiotics , and the malady recurs . Employers in both public and private sector lament about loss of productivity when employees have to go on long medical leave .
Health management and insurance are stretched and overworked and costs increase . Now it can be added to the saying ,‘ prevention is better and cheaper than cure . This is where total wellness comes in . This method of healthcare also prevents the recurrence of chronic lifestyle diseases .
Lifestyle diseases like cancer , stroke , heart disease and ageing have a single underlying cause and that can be attributed to free radicals . These are unstable molecules responsible for aging and tissue damage .
But medications for these diseases are worth multi billion dollars for companies producing them . The truth is , it is easy to neutralize the killer as we shall see later .
It is not an exaggeration that this article which discusses about life and death matters and the postulations here may even help save lives in the long run .
It all hinges on the authorities and the employers in genuinely wanting a healthy workforce and at the same time improve productivity and cut costs .
Aspects of total wellness
Findings have shown that exercise can cure many diseases quite magically , reduces stress and boost lifespan . Proper healthy diet and nutrition have been found to be effective in maintaining health , prevent and control diseases .
As for anti-aging , there is a groundswell of specialists in Europe and US with the findings and views that ageing should be seen as a disease that can be manipulated , treated and delayed .
It is worth mentioning that integrative medicine , the combination of conventional and alternative medicine , is an emerging global trend in many countries and Malaysia is no exception . Another aspect of Total Wellness is happiness that can actually prolong one ’ s life doing away with stress that causes free radicals .
Fettered existence of total wellness
Despite Total Wellness having evidence of its efficacy and being ubiquitous through direct selling or MLM and specialized publications , it is still not in mainstream yet . There are various factors that attributed to its fettered existence worldwide .
Associations : Medical bodies or associations tend to be over-protective of their field and alternative medicines may not find it easy to share the stage with them in healthcare .
Business : Pharmaceutical companies have the resources to fund research and right to commercialization compared to wellness companies
Policies : In some countries , the policies are more liberal where aspects of Total Wellness exists side by side with conventional medical establishments . In Japan for instance , electrotheraphy a nonconventional treatment through special machine is used in hospitals and endorsed by 9,000 Japanese medical doctors / researchers comprising ALL specialities as having actual healing effects on the human body .
Some governments are also looking at the salubriousness of including integrated medicine in their overall health management policy for the common good .
Aspirations of ESG
Sustainability ESG 2020 sees Total Wellness as part of a key socio-economic area and with the aspiration that it will one day be part of mainstream in healthcare , thus , cutting costs and optimizing productivity for the common good .
In order to ‘ mainstream ’ Total Wellness it hopes for the following radical and pushing out-of-the-box postulations . They are :
‘ Empiracalize ’ total wellness as scientific
There is an abundance of testimonials and evidence of the efficacy of Total Wellness that are already beyond anecdotal and capable of being empirical and scientific in findings . For instance , there is the exercise aspect in Taiwan that involved 400,000 people and a span of 12 years which can already be capable of heading towards scientific analysis , replication and endorsement .
Then there is the electrotheraphy machine which is used in hospitals in Japan and the piles of evidence of the antioxidant vitamins in fighting and preventing lifestyle diseases . Total Wellness can , henceforth , do well with research funding from the government if its methods of proving are not accepted .
Policies : Government policies on Total Wellness can enhance its full-fledged existence in the health care system . The education system can also include Total Wellness as part of the mainstream healthcare system catering to a rapidly changing world . It may sound Utopian but these are realities of the future .
A panel of total wellness experts in companies : In addition to a panel of medical doctors in companies , a panel of Total Wellness experts can be appointed . Employers can see for themselves how through this holistic approach , productivity is enhanced through healthy and happy employees . Insurance companies can see the reduction of medical and hospital bills through salubriousness of the insured employee and nonrecurrence of health problems .
Total Wellness as part of actuarial science in insurance : Incorporating Total Wellness in actuarial methods of health and life insurance evaluation is not a too radical prediction in the near future . Already through analyzing some parts of a hormone in the body and a recent finding of the intensity and frequency of exercise can predict a person ’ s life expectancy . It will become part an efficacious actuarial science for insurance companies .
With the right request for information on a person ’ s lifestyle and access to holistic treatment from Total Wellness experts in tandem with comprehensive health screening , an insurance company can see the practicality and the benefits to be accrued from these revolutionary methods . Consolidation of the total wellness industry : The various aspects of Total Wellness expertise can get together and be part of a strong entity to create a socio-ecosystem for the benefit of the community as a whole and not forgetting the benefits of integrated medicine . — The Health
Zulkifli Ahmad is the founder of Sustainability ESG 2020 , a think-tank advocating ideas and actions on sustainability .