Self-treatment is an empowering approach to health care. You are the foremost expert on your body, and while doctors and nurses are trained professionals, they do not know what is going on in your body as well as you do. When to seek medical attention and when to try to go it on your own is a decision people face as part of being human. It is often unnecessary or inconvenient to seek medical care for minor issues, and many of us want to try self-treatment or self-medicate as a first option. This is often the most appropriate course of action with minor health concerns.
While self-medication has understandably received a bad reputation (this term is often used to describe the abuse of drugs, alcohol, and other behaviors that mask an underlying condition), that’s only one end of the self-treatment spectrum. When you self-treat or self-medicate, it may also be indicative of your desire for autonomy. (There is also the issue of access—you may have no choice but to self-medicate, if you lack access to medical care.) Self-medication can also be indicative of self-empowerment in healthcare. Being empowered to treat minor health issues and advocate for your needs is essential in our current, broken system. As patients, we must be prepared to stand up for ourselves and our treatment. One way to do this is by taking advantage of self-treatment as a first option or incorporating it into care prescribed by a medical professional.
Benefits of a Self-Treatment Plan
There are many benefits to self-treatment and self-medication.
Reduced absenteeism from work
Employees self-medicate in safe and appropriate forms, such as taking aspirin for a headache or daytime Benadryl for allergies, allowing them to go to work. Another excellent example is caffeine, which many people use throughout the day for energy at work.
One reason many people choose to self-medicate is convenience. Seeking medical care, especially for a minor complaint, is often a tedious or challenging task. So, for example, in the case of a minor sprain, it’s understandable when that person chooses to visit their local pharmacy for braces, wraps, and ice. Otherwise, this person would have waited at an ER or urgent care or had to wait to see their doctor, likely to be told to wrap and ice.
Self-treatment is often the most economical solution since you won’t be seeing a healthcare professional like a doctor or nurse. And many self-treatments are available at your local drugstore. And, for the majority of the population, reducing healthcare costs is of utmost importance. For example, using a professional designed musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) program like YouMari gives you professional tools to treat conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, which may eliminate or reduce the need for professional treatment like physical therapy.
Opportunity to educate
Self-treatment allows you to learn about a health concern you’re experiencing. For example, smoking cessation greatly benefits from self-treatments, many of which your doctor might suggest, such as acupuncture, hypnosis, or support groups. Whatever medical condition you have, educating yourself is a wise choice and is especially vital if you need more medical attention.
Taking a more active role in one’s healthcare
Doctors can only do so much. Many health conditions require active compliance and cooperation to see results. Taking a more active role in your health empowers you to make healthy decisions. An example of this is weight loss. Doctors do not have a magic cure for weight loss; eating healthy and being physically active remains the most successful strategy.
Rapid and direct access to treatment
Instead of waiting in a doctor’s office waiting room, you can access your treatments quickly and directly, usually by visiting your local pharmacy. For example, if you have dry eyes, all you may need are lubricating eye drops, which are available at any drugstore. While you still may want to schedule a doctor’s appointment, you will have relief in the short term.
Treatment is safe and effective
Generally, treatments purchased at drugstores are safe and effective. This is the result of medical product standards. These products are safe and helpful when used correctly according to the instructions.
YouMari Self-Treatment Plan
When it comes to MSDs, professionally guided self-treatment can give remarkable results. Here at BioFunctional Healthcare Solutions (BHS), we have been helping employees with MSDs like carpal tunnel syndrome and back issues for over a decade. We’ve used the same system used by professional athletes to prevent and correct MSDs. It isn’t magic—it takes effort on your part, but with our program, YouMari, you’ll be guided through a customized plan that addresses your specific goals and any areas of discomfort. This program can help you, no matter your level of fitness. If you’re more athletic, YouMari will help you increase your strength and performance while helping you prevent injuries. If you’re actively in pain, YouMari will create a specific plan that will help alleviate your discomfort. Using YouMari is simple, and it’s easy to get started. Click here to sign up for free today!