Doctors need to place themselves at the forefront of wellness trends such as strengthening immunity in patients to prepare them not only for current but for future health challenges
Patients have all had to reassess how we think about health and wellness in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some wellness trends have become wellness realities. We have been forced to reconsider our ability to trust experts; assess our comfort level with social contact; and learn to think in terms of community, rather than just as individuals.
Furthermore, doctors must also serve as examples of this new way of thinking for patients. If 2020 was the year that health care providers and the health care system itself had to learn to adjust to a “new normal,” 2021 is likely to shape up as the year that we start to see how the lessons we learned about wellness as prevention will be translated into wellness trends for patients to follow going forward.
Wellness trend: strengthening the immune system
Strengthening the immune system using more cutting-edge technology is likely to be the hottest wellness trend in the coming year. Your patients are likely already well versed in the immune boosting benefits from certain foods, vitamins, and supplements. However, this year is shaping up to be the year in which boosting the immune system goes high tech.
Genetic testing and “biohacking,” which is best described as DIY biology, allows patients to design a customized immunotherapy that best suits their body genetics, health, and lifestyle. This DIY approach will be reflected in a focus on gut health and the biome as ways of improving the overall immune system at an individual level.
This type of biohacking may also include nootropics to improve brain and cognitive function, as well as mood enhancers, all of which play vital roles in improving immune function. So where do you fit into this new trend of customized therapies? The best way to help your patients who want to tailor their immune boosting regimen to their unique needs is by collaborating with them on how to do so safely and effectively.
Traditional health care and wellness join forces
The COVID pandemic has shown us that the traditional health care system is more interested in sickness than prevention. However, we can expect to see a stronger partnership between traditional health care and wellness during the coming year.
The advent of telemedicine is an excellent example of this trend. Telemedicine has grown in popularity as a means to serve patients who are housebound or live in rural areas without medical services nearby. During the pandemic, telemedicine serves as a means for health care providers to reach out to their patients for regular visits that do not require physical contact. You can expect to see this technology being used more often in 2021 for wellness checkups as well.
Wellness as a community effort
We all know about the importance of washing our hands and wearing masks and social distancing while out in public as ways to help prevent further spread of COVID. Furthermore, there has been an ongoing public health effort to educate people about the benefits of vaccinations in terms of herd immunity.
However, there has been a growing movement toward viewing wellness itself as a public, communal effort. We can expect to see this communal wellness effort take on not just the health of individuals, but that of our communities and the institutions that serve it.
Such institutions go beyond just health care, to include education, childcare, employment, communications, and public transportation, just to name a few.
Doctors need to place themselves at the forefront of these wellness trends to show how wellness can help rebuild patient immunity through chiropractic care, nutrition, activity or exercise and the whole host of holistic approaches needed to strengthen patient health to combat future challenges.