What is Health? – The RiverRock Difference, Part 1
It Starts with Seeing Health Differently
Health Means Freedom
Have you ever thought about what “health” really means?
At RiverRock, health actually means freedom. Or if you like the fancier, more precise word, it means autonomy.
Just like money in the bank means you have the freedom to make choices, you also have a health bank.
Viable dreams are markers of autonomy.
Health actually means freedom.
People talk about their ‘financial health’ because there’s an intuitive understanding of this concept. Health is autonomy. It’s the money in the bank that allows you the freedom to make decisions.
If you have 10 million dollars in your bank account, you have a lot of freedom. You have the freedom to go buy things, or do things with that money.
Just like having money in the bank means you have the freedom to make choices, you also have a health bank.
But if you weigh 500lbs, or you have heart failure, then that limits what things you can choose to experience. You can’t go snowboarding. You can’t go climb machu picchu. Those choices just aren’t open to you.
But if you do lose weight, if you recondition your body, become healthier, then suddenly that choice is open. That choice becomes a viable dream. Before, it was just a pie-in-the-sky dream, because you didn’t have the power to complete it – you didn’t have the freedom to choose to make that dream real.
That’s what health is. The power to choose which dreams you want to make real.
Why do you even need more health?
The only reason to have health is so you can do other things. Your doctor should helping you do other things, helping you have more freedom to choose.
And that’s what RiverRock is really about. That’s what medicine should be about – moving you to a better state of health. It’s about giving you more options, more autonomy, more freedom. It’s about increasing the number of things you can choose to do – the number and the quality of the options you have.
Just to illustrate, take this extreme scenario –
Let’s say there’s a guy in coma, in the ICU, and he’s got very few choices, right? What can he choose? He’s almost dead. There’s almost no freedom, no autonomy there.
Now, suppose he’s a little healthier. Let’s say he’s at least awake, able to write on a pad or nod or something – he’s got 1 choice – the choice to tell us to stop. To choice to die.
Now, if he gets even better, out of the ICU, he can choose other things. He can choose to work with physical therapy. To eat or not eat certain things. What to watch on TV? What to read? etc. etc. etc. He can choose all these things. But he cannot choose to safely leave the hospital.
He gets a little bit stronger and he can choose to walk on his own. He can choose where he wants to go, like “Do I want to go outside for a little while? Can’t go too far, but I can choose more.”
And so on, as he gets better, goes to a rehab facility, gets stronger. etc. etc. All this is a progression of the breadth of choices he has.
Let’s say now he goes home, he’s able to live independently, cook for himself. He’s able to go to the bathroom on his own. He’s able to walk wherever he wants, get in and out of bed on his own. He can choose to have a job, choose to make money, to have relationships, etc.
Now he’s gained even more freedom.
The issue with regular medicine, even concierge medicine, is that once you meet some arbitrary standard, you don’t have any overt symptom that’s obviously abnormal, once you have moved out of the “ill” territory, into the middle of the bell curve, modern medicine basically gives up and says there’s nothing more we can do.As long as you can sit on the couch, go to your job, come back home, eat and go to the bathroom, that’s basically where traditional medicine stops. We’ve moved you from the crappy end of the bell curve to the middle, and there it is.
Nobody else is talking about giving you more freedom than that – As long as you can sit on the couch, watch TV, go to your job, and come back home, and have relationships and eat and drink and go to the bathroom, that’s basically where traditional medicine stops.
And that’s where RiverRock is different.
Because that is not good enough. Go beyond that.
To go beyond that, you have to look at getting even stronger, and it’s difficult – because now you have to have some goal in mind. Most people want to be able to have relationships, to be able to go to the bathroom on their own. Those are basic functions. They’re so ingrained that the desire for enough health to do those things is already there.
Doctors can work with those ingrained desires, you don’t have to talk about it much. But once you get to that level, the issue is, you have to start to dream at an even higher level of health,you have to start to dream at an even higher level of health you have to say, no, I want to climb machu picchu, I want to go on safari, I want to go camping, I want to do this or that.
You have to have those dreams, something to shoot for, in order to have enough motivation and direction to say “ok, in order to do that, what would I need? I’d need to be able to walk this far, I’d need to be able to tolerate this much”, or be able to climb this, or whatever else. And that’s where medicine breaks down – we stop helping people, we stop expecting people to have bigger dreams.
So traditional doctors are surprised, like, “What? You can go to your job, come back, watch tv, go to the bathroom on your own, feed yourself, what more do you want?” And that is the problem – we stop helping people gain freedom, because we don’t expect people to have bigger dreams than that.And that is the idea of RiverRock – it’s for people who have bigger dreams.
That is the essence of RiverRock
It’s for people who have bigger dreams. Do more, work harder, dream bigger, and we will help you build your health and your freedom to the point where your dreams become realistic choices.
The RiverRock Patient
That is what defines the RiverRock patient – people who are willing to partner with their doctor to solve problems. RiverRocks are people who say, “If my doctor gives me a pathway, I’m going to walk that path, because I’m trying to pursue my dreams. I’m trying to become free of my obstacles, and RiverRock is going to help me have autonomy.”
And all that sounds great, but then the question is “how?”
And the answer is the RiverRock Difference – our unique RiverRock Root Cause Analysis.