The Frequently Overlooked Importance of Context in Healing

If you live in a modern industrial society, you’re probably used to thinking of medicine in standard terms. A pill should work the same, in most cases, for each person that takes it. Through my own experiences with chronic pain, however, and my wife’s unique health journey, I’ve come to see how care can differ radically from person to person, modality to modality. These experiences have had a great influence on how I see the problem of chronic pain and how I’ve modeled a novel solution to that problem.

When I was a kid, my dad was in hospital administration. I have fond memories of visiting the hospitals where he worked, meeting the doctors, and being in that environment. I also had an uncle who was a chiropractor, so I grew up getting chiropractic adjustments. Though he didn’t promote the nutritional and functional programs that many DCs do now, it gave me a broader exposure that I might not have had otherwise, and probably primed me for the work I did later in my career with functional medicine providers across the gamut of disciplines.

My first job after completing an MBA was working in hospital marketing, which furthered my exposure to healthcare and deepened my understanding of the drivers of care at that level. I went on to work in the sleep medicine industry in the mid-2000s—around the height of the boom for sleep awareness, sleep labs, and a thrust to greater analysis of sleep disorders and related comorbidities.

This was also a period of consolidation and economic change for that industry. Ultimately, this period led to a shift away from sleep labs to home sleep studies, but it left more people aware of and keen to address sleep disorders, and further exposed me to the business and economic drivers of healthcare.

For almost the entirety of the following decade, I went to work in the hearing aid industry. I had the privilege of working with and contributing to two growth-award companies (Inc. magazine and Portland Business Journal) in this space and became intimately familiar with the drivers of successful clinical practice. Hearing aids became an interesting data point for me because they are typically not covered by insurance—they are an out-of-pocket expense—and they are not inexpensive (the average sales price is around $6,000 for a set).

Beyond hearing aids, I had experience adding other ancillary, often cash-model, revenue procedures or products to clinics in an effort to help these physicians offset the declining insurance reimbursements they faced in their normal procedural offerings. This experience of helping clinicians improve their business operations, refine their marketing, and sharpen their selling processes was profound—and would later serve as a critical experience and the predicate business model upon which we modeled our chronic pain solution.

How My Wife’s Health Journey Exposed Me to New Approaches

While I was learning from a range of different clinical approaches, my wife battled her own chronic health conditions, from which she found little relief though biomedical care. Disappointed with the limited capacities of drugs and traditional care, she turned to alternative medicine, and over the years saw dozens of clinicians in all disciplines of care: chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists, herbalists, functional medicine doctors, counselors, meditation gurus, and many others, some of whom have no formal credentials. It was in the midst of this period that I had the opportunity to go to work for a medical device start-up, which offered a breath test to measure oxidative stress (i.e. free-radical damage).

This device was an alternative to blood or urinalysis assays and a more convenient and cost-effective way to measure oxidative stress changes that could result from lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, sleep, stress management, etc. Over the three years working with this technology, coupled with my wife’s health journey, I deepened my exposure to, knowledge of, and appreciation for these types of care providers. Yet I was struck by the variance in approaches, and sometimes thoroughness of clinicians, even within the same discipline.

From my experience of seeing my dad work in hospital administration and visiting my uncle’s chiropractic clinic, to witnessing my wife’s journey through a huge range of healing modalities and my first-hand experience in both the hearing aid sector and the field of alternative medical technology, I gathered a huge range of information about how practitioners work, how they treat patients, and how they create sustainable business models.

Naturally, I formed opinions about which approaches were the most successful. When the time came for me to deliver healthcare, I had a clear idea of how I wanted to go about it, and I knew in order for it to become scalable, it must be consistent. The model we use at Radiant Pain Relief Centres is, consistently effective and appealing, as well as, accessible, affordable, and in the best interests of all parties. It has been developed through long experience and reflection. I share some of the thinking that has gone into building our disruptive new approach to treat chronic pain without drugs, needles, surgery or side effects in my Amazon Best Selling book Radiant Relief, A Case For A Better Solution To Chronic Pain. I invite you to check it out join with us as we work to change the way chronic pain is understood and treated.

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