What is medical intervention?
Medical intervention is treatment to prevent or remedy disease with drugs (eg. pharmaceuticals, prescriptions, vaccines) or surgery (eg. transplants, implants, repairs).
What is manual intervention?
Manual intervention is treatment to prevent or remedy disease by hand (eg. chiro, physio, massage) or lifestyle change (eg. exercise, eating well, self care).
Which is better? It depends!
Context matters. Patients often think it’s a debate between pro and anti medicine or natural choices over synthesised ones but this is absolutely not the case. Let’s explore a famous analogy to demonstrate. Dr James Chestnut parallels the following.
- Your body is your home
- Your allied health practitioner is your local electrician
- Your neuromusculoskeletal system is the electrical wiring
If the integrity of the electrical wiring in your home is maintained appropriately (you’re moving well and eating right), you prevent a fire.
- Allopathic doctors are the fire department
- Drugs and surgery are their fire fighting tools
If there happens to be a fire emergency, the fire department puts out the fire quickly with their fire fighting tools and saves the house from burning down.
Now consider this.
Would you call the fire department to upgrade an overloaded circuit or to fix a blown fuse? The answer is no. You want your electrician to carefully fix, tweak and optimise the wiring to get your home back in order.
Likewise, would you call your local electrician for help if your house were on fire? The answer to this is also no. You want the fire brigade to appear, sirens blaring and hoses bursting, ready to blast everything in sight – you can worry about repairing the damage later.
If medical intervention and manual intervention are each applied in their appropriate medical context, the patient’s health potential soars. The converse is also true. If either is applied inappropriately, there is potential for further sickness or even fatality. Each has its essential place in our health care system, given context.
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