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Thursday, January 03, 2013

The 21 day rule for medical treatments

Not really relevant to the article;
but I do like it!

The 21 day rule

I often come across people including athletes who have been undergoing a form of medical treatment for months; sometimes longer.

It raises the question:

"How long should one undergo a course of medical treatment before calling it quits?" 

As a general rule of thumb, I recommend applying the

"21 day rule"

If you are undergoing any form of treatment or therapy, be it physical therapy or medicine, apply the 21 day rule.

If, after 21 days of consistent application of the therapy, there has not been a significant improvement in your condition and at a rate or level above what would normally be expected if things were left up to Mother Nature herself, then you need to review what is being done. 

Far too often, ineffective therapies are continued with long after when their use should have been critically reviewed, modified or ceased altogether. In addition, progress is often erroneously attributed to the treatment or medicine when it is really just the natural healing processes that should be getting the credit.

Many medications (unlike herbs, vitamins and minerals) cease to be effective after a month of regular use.  In many cases, the body "habituates" (another term for "addiction") to medicines such as steroids, anti-depressants and pain medications).

Simple methods of monitoring progress, such as using a personal heart rate monitor, are often overlooked, therefore causing a loss of objectivity when assessing progress.  Always ask:

"How is my progress being measured?"

Nutritional and lifestyle strategies, including exercise and deep tissue massage, can be extremely effective. These enhance and support, rather than replace or inhibit normal body physiology. Sometimes no obvious benefit is ever demonstrated by exercise, eating well and supplementing where the need exists, other than looking good and feeling great over the long term. Give these strategies at least 3 months to take effect.

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