I read a lot of blogs on health and wellness. And many times I am frustrated with the black and white stances that are taken on preventative medicine. 

In particular I read this post on the importance of strength training. The author asserts that without outside trauma most people should not have to have hip or knee replacements.


What really got me peeved, though, was his strong dislike for sliding stair chairs and that the real problem lies within the bad lifestyle choices and weakness in our society. 

I have worked in a Pain Management office for eight years now. I have worked with many different pain conditions and with people who can’t walk upstairs or sit down without extreme effort. 


While I do think it is extremely important to build strength and eat well, that does not guarantee a life without disability or pain. 

I have seen people who did take care of themselves.  People who ate clean get cancer. And I’ve definitely seen people who weight trained still have surgeries. Those people asked me “why?  I did everything they say you should do.”

We still don’t know everything. When it comes to disease, pain, and health we just still don’t understand why sometimes people get sick.

 I have also seen lots of people take control of their health and the outcomes were amazing. 


The problem with looking at preventable problems as the fault of the person not taking care of themselves is this: the practitioner will lose compassion and empathy for that person. 

Furthermore, the practitioner has made a judgment which may cloud further evaluation of the client’s problem. 

The truth is that health problems like these always have layers. Always. I can’t tell you how many times I made my mind up that a client’s condition was a result of bad habits.  But as the layers were peeled back it was apparent that there was more than was revealed to me.

We don’t know the life circumstances that drove someone to have bad habits. Life is stressful and painful at times. Even though exercise and eating right can make us feel great, an extremely stressful event can make the best of us fall. Even if for only a little while. 

It is easy for any practitioner to give more sympathy to disorders that people can’t help and less to the preventable ones. This is why I wrote this and was apalled at the hatred for stair climbing chairs. The most important characteristic for any health practitioner is compassion and empathy. 

While this article was meant to inspire others to take control of their health it leads us to look down on those who do not. And when they suffer poor health we’ll just say “well you should have taken better care of yourself. “

Who are we to say that?


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Matthew Snow is a Licensed Massage Therapist practicing in Greenwich, CT. If you would like to schedule or make an appointment call (203) 660-0584 or email hello@h2tmuscleclinic.com