5 Pillars of Health w/ Dr. Goff
At the age of 35, our Executive Director, Shanna Schulze, was surprisingly diagnosed with high blood pressure and subsequently put on blood pressure medicine where her doctor said “once the high blood pressure switch is turned on, it can’t be turned off”, meaning she’d have to be on the this medication the rest of her life. Not willing to accept being on blood pressure medicine the rest of her life, she sought another solution.
Fortunately, a General Practitioner referred her to a chiropractor named Dr. Jonathan Goff (a GP referring someone to a chiropractor is almost unheard of!).
Dr. Jonathan Goff is not your average chiropractor. Instead, he operates more as a functional medicine doctor where, in addition to a chiropractor’s primary focus on the nervous system, he also incorporates additional aspects of health and wellness in what he refers to as his 5 Pillars of health program. Shanna resonated with his description of the program and immediately signed up for it.
These 5 pillars include: Detox, Nutrition, Fitness, Hormones & the Nervous System.
He initially has patients go through a two week detox to give the body a break. Once that’s complete, patients enter the nutrition phase where good stuff is put back into the body. His goal for patients is to have them eat 90% good with 10% “treat days” (not “cheat days” as that carries a negative connotation). He also asks patients to create a fitness program where they move the body at least 3 times a week. Exercise helps a body sustain greater degrees of stress without being taken out so easily. This translates to the body’s ability to handle day to day stress at a higher level without being as negatively affected by it. He does want his patients to incorporate lifting weights in their fitness plan since it creates the necessary positive stress in the body to help build muscle, which strengthens the skeletal system and reduces the chances of getting osteoporosis. Weight lifting also produces testosterone, a hormone linked to weight loss, which leads us to the next pillar: hormones. Stress, along with other factors, can cause hormone imbalances which lead to weight gain (imbalances can also lead to the inability to gain weight for some people) and other potential health issues so it’s crucial to check this. To do so, he asks patients to have specific lab work done where he has a holistic understanding of how to read the labs and make any necessary changes to the patient’s health program. Often doing the initial work with the 5 pillars and maintaining the new lifestyle is enough to correct hormone imbalances. The last pillar focuses on the nervous system, which is traditionally where a chiropractor focuses.
After doing Dr. Goff’s 5 pillar program for two months, Shanna was able to come off her blood pressure medication (she’d been monitoring it from home and, in taking personal responsibility for her health, took herself off the medication). Excited about her results, she returned to her doctor to let them know what had worked. Sadly, instead of being excited about this switch, her doctor said “I guess it can be switched off” with no fanfare. Unfortunately, this response from doctors is all too common, whether it’s someone like Shanna getting off prescribed blood pressure medicine or cancer patients who have gone non-conventional routes and returned to their oncologists to have their labs run and the labs show they’re cancer free.
Through his 5 Pillar Program, Dr. Goff is empowering his patients to not need him. He empowers them to adopt a healthy lifestyle that serves them in the long run, where their return visits are as needed chiropractic adjustments (similar to a car needing an oil change…something to keep the body or car going as apart of an ongoing maintenance plan).
Dr. Goff began to look beyond a traditional chiropractic practice when his wife’s father passed away at too young of an age (59 or 60). Though his father-in-law was enduring a large degree of health issues including diabetes (which led to a partial foot amputation) and high blood pressure, Dr. Goff saw that much of his health crisis was preventable. Stunned by the loss of his father-in-law under such circumstances, he began to ask himself how could he help others not find themselves in a similar place. It was in researching potential solutions that he came across the 5 Pillars Program that he adopted as apart of his practice.
His mission is spurred on by the statistics surrounding the health (or lack thereof) of our nation. A 2010 statistic said America spends 2.5 trillion on health care yet this has not yielded a healthy nation. Heart disease, one of the top three killers of Americans, is preventable.
Unfortunately, our health care practice is typically to wait until we’re almost in the grave before asking for help out of the grave versus taken preventative measures to keep us from ever being near the grave! Dr. Goff wants to changes this and is doing so through his practice.
He says health insurance should be called “sickness insurance” because it only kicks in once something has gone wrong versus covering preventative measures that support “health care”. It’s up to us to take our health into our own hands by investing in preventative care that in the current structure of our health care system is not covered by health insurance.
Through his practice, Dr. Goff offers a holistic preventive care option with his 5 Pillars Program. We, at SoLive, are thankful for his mission and offering and are excited to consider him a Wellness Partner.
If you want to learn more about Dr. Goff please visit his site at https://drgoff.com/.