FEELING GREAT: Health advice often lost in translation

Failing to take good advice is nothing new.

But what about if that advice is coming from someone like a GP, a caring nurse, top consultant, a great physio or a respected chiropractor with a proven track record of helping to solve problems?

How could anyone not listen and then act?

Yet bizarrely, a failure for patients to take the advice of these sorts of people is very often the case and my best bet is that many medical people will be forever left wondering why their patient didn’t listen.

But here’s the problem for both patient and medical people: in health care there’s a huge problem with communication. One look at the NHS complaints list and you’ll see proof.

These days, patients want answers in record time.

Often time that through no fault of their own, health care professionals just haven’t got.

But the problem is NOT always the lack of time.

It’s often a failure on both parties to understand that however much time that the ‘patient – practitioner’ conversation lasts, very little of the communication is ever going to be taken in by either anyway.

It’s as little as seven per cent of everything that your GP, your physio or your nurse advises you about your health, that you actually absorb.

It’s a proven fact and anyone whose ever studied any form of communication will tell you that there are so many other influencing factors at play, that the actual verbal message, the what the GP tells you, is very much lost in translation.

And yet this sort of hard fact is lost on most health care professionals because it’s the kind of thing they skip over at university or in training schools.

Sure, they touch on the importance of communication, but they never delve deep and leave you with a true understanding of what exactly our patients are picking up on.

This seven per cent rule will be everywhere you go today, in every conversation you have with any person you meet, work or non-work and perhaps explains why so many wrong or mixed messages get passed on between friends and families?

And if anything that you do involves something as important as having persuade someone to do something for the sake of their health, then it pays to know which is the most valuable seven per cent of the message and the expertise you’re offering them.

Find it, then focus in on it like their health depends on it.

So, with that in mind, here’s the most valuable seven per cent of today’s column.

Last week I mentioned the benefits of swimming to your over all health. What most people don’t know about swimming is that there is also a down side that if you do too much of it, could see you pay with knees and hips that click, clunk and crack, more than you would like.

And it’s doing too much of the breaststroke. Gasp, but it’s true. Doing too much of this stroke isn’t great for your knees or hips. To cut a long story short, your knees are not designed to rotate or turn. An action that is a requirement to perform the breaststroke.

Or so you might think. My tip: Either cut it out completely, especially if you’re a regular “on-off” knee pain victim, or modify it and here’s how.

Take a float into the pool with you for a week or two and place it between your knees to keep them straight.

After a while, you’ll learn to do the breaststroke without the negative impact of the rotation that goes through your knees and causes irritation on rough surfaces.