So often in my private practice I encounter a male client who has not had a physical examination for over two years, sometimes for as long as ten years. This form of self-neglect is of particular concern regarding guys who have a known medical condition and with those, for example, who are injured, obese, have high blood pressure and/or experience high levels of stress on a regular basis.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that U.S. women are 100% more likely than men to schedule annual preventative exams.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, men have higher death rates from major disorders such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. On the whole, guys also are more likely than women to be substance abusers and workaholics, and have a much higher incidence of suicide.
Given these kinds of serious concerns, Senator Bob Dole and Congressman Bill Richardson sponsored legislation 20 years ago to establish National Men’s Health Week around Father’s Day each year. President Bill Clinton signed the bill in 1994. To mark the 20th anniversary of this week dedicated to advancing male health awareness, numerous events were held around the country. Encouraged by the Men’s Health Network, health-oriented activities were promoted by various health care professionals, community groups, private industry and religious organizations. These efforts were designed to encourage men to develop a healthier lifestyle and to understand the importance of early detection of physical issues that could ultimately reduce the rate of mortality from disease. Wives, girlfriends, children and employers may also encourage (without nagging) guys to schedule a check-up.
In recent decades, several viable alternatives to allopathic medical care have become more credible and popular, such as acupuncture, naturopathic medicine and chiropractic.
Perhaps with greater attention to upgrading our health, we men may also reduce the longevity gap, as on average, women live several years longer than men. Furthermore, by consistently adapting favorable health practices, guys may enjoy a life of enhanced overall well-being: increased physical, emotional mental and spirituality vitality, as well as better sexual performance with more satisfaction.