Focus on Men’s Health

November is “Movember,” men’s health awareness month. But what does this actually mean? Well, the slogan from the Movember foundation is “stop men dying too young.” So, let them die… just not too young… but don’t let them stick around too long… maybe just until the kids are out of college. If I was a man I would be sending out an SOS! (“save our souls”)

The objective is to grow a mustache to raise funds to tackle prostate and testicular cancer, and to raise awareness for other men’s health issues such as depression and suicide. However, I think focusing on disease prevention is better than tackling disease in its already existent state.

I’ve been working in a clinic setting for 13 years and I’ve noticed that men don’t typically think about their health unless their significant other makes them think about it. Most men used to come to the clinic under duress. Men are fairly easy to treat… typically you give them some very BASIC instructions with a very BASIC treatment protocol and then you get their significant other to make sure they follow it!

But in all seriousness…men’s health concerns are a big issue. The reality is men are concerned about their health, they just don’t know how to express it. I think for some men thinking about their health is last on the list of concerns. Men have a tendency to stress about providing for their family and making sure that everyone makes it. They often don’t think about their health until later on in life when they are getting near retirement.

By this time, many men already have some kind of health challenge.  From my experience, men worry mostly about cardiovascular, prostate and testicular health.

Men’s Health | Why is Movember important?

  • 1 in 8 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young Canadian men aged 15-29
  • 1 in 5 of Canadians will experience a mental health problem each year
  • 3 out of 4 deaths by suicide are men
  • 8 men die by suicide in Canada every single day

So what can a man do? Or maybe the question is what can we as health care professionals do to reach out to men and encourage them to be proactive?

I think many health care professionals focus on women’s health and often leave men out. We need to become more inclusive of who we are reaching out to. Our outreach should be to people in general.

When I started my clinic in 2005 I started to introduce some tests such as bio feedback and cardiovascular screening. Many women would come for these tests and when they went home and told their husband he would ask “can I have that test too?” The same thing happened with thermography.

Not surprisingly, we found that men too are stressed, have digestive issues, lymph congestion, hormonal imbalance, structural issues and inflammation. Thermography and our other tests have told us or “shown” us so. Once men see their results, especially in a thermography study they become keenly aware of the necessity to be pro active and not wait until they have a health condition.

Movember should be more focused on making men aware of the necessity of being pro active when it comes to their health, and less about doing research or spending money in order to be able to offer up a smorgasbord of treatment options once men are diagnosed with a health problem.

In order to be pro active we need to know what dragons we have to slay!  So, what contributes to inflammation?
Men are affected by stress, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, toxins, prescription/ over the counter medication, unbalanced supplementation, amongst others.

So how can men “see” their current state of health? Thermography of course! Thermography is the best health discovery tool that exists. By using an infrared camera, we can evaluate inflammation and the potential cause. This allows the practitioner and the patient to design a specific proactive treatment plan to mitigate the process of inflammation and to work towards optimal health.

Healthier is Smarter!

Sharon Edwards – BA, R(Hom), DNM, RNCP, CTT