Why It’s Important to Approach Health And Wellness By Focusing On The Four Dimensions of Human Nature


Do traditional pharmacies and pharmacists neglect to pay attention to the four dimensions of human nature when interacting with patients?

What are the four dimensions of human nature?

Stephen Covey, in his book describes that:

Human nature is four dimensional: the body, the mind, the heart and the spirit. In the culture approach for the body, people get told to maintain their lifestyle and to treat chronic health problems with surgery and medications but the principal approach focuses on preventing disease and aligning one’s lifestyle to be in harmony with established and universally accepted principles of health.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey

In other words, human nature is made up of our physical health, our mental health, the heart or our soul and the spirit or our spiritual being. These four dimensions of human nature are inter connected. What you do to one, can have effects on the other.

The the culture of pharmacy teaches patients to continue their lifestyle and treat their chronic diseases with medications. This culture of pharmacy permeates the corporate world of retail pharmacies. This culture is taught to pharmacy students during pharmacy school.

The culture approach vs. the principal approach

What is the culture approach? What is the principal approach? 

The Prinicipal Approach

As Stephen Covey describes in his book, the principal approach is is the inside-out approach. It means that you first must start with the self:

You start with the most inside part of yourself, the paradigms, your character, your assumptions and your motives. 

Stephen Covey

The Culture Approach

The culture approach is the outside-in approach. The outside-in approach doesn’t produce lasting solutions to problems. It doesn’t produce lasting happiness, health and success.

The outside-in paradigm results in unhappy people who feel victimized and immobilized. Who focus on the weakness of other people and the circumstances they feel are responsbile for their own stagnant situation 

Stephen Covey

How does the culture approach deal with the physical health dimension of human nature? Through multiple factors, people become influenced to seek solutions to their health problems externally before looking internally first. They are quick in their efforts to find a solution through drugs to solve their physical and mental health problems. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s simply one of the many approaches but not necessarily always the best approach especially when many of the health problems often arise as a result of things within our control.

The culture approach is what’s used in traditional pharmacy. Traditional pharmacy is not driven by a principal approach to health & wellness. Do pharmacies and pharmacists pay attention to the principal approach of physical health which fcouses on preventing chronic diseases? Does it focus on helping patients to align their lifestyle to be in harmony with established and universally accepted principles of preventative and functional medicine?

No, traditional pharmacies and pharmacists are primarily driven by the culture approach which consciously or unconsciously conditions patients to maintain their unhealthy lifestyle because they can always treat any problems that arise with medications.

The positive things we seek in life comes from principals

Stephen Covey

The Other Dimensions of Human Nature

Traditional pharmacy also fails to pay attention to the mind, the heart and the spirit, the other three dimensions of human nature. The culture approach wants to numb problems, it wants to attempt to fix everything with pills. Depressed? It’s a neurochemical imbalance, here take a pill.

I don’t think that pharmacies and pharmacists should bear all of the responsibility of dealing with these four dimensions of human nature. But, I do think that patients deserve much more than just a foucs on medications.

The Take Away

These four dimensions of human nature are interconnected as I alluded to earlier. What you do to one impacts the other. Problems in one area affects the other three areas. The culture approach with its solutions only attempts to fix one area but ends up neglecting problems in other areas. 

An example to illustrate the point

Take for example, the problem with depression among teenagers as a result of using social media. When I first came across this article I thought it was interesting because for me it relates to traditional pharmacy and the culture approach to treating depression. It’s also interesting because of this cycle that happens. It’s the cycle of how big pharma & pharmacies indirectly benefit from Instagram and other social media apps.

Teenagers and adults who use instagram are at a higher risk of developing mental health problems like eating disroders and depression. These Instagram users see people who are fabulous. People who are living what appears to be a great life: they are beautiful, they have nice bodies, and they have an amazing lifestyle.

This causes the problem of “social comparison which is when people assess their own value in relations to the attractiveness, wealth and success of others”. It’s a dangerous game because it often leads to sadness, depression, anxiety, and stress about one’s own life (This has even happened to me at times).

These are serious mental health problems which those Instagram users end up seeking help for. Some of them might know why they are depressed but others might not. In either case they seek help from a medical practitioner.

This practitioner diagnosis them with depression for example and concludes that the depression is a result of a checmical imbalance in their brain. They get prescribed anti-depressants which they end up taking indefinitely.

This is how Instagram indirectly benefits big pharma and retail pharmacies. It indirectly creates new customers for them. At no point in this cycle does the provider, or the pharmacists question why this individual is feeling depressed. The prescription gets written, the pharmacist dispenses it and the patient takes it.

The behavior of using social media is never changed. They continue to use it and therefore they continue to feel depressed. They are never truly free. They are constantly being influcenced by coporations be it Instagram or the pharmaceutical companies.

My Mission

My dream and mission has since I left pharmacy has been to help people find a way out of the traditional pharmacy paradigm so they can become fully healthy.

Learn how to achieve a fuller level of health by focusing on what I call the Wheel of Health that consists of the physical, the mental and the emotional aspects of your being. Check out the Wheel of Health Workbook and let me know what you think.

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