Healthcare is Self-care. Like hindsight, illness can also be 20/20. We realize after the fact that prevention is a huge factor in keeping ourselves balanced. Our self-care strategy can sometimes be AS if not MORE effective than our general healthcare practice. By creating balance with your healthcare and your self-care your Doctor will be in a better position to treat you. Here’s Why:
Doctors Cannot Create Balance Between Healthcare and Self-care, Only You Can.
Most Doctors know, without a full picture of your wellbeing and your day to day, it can be very hard to treat you. Even TurboTax coined the idea, Nobody Knows More about Your Life than You. The idea that a Medical Professional who only sees you a few times a year is more of an authority of you than you, is a concept that is quickly on the way out. Good Doctors aren’t looking for patients, they are looking for partners.
New research is finding new perspectives on old knowledge, that your stress levels, your relationships, and your thoughts can severely affect your health. In order to treat the cause, you can’t simply treat the symptoms. Even Western Doctors are taking more of a holistic perspective to effectively treat their patients.
How to Create Balance with your Healthcare and Self-care.
Don’t just tell your Doctor half the story.
Are you being 100% honest with your Doctor about your lifestyle habits? Probably not. We are sometimes more afraid of being judged than we are helped. Telling your Doctor you drink too much wine and eat your share of processed foods can often feel like you’re waiting for your Mom to lay on the disappointment. Reminder- your Doctor is here to help you, not judge you. If you feel the latter is being done, perhaps it’s time to find yourself a new Doctor.
It’s as important to tell your Doctor about your stress levels and the status of your relationships as it is how much spinach you eat daily. Give your Doctor a fuller picture of you, so together you can figure out the best treatments for you.
Get on the same healing page.
It’s hard to treat something or someone who isn’t on the same healing strategy as the medicine they are taking. If your medicine is meant to calm your adrenal glands and you are drinking far too much coffee and maintaining heightened stress levels, you are creating ANOTHER imbalance in your body. Know the purpose of your medicine and give it time to do its thing.
If your Doctor is also prescribing a medicine that you are not comfortable taking and you know you are going to fill the prescription but not take it, be honest. Let your Doctor know, “I am not comfortable taking this, do you know of any other alternatives?” It may be that your Doctor does not know of an alternative healing route, but thanks to the internet, someone out there will.
Remember, the best medicine is preventative.
Even Doctors know this. By taking preventative steps you are most definitely saving money and suffering. Yes, it is true there are many other factors in overall health from genetics to location to luck but we can all agree lifestyle is a major health authority. Eat well, get enough sleep, get moderate exercise, create a community, and be useful are the tried and true methods for good health. Check out the 7 places around the world that live long healthy lives because of these tenets.
Become knowledgeable about your ailment.
Yes they are Doctors, but they may not know about the ins and outs of your ailment. In any partnership, come to the table prepared. Do your research, read about alternative methods, talk to others who have been through what you are going through. Participate in your healing process.
Know that patient visits are a “quick tips” kind of environment.
Doctors don’t have the time or resources to bring you or themselves completely up to date on your ailment. Doctors learn as they go, from experience just like the rest of us.
Did you know: On average the US doctor spends around 20 hours on nutrition throughout their medical education with most of the time being spent on health counseling related services and how to gently tell an unhealthy person they must eat better if they want to lower their cholesterol.
A doctor may not have the understanding of how food can affect healing your ailment, especially autoimmune dis-eases. They can give you quick tips like “reduce stress levels, get enough sleep and eat better” but they may not be able to tell you “no nightshades, take Omega 3’s, and get in a healing mindset.”
So What’s New About Healthcare and Self-care?
Doctors are asking the patient for their opinions.
The shift from uninformed patient to participating partner has already started. Doctors understand they are a part of your healing team, not the coach and are more open to your opinions, knowledge, and requests.
Asking ” how do you think this happened?” is a great way to track how a condition may have developed as well as include you in the responsibility of your own healing.
Doctors are becoming more open to alternative treatments and natural methods.
My own Homeopath was a Western Doctor who came to Homeopathy because he realized Western medicine was limited in treating and healing people.
Moving into a more natural based healing medicine can be scary just like any life change. Most come to natural medicine when modern medicine has not given them the results they had hoped for and sometimes left more damage than it did good.
You can find a natural based medical professional through blogs, forums, and sites that will guide you to the right practitioner. One of the best ways to find a natural practitioner is to ask friends, family, or people in the wellness community for referrals. You’ll soon find there is a whole other healthy world where people have had incredible success and health following these alternate routes.
We as the patient know a lot more than we did 5, 10, 15 years ago.
The internet has changed the entire world and medicine is no exception. Knowledge from all over the world, from all different decades, is now available online within seconds.
Before the internet, we relied on Medical Professionals for knowledge about our ailment and how best to heal. In our modern society, people in the know are no longer just the professionals that make up their designated field but those who have researched and educated themselves in relation to a specific ailment or general wellness. We have the validity of people’s experiences which is one of the best forms of knowledge we have.
In terms of the medical community and those looking to become more responsible for their health, this is a great thing.
We are relatively informed of the inner workings of our bodies.
Nutrition and the quest for optimal health have given us a gateway to living a healthy long life. Unfortunately, the best way to learn about your body is by healing it. When illness occurs it puts you in a state of receptivity and education seeking.
Previously we may have had little knowledge how our bodies work but with the birth of the wellness community that is no longer the case. You don’t have to know EVERYTHING about your body, but knowing how your body communicates imbalance to you is very important.
Like a Doctor, your body is your partner through this life and being able to understand and translate its communication will keep you on your path of good health.
Easy Ways to Balance Healthcare and Self-care.
Engage in more self-care.
In modern society, it’s unlikely you are engaging in too much self-care. Meditation, vacations, taking days off from work, eating healthy foods, yoga, maintaining a healthy mindset, enjoying a cup of tea in the morning, etc. These are all ways to make sure your body is getting the reset it needs.
You cannot be healthy unless you actively reset your body every now and then. Our body does this naturally by sleeping each night. Make sure you are allowing your body resets to preserve your health.
Talk to Your Doctor about Alternative Treatments.
Alternative medicine and treatments are a great way to treat your body’s imbalanced conditions. These gentle medicines work with your body rather than against. By introducing a more balanced method, you may be able to avoid harmful medications long term. Because alternative care is gentle and usually does not negatively affect any current medication you are taking, it can work alongside your current medical strategy.
Before you start having a conversation about alternative medicinal treatments with your Doctor, do some research about what avenue you would like to go down based on your needs. Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Homeopathy, and Ayurvedic medicine are just a few to look into.
Add check-ins to your checkups.
Yearly or Bi-yearly checkups are meant to address any concerns you might be having before your health goes too far down the line. Check-ins are another great way to make sure you are listening to the messages your body is sending you.
Making sure you take the time and space to check-in with your health is a great method for keeping you aligned with your health goals. Mental check-in’s, bodily check-in’s and spiritual check-in’s can be done monthly, weekly, even daily.
Self-care is ongoing if you want to maintain the balance and prevent too much reliance on healthcare.
Whether it’s self-care or healthcare, the main goal is your welfare. Balancing the two provides a healthy foundation for your personal wellness. Continue educating yourself on good living and you will always be your biggest advocate.
Check out A Holistic Look at Inflammation In the Body to learn more about the importance of balance.