Many patients come to see me after years of built up frustration because of persistent health challenges they face despite multiple visits to a primary care provider.
In fact, they have become accustomed a practitioner saying, “Here, take this”, and prescribing a single pill for their ailment. And they call that “healthcare.”
By the time they come to me they want something different. But they’re still sometimes dazed by how much I suggest they participate in their own treatment.
In many cases, when I’m trying to identify and treat the underlying cause of a condition, I offer a patient multiple recommendations to help meet their health goals and feel better. For instance, they can try dietary modifications, lifestyle interventions, targeted nutritional and botanical supplements (at appropriate doses), stress modification, or better sleep hygiene —all of which are parts of a comprehensive approach to health.
Although it’s all necessary, I understand that it can be overwhelming.
When either my best intended recommendations and/or life in general start to become simply too much for my patients — leading to missing appointments and additional stress —I know enough is enough. Then I strive to help them take a time out.
I often utilize an accounting analogy with them, explaining they are in “debt” with their quality of life and sense of time. We will then go through a health “financial planning” session to prioritize and assess where their withdrawals are coming from, contributing to the sense of being overwhelmed. Then we can find out where additional deposits could come from, assisting them in getting out of this crisis.
From there we work together to mitigate the withdrawals and secure more deposits.
Focusing on foundations like sleep, intentional breathing, hydration, and proper nourishment are like cold hard cash in a patient’s health bank account. Whittling down recommendations, asking for just one simple change during this time helps to lessen the pressure, and the debt.
Encouraging personal perspective, gratitude and self-care tips like massage, baths, asking for help, and journaling can help get people out of the “red” and back on track.
If it feels like enough is enough, take a time out to balance your own health ledger.
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