Life Changing Care Part One

Healthcare is a broad topic, so please excuse the brevity in this brief explanation about what I do.

In the standard medical model, patients expect to see a doctor, be diagnosed with a condition, and be given a pharmaceutical or surgical prescription to fix their issue.  Unfortunately, all too often the cause of the condition is never discussed or even addressed.  The end result is millions of patients in need of prescription drugs that never actually fix the issue, instead symptoms are controlled as one's health continues in a gradual decline.  The dictates of insurance-based care and the financial underpinnings of health research and education are likely culprits in this as well as the resulting culture of one-pill-for-one-problem thinking. 

Years ago, I personally saw the limitation of this system.  I had basically spent my childhood and early adult life not feeling well, and began to see that if I wanted to travel the world and live in the wilderness, I would always have to do so while toting my Claritin-D and Epipen.  I could not help but feel cheated, that surely I did not have allergies because of a deficiency in Claritin-D.

In the medical education I sought, I received training in how to think about someone's body functionally.  When I work with a patient, I am considering what is in someone's blood and tissues, and is the structure of their body allowing access of the blood and the immune system to all areas.  I am thinking about their digestion and their ability to assimilate nutrients from the food they eat.  I am thinking about their immune system and if it is in danger mode or not, and what is provoking it to remain in danger mode.  I am considering all of the systems of the body in this general way--is it working?  What is it missing?  What can I use from my tool box to shift it?

I also received another important component of training--respect for the patient's experience.  Just because someone's symptoms do not fit into a systematic rubric of diagnosis and treatment does not mean that their symptoms are not real.  Instead, it likely means that our system of evaluation is limited, and we have to work very carefully and choose health-promoting and safe treatments in a step-by-step manner to help the body heal itself.

Read on to part two...

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