Having a small grasp on how your body functions and what nourishes us (#3 Understand Basic Human Physiology and Nutrition) is just the beginning of loving and protecting your body. You must also be able to walk into any health care practitioner’s office and make informed decisions.
While navigating the healthcare system, you will at times need to ask some serious questions and take the necessary time to research. You may have to defend yourself against the idea if invasive procedures and fear tactics.
Without a doubt, there is a time and place for certain medical interventions, but it can be challenging knowing who and what to trust.
During times when we need medicine; we absolutely must assume the role of the advocate because we are entirely responsible for our own health. And the best way to do that is by being equipped with the necessary resources.
Here’s a typical visit to a doctor’s office…
Nearly every doctor’s visit begins with a 10-20 minute wait in the lobby. You spend a few quality moments with a nurse who checks you in, assesses and records your current state, and moves you along to the doctor’s exam room.
The doctor comes in and quickly and efficiently finds out what your symptoms are. They either know of a procedure that might help or medication to propose to you. If not, they want to run numerous tests based on their best guess. Until then, they’ve got nothing.
If you ask questions about safety and efficacy they have a spiel. A memorized one.
If you ask about food, they couldn’t tell you what to eat or where to begin making dietary changes.
If you say no, not today, they remind you what the worst case scenario is and speak to your fears.
If you say you want to try a natural approach first, you are made to feel ignorant or neglectful. Quackery! They even tell you there is no evidence, no research, when in fact, there’s quite a bit. Never once asking you what your intuition might have to offer in all this.
If you decide to integrate conventional medicine with a more holistic approach, they aren’t sure how to support you.
And let’s say that you do have some success mending your condition with your little remedies. They don’t want to hear about it. If you ask if they want to know how you did it, they won’t.
They only spend a couple of minutes with you, never asking you about your diet or digestion. Never digging into what ails you, what your stress levels are, or how connected you are to a support system.
And then there is the medicine. That is the most difficult situation to navigate. Should I take the pills? Should I do the surgery? Is this my only solution?
That’s why you must assume responsibility and be an educated consumer. This is why I believe so strongly in building holistic teams.
In order for you to be capable of loving and protecting your body, you absolutely must be your body’s advocate.
Here are 3 steps to becoming a well-informed advocate:
Find out what all of your options are.
Research the side effects of taking any pill, powder, or liquid (especially injections).
Read labels and look up what’s in everything. Including your skin care products, cleaning agents, and other environmentals you are exposed to.
Find all the ways to achieve the best results in your treatment plan.
Do you have a long-term plan in place? For example. If you are deciding whether to get on a prescription medication, will that drug only be taken for a short time, until things are regulated? Or will you need to be on it for the rest of your life?
What lifestyle changes will need to take place for your symptoms to improve?
How will this impact you 20-60 years from now?
- Ask Your Health Practitioners Questions
Get second and third opinions. Ask them important questions.
Find people who are experts in a different approach than your conventional doctor. Practitioners who have devoted their careers to healing the whole person and who specialize in an alternative method.
Ask all your practitioners what their experience has been with their method. What have they witnessed themselves with the outcomes?
- Speak Up for Yourself
You have choices. You have the freedom to choose.
The way that many doctors (not all, but many) operate, they try and make you feel ignorant, doubtful or neglectful if you do not take their advice. They can make you think that you do not have options or that you are crazy for trying alternative methods.
Listen to your gut. Trust what it’s telling you.
Know when to move forward with a treatment plan and know when to say no thank you.
You are going to be with your body, your most loyal companion, for a long time to come, hopefully. So think about how a decision will affect you in your later years. Because that’s when you will have to deal with it the most. Trust me, I work on these issues with my older clients every day.
Do it with confidence. Being your body’s advocate will require that you research a wide range of materials and find experts you trust. Because of the times we live in, you have to be an educated consumers if we want half a chance at not dying from the side effects of medications or other medical complications. The body has incredible wisdom and capacity to heal itself when given the right medicine.
But above all you will have to trust your body to guide you.
Here’s to living an embodied life!