Having even the slightest understanding of how the human body functions, as we discussed in #3 – Understand Basic Human Physiology and Nutrition) is super helpful in loving and protecting your body. However, a person must also be able to walk into any health care practitioner’s office or pharmacy (heck, everywhere you go down to the gas station market) and make informed decisions. You will have to protect your body and protect your health. We must be as loyal a companion to it, as it is to you and be your own advocate.
It doesn’t hurt to have another person be an advocate, for you as well, if you are ever admitted to a hospital and need someone to be your voice. In that case, prepare the necessary documents. But that is a discussion we’ll save for another day…
While navigating your healthcare system, you will at times face some serious life-altering questions and need to take the necessary time to research all of your options on a remedy. If you decide to respectively decline a doctor’s treatment plans, such as invasive or aggressive procedures or prescription drugs with unwanted side effects, you may have to defend yourself, and your beliefs. Some medical professionals have more respect than others, but too often, they use bullying or fear tactics to try and coerce you into investing in their programs. Hey, some of them want us as their life-long patients. They are highly incentivized to get you to sign up.
For instance, they may tell you that there is no proof, no research to back it up. Even, when in fact, there’s quite a bit of evidence. And besides that, not trusting you to know your own body, not respecting that you are listening to your own inner guidance system and doing your own research. This is why you must learn to advocate for yourself when you come up against someone who is trying to make you second guess yourself or make you feel negligent if you don’t follow their recommendation.
Then ask them questions like:
- which are the best foods to eat to help remedy your condition?
- is it safe and effective? For everyone?
- are there other options?
They couldn’t begin to tell you what’s good for you as an individual or for your particular condition. They don’t recommend you see and bodyworker (massage therapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, etc). They will give you a little memorized spiel. One size fits all. A practitioner who is a pharmaceutical-based medical education gave them little perspective or experience with anything outside their scope. Say, you want to try a natural or less invasive approach first – you are made to feel ignorant or idiotic. That’s quackery! Hoo-wee! Hogwash. Dangerous thinking.
Typically, doctors only spend a couple of minutes with you. Never diving deep into the underlying cause of the thing that ails you or identify what’s putting stress on you. Or asking about how connected you are to a healthy, loving, support system.
And then there’s the medicine. Medications are some of the most tricky situations to navigate. If you are paying any attention to what you are putting in your body. Should I take these pills? Should I do the surgery? Should I take the risk at all, in hopes that it makes me feel better? And not make things worse? Are the side effects worse than the condition? Is this my only solution?
That’s why you must assume responsibility by being an educated consumer. This is why I believe so strongly in building holistic teams so you are bettered resources and capable of being to love and protect your body.
Undoubtedly, there is a time and place for certain medical interventions, not to mention those times that we elect to it for voluntary reasons. Regardless, it can be challenging to know who and what to trust. During times when we need medicine; we absolutely must assume the role of our own advocate. The best way to do that is by being well equipped with the necessary resources.
Here are a few ways you can become a better-informed advocate:
Find out what all of your options are. Research the side effects, especially injections. Read labels and look up the ingredients that are in everything you consume. Including your skin care products, cleaning agents, and other potential environmental toxins you are exposed to.
Think long-term plan. How will this impact you 20-60 years from now? For example. If you are deciding whether to get on prescribed medication, will that drug 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 is it’s side-effects? Are there any complications from having these procedures? Have long-term studies been done?
- Ask Your Health Practitioners Questions
Ask them important questions. Ask them what lifestyle changes will need to take place for your symptoms to improve.
Get second and third opinions. 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 personal experience has been with their proposed method. What have they witnessed with the outcomes?
- Speak Up for Yourself
You have choices. There are alternatives. You have the freedom to choose your own path.
The way that many doctors (not all, but many) operate, is 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 other options or that you are crazy for thinking otherwise.
For this, you are going to need to trust your gut. Trust your body more than your doctor. Take time to go within and listen. Let what you hear guide you in deciding how 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.
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 consumer if you want half a chance at not dying from the side effects of medications or other medical complications. The body has incredible wisdom and the 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!
Ways to Love and Protect Your Body
#1 Massage and Bodywork
#2 Build a Holistic Team
#3 Understand Basic Human Physiology and Nutrition