My nature is always to want people to be better and to feel better, body, mind and soul. This isn’t to say that I always want the change to occur when I think it should (although this approach is much newer as by nature I can be very impatient for change). Thankfully the writings of Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Dr James Gordon, remind me daily to allow change to occur as it should, and to be still and present with those changes.
The beauty of naturopathic medicine is that when you choose to seek the support of a naturopathic doctor, they really want to help you become a better you, in whatever ways you want to feel better. Of course, becoming a better you can be challenging. Change is hard. It takes a minimum of 45 days to create a new habit, and not to mention the lure of crappy food and old habits that are not serving you, or nervous friends and family who may not like or want you to change as it reminds them of the work they need to do, or are not doing.
So how do we, as naturopathic doctors, help to facilitate that change in you?
What good is it to go to someone for help with your health concerns, but only then to feel helpless? Our goal is to help you understand the root causes of your concerns. As an example, perhaps your fibromyalgia (a diagnosis of exclusion often) is merely your body’s response to the presence of heavy metals or dietary issues. Your awareness of these feelings helps to move you forward and make better choices every day.
We talk a lot about the end goal, as in making those changes it is easy to get discouraged. Not to say that you should always be looking forward, and “cure” should not be the reason for that but improved quality of life. Doing small and consistent things like a taking a walk a few times a week really gets you to the end goal of improved cardiovascular health, if that is your goal. Today is what we have — the goal is only insurmountable if we look too far ahead. We’re here to ground you.
Setting healthy parameters for change
It’s easy to forget why you are working towards a better you, to get discouraged. Often relinquishing control of how you have always done something is scary, and it is important to be reminded of how to stay on the course. We are your cheerleaders!
Just as a coach inspires and pushes for better, we know that sometimes life is not perfect and you slip up. You lose a loved one, and you fall back on the crutch of eating chocolate every time you feel sad. You become unemployed, and you cannot commit to the same changes in all aspects of your life. That’s okay. The end point is about balance, and resisting what is in front of us would not be accepting things as they are.
We know when a colleague would be a better choice — referring for your best interest
We are not always the answer for all of your health concerns! Of course not. Perhaps you need to see a physiotherapist to strengthen your pelvis and relieve your pain. Perhaps your spine is out of alignment and you should be seeing a chiropractor. Maybe you have an infection that could be more quickly treated with antibiotics and seeing your GP. We are trained to see the whole picture, and work you towards that goal, even if your best interest’s are in another professionals’ expertise.
If you’re not quite ready to start on your health journey, at least know that a naturopathic doctor is a great way to start on your journey. This post goes out to my sister Niamh, who reminded me many years ago that not everyone is willing to change, but when they are we can be there to support them.