NMW Day 3: 5 ways we inspire a better you

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?

Teach

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.

Inspire

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!

Demonstrating patience

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.

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