I saw this question and immediately thought about the Homeopathic Physician who, when asked what her recommendations were for her clients as far as protein intake, responded with “I’m not a nutritionist!” Or the Chiropractor who I approached to see if he’d host a class on nutrition in his office and responded with, “I gave up talking with my clients about nutrition because they don’t listen to me.” Or how about the Naturopathic Medical Doctor who LOVED her newly endowed prescriptive writing ability so much that she was prescribing massive doses of penicillin to her pregnant moms who are found to be positive for Group B Strep. She told me, “Isn’t this GREAT?! Now I can prescribe this massive dose of penicillin and it’ll treat her body for a solid year!!”
WHAT?? Aren’t natural health providers supposed to treat the ENTIRE person and do so in a way that protects and improves the ENTIRE body? At least, this is what I was taught about what my role in my community would be once I completed my education to be a Dr of Natural Health. I LOVE treating the entire person. We are multi-faceted human beings and should absolutely be receiving care in a multi-faceted way. In my opinion, a “treatment” plan that fails to address emotional, mental, physical, nutritional and spiritual needs is an incomplete plan. When I say “physical” I’m not just talking about the aches and pains of living. I’m talking about creating a plan that includes the lifestyle of my clients. It’s gonna hurt a bit to make the changes but if my client is serious about living they will make the changes.
On the other side of the coin, we have client responsibility…..
I have a sister who tells me all the time that she wants to live better BUT her insurance company covers prescriptions at a cost of $1.41 each and all the things included in my plan with her will cost her far more than that and will not be covered by insurance. TRUE, the prescription drugs are designed to make things worse in the long run and my plan is designed to make things MUCH better but still all she can see is the money involved. The money is far more important to her than her health but she doesn’t see it that way.
I have a client whose 4-yr-old lupus rash was GONE in 7 days because I taught her about mineral deficiency and she ACTED upon what she learned. Here’s what she shared with me, “It all started about five years ago when I gave birth to my first child. I had horrible morning sickness the whole time and couldn’t gain weight. I started out the pregnancy almost underweight at 130 lbs and 5ft 8in. Well, I ended up having a healthy 8 pound baby and went right back into my pre-pregnancy clothes. But there was a problem. I promptly gained thirty pounds and felt miserable! Six months after her birth I conceived my first son. The whole pregnancy I was rashy, swollen, and miserable. Nine months after he was born I conceived my previous Dillon. But he passed away in the womb and was born sleeping. That’s when my health problems took over. I was always covered in rashes and bruises. My hair fell out by the handful. I always had headaches and stomach aches. I was badly fatigued all the time. And worst of all, I had miscarriage after miscarriage. All while being forty pounds heavier than I used to be. I was fortunate to be blessed with another son and soon after I delivered him I just couldn’t function anymore. I spent almost every day in bed and my husband had to take care of me. One day (out of desperation) I reached out to Facebook asking if friends could help us with the kids or housework. The incredibly sweet Angela Taylor responded offering to help me. I called her and she intently listened (something no other doctor did) and within an hour she concluded I had severe mineral deficiencies. She suggested supplements and a few other things like the internal salt water baths and within DAYS of following her protocol I felt much better. This is after FOUR YEARS of suffering! Today I’m healthier than I’ve ever been and I’m able to care for three small children, cook three healthy meals a day from scratch, and keep my house clean. All thanks to Angie! She’ll never truly know what she’s done for me but I thank God daily there are healers like her!”
We have created a level of poverty in this country that is such that it’s near impossible for clients to actually follow through with the plan. Health has been devalued and replaced by “how much of that will be covered by my insurance?” when the fact of the matter is, insurance companies are a VERY BIG part of the problem. Until society understands the role that insurance companies play in their health, little change will occur.
We must return to a time when we didn’t have someone to pay the bill for us. Insurance companies are removing from us the financial responsibility for our health. Poor health is expensive and insurance companies have swooped in to “save the day” as if they were Superman. This, in my mind, is not super at all! In countries around the world where there is socialized medicine, there is an ever increasing level of illness. Why? Because the citizens are no longer the ones paying for their unhealthy choices. The society as a whole is paying for the illness and poor health choices of everyone. The responsibility for personal choice has been removed and the illusion of healthcare has taken its place. Illusions don’t last forever. At some point the bubble bursts and people are worse off when it does because they are left with the realization that they and they alone are responsible for certain things pertaining to themselves, such as their health.
So, why has “wellness” failed?
- Providers have failed to serve the entire person
- Clients don’t always take responsibility for their health
As natural health / wellness providers, we must offer a higher level of care. One that our clients want and need even when they haven’t yet realized that it’s what they want and need. Our clients want to be taken care of. They really are tired of taking pills. They are interested in how their body works and how to fix what’s not working properly; however, the steps must be slow and intentional. Our client must be part of the plan. They must know that they have a say in what the recommendations and goals will be over the next week, month, years, etc. They, most of all, must know that if the plan isn’t working that it can be changed and transformed into whatever they need it to be. If it’s not their idea, the won’t do it. We teach our clients to take responsibility for their health by setting the example BUT we must also give them opportunities to see that we are not perfect. It has to be realistic. It has to be attainable, doable, and not cost too much. I like to begin by teaching my clients about a few free things that they can do, like Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to help with emotional traumas and challenges, taking a walk within the walls of their own home to increase movement, carrying laundry up their stairs for weight bearing exercise, spending time focused on their breathing, etc. There are lots of places where we can begin to help ease our clients into understanding that – in the long run – a healthy lifestyle is actually much cheaper than an unhealthy lifestyle. After all, an unhealthy lifestyle requires having an insurance company to pay the bill…..