As an integrative physician, I've had the privilege of entering a very special relationship with my patients. They courageously walk into my office, hopeful that together we'll be able to figure out what’s going on in their body, but skeptical because they've been burned before—by other doctors who think that their symptoms are “all in their head” and who've told them that there's nothing wrong. That what they really need are anti-depressants. Or a therapist.
I am blown away by their courage as they share their deepest, darkest secrets and fears with me. And I am profoundly honored to bear witness to their story. Over the years, I've learned a lot about the power of the human spirit, as well as our capacity to heal, and these are some of the most important that lessons I've learned:
1. You have the right to choose your own healing path.
You know your body better than anyone else, and if you aren't finding the solutions you need from your doctor, find one who listens to you and who values a collaborative approach.
2. Compassion and respect are paramount in the patient/physician relationship.
If you aren't feeling heard or valued by your doctor, it will be difficult to put your trust in them. If you're blown-off every time you ask your doctor about the safety of vaccines, or whether you should take vitamin C during flu season, then they probably aren't a fit for you.
3. Remember: there has never-ever been and there will never-ever be anyone else just like you.
Not only is your life story unique, but the way in which you express your genes is different from everyone else. And these factors must be taken into account in order to find the most effective treatment plan for you. Cookbook medicine is not going to cut it.
4. Know that your body is designed to heal itself.
There has to be a reason why your body in all of its wisdom is expressing illness. Given the correct nourishment and support, your body has the innate capacity to heal.
If you are not in a beneficial relationship with your doctor, I encourage you find one who is eager to collaborate with you to find solutions specific to your unique needs.