As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Healing the body is no exception. When we seek out a team of like minded practitioners, a village, to support us on our journey, we can get to the root of the issue, and heal, once and for all.
But who should you choose to put on your healing team? That’s a great question.
Below is a framework of people you might consider adding to your team. For each role, seek out recommendations from friends and family first. Make an appointment and try the practitioner “for size.” Notice how the connection feels with that person. If it’s a good fit, keep working together. If not, remember they can still teach you something. Look for the lesson, the knowledge, the understanding each person can give you. Then keep going.
Choosing your people is a critical part of your journey and while it isn’t always easy to find the one, it will make or break your healing success. Choose wisely -- intuitively.
The most important person on your healing team isn’t a doctor. It is you. You are in charge of your body. You know your body best, inside and out. We have become accustomed to the adage that the doctor knows best. Follow the doctor’s orders. And while it is the doctor that can give us knowledge and insight into an issue, it is YOU who can feel whether you are on the right path or not. Which is why you need to take back the power, as scary as it may sound. And become the head coach. Get back in touch with your body. Notice your body’s signs and signals. Strengthen the trust you have in your intuition. And begin making decisions from a place of power instead of an absence of power. This can only be done when you are in charge - the head coach. This is not to say that doctor’s aren’t a part of our journey, it’s just that a doctor can only provide us so much insight. We need to take that information and make a choice. You are the healer. You are the decision maker. You are the chooser of how you want to address your health challenge and how you want to heal it. You are the head coach. Act accordingly!
You’ve heard the saying that food is medicine. Your first line of defense when you encounter a health challenge should always be to address your food situation. What are you eating that could be promoting illness in the body and what can you eat that will promote health in the body? This can be a very overwhelming area to address, which is why it is important to find a mentor or coach to help you navigate this new terrain. The first type of person we might think of is a dietician or nutritionist. However, to truly get to the root of your health issue, you’ll want to find someone that specializes in healing the body using food as medicine. While this may be a dietician or nutritionist, you will want to do your research and look for a person who emphasizes healing the root cause. Examples of these types of practitioners are culinary nutrition experts, functional clinical nutritionists, health coaches, and anyone that has done the work and healed their body using food as medicine. These individuals typically have studied how food can build health and disease in the body. And these individuals can teach you how to make the healthy changes and enjoy the food at the same time!
There is definitely a place for having a medical doctor on your healing team. But you want to choose the right type of doctor. There are conventional doctors and functional medicine doctors. Conventional doctor’s typically address symptoms and aim to relieve the discomfort by prescribing prescription drugs. This type of treatment may provide temporary relief but the problem is likely to return. On the other hand, functional medical doctors aim to get to the root of the problem. Once the root cause is addressed from multiple angles (typically food being one of them), the healing can begin. The goal is to put the body back into balance without prescription drugs, but rather support the body to heal itself. When you place this type of doctor on your team, you will be able to speak the same language, since you both will have the same goal of healing the root cause, which is why working with a conventional doctor can prove to be difficult. If you cannot find a functional medical doctor, you can also seek out functional medical practitioners, holistic doctors, homeopathic doctors or naturopathic doctors who can serve you in a similar way.
As with anything, healing can take time. To support the body and speed up the process, seek out complementary healing therapies. These healing modalities include things like acupuncture, acupressure, Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, massage therapy, muscle testing, autonomic response testing, herbalism, aromatherapy, reflexology or chiropractic to name a few. If you come across something else and it speaks to you, give it a try. These types of practitioners may or may not have a medical background. In my experience, many of the practitioners I met started out in medical school, then took a course on Eastern medicine or alternative forms of healing, and switched paths.
Your body is a powerful. But your mind is even more powerful. We often begin our healing journey by addressing the physical body through food, supplements, movement and other therapies as described above. We start here most likely because our body is tangible. We can feel it, move it, change it, create it, rearrange it and see the evidence of our changes, sometimes almost immediately. On the other hand, our mind, specifically our thoughts, are completely formless. They surround us each and every day but at the same time, seem out of our reach. We get stuck in thought patterns and stories we replay over and over. What we don’t realize is these patterns and stories actually creating the feeling of dis-ease in the body. And the ultimate way to heal the body is to change these thought patterns and stories. It takes time. It takes practice. And it takes commitment. The important thing is to start the process and evolve into it.
You might choose to find a teacher, coach or guide to support you. Maybe you find a community of like-minded people to surround yourself. You could dive into a meditative practice. A yoga practice. A gratitude practice. Self care rituals that inspire you to be present. This could also mean working with a Reiki practitioner, a Shaman, or any type of energy healer. And if nothing else, get the books by Louise Hay called Heal Your Body and Mirror Work, and be on your way.
I hope this framework provides some guidance for getting started or adding on to your team. Remember you are not alone and you will heal. It is possible to live life well!
I would love to hear about your healing journey and support you in any way I can. Do you have someone great on your healing team you could share with us? Please do!
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