One of the best things about being a natural healthcare practitioner is working with my long-term patients. This is one of the perks of my job, and I always get excited when I see certain familiar names come up in my calendar.
Don’t get me wrong – I also love meeting new patients and seeing people take that first step towards reclaiming their health. This, too, is an incredibly rewarding (and humbling) part of why I do what I do. But there is just something special about working with patients who I know well and for whom I have had the privilege of witnessing their transformation over the months (and sometimes years) that we have been working together.
Call me silly, but I feel that restoring and maintaining health should be a long-term thing. The trouble is, this is not really what happens these days. What I observe in our society in general is that we have been duped into chasing the ‘quick fix’. Our healthcare system has been set up to cope with acute, life-threatening incidents (and it does this admirably), however, in a time where chronic disease has outpaced the acute, it is failing. We really have been trained to believe that good health simply means not noticing too many aches or pains (or if we do, pop a pill to knock them on the head, and then when that wears off, take another). If we don’t feel so unwell that we can't function, then automatically that must mean we are fine. However, I truly feel that we have gotten health so skewed with this way of thinking that we have forgotten what the word really means. The World Health Organization (WHO) describes health as being:
‘ a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’
Thankfully, this is an area where natural medicine really excels, and where we can potentially make a big difference to our lives with the right approach – and giving the body enough time to heal (something that is missing from our current system). This is always the goal I keep in mind when working with my long-term patients. We might see each other twice, three, or four times a year, and our focus is to maintain good health, and address any ‘niggly’ issues that may arise (such as colds/flus, stressful periods in life etc). With each visit I learn more and I’m always in awe of my long-term patients’ dedication to making their health a priority. I also enjoy hearing about my patient’s family events, dreams, travel plans, career ups and downs, and seeing babies grow from barely detectible bumps to newborns, to toddlers that are careening around the consulting room!
Whilst I always endeavour to help people achieve good improvement during a Health Restoration Program, often this is the first step in the process of recovery, particularly for long-term or chronic health conditions. It is not uncommon for the main improvements that patients notice to occur after this initial foundation has been laid. Here are some examples of the results some of my long-term patients have achieved:
- Getting energy back – going from barely getting through the day, to being back at the gym, enjoying life and feeling on top of things again.
- ‘Hey Linda, I went to a party/BBQ/conference recently and I ate such-and-such which normally would have caused me all sorts of issues for days, but I didn’t have any problems at all with it!’ (This kind of comment is one of my personal favourites!)
- Keeping PMS to a minimum – no more mood swings. You know things have improved when hubby notices the difference and comments!
- Resolution of long-term constipation – which has certainly made a big difference to patients who previously suffered!
- Going from pain-riddled from severe endometriosis to virtually pain-free (this is my story)
- Keeping IBS in check – managing irritable bowel syndrome and having the confidence to be in social situations and pursue career opportunities that the unpredictability of IBS had previously held back
- Teacher/teacher aide patients who no longer catch every cold and sniffle going around school (despite many of the kids being generous with their germs)
- Falling pregnant straight away and enjoying a healthy pregnancy after working on restoring hormonal balance.
- Being able to wean off certain medications – such as blood pressure or cholesterol medications, simply because we addressed the underlying cause of these issues instead of masking the symptoms.
Getting A Grease & Oil Change:
If you haven’t been into the clinic for a while, or maybe you’ve dropped off some of the good habits you had made when we were seeing each other, I would like to extend an invitation to pop back in for a bit of ‘maintenance’. Just like your car, your body does benefit from regular tune-ups, and I’m always happy to support you no matter where you are at.
Let’s get that long game happening!