What Kind of Answer Are You Looking For?
In my January newsletter I explained that we cannot be “double-minded” when it comes to our health, and expect good results (sign up here to receive my monthly newsletters with insightful information, recommended resources and a recipe each month!) In the book of James in the Bible it says: “Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:8). What do I mean by this? If you are desiring to restore your body back to good health, you need to align yourself with a health practitioner who has that same objective. Unfortunately, far too many people are seeking out an allopathic, medical practitioner to walk alongside of them, but their objective is different than yours. Their objective is to help you manage your disease, where the practitioner you want to align yourself with is actually one who has the same objective as you – a natural health & wellness practitioner – a functional medicine doctor for example. Far too many people are totally unaware that there is a big difference between the two, or for that matter, that the latter even exists. To understand in greater detail what the differences are, see one of my more recent blogs “Natural Wellness: It’s More Than What You Might Think.” As a result of this misunderstanding, well-intended folks are trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, or worse, being double-minded, causing one to be “…unstable in all they do.” Let me explain further what this can look like in the real world.
Natural Wellness Is Not Detecting A Disease Earlier
For starters, wholistic health analyzes blood work through an entirely different lens than traditional medicine does. Starting with a general practitioner in traditional medicine. He or she is typically looking to see if certain lab markers and other indicators are high or not. For example, cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure. Maybe sodium or potassium, or perhaps liver enzymes. A lot of these markers may be used to determine a chronic/degenerative disease like cardiac vascular problems, diabetes or hypertension. Liver enzymes might be assessed to see if current medications might be causing liver enzymes to be high, and perhaps change the medication or tweak the dosage. All in the name of managing disease.
I personally experienced this a couple of years ago. Several months after having a bout with covid, I wanted to rule out any serious cardio-vascular problems due to some symptoms and pain I was experiencing. I went to the Urgent Care and saw a medical doctor that I had never seen before, in a place I had never been before, that was under the umbrella of a larger, corporate medical facility, that had no record of me even existing. I know this, because I had never been to a medical doctor anywhere in this area before then. My blood pressure was a bit on the high side – mild hypertension is what it was classified as — and his plan of care was to start me on a blood pressure medication. Never lending consideration to the fact that I was in horrific pain. Could that could have been the cause for the BP being high – as pain quite often can do. As I discovered a week or so later, the pain was from a kidney stone. Had I not taken charge of my health, armed with a little bit of knowledge and discernment and said “no” to the BP meds – let’s slow down a minute and get to the root cause of the high blood pressure first —
I would have started down the unnecessary journey that the majority of Americans are on – the “Pharmaceutical Journey.”
Conventional medicine typically looks for a lab value or two as stand-alone markers and a diagnosis is determined – or not. Then a plan of care is determined based on those markers, typically starting the patient on a medication or two, and monitor their care based on these factors. In a nutshell: managing the patient’s disease and/or lab values. Natural Wellness is completely different from this.
Spectrum of Health
Imagine a straight, horizontal line drawn across a piece of paper. The disease end of the spectrum, on the far-right hand side of the line, is where traditional medicine looks when analyzing lab values. This end is labeled “99% Disease” (a 100% we would be dead). You will be given a diagnosis when your labs are out of reference range and most likely will be given a medication – over-the-counter, or prescription – and be told to come back in a certain period of time to check those lab markers that were off, with the expectation that the drugs have had an effect on those lab values; have changed them in some way, most likely, by being lowered, whatever those markers might be.
In addition, if your lab values don’t quite fall out of reference range, but are close to high or low, and there is a drug to support it, you will be given a “pre” medication, e.g., a pre-diabetic prescription. And the follow up would be the same.
But, We Are Not Stagnant Beings
Alternately, on the other end of the spectrum, the far left-hand side, is 100% Health. If you have a wholistic-minded approach to your health, you would naturally be desiring to take control of your health, and strive to work towards this end of the Spectrum of Health.
Wholistic health’s objective is to gather as much information as possible through case history, physical exam, consultation, blood work, and specialty tools and testing to determine a baseline where YOU are on the spectrum of health, and strive towards moving the ball down the field towards the “100% Health” goal line. Because you see, we are not stagnant beings. Our health and our lives are not stagnant.
We are always moving in one direction or another. If we do nothing at all, we are guaranteed to move towards the Disease end of the Spectrum – it’s called “aging.” But, if we choose to take control of our health and our lives, in a positive way, we can slow that aging process down, and move towards a greater place of health. We simply need to move at least one step greater in the right direction, than the total sum of the steps the body is taking on its own towards disease, and we have slowed the aging process down, allowing for at least a little bit greater quality of life, than if we had not taken control of it. And the greater number of positive things we do to take control of our health, the further down the field towards health we will be.
The key is making a commitment to taking control of our health, and seeking out the correct practitioner to walk alongside of us to get there – the natural wellness practitioner.
Preventative Healthcare – A False Hope
The term “preventative healthcare” is a misnomer. We might see this listed as one of the benefits on our medical insurance plan for example. It might apply to mammograms, “well-checks” for children, colonoscopies etc. These are types of screenings. However, you can have a screening every single day of your life and it will never “prevent” anything. It might tell you earlier that you have cancer for example, but it didn’t prevent it. The problem with this deceptive terminology is it leads people to believe that as long as they have this annual screening, they don’t have to change their diet, lifestyle, etc. It implies that as long as they have their annual screenings, they won’t get cancer. This is not wellness or prevention; it’s giving a person a false hope at best, and pure deception at its worst. Why would you want to put your health, and your life in the hands of a “screening?” Why would you want to wait until…?
Natural Wellness is the True Way to Health
If you are desiring to get to the root cause of the imbalances in your body, and restoring your body back to good health – moving towards the left side of the Spectrum of Health – then you need to seek out a natural wellness practitioner – a functional medicine doctor, a chiropractic internist, a naturopath – someone whose objective is the same as yours. To seek out an allopathic, conventional medical doctor, whose objective is to manage your disease, is not in line with your values. And ultimately you both will be frustrated. Again, see my blog: “Natural Wellness: It’s More Than What You Might Think” for a much greater understanding of what the differences are, and the value in seeking out a functional medicine practitioner. Whatever you do, don’t be double-minded, it will only lead to instability at best, and put your feet on a slippery slope heading in the direction you never intended to go – diseased.
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