The fact is, most of usÂ who have grown up with western medicine have not been taught to take part in our own health care.Â Rather we defer to doctors and experts who we believe to know much more about our bodies than we do.Â If something doesn’t feel right, we are told to go to the doctor.
Despite the limitations of Western medicine,Â there is no doubt that itÂ has much to offer.Â The technological advances in testing, screening, surgical procedures, therapeutic medicines, prosthetic devicesÂ and life-saving techniques, to mention just a few areas, have assisted countless people in overcoming life-threatening or seriously debilitating situations.
But what about those limitations?Â What happens if you suffer from something that doesn’t fall within the parameters of any currently known and/or recognized diagnoses.Â It can be frustrating to say the least to visit your doctor or specialist and try to explain what is going on in your body, only to be told that they don’t know what it is, or to be treated as if you are imagining things or, worse, to be prescribed a “Hail Mary” medication that they hope will take care of the problem.
As a healer, I have worked and continue to work with many people who have reached the limit of what they are able to achieve within the system of western medicine.Â Perhaps they have recovered from an illness or surgical procedure and, although the crisis is over, they still don’t feel 100% well.Â They start to believe that maybe this is as good as it’s going to get.
The effect of the conditioning that doctors know best, together with the frustration of not always being able to solve all health issues in the medical arena, has created a negative impact on our ability to both listen to what our bodies are telling us andÂ to trust our own information.
For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that you become part of the healing process and get involved in your healthcare.Â You can begin this by simply paying attention to your body and noticing how itÂ is feeling on a daily basis.Â Create a dialogue with your bodyÂ and ask yourself what you think may be going on if you are not feeling good (see my previous article “Your body is talking, are you listening?” 11/01/08).Â If you have a gut feeling about something, go with it.Â
Talk to a health care professional about your concerns.Â Don’t be afraid to discuss any and all thoughts, ideas, questions you may have.Â If you find doctors intimidating to talk to, consider taking a family member or trusted friend with you for support and assistance.
IfÂ a doctor talks to you in terms you find difficult to understand, ask him or her to repeat what they said.Â Again, having someone with you can help here also.Â Perhaps your friend can take notes, so that after the appointment you can review what was said.
Look into all other healing modalities available to you.Â There are chiropractors, acupuncturists, homeopaths, herbalists, allergists, naturopaths, massage practitioners, healers, therapistsÂ all with information and abilities that may assist you in areas your doctor cannot.Â Don’t accept any dead ends.Â There is always an avenue you can pursue to feel better, even if there is no ultimate cure or solution to the issue – pain can be eased, symptoms lessened, outlook improved and wellbeing enhanced with the assistance of open-minded and informed practitioners.
And remember, the more information you can provide to any healthcare professional you consult the better.Â If you find someone unwilling to listen, look for another provider.Â Communication and information are key to you being in control of your health and healing.Â
Getting involved in your healthcare and being part of the healing process requires some effort and responsibility on your part.Â You need to be engaged in your life and more present in your body.Â This can be a challenge and it may seem easier to defer to a “professional” to solve your problem.Â However, the benefits you will reap from being part of your healing process will simply overshadow and diminish any effort and responsibility you have to put forth.