The 7 minute diagnosis

Over the years, our conventional medical system has been changing. Some say for the better…others say for the worse.  When you make an appointment to see your health care provider, you will have approximately 7 minutes in which to explain your symptoms, be examined (sometimes), and receive a diagnosis which may include blood work or other tests, and prescription(s) which may only mask symptoms or contribute to other symptoms.

Seven minutes?  That’s all? You didn’t even have the opportunity to explain those symptoms in detail.  Any triggers. Possibly highlight some family history.  Discuss any travel.  Talk about the foods you eat.  How you sleep. What you do for physical activity.  These are all important aspects of what a health appointment should include as these features are important in healing the body.

This is where integrative medicine or holistic medicine comes in.  It’s important to find a health care provider that can offer you the necessary time to listen to your symptoms/problems, and begin to delve into the root cause(s) of those symptoms.  As a health care provider, it’s important to give you, the patient/client, opportunity, information and support necessary to find health and wellness in your life.

Understand your body by listening to every little piece of information that it provides can feel like a daunting task, but indeed a necessary one.  Your body has the innate capacity to heal if you decide to take on that mission toward wellness. Your integrative practitioner will search for the root cause of your symptom(s) following a variety of different techniques.  You are an individual requiring individual attention as no two people or symptoms are alike.

Compiling a food and lifestyle journal is an important initial step for the integrative practitioner to view.  This would include everything you eat and drink, any symptoms that occur, how you sleep, when you are stressed, when and what you do for exercise, bathroom visits, and whatever else you think may be important.  Reviewing past blood work/test results and possibly the need to order other tests will also be beneficial.

Once your provider has a better understanding of the issues, you may be encouraged to explore different forms of healing such as energy medicine, whole nutrient dense foods, botanicals, bodywork, therapeutic grade essential oils, homeopathy, and physical therapy.  Being on your health journey in finding the root cause of symptoms can take time and energy and patience.

As Hippocrates, the father of medicine, once said “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food” and “All disease begins in the gut”, you need to approach healing through elimination and detoxification while listening to your body as to what is causing your inflammation and energy (or lack of energy). This does not occur overnight.  It can take years of exploration, motivation and patience, while all along studying/reading everything you can get your hands on.

An integrative practitioner will examine your symptoms through a wider lens than a typical 7 minute office visit by looking at nutrition, lifestyle, sleep patterns, exercise patterns, stressors, support system, and belief system.  Today’s major chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and more) can often be reversed through lifestyle changes, nutrition, exercise, and stress management.  Sadly, many of today’s conventional practitioners do not have this kind of training necessary to help their patients/clients in this manner.  You may need to look outside the box to receive the help you need.

Finding the solution(s) to your symptoms is passionate work.  Being an investigator of your health and practicing holistic medicine is more than running off a list of diagnoses and prescribing quick, ordinary fixes.  Searching for solutions is not accomplished in a 7 minute visit.  It can be accomplished by a zealous, dedicated, enthusiastic progressive practitioner all in the name of integrative and holistic medicine.