We’ve all seen, especially in this digital era, that there’s a wealth of health information available to us. Unfortunately, just knowing the information doesn’t create change. Implementing the information that pertains to your specific situation is what leads to positive health outcomes. That’s why I believe it’s essential to find a practitioner or a team of practitioners who can walk beside you on your health journey to help you achieve your goals.
In my practice, it is all too common during a call with a prospective patient for her to express that she intuitively feels her body is out of balance. Despite working really hard to eat healthy and exercise, her weight just isn’t budging. And her mood and emotions feel like they have been hijacked by something beyond her control. But when she shares these concerns with her primary care provider, she’s told that her labs look normal and any further investigation or treatment suggestions (beyond maybe an antidepressant) come to a halt.
This is extremely unfortunate, but I truly believe when a woman finds herself at a therapeutic dead end such a this, she is not at the mercy of her primary care provider. Our health care system is not set up to support individuals who want to get to the root cause of their chronic health conditions. It’s amazing at addressing acute conditions and prescribing medication to address the disease. But it doesn’t support a wellness care model that includes spending time with your doctor to identify and adjust patterns that led to your current health condition. Taking this root cause approach requires an investment in the long game.
Building Your Tribe of Doctors
There are many aspects to our well-being—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. And it’s not always feasible for one practitioner to support you on all these fronts. When building your wellness team, it’s important to round out your support so you’re completely covered. Each health care practitioner has a specialty. And if an important aspect of your care is being overlooked, it’s time to expand your health care team.
Your health care team may include:
- Primary Care Doctor
- Naturopathic Doctor
- Massage Therapist
- Personal Trainer/Exercise Coach
It’s important to find health care practitioners with whom you can develop a personal relationship, so you feel like more than just the “patient.” Find someone who acknowledges your concerns and trusts your intuition about your body. No one knows your body better than you do. Each practitioner’s style is unique, and it’s important to make sure that their philosophy matches your philosophy and what you’re looking for. Most integrative health practitioners will offer you a complementary or reduced-cost “meet and greet session” so you can determine whether or not working together is a good fit for the both of you.
Saving for Health Care Costs
If you’re worried about health care costs, I recommend taking a look at your monthly expenses and placing a priority on the things that benefit your health and eliminating the things that aren’t helping you reach your goals. You may find that you have more to spend than you think.
Consider a health and wellness savings plan, as well, setting aside what you can for future expenses. You can also reach out to your insurance company to see if a Health Savings Account (HSA) is available to help cover these costs. There are also specific programs like Care Credit that are worth looking into. Being proactive about your health care is one of the best investments you can make!