The health industry is teeming with answers to your health concerns, but unfortunately you’ll have to dig, research, and experiment for an indefinite amount of time to give yourself any hope in finding the expertise that allows you to successfully manage your health.
Every system has it’s benefits and drawbacks, and what is most important is that you understand which system excels in what ways, and which one to use for what. Think of the health industry as a tool box and you as a body mechanic – you need to know what tools to use for what, and when you need to refer to experts on things you can’t fix.
With that, I’m going to identify some of your core options to becoming well, and where each are generally most appropriate. This way you can become more intelligent and empowered with your decisions to improve your health, and make far less mistakes.
When to use the conventional medical system
The conventional medical system is what most everyone are familiar with as our current go-to health care system. This system employs front line people such as doctors, nurses, and specialists who focus primarily on diagnostics, surgeries, and prescriptions. The goal of this system is to pin point the area of the body generating illness, and prescribe medications and/or surgery to “fix it”.
The strengths of this system is rooted in highly acute and emergency situations like serious trauma that can originate from things like accidents, organ failures, and deadly pathogens. In each of these cases, the tools and expertise of the doctors and nurses is your safest bet to saving you from a life threatening situation. Also, this model is the leader at providing high tech diagnostics to identify internal body damage, like broken bones and cancer.
The weaknesses of this system is largely rooted in its ineptness to understand the patient and their needs and to prescribe changes that result in naturally uprooting the issue and allowing the patient to be empowered in making more healthy decisions on a day to day basis. In other words, it is rarely useful at helping heal chronic health conditions and enslaves the patient to a lifetime of order taking, man-made prescriptions, and generally poor health.
When to use the alternative medical system
The alternative medical system is one that is garnering much more attention in the past few years, and is typically the “other option” for people once the conventional system goes sour on them. This system employs front line people such as naturopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, and more. The goal of this system is to understand the patient and their health history better, and offer natural treatments, supplements, and perhaps some lifestyle pointers to encourage the body to uproot the root cause of the illness on its own.
The strengths of this system is rooted in its “first do no harm” approach and harnessing the healing power of nature and the body to treat the underlying cause of the illness. It emphasizes treating the whole person, not just the primary area of concern, because it understands that everything is connected and needs to be addressed in order to facilitate a full and natural recovery. If you are battling any chronic health condition, from low energy to cancer, and want help to dissolve the issue without the toxic side effects of prescription drugs, this is a great system to consider.
The weaknesses of this system is that it is new (to Western civilization) and often disjointed when it comes to a continuum of care. Symptoms can also take some time to minimize (but they can be more permanently rectified), and it may take many sessions to do so.
When to use a holistic health coach, nutritionist, or personal trainer
A newer option that is just gaining popularity is a holistic health coach, nutritionist, or personal trainer. These experts focus on various lifestyle changes and personal time to help individuals make better day to day decisions that can dramatically affect their health. In each of these cases, you will likely get some counsel on mindset, nutrition, supplementation, and exercise.
The strengths of these choices is that your one on one time goes up dramatically, and lifestyle choices that have a serious impact on your well-being are laid out for you in a way you can execute. Personal support is unmatched by any other system, and with a competent mentor you can achieve a level of results and empowerment that allows you to completely take care of yourself going forward. Health coaches usually have their own story of successfully overcoming serious health issues, so that direct experience can provide tremendous insight into others who may be suffering from the same problems (for a one in a million transformation story, read this advice from a survivor).
The weaknesses of this approach is that diagnostics are not usually provided, and if you are in a very acute situation, you will likely need more specific knowledge that can often be obtained from a GOOD naturopath or doctor. That being said a consistent lifestyle approach is the foundation to all healing, you just may need a more specialized approach in the beginning.
Of course, with any of these options, the level of care and results you get will depend on the ability and intelligence of the individual(s) you work directly with to solve the issue. Not all doctors, naturopaths, and health coaches are created equal, and it is imperative to understand their approach, results, and your current needs to know if their services are the right fit for you at the time.
Also know that with each health professional comes a unique skill set that doesn’t allow us to put them all in the same category. There are some doctors that don’t just push prescriptions, and some that will be of no help to remedying your condition. There will be some naturopaths who like to educate and prescribe natural remedies, but others who are glorified doctors with natural solutions. There will be some health coaches who are able to unwind your health issues better than any health professional, and others who don’t understand how to help you improve your situation.
The point is to know the systems, how they can work for you, and find an individual that resonates with you and has shown they can create the results you desire. That’s the bottom line! If there are no results to show, you should be very careful about using them (especially if they are not a picture of health themselves).
If you want to hook up to a results-dried program that is led by a health professional that is generating significant results, join my community of THRIVERS and get the information, plan, and support to conquer your health goals.