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Getting Better: An Essay
Sometimes I am sitting in my office and someone calls me on the phone with a lot of questions and tells me detailed descriptions of things that happened to them and what they did to find answers and treatments that might help. Two of the most challenging questions a person can ask me are "What's Wrong With Me?", and "Am I Getting Better?"
As a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, also known as a Naturopathic Physician, I am dedicated to teaching people about health and illness, and to providing treatments for their concerns.
Sometimes I find myself on the edge of my seat asking questions myself, and sometimes leaning back in the chair and listening to their story. The story might be about things that happened to them, or it might be mostly about how they acted like a Detective seeking for clues. One of the most important parts of my response is called "Therapeutic Education." I tailor my reply to the individual and their situation, but it always contains some amount of description of just what health and illness are, and how a person can move from illness to health.
I can teach and explain in extensive detail how doctors and healers throughout history have worked hard to understand how Life works, and to develop treatments that help people feel better. There are several systems of medicine that can be used to analyze the situation, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Dynamic Homeopathy, Anthroposophical Medicine, Body Psychotherapy. Each system has different ways to describe health and illness.
For any individual patient there may be more than one way to describe their health concern. There also are often more than one treatment that can make a difference in their health and their feeling of wellbeing. My job is often one of helping people discover "where they are", and then helping them move to "where they need to be."
[Expand before publication:]
Clues from Traditional Chinese Medicine (mention book The Web That Has No Weaver).
Iridology with clues to unique qualities of body and brain/personality.
Homotoxicology and the body's response to toxins and to various treatments.
Biological Dental factors that people often don't even know exist.
Homeopathy Science and constitutional physiology and personality types.
Bodywork and Psychology.
"The End": One of the ways the story ends after the office visit is finished, is that we are getting ready to look at the "next chapter" in the book of their own life. Quite often someone who has consulted me ends up learning more than they expected. I often find clues they did not think of. Many times the next steps on their journey of health are clear and they can decide if they want to take those steps. Sometimes we need to continue moving ahead by doing additional testing or a therapeutic trial ("Ex juvantibas") to see how their body and mind respond. But each and every person has their own unique experience that cannot be completely predicted or explained. This is often the most challenging aspect of being a physician and doctor, helping people see a bigger picture of their life and their health concern.
It can help a lot if a person has a spiritual or gestalt-process way of looking at their life. That can help give answers that are meaningful to them in their own unique quest to know "What is Wrong With Me?," and "Am I Getting Better?"