by Dr. Valerie Olmstead

Are you confused about the best methods of healing and how to use them? Do you even know where to start in your healing journey? Perhaps this article will assist you, not only to find the best approach, but also to prioritize your direction. There are a few important things to consider: common sense, finances, and desire. So before jumping onto the latest trendy “miracle cure”, let’s start with the basics.

The biggest, most important, most overlooked area of any healing journey is common sense. While it may seem a rather simple thing to some, it is completely lacking in far too many people—including doctors—at this time in our evolution. Added to that is the sheer abundance of lies, cover-ups, half-truths, quest for money, propaganda, and manipulation being foisted upon an unsuspecting public by the complicit media. But we won’t get into all that here.

The bottom line is this: YOU are responsible for your own life, and that includes your health. Now, more than ever, it’s important to research not only the issues you’re dealing with, but also the actual facts concerning any treatments and medical disciplines. Start by refusing to believe every new supplement or modality that happens to be trending at the moment. Look into it, read what others who’ve tried it have to say about it, look for any research that has been published. All that is pretty easy with the seemingly infinite amount of information at our fingertips now.

There’s another area most people tend to miss: finding the right doctor for you. When you think you’ve found a good one, ask for an interview appointment. You’re worth spending a little money on investigation when it comes to your life, aren’t you? Choose your doctor as if your life depends on it…because it does. During the interview, ask the doctor about his/her philosophy of health and what kind of relationship is standard with patients? If that doctor is the dictatorial type, exit quickly. If the doctor realizes he/she works FOR you, as a member of your health team, you’ve got a winner. Ask if holistic health is something they are willing to work with. Ask what their particular specialities are (I like to joke that I’m ready for my 2nd childhood, as my doctor is dual board certified in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics). Maybe you’d also like to know just how much of a fighter that doctor is; will they fight for your rights and do what is right? If you’re just a paycheck to them, run away…fast. Anyone dealing with severe health issues needs a doctor who will do everything they can to help them with whatever difficult illness or injury they are facing. Some docs seem to forget THAT is why they get ‘the big bucks.’

There are several disciplines of medicine from which to choose a licensed physician; it just depends on the issue at hand and how you want to approach it. Once you have found the right physician for you and obtained your diagnosis, you have your starting point on the map of your healing journey. Next, discuss where you want to get to, so that point can be mapped as well. In between there could be several paths leading to that, some straight through and some tortuously circuitous. This brings us to the next common sense point: what are you willing to do to get to the desired destination?

What ARE you willing to do to be healed and healthy? No program—no matter how famous the doctor is or how amazing the program—will work if you’re not willing to do it. This is where knowing yourself, and being honest with both yourself and your physician, is of paramount importance. Most allopathic (MD) doctors don’t have to deal with that as much as naturopathic (ND/NMD) docs. The reason behind that has to do with what kind of tools and tricks are in the medical bag of that discipline. For instance, if you’re a person who is terrified of needles and can’t handle pain, acupuncture is obviously not going to work, because it will be avoided, right? By the way, you can get laser acupuncture, but it might be more expensive since the practitioner has to stand there doing it. With normal acupuncture the patient lays there with needles in for about 45 minutes, while the practitioner is off elsewhere puncturing other patients accurately. If you’re the type that has been on scads of pharmaceuticals for years and want to go off, but can’t seem to take the replacement nutraceuticals so you’re safe, then promising the doctor you’ll do it (while failing to keep that promise) is a really bad idea. We’re talking common sense here; be honest with yourself.

Now let’s say you have found a physician you like and have come home with renewed hope. Maybe there’s a pile of nutraceuticals in the bag, along with instructions of how, with what, and when to take said supplements. Along with the hope of healing, is there also the urge to hurry it up? If so, stop right there, read and repeat this out loud: “Just because SOME is good, does not mean MORE is BETTER.” The body systems are meant to work in harmony. Too much of something can be worse than nothing, due to throwing off the balance in one system, which then unbalances other systems of the body. Follow the plan that has been laid out for your particular circumstances. Give that plan a chance to work.

Another problem that can destroy a good plan has to do with whatever the favorite health information source has put out lately. Most supplement articles go into great detail of all the fantastic things that a particular substance can do. Even the best nutraceutical is not the ideal thing to take when added to other supplements in the plan indiscriminately. In fact, some substances can react badly when combined with others, as well as inactivate each other. Many minerals compete for the same binding sites, so when taken together, the desired effect is lost. Some drugs and natural supplements are also affected by foods, grapefruit being the most common problem item.

The bottom line here is that common sense is required of both physician AND patient; please keep that in mind. Do the research on both the health issues as well as any drugs or nutraceuticals suggested. The body is an incredible creation that is meant to heal itself. Remove the obstacles to healing, cleanse and nurture the body, and it will indeed heal, in most cases.

To your health, Dr. Val