Many patients ask me the question – How long will it take to get better? It’s a fair question. When you aren’t feeling great you want to have an idea of how you can get better. And in our society we are used to things happening fast. There are people promising you that you’ll lose 50 pounds in 5 weeks, restore adrenal function yesterday, cure that GERD in one visit, and more.
Here’s the thing….
Health isn’t a destination or race. It’s not like once you achieve your health goal you’re done. Health is a life-long journey. It’s about learning what works well for your body, giving it the nutrients it needs, and helping restore homeostasis (balance) so the body as a whole functions optimally.
Let me ask you a question before we address how long it’s going to take…
Have you ever thought about what health means?
How about optimal performance?
Take a moment before you continue reading and answer these question.
What did you come up with? Is health the absence of disease? Is it living well even though you get disease? Is it maintaining living through the use of medications?
In 1948 the WHO defined health as “A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Interestingly, this definition hasn’t changed in 64 years.
And fits in with how I practice naturopathic medicine. My definition of health is the body being in homeostasis – meaning all systems (mental/ emotional/ physical/ spiritual) are in balance.
All Systems in Balance
If you’ve had a new patient appointment with me you’ve seen my flip chart presentation. You might remember the Wheel of Health.
Wheel of Health
Health is a balance of many factors – these are the ones that I consider with health being my area of expertise. All of these areas play into each other. When one area gets out of balance the others are affected. The goal isn’t everything at maximum but in a healthy balance.
When we address all of the above areas we can achieve OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE.
But wait, there’s more to Optimal Performance or Homeostasis. In fact there are several things that play a roll in achieving health and to you feeling better. Let’s look at them.
Achieving Optimal Performance
These are different facets to consider when working towards achieving optimal performance. They’re the things that I consider when you come in for your visits.
- Physiological function – oxygen, carbon dioxide, electrolyte balance (sodium, potassium, chloride), nutrient absorption, waste elimination, pH of your internal systems, and the balance between the inside and outside of cells.
- Lifestyle factors – sleep, exercise, water intake, social interactions, diet
- Environmental factors – toxin/ mold exposure, chemical exposures, home/work environment
- Hormone levels – thyroid, adrenal, sex hormones, pituitary, pancreas
- Genetics and epigenetics – (epigenetics refers to whether your body is actually expressing a gene or if it’s dormant.)
- The organ systems – cardiovascular, digestive, hormonal, nervous system, etc.
As we work together we are addressing all of these different areas either directly or indirectly. The body starts being able to effectively eliminate all of the inflammation and toxins it’s been storing and the body gets back to homeostasis.
Does Removing Symptoms = Healing?
Ultimately, treating symptoms is helpful because it helps you feel better so you can function day to day but this is suppression. Suppressing symptoms through the use of medications or supplements is not healing. Have you ever taken a medication/ supplement and felt better only to find that when you stop taking it your symptoms return?
This is not what I do in my practice and I believe this is what sets me apart from other practitioners.
The ultimate goal when working with me is to figure out what happened in your life that led to you having the symptoms you’re having. Determining this takes time, I liken it to peeling the layers of an onion. As we peel the layers you might have old symptoms, feelings, or emotions come up to be resolved and released and new awarenesses come forward. The more work we do the more the path clears and the better the body functions.
So How Long Does it Take to Heal?
Health is a journey, it takes a lifetime. There isn’t “One Thing” to do or take and you’re healed. BUT as your body gets closer to homeostasis and optimal performance the body more easily recovers from being sick, you deal with stressors better and more efficiently, your life just feels good. Those days of feeling poorly are behind you!
Remember, once you get to your optimal performance it does take maintenance. It’s like keeping your car tuned – you need to put energy into maintaining it to keep it running well.
I’m Here for YOU!
One very important thing that you need to know is that I am here for you. I’ve had patients that have seen many practitioners and still feel they aren’t better. This is discouraging as a patient! Because of the way I practice, my commitment to you is I will stick it out and keep looking for the root cause that is preventing you from getting to your optimal health.
What I ask of you is to stick with me.
I find the patients that stick with it truly feel the journey was worth it.