What Patients Want. What Do YOU Want?

Nov 24, 2021

What You Really Want From Your Doctor.

What do you want when you walk into a doctor’s office? What I want is first to do THAT… walk into the office. A remote visit can be ok once the relationship has been established by doctor and patient, or for an acute emergency rescue. However what most patients want is to be seen, to be heard, to be touched, to be understood and then to be guided toward healing. Quite often many are not consciously aware of these basic human services to which they are entitled.

As a doctor, my diagnostic tools are my senses first. How the patient looks, sounds, feels and even smells assists me in recognizing an imbalance such as cancer, diabetes and dysbiosis, or the improper balance of intestinal microbiota. There is time for fancy technology later. These tools are superb for seeing what the human eye cannot. However, healing cannot happen until the doctor’s senses are utilized for the purpose of providing clear instruction toward the gradual improvement of cellular health for their patient.

A Naturopathic Physician’s Perspective

Did you know that we have 70-100 trillion cells in our body and two to 10 times that amount of micro bacteria. The quality of that incredible gut microbiome and digestive system contributes to up to 80% of the overall immune system of the body.

As a doctor, I know that I must be able to appreciate how my patient moves. Understanding the function and mechanics of the body are necessary to ascertain in order to understand holistically what the patient is going through day to day.

As you can imagine, no doctor will have the luxury of time to listen to the patient explain in elaborate detail all of the past and present issues they have in their body, much less in their mind and soul.

How then, does a doctor, with inadequate information about the whole of you, your lifestyle, your diet, hydration or lack thereof, your pH, your environment, your past experiences, paradigms, belief system, genetics, stressors and willingness to heal, move from listening to healing?

For me, when I discern that it is an appropriate time to do so, I may graciously interrupt my patient and ask them for three words to describe their current state of mind and body. I may then ask them what it is they want. That sometimes comes as a surprise, however as long as my patient is spewing issues and stories around their current complaints and dis-ease, they remain stuck. Given the relatively short period of time I have with this person, I request that we clarify and focus on that which they want to create. I ask for descriptive words to describe how they will feel when they reach that destination. How do you want to feel?

How Do YOU Want to Feel?

Some of their words might be energetic, optimistic, hopeful, relaxed, calm, peaceful, trusting, healthy, free, mobile, unlimited, present, compassionate, loving, patient or happy. How do YOU want to feel in three to eleven months? That is how long it takes for every cell in the human body to have transformed to being different than it is today. How we treat ourselves, how we take care of ourselves and how we speak to ourselves matters.

It is clearly not enough to simply say the words to describe how we want to feel. To reach a state of higher wellness requires that we truly conceive of such a state for ourselves; we must believe that we can achieve. Conceive, believe and achieve. All are necessary.

The Fist Steps to Achieving Optimal Health

As the doctor, I must assist the patient in establishing SMART goals. They must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and have an established timeline for their attainment. If a patient’s goal is unattainable based on genetics, severe chemical imbalance or a surgical failure, I suggest modifying the goal to assist the patient in achieving success.

I had a patient I will call Bert. Bert had been a victim of agent orange poisoning in Vietnam and was told that the wheel chair would be good for him. On his first visit, I suggested to Bert that my intention for him was that within three months, he would walk into my office. Bert walked into my office in two weeks. No more wheelchair. Bert conceived of the notion, he believed that it was possible and he achieved the result.

In this instance, I had a realistic goal, set in a reasonable time frame, it was specific, measurable and hence attainable. My estimation was based on my initial full evaluation. Bert reached that milestone because he believed in his human capability and the capacity of his mind to accomplish what he set his sight on.

How Our Thoughts Affect Our Health

It is imperative that the patient synchronize his or her conscious, subconscious and super- conscious mind together in order to have success. Likewise, I as the doctor must have the three levels of my consciousness synched up within myself and with my patient. In ordinary terms, both patient and doctor need to be on the same page.

This establishment of rapport is not automatic. It requires a connection not often experienced in our modern world. It isn’t bad enough that so many walk around masked and guarded, checking their phones, rarely making eye contact. For many, it is too vulnerable to be seen. Oftentimes patients don’t even make eye contact with their own reflection in the mirror. There is pain, shame, guilt, disapproval and an overriding self-flagellation, too thick to penetrate.

These emotions were learned and adopted from their caretakers as children, and one is often not even aware that these limiting thoughts are inhibiting their potential for success. However, how do we heal if we are not seeing ourselves as we are, without judgement and allowing others to truly see us? We need to be seen, heard, touched, understood and guided toward that which we want to create for ourselves.

We are What We Eat

In 500 BC, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said “Let food be your medicine and let medicine be your food.”

What we eat becomes our cells. Though that is not all. What we think, what we say and what we do matters. It’s not enough to say “when I feel better, I will do better.” We must do better in order to feel better. Patients need clear action steps that are their responsibility to execute and their doctor must assist in holding their patients accountable. The meaning of the word doctor, in Latin, is “teacher”. A good doctor needs to teach, guide and coach the patient to successful attainment of desired outcome. The patient will do the work as long as they know what they are being held accountable for and embrace the “why”. Without a strong enough why, or motivation, we cannot access the how, or have the wherewithal to take constructive action.

What are the Changes YOU Desire?

What would you like to create for yourself? Who is holding you accountable? The largest corporations in the world utilize coaches to move the individuals and team players toward a shared goal and vision. Everyone needs to be moving toward and invested in the same goal and outcome in order for the team and ultimately the business to thrive. There is a team dynamic involved. Receiving a 3×5 sheet of paper with nondescript scribbles on it to take to the pharmacy is not enough.

It’s not enough to complain about what is wrong with our health, our lives and our world. We must take action. First we must know what we want. We then must surrender to being vulnerable enough to share ourselves with someone that can assist, not just listen and commiserate or blankly stare. We then need to shift our attitude in the direction of what we want.

It starts with the thought, because what we think leads to what we say, how we act and behave, the actions we take, the personality we develop, our reality and our ultimate destiny.
Healing requires this awareness that we, the patients, are responsible for how we think, what we say, what we do and who we become.

When a patient visits with me, little do they know that their world is about to expand in ways they never dreamed possible.

What I have learned that patients want, is to evolve into the absolute best version of themselves in mind, body and spirit!

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