Clients are often surprised when they are completing my initial new patient forms; they are quite expansive, asking about details not only of their physical health, but also of their mental health.
“Why do you need so much information about me?” they ask. “Because it is all related. The mind and body are connected” I reply with a wink and a smile.
In the US, we continue to specialize and subspecialize human health into bits and pieces. Sure, there is a time and a place for super subspecialists, but for most people, a provider that can step back, and take a holistic look at the big picture is just what the doctor ordered.
The holistic, functional medicine, or naturopathic approach is focused on looking at the individual, as a whole.
It Is All Related
Imagine looking at a beloved large ailing oak tree in your front yard you are trying to save. You start evaluating the canopy of leaves, but you don’t stop there and say to yourself, “the leaves are sick so I am going to apply something to the leaves and that will fix it.” You also look down the branches, inspect the trunk, and down through the roots. You then may send a soil sample to evaluate the nutrients that the tree is receiving and account for the amount of water the tree is getting. You look at the surrounding area to see if any toxic material is leaching into the soil or pests that have settled onto the tree.
You take a step back and find the root of the problem and address that first.
A holistic approach takes a step back and starts with the root cause.
A Holistic Perspective
For example, if you present to the doctor with poor digestion and heartburn, the doctor might tell you to take an antacid and lay off the fried and spicy food. This is not an unreasonable recommendation and may stop the unwanted symptoms. But the doctor may not have asked enough questions to elicit that this is a life long struggle as you have always been a worrier, because Dad was a worrier, and you used to miss a lot of school because of stomach-aches, and your anxiety has worsened over the last year, and so have your stomach-aches. The acid-suppressing medication may be a bandage to stop the tummy symptoms, but they are not addressing the root cause of your gastrointestinal distress, which will likely return soon.
So, that is why I ask so many questions on my new patient forms. Heath assessments just like this one help condense a life’s history so that we can address the root cause.
Guess what? You can take this assessment for free.
After you take it, I’ll call you for your complementary strategy planning session call to discuss your next steps.
I look forward to talking with you soon.