When It Comes to Making Decisions About Your Health Care, One Size Does NOT Fit All

We often tell our patients that our naturopathic practice is NOT “cookbook” medicine. 

Drs. Connie and Marcel in their Mountain View, CA garden.
Drs. Connie and Marcel in their Mountain View, CA garden.

Folks often want clear-cut answers. It’s understandable – they want to get rid of the health problem that’s troubling them, and they want the answer FAST. They want a point-by-point treatment plan. And while we don’t mean to be evasive, the only honest and realistic answer we can usually give is: “It depends.”

We aren’t trying to be difficult, or make things over-complicated. But we cannot offer medical care based on generic recommendations or pat formulas. We can’t prescribe a treatment just because “it’s out there and it’s popular.”

A woman who’s well past menopause calls and asks if we can prescribe bioidentical hormone replacement for her symptoms. And, if we can, which hormones will we prescribe?

Hmm. It depends. It depends on her medical history, and how she metabolizes estrogen. It depends on the cause of her symptoms, which often, at her age, may be related to adrenal or thyroid issues rather than female hormone imbalance. It depends on her past history with hormones and other treatments. It depends on her current lifestyle and treatment goals.

We’re in the business of helping people – and that means, above all, truly understanding their issues by getting to their source, and not doling out pills and pabulums that “they say” are supposed to work, or that have worked for others.

When a patient calls about treatment-resistant bronchitis, asking for a simple recommendation, well – it depends.

It depends on the patient’s history of bronchitis, and what they’ve tried thus far. It depends on any underlying deficiencies that might lengthen the illness. It depends on each patient’s very individual allergic reactivity. It depends on their diet. It depends on stress. (Lung conditions can actually be due to “grief stored in the lungs.”)

Our treatment recommendations also depend on a patient’s personal resonance with various therapies – how they feel about them, based on their intuitive sense; and their willingness to try new treatments.

The naturopathic options for a specific ailment can be many. They can range from major lifestyle changes, to botanical or nutritional medicines, to energy medicines, to prescription medicines.

Though a particular therapy may very well be indicated, and even if it’s the best option in our minds, the patient may be averse to a particular type of treatment. And we always look for the best option that works for the individual patient.

For example, if a patient cannot or will not swallow pills, we’ll look for remedies that don’t require pills. If a cancer patient asks for our recommendation regarding chemotherapy because they don’t trust their oncologist and are certain that the chemo will kill them before the cancer has a chance to do so, we may concur that chemo is not the best option.

Another cancer patient may have the same diagnosis, the same oncologist, and the same recommended treatment protocol, yet feel that the treatment is exactly what is indicated for them to flourish and save their life. In that case, we may recommend that they move forward with the conventionally accepted treatment plan in which they trust. The patient’ resonance with their therapies can have a huge impact on the treatment outcome.

Our own intuition as practitioners with many years of experience also plays a role in our medical decision making. If a patient knew the cause and treatment for their disorder, they wouldn’t need to come to us for a consultation. Each patient’s personal history is highly reliant on the patient’s memory and interpretation of events. Meanwhile, an experienced practitioner’s intuitive assessment of the person and their story may lead to a very different conclusion regarding the source and best treatment for their troubles.

Often, but not always, the best solution is one that flashes through the caregiver’s mind while interviewing the patient. Very often, the intuitive insight is confirmed by objective testing.

In naturopathy, we schedule longer visits with our patients in order to make accurate medical decisions based on the intuitive art of healing and the science of medical diagnostics and treatment.

Read more about the medical services Dr. Connie offers: http://www.naturopathichealthconsultations.com