Are you the type who thinks you have to “go it alone” or scrape by with minimal attention when it comes to health and taking care of yourself? If so, you probably need to re-evaluate the 7th focal point in my 7 Core Principles to Lasting Health. The 7th point is Building Your Health Allies, your team of health professionals that can take you from ill (or mediocre) health to optimal wellness in the least amount of time, with the least amount of resistance.
Of course, the bulk of the work is done by you and you alone, but make no mistake, you can’t do it all on your own.
The Power of a Specialist
Specialists are doctors or practitioners that have chosen a particular area of focus. In ideal conditions, they are “masters” of their practice; they’ve had targeted training in their specialized field, and have been putting that training into practice.
It’s, of course, important to have a general physician (alternative or allopathic) for basic health concerns, but having a small handful of specialists on hand to target your “health hot spots” is equally vital. Depending upon your individual needs, you may have a variety of areas to target, and will require a diverse selection of practitioners to help facilitate healing in those areas.
Here are just a few I recommend:
- Functional Nutritionist
- Massage Therapist/Bodyworker
- Cranio-Sacral Therapist
- Energy/Subtle Body/Reiki Worker
- Physical Therapist
- Dental Specialist/Endodontist
- Yoga/Fitness/Martial Arts Instructor
- Psycho Therapist/Trauma Counselor
Ask yourself (and a trained professional) what it is you should be targeting. Having the means to employ all the above specialists is unlikely, but it becomes more reasonable if we whittle the list down to two or three focused areas.
Duration and Scheduling
We don’t have to put these specialists to work each and every week. It may start out that way in some cases, but most likely scheduling will become fewer and farther in between as your body gets more balanced and receptive to the work.
At the same time, there may be a some exceptions, depending upon the size of your pocket book and the depth of current health conditions. Personally, I schedule acupuncture and chiropractic care every 2-3 weeks. I see my yoga and fitness instructors 4-5 days every week, and get some bodywork at least once a month. And…. I’m in daily contact with my nutrition colleagues and teachers via my online Metabolic Typing and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition practitioner forums.
Talk to each specialist to see what duration is best for you.
Specialists on a Budget
As mentioned, scheduling duration may be one of the best ways to solve the budget issue. But in many cases, regular, consistent care is needed, especially at first. Too much time in between sessions may not allow the body to correctly re-pattern and initiate full and complete healing.
If there are budget issues, one recommendation is to seek out student clinics. Massage and acupuncture schools often have public clinics, where advanced students can practice skills and meet their clinical requirements at a minimal cost to you. Do a Google search in your area for any health or healing art school (i.e. massage school, acupuncture school, reiki school). If they do have a student or graduate clinic, costs and how to schedule will usually be listed on their website.
Subscribing to online health publications is also a cheap, secondary source for valuable information. I subscribe to at least a dozen, and draw inspiration from other people’s recipes and health advice each day. To sign up for my free weekly eLetter with healthy recipes and articles on health and nutrition, click here.
Establish Your Allies BEFORE You Need Them!
If your back goes out and you haven’t already jumped through the hoops in finding the practitioner that best suits your needs, you’re in for double the pain trying to find one last minute. Even if you find a good referral from a friend, chances are the practitioner won’t be able to schedule you for an “emergency” visit, since s/he has never worked with you before. I’ve found that the more I’m acquainted with a practitioner (and the more they are acquainted with me) they’re more willing to get you in on short notice, if needed.
Do some research first on what kind of modalities might be able to help you the most – Nutrition coaching? Chiropractic? Acupuncture? Massage? Then ask around for excellent referrals from friends and colleagues. You can also search the web for these specialists in your area.
The point is to do the research first, before you need them. We all have good days and bad. On the “good” days, we often feel strong enough and healthy enough that we deceive ourselves into thinking that we don’t need any targeted help; we may think we don’t need a list of health allies. But, inevitably, those “bad” days always do end up coming around, and we need to be prepared when it happens.