WHAT IT TAKES TO SOLVE YOUR OWN HEALTH ISSUES
When it comes down to it, your health is largely up to you. Whether you like it or not, it’s not something that someone else can do for you, doctor included. Couple this with the fact that in many ways the medical community has barely changed in MY LIFETIME (we seem to be forever stuck in a time warp of IMAGING, BLOOD WORK, and THE BIG FIVE), and you can start to see just how large a dilemma this can be for way too many people. Proper diagnosis and treatment are all about having valid information. Because doctors now have oceans of information at their fingertips, this should make figuring out and solving our problems easier than ever. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Far too often people are given “bucket diagnoses” such as FIBROMYALGIA, ARTHRITIS, or DJD (usually a code word for old age) and then treated with the STANDARD FARE. My goal is to help you help keep yourself off of the MEDICAL MERRY-GO-ROUND, or at the very least, slow it down (for those who have spent a significant amount of time riding, it requires no explanation). Here are a few things to think about that could prove helpful in the process of solving your own problem(s).
- SPECIFICS -VS- GENERALITIES: One of my favorite all-time movie scenes comes from Y2K’s The Patriot. As Mel Gibson’s character was getting ready to rescue his eldest son (Heath Ledger) from execution via a forest ambush, he was giving directions to his two younger sons. “Start with the officers — AIM SMALL, MISS SMALL.” Some of you already have a diagnosis. If accurate, you already have an advantage. No, I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy, but if the diagnosis is correct, half the battle is over because at least on some level you know what you are dealing with. It’s no longer a “MYSTERY DISEASE / MYSTERY PAIN” or MUPS. The problem is that way too many people never get an accurate diagnosis. So; while MY GENERIC PROTOCOL is going to provide numerous ideas that could prove helpful for people struggling with almost any condition, it’s not necessarily going to be enough to solve your specific problem (although it might). If you haven’t got a specific diagnosis yet, don’t give up. On the other hand, don’t be discouraged by the fact that many diseases (most of them autoimmune) don’t have official names (HERE’S WHY). So; while getting a valid diagnosis is important and should be something to strive for, there are numerous things that you can be done while searching.
- REALIZE THAT INFLAMMATION ALWAYS LEADS TO FIBROSIS: Because there are increasing numbers of elite research scientists and physicians who are publicly saying that problems in fascia are the root cause of all pain, sickness, and disease (HERE), it would behoove people to know what causes fascia to become “fibrotic” in the first place (fibrosis is the medical term for MICROSCOPIC SCAR TISSUE). A simple rule of thumb is that INFLAMMATION ALWAYS LEADS TO FIBROSIS. This is why my protocol from the previous bullet can prove helpful for people with so many different problems — it’s predicated on reducing inflammation.
- RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH: Thanks to this thing called the world wide web, there is so much information at your fingertips it can make your head swim. While PubMed, the government database of biomedical research is a great place to start, it’s important that you realize HUGE AMOUNTS OF RESEARCH ARE BEING FINAGLED in ways that you cannot begin to fathom until you read about them. This means that you need to spend a bit of time learning how to look at research critically (HERE). Also; make sure that you look at both sides of the issue. Just realize that much of what comes out of the scientific medical community will be pooh pooed if it’s not in lockstep with mainstream thinking (drugs and surgery). HERE are several examples. And while they certainly need to be taken with a grain of salt, message boards and YouTube can be quite helpful in certain circumstances as well. Be aware that there will be a lot of junk to wade through. Interestingly, I routinely see people who have made themselves “experts” on their particular problem, in some cases with a level of knowledge that is almost physician-like. And while doctors typically decry this, I’ve always said that knowledge is power. If you want to get to the bottom of your particular problem, you had better become “powerful” (EMPOWERED).
- CREATE A WRITTEN PLAN OF ACTION: I’ve talked about this one before (HERE), but it’s critical that once you’ve done all the research you write everything out in a simple-to-follow plan. Remember the old saying; failure to plan is planning to fail?
- KEEP GOOD RECORDS: You’ve done the work; for Pete’s sake, keep track of it in an organized fashion. This includes links and papers with highlights and notations as well as journaling your progress or lack thereof.
- GET YOUR FAMILY ON BOARD: Believe it or not, I routinely see patients (almost always women) who are to varying degrees following these steps, only to be sabotaged by their spouse or family (HERE is an example). For instance, I know a woman who not only works a tough 9-5, but must cook healthy meals for herself, while preparing taters, biscuits & gravy, and dessert for her obviously unhealthy husband. On the other hand, I know a woman who struggled for years with MS, finally discovering the Wahl’s Protocol (basically a form of PALEO DIET) and essentially putting her disease into remission. Her family was onboard and everyone got super healthy (and to a normal weight) in the process. When the family is not synced in this area, the chances of success plummet.
- FIND A HEALTHCARE PRACTITIONER THAT WILL COME ALONG SIDE AND HELP YOU: If money is no object, this bullet doesn’t matter much. But with most of us living on some sort of budget, “comprehensive care plans” can get crazy expensive, sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars for things that you could be doing on your own (HERE). Part of what makes the experience in my clinic so different is that for any number of problems, people know after their first treatment if my approach is going to help them (HERE or HERE). Not that they will necessarily be “cured” in a single visit but they’ll either see results or they won’t (just click the previous links).
- FIND A PARTNER OR COACH THAT WILL PUSH YOU TO SUCCEED: I’m fortunate enough that my best friend is also an AMAZING LIFE COACH that will not only motivate and encourage you, but provide a hearty boot in the butt if that’s what’s needed (nope, I’m not immune to the boot). Once you figure out what you are up against (diagnosis), you can always find support groups and message boards. While these are rarely perfect, they can prove incredibly helpful and motivational, sometimes helping you shortcut or even bypass some of these bullets.
- STICK WITH IT: Following your plan may prove difficult, at least at first. For instance, you may realize that working your plan will require you to finally deal with YOUR DRUG-LIKE SUGAR ADDICTION. Just realize that GETTING BACK TO HOMEOSTASIS is probably going to take some time and effort. So don’t plan on completely solving your problem overnight — you will have to work at it. And if you fall off the wagon, get up, dust yourself off, and freaking climb back on, with the realization that no one is perfect. Also realize that your plan may need some tweaking, which is why you can never stop researching and searching for solutions.
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