My Tips For Finding A Holistic Practitioner
Heal Your Life Blog
My Tips For Finding A Holistic PractitionerDr. Northrup Gives 5 Ways To Find The Right Health Specialist For You
One of the most common questions I'm asked is "Is there a good doctor in my area?" Well, if you are looking for someone who adopts an approach that honors your inner wisdom, acknowledges the message an illness holds, and combines Western medicine with other modalities, then the answer is YES! There are wonderful, holistically-minded doctors and health care practitioners almost everywhere.
When I travel, I always meet doctors and medical students who are interested in and actively practicing complementary (or integrative) medicine: the coming together of the best of both—conventional medicine and so-called alternative medicine. Most important, however, is a practitioner who approaches the body as an energy system, which is intimately influenced by thoughts and beliefs, albeit unconsciously most of the time! Many other health care practitioners besides M.D's and D.O.'s (doctors of osteopathic medicine) who are trained in different disciplines also share this approach. There are also scores of deeply committed, caring physicians practicing in the United States and around the world who don't necessarily call themselves holistic.
How To Find The Right Support At The Right Time
One of the most powerful tools for flourishing and healing is knowing how to get the right kind of support at the right time. It's hard for me to give personal recommendations, though. For one thing, it would be impossible for me to know that many people! Also, it's important that you take responsibility for your own part of the health care partnership. To flourish, you must own your power to seek out doctors, other health care practitioners, and environments that actually address health, not just disease screening, drugs, and surgery.
Here’s what I recommend:
1. Start with a health care provider whom you trust. The health care you select must be based on your needs and values. This is as much a part of your health and healing as any mode of treatment you might choose. For example, I'm intimately aware of the limitations of modern Western medicine. Hence, I do not participate in that time-honored, but mostly unnecessary, ritual known as the routine annual physical. (There—I've said it!)
2. Consider Practitioners Other Than MDs. Even in conventional medical practices you can find nurse practitioners and nurse midwives who, by their very nature, are often far more holistic. Many chiropractors are holistic, too (but not all). Massage therapists, yoga teachers, and so forth usually know who the other holistic practitioners are in your town and can often recommend someone. Also, don't overlook the doctor you're working with now. He or she may well be open to your ideas and willing to follow along with your new path—once you discuss what you want.
3. Consult Well-Known Online Resources. The following is a list of online resources where you can find a doctor in your area:
• Alliance for Natural Health
• American Association of Integrative Medicine
• American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
• American College for Advancement in Medicine
• Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine
• The Institute for Functional Medicine
• The Institute for Health and Healing
• Women in Balance
My Tips for Finding the Right Holistic Specialist
In addition to using the resources available in your area, here are a few rules of thumb for finding the right practitioner for you:
1. Get Referrals. Your current health care practitioner may refer you to another doctor, but it’s also good to ask other patients or clients who they like. Often, you will find the practitioner who is best suited to you through word of mouth.
2. Check Credentials. Board certification is evidence that a doctor has passed a number of qualifying exams that measure competence to practice in his or her chosen field. Having been through the process, I can attest to the rigor involved. Of course you'll want to know a specialist's training—and most good ones have this information readily available in their practice brochures. Credentialing varies widely in the alternative health care field and in some cases is not yet in place, though this is changing rapidly. Please note that I have found that many gifted healers do not have mainstream credentials.
3. Follow Your Heart. A health care provider can have all the credentials in the world and still be the wrong person for you. So, trust what your heart – or intuition, or gut, or dreams – tell you when deciding what practitioner you will let care for you, no matter how highly he or she has been recommended. Ask yourself, “does this practitioner feel like a healer?” Do you leave the office feeling reassured and uplifted? Do you feel like you're in good hands?
4. Trust The Law of Attraction. To get the care that you need at the right time you must also absolutely believe that you have the ability to attract what you need as well as be willing to receive it. What you have is knowledge of your body. Pair the knowledge you have of your body with a willingness to do what it takes to truly flourish. It will guide you to the right medical professionals at the right time.
5. Know That You Have The Power Within You To Heal. Health comes from deep within and your thoughts and emotions are the most powerful forces for flourishing that are available to you. Some of the tools you can use to improve your health and truly flourish include getting a regular massage, taking high-quality vitamins and minerals, and exercising. You may also want to keep a journal. Having a solid social support network does wonders for your immune system and for keeping your stress hormone levels in check. Finally, do the things you love regularly – read good books, go to the movies, and keep learning new things. I know that I can attract the resources I need when I need them (some of which have indeed been in mainstream hospitals). When you are truly ready to assume responsibility for your health, you, too, will find the resources you need.
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