Being a patient of anything is hard. I speak as both an integrative medicine coach and from recent personal experience.
There are often many roadblocks and challenges standing in between you and your most optimal path toward better health. Maybe you feel a lack of time or motivation. Or, you've tried so many things already that it's all too easy to become discouraged. On your road to optimal healthspan, it's important to remember that, unlike in most traditional medical settings, we view integrative health as a partnership: you and us working together.
That said, here are four tips for what you can bring to the table as an integrative medicine patient:
1. Practice Vulnerability
When you become an integrative medicine patient, there might be things that you find uncomfortable talking about, whether that is your weight, bowel movements, mental health state, or even sexual issues. Believe it or not, we are all human and 9 times out of 10, we’ve all been there. It’s important to speak up about things that seem irregular or unusual so that we, as medical providers, can help you as best we can in the creation of your 6-12 month integrative health plan.
2. Trust the Process
One thing that most people have become so accustomed to these days is instant gratification. Unfortunately, when it comes to your long-term health and overall longevity, there is no quick fix. Whether it involves dietary changes or introducing new movement and mindfulness practices, it takes time for your body to adjust. It’s vital to have patience with yourself and most importantly to trust the process.
Setting SMART goals during your Comprehensive Plan appointment will keep you from potential burn out and frustration.
Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
Achievable (agreed, attainable)
Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
3. Listen (to your provider and to yourself)
As a new patient in an integrative medicine practice, you will likely be given a lot of information all at once. You may see names of supplements and essential vitamins that you did not know existed. And while it may seem overwhelming at first, we will break it down in a way that is very clear and understandable. Additionally, with the help of a health coach, you will always have someone to turn to with the additional questions and concerns.
4. Be Honest
There will days that you may fall behind on your plan or don’t have the energy to move your body . Guess what? It’s okay! It is more important to listen to your body, than to not. Conversely, it is important to challenge yourself when able to. With that said, I ask that you always tell the truth even if it’s not exactly what we anticipate hearing. We are your biggest support team and will always work with you and adjust your plan/goals to fit your situation better.
Remember that being a patient is hard work. Even the littlest of changes, can flourish into transformative results.
If you are a considering becoming a new patient, please give us a call at 301-363-7657 or book a free 15 minute consultation with Dr. Falcone to see if Dignity Integrative Health is the right place for you to begin your health and wellness journey.