If you want a health care provider who’s open to approaching your health from a holistic point of view – meaning that they will take into account the mind, body, and spirit connection – then it might be time to do a bit of research.
Finding the right person for you requires keeping an open mind to learn about your own needs as well as the credentials and interests of the practicioners near you.
Finding Someone Holistic in Your Area
Today, even in conventional 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, chiropractors, yoga teachers, and so forth usually know who the other holistic practitioners are in your town and can often recommend someone.
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.
If you decide to look for a new practitioner, follow these tips:
- Get referrals. When seeking a specialist or other type of health care provider, there are two kinds of referrals to consider: those from satisfied patients (or clients) and those from doctors and other medical personnel. Often, the best people are found through word of mouth.
- Look at 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. Of course you’ll want to know a specialist’s training—and most good ones have this information readily available in their practice brochures.
Getting the Most of Your Care
One of the most powerful tools for flourishing and healing is knowing how to get the right kind of support at the right time. To do that, you must stand up for yourself and for what you know and feel—and you must absolutely believe that you have the ability to attract what you need as well as be willing to receive it.
– via Christiane Northrup, M.D.
If you’ve already gotten great recommendations and done your research, it’s time to connect with the practices and doctors themselves to make sure it’s a good fit. It is very important to respect their limited time in appointments, but it also matters to advocate for yourself and prioritize finding a space and person where you can feel safe and truly helped.
What To Do When Deciding On A New Doctor
SCREEN THE CANDIDATES
Before you set up an actual patient visit, question the staff, especially the office manager, about the doctor’s background, knowledge and philosophy of practice. Ask how much experience she has with any particular health condition you have and with alternative therapies for it.
INTERVIEW THE DOCTOR
Your relationship with your primary-care physician is one of the most important relationships in your life. Assess the doctor’s personality and ask yourself if it is what you are looking for in a health-care specialist. Pace the interview but be frank. The doctor has limited time so get to the most important questions and forget the details. Find out how open the practitioner is to communicating with patients about technical aspects of treatments, possible side effects and potential problems.
“The most important thing is good communication,” says Kathy Doner, M.D., an internist and founder of the Alliance for Holistic Health in Sebastian, Fla., “Make sure the doctor explains things to you in language you can understand and that you get a sense of encouragement about you situation. You are going to be doing more than just popping pills, and you will need your doctor’s support every step of the way.” Look for someone who is accessible, easy to talk to, and who encourages you to ask questions.
FORMING A PARTNERSHIP
Getting well and staying well requires a relationship of mutual respect between patient and doctor. The most productive doctor-patient interactions can be described as caring, honest and committed to common goals and strategies.
Determine whether the prospective provider is willing to support you emotionally, mentally and spiritually by believing in your recovery and wellness and by learning about and then authorizing or offering treatments, which, though controversial, might help you.
– via ahha.org
Have you found a doctor who works with your health and alternative approaches the way you would hope?