Nothing seems to be working.
I tried that and it didn’t work.
That worked for a while, but then it stopped.
I don’t know what to do next.
All the information I get is confusing.
These are a few of the things I hear on a weekly basis when I am talking with people about their health challenges. I know two things for sure: 1) There are a LOT of people who are suffering from chronic conditions and 2) They are frustrated at their progress!
Whether you are a parent handling a challenging child or it’s your own health spiraling out of control, the road you’ve already traveled has exhausted you and the road ahead isn’t visible through the fog of information.
After working with thousands of people for over a decade, I can tell who is going to be successful at improving their health and who will remain sick. Here are the things the most successful patients all have in common.
- They refuse to label their problem – When we give something a name or a label, we are branding it, giving it an identity. And people generally only do that if they intend to keep something. What’s that old farm joke? The farmer bought a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, but because the kids named it, he couldn’t kill it when the time came? The same is true of our health challenges.I’ve found that those patients who refuse to see their problem as one condition with a label are the ones who beat it. And they beat it faster than anyone expects. Every named disease is actually a cascade of issues leading to a set of symptoms we can label. The body is a complex structure, and every system is related and coordinated with every other system. It is impossible to affect one system only.Those patients who recognize that complexity and work with it are the ones who tend to improve the most.
Successful patients recognize that every big problem is actually a combination of little problems.
- They refuse to believe there is only way to solve it – Because every health condition involves multiple systems, there is not one way to solve it. Yes, people with Type 2 Diabetes may have commonalities, but the approach that helps one person may not help another. Maybe one person needs to work on their physiology first and another needs to handle their personal life first. Don’t underestimate how powerful your environment can be in keeping you sick!Doctors look at the body, and often overlook the person. Successful patients see themselves as WHOLE and part of a SYSTEM. They understand that their lifestyle, their thoughts, their actions, their satisfaction, their family, and their professional lives all contribute to the state of their health. They are willing to critically look at all areas and make improvements wherever they see it is needed.Successful patients seek as many answers as they need to in order to see results.
- They leave no stone unturned – I always joke with patients that I’m the kind of person who would wave chicken bones in the moonlight if it might help heal someone and wouldn’t hurt them. So far no one has ever seen me in the back yard doing so, but rest assured if I ever felt I needed to, I would!Successful patients are willing to try anything. They are willing to explore both conventional and unconventional approaches. They seek out multiple opinions, they evaluate the information they’re given, and they decide what makes sense for them.No one knows your body as well as you do. If you stop and listen, the answers are inside you. Don’t let your fear and your uncertainty drown out your inner voice. If something isn’t working for you, it’s OK to stop it. It’s also OK to know that the things that work may be inconvenient, uncomfortable, and scary. Progress, not perfection, is the name of the game.
Successful patients leave no stone unturned.
- They know that every process requires time – Healing is not linear, and handling a chronic health condition takes longer than most people expect. Giving up due to frustration is a serious concern and the chronically ill are in danger of giving up too soon.Your body completely rebuilds itself every seven years. Some cells turn over fast (in only a few hours) while others turn over very slowly (over a period of years), but seven years from now, every cell in your body will have died and new cells will have been regenerated. This is the proverbial “good news bad news” situation. The good news is that when you make changes to improve your health, some systems will respond very quickly. The bad news is that some systems are just going to take longer.Successful patients have long term focus. They know that what they do today may not help today, but if they keep making better decisions, their body is going to catch up.
As a chiropractor, my focus is solely on the master system of the body, the nervous system. Since the nervous system controls and coordinates every other system, it just makes sense to make sure it is functioning optimally.
If your only idea of chiropractic care is about pain relief, I know that what I’ve just said may challenge you and make you uncomfortable. I invite you to lean into your discomfort, pick up the phone and call me. If we clear your nervous system from interference, then everything else that you are doing has a better chance of success.
Leave no stone unturned.
Dr. Andrea Mills