Working for Health, not Eliminating Disease

I frequently have patients who send a tingle of intuition through me. I know there is something else they need that I don’t do and sometimes that requires referring them to someone else. It bothers me when I don’t have someone who uses the modality I keep thinking about. I have been seeing a patient for infertility issues and every time I look at this young woman I think of digestion. She is probably sick of my food recommendations and I do try and limit what I share but some part of her body appears to be calling to me to give her all the nutrition information I can.

The other night I was listening to a local naturopath and he is very into traditional foods like the Weston A Price Foundation and is one of the practitioners listen on the GAPS website, so he is very familiar with they types of dietary changes that I feel strongly about. His specialty, if he has one is digestive issues.

I waited around after his talk and asked him if saw patients for fertility issues. I loved his response. He sees fertility issues as he sees everything else. He works to bring the best health to the body he can and if in that way fertility resolves, it does. But he doesn’t “treat” fertility per se.

I loved the precision of language. The patient was not just an ailment. The patient was a person who needed to be well. As an acupuncturist I struggle with explaining what I do sometimes. I know I treat the whole person. Certainly I allow myself to get caught up in the symptoms that patients complain about, whether those symptoms are as complex as infertility or as direct as pain in the lower back. However, this man was reminding me that we see patients who need to have better health. If they are healthier can their symptoms be addressed? Absolutely.

My goal now is to work on conveying that message to all my patients and finding out how that changes what I do.

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Bonnie Koenig has been a licensed acupuncturist since 1999. She is passionate about helping people find real healing and real health. In the process she keeps asking about our attitudes towards sickness and health. Only by being clear on what sickness is, can we ever find health.

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