We are all unique, wonderful and beautiful individuals, with our own story and our own journey. Nothing happens by chance and everything in this universe is connected in some way. If you are feeling unwell, your symptoms did not appear out of thin air; indeed, your body has probably been adapting and trying to overcome adverse conditions for many months before the illness manifests. Symptoms are not isolated, but signify a pattern of dis-ease (as opposed to disease) within you.
Start at the Beginning
When I take a Case History, I start from the “now”. How you feel in this moment? How long have you have been feeling it and are there any significant events that may have coincided? Understanding how you feel in the present moment is a very important part of a consultation for both the patient and practitioner.
Once we have discussed your present feelings and symptoms, I go back to the very beginning – which means finding out what your mother’s pregnancy was like, how you were born and what illnesses your family might have had. Then we discuss your childhood, your health as you were growing up and what illnesses you may have had. Of course, not everyone will have this information, but if you do, then it does help as connections start to fall into place and we begin to see how your current health fits into the jigsaw.
What if There are Things I don’t Want to Talk About
Many of us have had experiences that we find difficult to discuss. My advice to all my patients is that if something is painful, you absolutely do not have to discuss it. As humans, we are extremely good at building coping mechanisms to help us manage painful experiences and discussing them before we are ready is like ripping a plaster off of a wound that hasn’t healed; then of course we have to find a way of putting the plaster back on. In time, as you heal, you will speak about things when you feel able to. The whole point of coming to see me is to help you to get well and not to upset you!
The Case History process helps you, as a patient understand your own health journey and when we have knowledge about ourselves, we lose the fear and we gain empowerment. We fear what we don’t understand. Fear holds us back and stops us from moving forward – once we move forward, so does our ability to heal. You no longer view your body as something out to sabotage itself. In fact, your body wants to do its best for you, but doesn’t always have the right tools to work with.
Physical, Emotional & Spiritual Health
When I ask a patient if they feel that their emotional, physical and spiritual aspects are balanced, they often need time to think about it. The question means different things to individuals, but imbalance between those aspects is all too common in a Western Society.
Western medicine does not consider a connect between the physical, emotional and spiritual; therefore, it is easy for it to become unbalanced. We are encouraged to look after our physical body; go to the gym, eat properly – but the way that we are made to live our lives is not conducive to good emotional health and our spiritual health is virtually disregarded. In fact, those attempting to nurture their spiritual self are often thought of as a bit flaky!
Understanding what motivates you and your creative level is very helpful. These things are often the first to suffer when an individual has poor physical or emotional health and it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain good health. When these aspects reconnect, we have the motivation to engage the healing process.
Your body is designed for homeostasis – that is, it does want to stay well and balanced, but a healthy body requires a healthy mind – and a healthy mind requires a healthy body.
The Body Connection
Discussing the Mind/Body connection can be fascinating for patients. It’s often a unique experience, as it isn’t something that is covered with GPs. We do also need to know the more everyday things; how is your sleep? How are your bowels? And the dreaded “what do you eat?”
Diet and nutrition always seem to worry people; nervous that I am going to “tell you off” for having a chocolate stash or eating a take away; but really, I just need to know! It is valuable information (and by the way – I have my own chocolate stash!)
Hydration levels are extremely important. Even if you drink plenty of water, you can still be dehydrated. Physical illness or disease will cause a level of dehydration, as will stress or anxiety – so you can see that questioning your lifestyle isn’t about policing your diet, but important information gathering.
Choosing The Right Practitioner
We have an initial free phone consultation to give you, as a patient, the chance to decide if we are right for you and which practitioner would be a best fit for you.
There are three practitioners who work from the clinic; myself, Amanda and Matt. All of us are qualified in Herbal Medicine, so you may see any of us for most conditions, but we have different strengths.
During a consultation I will often carry out Live or Dry Blood Analysis, or perhaps Iridology, because I like my patients to see on a screen how their body is responding to their condition and how, in follow up appointments, it is responding to treatment.
If you require Nutritional therapy, or you wish to manage your weight, then Amanda would be a more suitable practitioner, as her knowledge in this area is extensive.
Those with anxiety or sleep problems or who prefer to see a male practitioner for conditions such as such as prostate or erectile disfunction, may find Matt is the right person to see. Matt also works well with members of the LGBTQ community, having a strong understanding of the social and physical issues that members of the LGBTQ society face.
Ultimately, it would be your choice and we would do our best to ensure that you find the best person to help with your health journey.