Here's another look at a different way of looking at things.
Mark BurgerWant to build confidence and professional self-esteem? Start treating yourself and your family. The bodies you know best are yours and the ones in your tribe.
We all have something going on: digestive issues, skin problems, joint aches, headaches, weight/conditioning, poor diets, hypertension, dyslipidemias, etc. Take on one or two of your ailments, read up on root causes (functional), get some of the alternative/complementary/functional approaches to your problems, and treat yourself. This is one of the best ways to learn to be a healer.
It will also show you:
· How allopathic medicine failed you;
· How powerful a functional/nutritional/epigenomic/vitamin/mineral/herbal can be;
· How "pleiotropic" a functional solution can be; and
· How difficult it will be for your future patients to comply/change their diets/lifestyles
Once you have some successes with your health or that of your loved ones, you should be more confident on your path as a healer. N=1 is more powerful than you think. Just don't make too many assumptions.
Last month I mentioned a few ways that you can get didactic and practical training in functional medicine/pharmacy. There are graduate courses. There are seminars put on by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) just about every month. There are conferences put on by the Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM).
If you can go to one or more of these, even if you aren't after a Certified Clinical Nutrition (CCN) credential, it will open your eyes. It's a whole new way to look at healing.
Instead of assigning body parts to specialists, the presenter may describe a case study of a patient with joint problems, hypertension, diarrhea, and atopic dermatitis. Instead of pulling out four referral forms for the rheumatologist, the cardiologist, the GI, and the derm, the presenter will describe the patient as a person who has inflammation.
Functional medicine practitioners ask lots of questions about lifestyle, diet, and medical and family history, to try to drill down to the reasons for the inflammation. Maybe they’ll order some labs you never heard of before. Maybe they’ll look at methylation pathways. Then, as these issues are addressed, through removal, repair, and restoration of function, the patient is (miraculously?) healed.
What do you think that’s worth to patients who have gone years or decades without a resolution to their problems?
When you can solve a multiplicity of problems and connect all the dots for them, they’re going to appreciate it. They’ll tell their friends and family. Why? Because there’s nothing else like you out there!
You can't do this in a 7- to 12-minute visit. They’ll have to fill out an extensive health questionnaire, bring in their labs, and bring in a bag of meds and supplements.
You’ll have to sit down across from them and look at them. Notice the color of their skin, its texture. Does it sag? Is it dry and flaky? Were their palms sweaty or dry when you shook hands? Was their grip strong? Is their hair thin? Eyes clear? Bags? Did they limp? Is their neck bulgy? Notice any skin tags? Melasma?
You'll have to listen to what they say. Let them talk, don't give them a big spiel. Ask questions. Eat breakfast? What do you eat? How many BMs/day? What do they look like? How do you sleep? Have any relatives with diabetes? Parents still alive? Any siblings? How are they doing?
You have to take all this information in and try to connect the dots. It's not that hard. Letting them talk all the time may not be so easy, but it's the only way to drill down to the right course for them.
Spell it out
Teach them. Explain things to them in ways that they can understand. This is where true health comes from: Knowledge. Don't horde it.
They will come. And you will charge them good money for your expertise.
Next month: Start with the 80% solutions.
Mark Burgerowns Health First! Pharmacy and Compounding Center in Windsor, Calif. He welcomes your questions and comments at Mark@healthfirstpharmacy.net.