Are We There Yet? Quote of the Week.

I love these little snippets and am sharing them with you so you can see a bit behind the clinician’s process when you are working with someone. I truly believe that the clinician-patient relationship is based on honesty and communication and this snippet shows just how much that is true. It’s important that patients are able to understand why they have to hold on in there and not give up too soon.

I have always tried to be honest when someone asks me: ‘How long will I have to do this?’ or ‘Am I there yet?’ and reply that I honestly can’t say; it depends on how your body reacts and is able to respond to the treatment; it will tell us as we go along.

You can give a rough guess on how it’s worked for others, but every person is so unique, timings can surprise you. They can respond faster than you thought (often kids do because their energy is so good) or much slower (complex cases/hypersensitivity cases, for example, because you can only take one step at a time. Sometimes, it is one step forward and two steps back, and you have to communicate honestly with patients so they don’t lose heart – and neither do you!

In general, I say for every year you have had this condition, you’re likely to need a month of treatment, plus extra to ‘hold’ it there and for you to be able to maintain that position.

Things tend to happen in 3 month time slots, too, in that it takes 3 months for the body to notice you are changing something, 3 months for it to start assimilating that change and 3 months for it to stick. That’s about the right time for a review in a complex case, really, and not before. You have to give your poor body a chance to re-set and settle.

That’s not to say that people don’t feel symptomatically much better a lot quicker than that – often within 10 days or so depending on what we’re working on. But, we’re talking metabolically, cellularly etc – deep, lasting change within the tissues of the body. And that, my loves, takes time and skill. I swear nutritional/naturopathic/functional medicine – whatever you want to call it – is an art form as much as it is a science. It’s between you and the clinician to make the right choices and find your way through the maze together. And that’s what I love about it.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on quite enough. Here’s Dr Yanuck on the ‘Are We There Yet?’ question that inevitably crops up during a patient process.

To address their chronic illnesses effectively, patients are often faced with multiple changes, all of which they have to make in order to get their biology moving in the right direction.

With these patients, I’m often, and sometimes repeatedly, asked questions like, “How long do I have to do this?” or “What if I do half of the plan?” or “How about if I do the plan most of the time? That’s better than nothing, right?”

We know as clinicians that the first plan is only the first plan. How the patient responds to it teaches us a lot about the patient’s biology that we often have no other way of finding out. We need the opportunity for multiple patient encounters, to modify the plan each time, to apply multiple cycles of the work. The first plan, with the patient’s response to it, leads to the second plan, the second cycle of the work. The patient’s response to the second cycle teaches you what course corrections to make in the third cycle, and so on.

I always tell patients, “Every cycle is diagnostic. As many as possible are also therapeutic.” Patients understand that. Telling them this gets them oriented to the reality of the clinical process.

Dr Yanuck

Yep. Spot on again Dr Yanuck.

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