Most of us have a team of health professionals we rely on for regular check-ups and when we’re not feeling out best. This team may consist of an internist, a gynecologist, a dentist, a dermatologist and perhaps more. But if you’re interested in getting to the bottom of your health concerns to fix the cause, instead of simply treating the symptoms, then perhaps you’ve considered working with a holistic or functional medicine professional. You can do so as a complement to your preferred traditional healthcare professionals and likewise, you can build your own team of holistic health professionals who can help you feel your best by using a variety of alternative modalities and integrative healing approaches which treat the whole person instead of merely focusing on the symptoms.
Some of the providers you may consider when you build a team of holistic health professionals, include:
One // Health Coach: According to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I got my health coaching certification, “a Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who works with clients to help them feel their best through food and lifestyle changes. Instead of prescribing one diet or way of exercising, Health Coaches tailor individualized wellness programs to meet their clients’ needs.” There are a lot of people calling themselves Health Coaches these days, so do your research and choose one who is credentialed and experienced, not someone who seems to be selling a lot of supplements. I have some past posts on how to choose a health coach here, here, here and here.
Two // Functional Medicine Practitioner: Functional medicine is an evolution in the traditional practice of medicine that seeks to treat the whole person and find the underlying cause of disease with both traditional and alternative approaches. Some functional medicine practitioners may work with health coaches on their team and provide access to them as part of the treatment protocol.
Three // Acupuncturist: Trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncturists help with the process of pain relief, healing and improving all aspects of overall health – mental, physical and emotional – by focusing on moving energy through the body with the stimulation of specific trigger points.
Four // Physical Therapist: A Physical Therapist uses treatment techniques that improve movement and focus on pain prevention.
Five // Chiropractor: A Chiropractor manipulates the spine manually to bring the body’s musculoskeletal structure back into alignment with the goal of healing the body without unnecessary surgery or medication.
Many insurance companies are covering some or all of the treatment you would receive from these practitioners so check with yours to find out. Each of these professionals can help treat any number of existing health concerns or you may wish to call on them for prevention. While each is powerful on their own, by working with a team of holistic healthcare professionals, you’ll feel empowered to take an active role in your health, learn more about your body and understand what it takes for you to function more optimally than you ever knew you could.