Can you hear that? No it’s not some weird raucous bird-call. That’s me. A fabulous colleague of mine who also happens to be a Master MindMapper (yes it’s an official club now😂) , told me a couple of weeks back that practising naturopaths who don’t use this incredible tool for their case work-up typically say, “Oh, I’ve internalised that!” Well we laughed and laughed and yep even as I write this the giggles are back. You see between the two of us we have almost half a century of combined clinical experience between us (no telling on who has the bigger share!!) and WE haven’t managed that feat…so we’re wondering what we’re missing (bigger internalised RAM?) or indeed, what they are?! And naturally, I’m leaning towards the latter.
‘I practise holistically. I am truly integrative’, you say, ‘I consider all levels of evidence in patients, from their narrative to their neurologist’s report – from their bloods to their B vitamin SNPS – from their detailed diets to their social (dis)connections”
And I know you do.
But how on earth amongst all the information overload, that deafening white noise & distractions, can you always see the root cause and every connection?
Because for me, spending the time practising due diligence with the creating a MindMap, after I see every patient, is my reliable path to achieving this. Not just settling for the reflexive related systems that become well trodden paths in our minds…Gut to Brain (walked that track a million times, right!)…but step by step deepening my understanding of the case, adding layers I couldn’t see or hear at first, to reveal other critical connections that were unexpected. Gut to Kidney –> Kidney to Brain. It’s that time of the year when I’ve (clearly) been talking about MindMapping with my mentees and accordingly, I’m all juiced up! And my love of this process and skill-set is also getting more layers! I’ve realised that of course, beyond summarising the case in a truly integrated way, it helps me sift through my differentials, creating effectively a to-do-list about what things need follow-up assessment via questions, validated surveys, or testing. It also keeps me (and patients) accountable moving forward, as I come back to this over months and years while they remain in my care and I have to answer the question: did we address that?
This Master MindMapper Mate – she’s gone 1 GIANT step further, dedicating (virtually) the next few years of her life to writing a thesis on Complexity Science and, in part, how holistic medicine has now finally found its friend in science via this progressive model.
And MindMapping, and timelines and other key tools for genuinely integrated patient work-up, are the things that enable us to consistently uphold our holistic principles and practices and keep pace with the scientific progression. So if you wanna join our club 😂 because you’re already a MindMapping enthusiast don’t forget to contact email@example.com to find out about and ideally participate in her study. And if you’re feeling like the words MindMapping are Martian-speak for something you know nothing about 😥 …then maybe you should check this out.
As integrative health practitioners, we pride ourselves on taking in the ‘whole health story’ as a means to accurately identifying all the contributors & connections to each patient’s presenting unwellness. In the process, we gather a wealth of information from each client – pathology, medical history, screening tests, diet diaries etc. that borders on information overload and often creates so much ‘noise’, we struggle to ‘hear’ what’s most important. The management of complex patient information and the application of a truly integrative approach, requires due diligence and the right tools. Mindmapping and Timelines are two key tools to help you go from vast quantities of information to a true integrated understanding of what is going on in the case and the more time we spend learning and applying these tools, the more they will write the prescription for you. Not just for today but for the next 6-12mo for that patient.