Howdy practitioners – I’ve had an inspiring month of clients. Not because I cured anyone, answered some major riddle previously unsolved by modern medicine or any of these enormous tasks we or our patients often set ourselves but rather because I got back to basics. Many of you will know that I spend most of my practice time working at the pointy end of complex chronic multi-system disease and while it is deeply satisfying when you have a breakthrough with someone’s health, it is challenging. Often I am the last bastion, my clients have been referred to me and therefore typically have already addressed their diet and other health behaviours to a certain extent. So unlike perhaps many naturopaths, I don’t spend most of my time in practice talking about food and doing the grassroots education that is at the core of naturopathic medicine (in my humble opinion) 😉
This month was different. I had a bunch of clients who, while they did have pointy end (that’s a technical term!) multi-system disease, e.g. one client alone had retinal detachment, coronary stents, a genetic bone disease, NAFLD and a liver abscess, they clearly hadn’t been educated about food in the way that we do so well and which can make such a huge impact on a person’s life and health.
What a joy! I got to just talk food! How nature colour codes the antioxidants in fruit and veg for us dummies, why Chinese greens are such a superior vegetable choice and how to cook them to perfection, how to rank meat in terms of most to least nutritious options etc. And I loved it – most of all because of the light bulbs that have gone off for my clients, the small steps of empowerment you witness them taking and the excitement that they themselves feel about having a really important part to actively play in determining the outcome of their own serious health issues, after feeling powerless for so long in the face of multiple diagnoses and interventions that ask nothing of them other than to take their meds. This is priceless.
I’ve been reminded about the potency of this role and about the great opportunity we have in the lives of others to make this kind of difference. It may sound silly to say that working at the pointy end (ahem!) sometimes you lose sight of the beauty of the basics but it’s true. Go you good people out there who are delivering the grassroots education to your clients on food and healthy lifestyle behaviours day in day out. Even if that’s all we can achieve with some clients – that is a lot. What a great job we have 🙂
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