Health should be seen as an investment. It’s just like success, success isn’t achieved overnight and of course it depends on where you’re starting from to begin with and what you’re trying to achieve.
So, let me give you some examples. If you are generally well and in good health, but you want to optimise your diet or ensure your vegan choices for example, are giving you all the good stuff you need to thrive, then this potentially is a quicker journey than working with a long term illness. In terms of getting the most out of your diet, you could argue there are three main steps. 1) understanding what your food choices are lacking in and where to find good sources. 2) Gradually adding these into your diet in ways which you find enjoyable and 3) building this as a habit which can be maintained forever.
If, however you are looking to correct an imbalance in your body and you have symptoms which cause you distress and disrupt your life, the journey will be longer. It is really important to understand that chronic long term illnesses do not appear overnight. You do not wake up one morning with diabetes type 2 or an autoimmune disease. The foundations of the illness will have been burning for many years. The problem is that by the time the disease has taken hold, the symptoms are so significant that they can be detectable by traditional testing. However, changes in your body will have been taking place for years and they gradually become progressively worse.
Traditional medicine treats the symptoms of disease it does not treat the root cause. For example, if you have an underactive thyroid you may be prescribed thyroxine to raise the levels. But what caused your thyroid to have low levels in the first place. If you continue to solely mask the symptoms, the cause will continue and will never resolve.
With functional medicine we work to address the underlying reasons and this requires detective work. A good starting place with many conditions it to put really good foundations for health in place first. It never ceases to amaze me how much this can improve health itself. Following that, a more targeted approach will be necessary. I always explain to my clients that if a condition has been building for years, is it realistic to expect those symptoms to disappear in a couple of sessions?. Your health is an investment, there are no magic pills or golden bullets. Whilst I will guide and support you, it is you that has to put the changes in place. Every client does this at a different pace, every client has a different set of personal circumstances and in some conditions, it is possible to work too fast and create more unwelcome symptoms. Working with candida is an example of this, clients must be closely monitored, and it is not uncommon for the plan to be slowed down to a pace that suits the individual. Like all science, good evidence is important, but individualising protocols does involve trial and error.
For those clients with a long term condition, they should expect to work with a qualified practitioner for maybe 3 -6 months or even more.