So you're looking for some ways to improve your health naturally, right? The title of the video, How To Improve Health Naturally, suggests that. Maybe you have some chronic health issues that you’ve been dealing with for a long time? Maybe you're new to realizing that you do have some health issues, and you want to try some natural things to get your health back in balance?
Whatever the reason, in this post, we are going to look at how to approach health improvement naturally and in general. Whether you're working with a health care provider or trying to do this on your own, with diet changes or supplements etc, there are critical things to consider.
I laid out the main topics as:
- Repeat (rinse and repeat)
In our practice Southwest Integrative Medicine these are the ways we approach health improvement as we find the the least invasive, most natural way to get your body healthier.
First Way to Improve Health Naturally
So you want to know how you can improve your health naturally. The first thing I recommend is to get really curious about what is going on with your body. Now, you may not have all the information about what is or is not going on. You're probably not a doctor, but you do have some information. You have direct access to your symptoms; when they come on, what types of settings they occur in, when they come on, if they come on morning, in the afternoon, at work, at home? The next obvious question to ask would be why? Why are the symptoms coming on in this way? The basic idea is to see if there is a pattern? You can only do that if you are truly curious about what is actually going on.
All these questions (and answers) are helping build the picture or the model of what's actually happening. Now, there are different areas of our body that could be affecting these symptoms and it is not always straight formed and causal. For that reason it really helps to get some guidance. If you have a doctor and they are helping answer these questions, great.
What I would not do is blindly follow there advise. There should be some concrete reasons and explanations for the treatments that they recommend. Especially when you are not getting the results you expect.
For instance, if there's a diagnosis that's been long-standing for many many years, and you're not getting any improvement, it is a good opportunity to revisit what the actual problem is. This is especially true for a "junk diagnosis," like IBS or chronic fatigue syndrome. These diagnoses are called "junk diagnosis" because we don't know what the actual issue is. The diagnosis is a clustering of common symptoms found in these people. However the underlying mechanism or problem isn't always clearly defined even though medications are often recommended and given. Many people come in with these and other diagnoses saying they have tried different medications and they are not working. They don't know where to start.
So for them and you, we say start with where you are at and get really curious about what's actually happening inside your body to create these symptoms. What scenario is bringing them on? You may not have all these answers, but you need to start asking questions to yourself and your health care providers to help you build the picture or the mental model of what's going on. This is not only going to help your practitioners figure this out and help you, but also it will help you, help yourself...
Improve Your Health Naturally By Tracking
The other thing that comes to mind when thinking about how people can improve their health naturally is you need to get really granular about tracking your health progress or lack there of. You may see this as too simple or not worth the effort but it will pay dividends if you have a really complex health issue.
In fact, part of what makes your health issues complex to being with is the lack of clarity about it. The multiple medications or supplements you are taking that may or may not be having a positive affect. If you have clarity from first hand observation, we can start to understand what is driving the process. Again this may seem too simple but racking the things that you try, can be extremely beneficial. If you rely on your memory, chances are you won't really remember well. We are just too busy and have too much on our minds most of the time. Most of the time when I ask people why they are taking X, Y, or Z, they cannot remember and do not know why they take it.
For instance, a friend may recommend, “Oh, I tried probiotics and it helped my digestive symptoms, you should try it.” You say, ok let me try those, it seems simple enough. So you just go pick some up and try it.
It turns out, there are many different strains of microbes that you could be taking. There are also different things in probiotics that could be affecting you one way or another. Sometimes, they will also have digestive enzymes in them. Sometimes, they'll have prebiotics in there too. Sometimes, they won't have either.
So tracking the progress with each thing you try is important. You may try a probiotic, and you get worse, or you try one and you feel better. You want to look at what's in that and track you progress to see what actually does get better. For instance, do you have less gas and bloating? Do you feel more energetic? Do you have less joint pain? Is it just a general well-being? Is it your stool consistency? What are the symptoms that are actually improving? How long does it take to improve? What are your expectations when you take the probiotic? Do you expect it to improve in one day, two days, a week? How long do you need to take it? These are all the things that a doctor would be advising on if you were seeing them. You can work through some of these questions on your own. It starts by asking these questions and then actually tracking the details.
If you had a negative experience or no change from something you try, you will remember not to try that one again. Next time, you will try one that looks a little different or find out why perhaps. These are all questions you can ask your provider why it didn't work. If you are working with somebody that is curious about what's going on with you, they should be able to point you in some general direction as to why some of these things are happening.
We have made so many changes and improvements in our understanding of human health over the last 20 years. However, there is still a lot of unknowns and we don't always know the answers to all the questions.
By you tracking your progress and seeing what does and does not work, you're actually helping yourself. When you can't find an answer you can bring those questions to your doctor. They will hopefully be able to shed some light on why those are happening, and further enhance the model of what's going on in your body to create those symptoms.
Improve Your Health Naturally With A Model
Treating health issues is always easier when you have a clear understanding of what is causing the issues. You can think of these causes as a mental model. The concept that helps us understand your health. As you treat and improve someone's health, the model gets refined and clearer. This process of refining the model goes on until you restore your health.
When you have a positive result from something this gives you information on what's going on in your body. Why did that have the positive result, why did the probiotics have the results they did? Well, simple answer is maybe you were lacking gut flora, or maybe you have leaky gut syndrome and this helped a little bit. So there can be multiple scenarios for each supplement, vitamin, nutrient, drug, or even diet change that you make. You can test each one and verify if this fits with your model. If it does, great, you should be making progress towards better health.
The next thing on how to improve your health naturally is the refinement. If whatever you tried didn't work, why didn't it work? Go back to step one, and get curious. You will be further refining and refining your model until you feel like there's really nothing more to understand. Sometimes, this process is really simple. You do some labs, and look at symptoms, provide a treatment and the person gets better. It's with the chronic health issues that we need to take a broader perspective and look at all the possibilities
Lastly, I wanted to mention there's a lot of information out there on what you should and shouldn't be doing for your health. To prevent confusion, stick with one or two people, preferably a doctor or somebody that is very reputable to help guide you. If you're following too many things you will get overwhelmed and confused.
We are big advocates for patients to track their symptoms and their progress to health improvement. Of course, we always tracking along with them to make sure they are improving but it is good to do together. There is no one size fits all when it comes to health and that is precisely why taking this approach is going to help you the most in the long run. It may be a little more effort at first but it will pay off. Hopefully this gives you clarity on how to improve your health naturally, on your own and in conjunction with your doctor. Let me know in the comment section below what you think. If you want some one-on-one guidance, click on the link below for a free consultation.