By Cliff Colgan MS NTP
Editor’s Note: Mr. Colgan is a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner who has recently moved to Lyons. He will be contributing a column for The Lyons Recorder on a monthly basis.
Functional wellness care has made some great strides in the last 5-10 years. Based on client symptom questionnaires and analyzing the client’s blood, saliva and sometimes stool samples, the wellness provider
can pinpoint various biological processes in the body that are off course. Then the wellness practitioner suggests food and lifestyle changes that balance those processes that have gone off track. For example, a high C-Reactive Protein (CRP) lab count shows there is general inflammation in the blood vessels. This is a red flag to the functional health provider to design a program for the client that reduces this inflammation. Reducing this inflammation can lessen the chance of this person developing blood vessel and heart problems in the future.
This health support program would involve eating meals that contain good fats like salmon and olive oil, eating higher fiber foods, and food selection that raises blood glucose levels gradually and not very high so as not to raise insulin levels too much. Ways of reducing stress will be discussed with the client such as yoga, pilates, massage, taking more time off to relax, etc. Supplements and nutrients are ordered and an appointment for next month is set. A fair amount of behavior change is asked from the client in just 3-4 weeks. Although the client may nod their head in agreement, this may seem like a lot of change requested with little instruction on how to do all this new behavior.
Will the client comply and do what’s asked? Will the change in diet and stress reduction cause enough fear and resistance that the client won’t do what is asked or come back for the next follow up? An important process has to occur in the client or be discussed by the practitioner with the client, so the client understands the practitioner, at best, is a health educator, guide and motivational spark. The determination and action for health improvement, in the end, must come from the client. How can the client emotionally prepare for the health improvement or illness prevention they seek?
In my opinion, health change for the better is tied to your deep intentions. Your intentions are the goal or vision you see yourself achieving. It’s your pact with the universe to dip your toe into the River of Life … and benefit. Knowing what you live for can wag your tail with satisfaction. Deep intentions firmly held make following good wellness strategy easier to do.
Deeply held intentions can be any vision that really matters to you. Your intention should satisfy you once realized. Like a recent healthcare TV ad, your intention could be building creative, comfy birdhouses for a living. Your vision could simply be having more energy so you can enjoy your grandkids. It could be that now you have worked hard you want to be able to travel or build your house or exercise without pain. Whatever wags your tail, you need to know how much it means to you.
It doesn’t hurt to write down these deep intentions. If you are like me, it can be hard to remember to drain the swamp when you are up to your ass in alligators. Written intentions focus energy when things get chaotic and confusing.
I have not forgotten the responsibility of the functional health practitioner in this deal with the client. The practitioner must show the client they understand and empathize with them and their concerns. There must be a connection of trust. And the wellness practitioner must understand how much change of behavior the client can take on at one time. This comes from questions asked and responses noted. It could be that you are tired or feeling bad enough that it’s tough to be fired up. That’s when the practitioner earns his keep and prioritizes what is most important to initiate with the client. Finally, the practitioner needs to follow up with the client between office visits to see if there are problems or concerns.
It is a pleasure to be in Lyons supporting people to live with more energy and vitality. Helping people prevent and reduce the adverse effects of chronic ailments is what I do. My support protocol is evidence based which means I measure you physiologically with tests and health questionnaires. Then I retest in 30 to 60 days to see if what I am having you do is working. But I also listen to see what wags your tail.
That’s what really matters.
Lyons Optimal Wellness is located above the Lyons Physical Therapy Clinic in what use to be the old video store on High street.
435 High Street, 303-898-6109