Practicing Patience with Patients
By far, the practice of being patient with your patients is one of the most difficult aspects of being a healthcare practitioner. The patience I am referring to includes: The time it takes to treat and resolve symptoms, the ability to persevere during difficult-to-resolving issues, and the understanding that natural healing is a process, not a band-aid solution. My patients often ask, “How long before I see results?” and the answer can be complicated. Once a patient starts their protocols, including dietary change and supplementation, they should quickly see improvements but not complete resolution - that takes time. Their condition most likely developed over time and it is reasonable to expect some time to pass before it is resolved.
I fully recognize that my patients want to see something soon – early success gives a vote of confidence that all their efforts are bearing fruit. The key is that once you do see some improvement, you can't steer off course – patients need to stay on the straight-and-narrow as long as possible. When my patients begin to feel better, they become tempted to cheat a little. This is a source of stress for me, knowing that their system is just starting to respond. But it is human nature to hope for a speedy recovery and perhaps minimizes the impact of straying slightly from the plan. Particularly in the cases of digestive health, the longer and more adherent one remains to the protocol, the more likely they will achieve a long-lasting improvement.
Therapeutic diets are tedious and can be monotonous. They are also life-savers and offer relief from symptoms. Each patient has a different level of compliance - some can persist for months or even years with some restriction while others only last a few days. To all my patients, I put forth the idea that – “The more effort you put in, the more you will get out of your efforts”. If you are the type to be discouraged after a week, natural healing will be a challenge for you. If you recognize that disease is a progressive process that you can improve over time, then realize that you will have to make a lifestyle change. Is it worth it? Of course. Is it difficult? Making new habits and trying new things is always difficult in the beginning. But again, it’s worth it. If you are considering or part-way through the process of a natural therapy, recognize that your efforts are always worth it and the results will be there.