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Treatment Room and Other Experiences as a Client, Essay Example

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Essay

I believe that practising integrative medicine requires us to demonstrate a depth of compassion and intuitiveness that is often lacking in the medical establishment.  The practice of herbal medicine is about much more than doling out tinctures as doctors do prescription drugs.  Instead, we must take into account the whole person and the various elements of the client’s  life/work/relationships that are currently causing the client pain, discomfort, or whatever else has caused them to seek out herbal medicine as a solution.  So many clients come to me after having been metaphorically beaten down by doctors who tell them not to listen to their own bodies. They have lost confidence in their own intuitiveness, and I see it as part of my role as holistic practitioner to help reinforce their own innate ability to understand what works and what doesn’t work for them (both through herbal treatments and in other areas).  I have a great deal of respect and empathy for my clients, and recognize the importance of compassion during a period in my clients life that often finds them vulnerable and hurting.  However, the experience of visiting a wellness center as a patient rather than a practitioner has taught me that there are further ways that I can incorporate a holistic and integrative approach into my own practice.

Prior to visiting the wellness center, my practitioner had me fill out an extensive clinical questionnaire that explored my spiritual and medical history as well as my past and present lifestyle.  Although I use a questionnaire with clients as well, this one created a narrative that went well beyond what I’ve experienced before and is one that I’d like to try and incorporate into my own practice.  During my first visit, which took over two hours, the practitioner worked from this questionnaire to help determine a wellness plan that would be feasible in my daily life.  She asked me specifically about my taste preferences (sour versus sweet, hot versus cold) and whether I have the time and patience to prepare my own tinctures or whether I prefer pre-prepared solutions.  I almost felt foolish to realize how such simple questions make a practitioner’s job in determining the right herbal treatment easier.  Obviously, a client will be more likely to stick with a herbal program if it tastes right to them and isn’t a burden to prepare.  The other question that I’m going to incorporate in the future with my clients is that of cost.  There are few insurance plans that cover herbal medicine, and cost definitely figures into a client’s ability to maintain a treatment plan.  After our first session, my practitioner came out with me to the waiting room and personally set up my follow-up visit.  This made me feel very comfortable and valued as a client.  Again, this was another example of a simple solution that hadn’t occurred to me before.  I generally leave it to the center’s receptionist to handle all scheduling of appoitnments.  However, the individualized attention that I received as a client of the wellness center made me feel special, which gives me the impetus to return again and continue with treatment.

After visiting this practitioner, I feel highly motivated to take a new approach to getting information from clients, incorporating this information into wellness plans, and helping to ensure that my clients feel encouraged to return for further treatment.  The practitioner’s ability to translate my questionairre into a participatory dialogue in which she listened closely to determine my needs as a client are fantastic skills that I’m going to work harder to use in my own practice.  I believe that this experience has provided me with the opportunity to utilize some very simple and basic but crucial skills in order to help my clients become active and empowered participants in both their health care experience and their overall daily lives.

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