LIFE IN BALANCE
Part 9. First Steps on the Path to Health
by Elena Greco
LIFE IN BALANCE is a multi-part series exploring health–
what it is, how to get it and how to maintain it, easily and naturally.
To read the complete series, click here: Life in Balance.
Typical reading time: 2 minutes
So far in this series, we’ve learned that true health is reflected in vitality and resilience, and we’ve learned the value of using a holistic healthcare system, one which takes all aspects of you and your life into account. We’ve compiled a snapshot of our current state of health and assessed which areas of our health might need improving or transforming. And in the last segment, you took an Ayurvedic dosha test to learn which of three constitutional types or categories (doshas)—vata, pitta or kapha—are closest to your own mental and physical make-up. At this point you should have a good idea of your health challenges, the areas of your lifestyle and environments that might need attention and how you’d like to improve your health.
Now it’s time to start putting what you’ve learned into action!
Healthcare Professionals. It’s helpful to create a list of people and services that you might use to support your health and your particular needs. Now that you’re beginning to be acquainted with what you might need to restore and maintain your balance in life, you’re in a better place to choose which types of professionals might be beneficial to your health. Examples are medical doctors, physician’s assistants, holistic physicians, functional medicine doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners, psychotherapists, holistic life coaches, physical trainers of various sorts (e.g., physical therapists, hatha yoga teachers or Gyrotonic® trainers), homeopaths, naturopaths and herbologists. Please don’t discount any of these if they sound a bit strange to you. There are many paths to the point of balance, and any or all of these people can be helpful.
Once you make choices, in addition to getting referrals from friends and colleagues, research the potential professionals through reading any content they might have published on their website or elsewhere to get a feel for who they are, what they believe about health, and how you might be treated. As with any professional, the quality and manner of the person matters much more than the type of profession they practice.
Testing. Contemplate if any testing might be useful before you proceed. For example, if you’ve tended to have high blood pressure, if you’re over a certain age, or if you have other concerns, you might want to have a physical exam with blood tests to get the science as a starting point and a point of comparison for the future. Make sure that you find a doctor who is open to current trends and discoveries, even if they are a conventional sort of doctor, and is willing to test beyond the usual tests when appropriate (e.g., they’re willing to test Vitamin D levels). And when you get the tests, be sure your doctor or the online network in which they participate provides you the results for your records.
Once you have your list of healthcare professionals and digital copies of your tests, add them to the Healthcare folder on your computer, along with the previous tests and information from this series, so that everything related to your healthcare is in one easily-accessible place.
Coming attractions. Now that the introductory segment of this series is complete, we’ll be looking at the building blocks of the four areas we just explored: the physical body, mental health, your environment and your lifestyle.
These segments will focus on up-to-date, plain-English information that’s relevant to your daily life, and they will be updated whenever more information becomes available. We’ll also explore products and practices that can help you find balance by adapting them to your own life and lifestyle.
Here’s to your health!