By Dr. Shawna Darou, ND
I have been thinking lots about how to take you further with your health and wellness, and how to shift the paradigm where we stop paying attention to our health as soon as the acute symptoms are gone. We keep chasing crisis after crisis. The truth is that symptoms like pain, bloating, mood swings, hormone imbalance and more are signs that your body is out of balance, resulting largely from how you are living your life. If we don’t look more deeply at your lifestyle, self-care, ongoing stresses, beliefs and your environment, the same pattern will continue to repeat. Health is much more than the absence of disease.
During our first visit together, we go through your current health complaints, past health issues, family history, and health goals, and then review lab testing (when applicable). This allows us to create a very comprehensive treatment plan, to not only get to the root of the issues that brought you into the clinic, but also to take a proactive and preventative approach.
I am modifying the way I present these “Personalized Wellness Programs” in clinic, so that you can very clearly see the roadmap and the steps along the way. After many years of practice, it has become clear that without a roadmap we do not reach the point of wellness that is possible, especially the sequence of steps to follow. It’s also important to not try to take on too much all at once – this inevitably turns into a plan that is too difficult to sustain so we need to break it down. The bottom line is that your personalized wellness program not only deals with your current health complaints, but also with the circumstances that created it.
I would like to show you more clearly with a couple of typical examples. These are more complex cases, where the treatment plans would extend beyond a few visits so that you can see how it works.
Example #1: 31 year old woman just diagnosed with endometriosis
Here is an example of a woman who was just diagnosed with endometriosis. Her periods are regular, but extremely painful and interfering with her life. She is trying to decide on the best strategies to manage her cycles – using hormonal contraceptives, proceeding with surgery or looking for natural options. The biggest concern she has is for her future fertility, so she want to do everything possible to manage the progression of endometriosis so it won’t interfere in the future. And due to the ups and downs of hormone imbalance, PMS and period struggles, she is suffering from significant mood swings. Here is how we create her personalized wellness program, step-by-step (on the right). And a clear outline of our steps together and our intentions for each visit check-in below.
Example #2: 47 year old woman with adrenal fatigue, perimenopause mood swings and hormonal migraines
This second case is a 47 year old woman who has been overworking for years, along with many responsibilities with her family. She is exhausted, overwhelmed and is now starting to see changes in her menstrual cycle suggesting perimenopause (periods coming closer together and much heavier than before). She is getting migraines twice a month which is more than before and they seem to be triggered by hormones – mid-cycle and around menstruation. Life continues to be very busy, and her self-care has slipped: not eating regularly, not enough sleep or exercise and too much coffee to get through the day. Here is how we create her personalized wellness program, step-by-step (on the right). Note that simply repairing and rebuilding the adrenal system will get this patient out of her current crisis, but unless we address her overall self-care, this pattern will continue to repeat and worsen. Below you can see a clear outline of our steps together and our intentions for each visit check-in.
Building a long-term health partnership
I believe that with the right kind of education and support, that your body can heal and return to a state of optimal health. My job is to ask the right questions, perform the right tests, and thoroughly understand all aspects of your health – physical, emotional and spiritual, in order understand what systems are out of balance. From here, we work together to remove obstacles, strengthen and repair systems, emphasize excellent nutrition and self-care, and fill in any gaps with other skilled practitioners. My goal for you is to learn how to manage your health well for the long-run, and going far beyond solving your current health concern.
Next steps for YOUR personalized wellness program
If this is something that excites or interests you, we can dive in where you’re at and create your personalized wellness program together. Moving through your current health complaints, navigating the circumstances that created the health issues, and then building prevention plan that also takes your family history into account.
How to get started on your Personalized Wellness Program:
- If you have not yet seen me at Darou Wellness, then simply book your initial visit on my schedule. Your wellness program will be presented to you during your second visit.
- If you have just had an initial visit with me but we have not yet met for a second visit, we will go through your Personalized Wellness Program during your second visit – just book in as usual.
- If you are an existing patient who has had more than 2 visits with me already, the first step is to book a 45 minutes “Personalized Wellness Program” visit on my schedule. This is available in person, or remotely by phone or by Skype. This is where we build the program and roadmap together.
Next, we book the follow-up visits at time-intervals that make sense for you. Each subsequent step through the program is a 30 minute follow-up visit (in person or phone/Skype). These steps are bite-sized pieces of your health journey, where each step builds on the previous one to prevent the overwhelm of trying to do too much at once. Please note that there is no pressure or fixed timeline for these visits, only a suggested schedule and timeline. The next step and committment is up to you.
I’m privileged to have the opportunity to work with amazing, talented people like yourself as a health professional, and I hope to share with you a deeper level of wellness, and a clear roadmap to get there.
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