We did it! We made it to 2019! How exciting. If you are anything like me, the end of the year is a great time for reflection of the previous year and what went well, what went wrong, and what totally failed. Sometimes my goals were lofty, but sometimes my intentions were not grand enough. Either way, I love the feeling that I get from a new year. It almost reminds me of a nice shower after a workout in the gym or a new outfit on the first day of school. The new year signifies a time of transition and great change. Holistic medicine is no different. That is one of the reasons I love about healthcare. It is always changing, progressing and shifting, good or bad. Most recently I began watching the Resident on Hulu, a doctor show of course! I secretly love all doctor shows, and watch them on my downtime as a means of relaxation.. haha!
This show is pretty interesting as it explores the various aspects of healthcare regarding a lack of patient care combined with doctors with unscrupulous billing practices. Thankfully, there are “the good guys” in healthcare played by the lead character Conrad Hawkins and his on and off again ex-girlfriend nurse Nic. He is very much a rebel in the hospital working to set people straight with his own rules of patient care. I often reflect how this pertains to my practice. I see many similarities in fact. Many of you know that I am a mother and I have been one for the last 14 years. There is not anything I wouldn’t do for my 14-year-old daughter especially for her health, yet the more I began to learn and complete my training the more I saw a huge gap in patient care for families from a holistic perspective. Many families would love to offer their children healthier alternatives to conventional practices, such as holistic medicine yet don’t necessarily know what to do and are often afraid to step outside of the box in treating them. Sure, Google has its perks, but these are your children we are talking about.
Alas, when I got pregnant, I was a proud vegetarian. I ate lots of veggies during pregnancy, yet was unaware of my severe anemia which led me to eat beef (even though I did not want to, pregnancy cravings are intense) Little did myself, or my awesome OBGYN, know what nutritional supplementation I could have used to balance not only my anemia but prevent any other host of complications. My OBGYN was terrific as an allopathic doctor but was unaware of holistic medicine to guide me along in the process of my desire to have a natural pregnancy as well as delivery. I felt all alone, by myself and even come delivery time was often mocked by the nurses because I showed up with my birthing ball and essential oils (this was well before this was a thing). Alas, I perceived without Doula, Midwife, or any other support person I could have used to walk myself through the process of natural birth. Sadly, my daughter ended up being born via C-section as I was told the cord was wrapped around her neck, and I had stopped dilating at 9.5 cm (who knows if this was accurate, but later realized that my pause in dilation was a natural resting period. My daughter was not provided any of my bacteria from my vagina to help support her immune system and was immediately taken away, which later created difficulty in breastfeeding. I tell you all of this to explain that had I would have been more educated on my options, or was aware of what I could do that was more in alignment with my lifestyle I would have gladly obliged, but my allopath had no experience in that type of practice. In fact, if mentioned she may even suggest that there was no scientific basis for any of the methods mentioned.
Proudly at 14, my daughter has never been vaccinated, nor has she ever taken an over the counter drug. She has only used homeopaths, and if she gets sick, she often rests, drinks tea, and knows how to care for her own health better than many adults. Once I took her to an allopathic doctor for a check-up around the time she was coming of age, just to see what perspective I would gain from them if any (a girl can hope right). They asked multiple times if she was sick, to which repeatedly I let them know she was not and we just wanted routine blood work to monitor her health. Perplexed, they obliged but only after my insistence. It was actually pretty comically. The mindset of only taking your child to the doctor if they are ill and never monitoring their health or teaching the child what it means to be healthy. I celebrate that in my practice. I often ask children questions about what it means to be healthy and encourage them to take ownership of their own health. I also educate parents on how to set healthy boundaries, how to not allow their children to walk all over them, and assist parents in breaking unhealthy parenting patterns that they developed from their parents. After all most children don’t come with owners manual if any, and this conscious group of kids coming out today is pretty incredible leaving many unaware parents perplexed, frustrated, and downright stressed out attempting to manage them. Combine that with work pressures, relationship pressures, in-law pressures, and more and many moms are just trying to go to the bathroom in peace let alone take on the world of parenting.
I like to think of my practice as a safe haven for parents seeking the option of raising their children on a natural path, helping them understand proactive health versions reactive health. I often find that parents have many questions that their other doctors either can’t answer, won’t answer, or will shame them for the asking. Is it safe for me to vaccinate MY child? What do I need to be feeding my son/daughter? What nutrition are they lacking from their diets? What can we do for their sleep, behavior, mood that does not involve medication? There are many questions that parents ask in an effort not to overmedicate their children. Surely there are moments to which their children may need medication, but we want that to be the last resort for many parents, and we want a comprehensive view of their health. Many child well visits have mainly be reduced to vaccination appointments, and if the family chooses not to vaccinate, they find there is very little need for the visit. We offer Homeoprophylaxis, which works to educate the immune system without the toxic substances found in many vaccines to date; however, that is not the main purpose of their visits. Sometimes we discuss their school, their friends, even how they feel about certain life events such as a divorce, death, or previous exposures to abuses. We provide the tools to build emotional health even before they become inundated with various stressors that can potentially have them spiraling out of control as adults. That is our goal really, to provide children with the tools to be fully functioning and self-actualized adults. We have the advantage now more than ever to equip our children with the necessary tools for living a healthy life, and I am very proud of creating a practice that I would want to take my children too, even equipped with a crowd favorite train table set, color books about health topics, and a host of various grade and age level books. Children often enjoy visiting our practice so much they request to come back and also don’t want to leave, which provides a great opportunity to flex some pretty precise parenting skills. It’s time to go, little Johnny.
Children that come to our practice begin to associate getting well with coming to our practice. This jogs a memory of a little gal I treated for behavioral symptoms which we had to remove medications with her psychiatrist and rework her entire neurological protocols in order to help her gain her health. Long story short, we got her all balanced, healthy, and back to normal after some intensive medication side effects and whenever she felt “off” would tell her Mom. “It’s time to go see Dr. Steele.” I’ve treated this little mama since she was 3 years old, she is now 9.
I am truly grateful to the parents that trust me, listen to me, and most importantly follow my directions whether their interest is to start a family, take care of the family they have, or just take care of themselves, we serve a very unique place in the healthcare space. The often underserved, underappreciated area of true holistic medicine. The are that builds health rather than fights disease. If you are interested in being one of the families that our practice supports in your holistic healthcare journey feel free to reach out to us to schedule an appointment. Typically, we charge one consult fee per family.
*All information contained in this blog post is intended for informational and educational purposes only, and is neither intended nor suited to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical treatment nor for professional medical advice relative to a specific medical question or condition.