It’s not uncommon for providers who take a holistic approach to healing and wellness to face certain hurdles. For example, some patients simply aren’t open to trying alternative health care remedies. On the other end of the spectrum, patients who are open to complementary therapies might not perform adequate research before trying something on their own. As such, they could end up doing more harm than good. For this reason, providers should take a proactive approach by addressing alternative health care during every appointment. Here’s how to start a dialogue on the subject with your patients.
Start With What They Already Know
What do your patients already do in the way of alternative health care therapy? Since they may not necessarily volunteer such information during the evaluation, make sure to ask specific questions. For example, ask what kinds of supplements they take daily and which providers they see on a regular basis (chiropractors, acupuncturists, etc.). Talking to patients about what they already do will serve two purposes. First, it will let you know whether they're open to trying complementary medicine. Second, it will ensure nothing you prescribe will interact with something they're already taking. Finally, it will also provide the opportunity to educate them if anything they’re doing is counterintuitive or even dangerous.
Explain What They Could Benefit From Learning
Since alternative health care has dozens of applications, at least a few will apply to virtually every patient. After determining that a patient is at least open to trying complementary medicine—or has been relying on it for years—talk about the various remedies you think will provide the most benefit given their current health. Remember that patients who are new to alternative therapy may be hesitant to try it, so they may feel more comfortable with simply adding something to their current treatment as opposed to replacing it entirely.
If you want more tips on discussing alternative health care with patients, turn to Metro Collaborative™ in New York, NY. This networking group can connect you with others in the field who specialize in holistic healing. They host multiple retreats and peer-to-peer dinners every year for clinicians just like you, and they also offer business coaching to those who want to take their private practice to the next level. To learn more about their fearless leaders, visit their website. To reserve your space at their next event, call (609) 876-9163.