Your Health Journey Is Unique + How To Get Unstuck
I recently decided that it would be a good idea to supplement my dogs’ diet with some fish oil. So I ordered a bottle with a pump because that sounded less messy.
When it came, I looked at the label to see how much I needed to give to my dogs. There were three different doses listed. I don’t remember them all, but the amount for dogs under 50 lbs. was two squirts (a really technical measurement, I know).
That got me thinking. Does my 6 pound chihuahua really need the same amount as a 49 pound dog? Shouldn’t the doses be broken down a little bit more?
Fish oil and chihuahuas aside, I’ve discovered on my own health journey that there’s a similar problem with how we approach treating disease, getting well, and staying healthy.
In natural lifestyle circles, there’s often an accusation against modern medicine that it only treats symptoms- not the causes of those symptoms. I happen to think that’s a pretty fair point. But I’ve also found there’s another mistake often made by both traditional and natural medicine.
The mistake is that doctors and health experts don’t take into account the unique makeup of every person. They have a specific method for treating a specific health problem and that method gets offered to everyone. I really think there’s something missing in this approach.
So if you’ve tried traditional medicine or holistic methods or all of the above and still feel stuck, here’s what might help you find a breakthrough.
Our Differences Matter
Have you ever read studies about how well a certain drug or supplement works? They usually talk about what kind of drug was being tested, who the participants in the study were, and how well the drug worked overall.
Some of these studies have surprising results. Let’s say that a certain natural supplement reduced overall pain from arthritis in 85% of the people who participated in the test. That’s pretty good, right?
And yet, even if that statistic was real and not made up, the supplement still didn’t work for everyone. 15% of the participants were out of luck.
Did that 15% somehow do the test wrong? Did they not take the supplement the right way? Or is it possible that they needed something else to help their arthritis because their bodies have a different chemical makeup?
I’ve had an uphill battle for many years with my health and have experienced the frustration of not finding many answers.
I’ve lost track of how many doctors, health professionals, holistic practitioners, and articles from Google have told me, “This is how you get better.” And I followed each of their methods- only to discover that for some reason they didn’t work for me.
None of them actually had the right answer for me. They had systems to give me, and when those didn’t work I was out of luck. Just like that 15%.
But I finally discovered something very important. None of their systems were right for me, but most of them had elements that helped me some. So they weren’t completely wrong. They just weren’t paying attention to whether their system was a good fit for what my body needed.
Uniqueness matters. What works for one person with a certain health problem won’t necessarily work for another person with that same problem. Realizing this is the first step to getting unstuck in your own health journey.
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Learning From Ayurveda
I don’t have one health system that I follow or that I believe has all the answers. But I do think that Ayurveda has a lot to tell the Western world about how uniqueness in body constitution matters a lot when it comes to health.
Ayurveda has its origins in India, and Ayurvedic medicine is still practiced regularly in the eastern part of the world (and becoming more popular in western countries as well).
There is a lot to Ayurveda that I won’t go into now, but one of its basic principles is that there are three doshas (or bodily humors) that are present in each person and determine our body type. All three are present in each person but in different amounts.
Not only does Ayurveda recognize that each person’s constitution is unique, it also recognizes that the balance of the doshas does not stay the same. Anything from climate change to stage of life to stress can balance or imbalance an individual’s constitution.
Can our uniqueness really be defined by three doshas like Ayurveda says? I don’t know for sure.
But the important thing Ayurveda taught me is that in order to help someone heal and regain health, their unique body composition and state of balance need to be taken into account.
One-size-fits-all treatments don’t work because we are not all the same. Nor do our bodies stay the same throughout our lifetime. We have to learn to pay attention to this.
(If you want to read more about Ayurveda here’s an article that gives a good overview.)
Empower Yourself With These Tips
Realizing that your uniqueness matters in your health journey can be empowering and can help you get unstuck. It explains why a certain system that works for other people doesn’t work for you.
It also means that you are the best judge of whether something is helping or hurting you. Only you can feel what’s going on inside your body and mind.
But it can also be frustrating. When we aren’t as healthy as we want to be, we need a solution. We want instructions and systems to follow so that we can get better. And it’s discouraging to keep trying new solutions if we aren’t getting results.
So here are a few tips for how to make your health journey what you need it to be:
- Listen to yourself. Like I said before, only you can feel what’s going on inside. Learn to listen to your body and let it tell you what works and what doesn’t.
- Find doctors who will listen to you. Whether you choose modern medicine, natural medicine, or both, the best people to work with when it comes to your health are those who will listen. Get away from those who are stuck in their methods or don’t have enough time to hear you out.
- Keep trying. Yes, it gets frustrating, but your answer is out there somewhere. Each time you try something new, keep what works and throw out what doesn’t.
Don’t Give Up!
If you have been trying and trying to find better health and feel like giving up, you aren’t alone. Hang in there! Your breakthrough might be just around the corner. Often it comes one tiny step at a time.
Here’s a quick summary of how to get unstuck in your health journey:
- Realize that your unique makeup matters to your health
- What works for others might not work for you
- When a system doesn’t work for you, just take anything that helps with you
- Read more about Ayurveda and its emphasis on uniqueness
- Listen to your body and trust your instincts
- Find doctors and other practitioners who will listen to you
- Keep trying!
I’ve made more progress towards health by starting to think for myself than I ever did trying one-size-fits-all methods. I believe that you can, too!
(Looking for natural ways to be healthy? Check out my series on Using Herbs For Health.)
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