I received interesting feedback from a client the other day. She wrote to me about one of the health programmes I am running at the moment. “Your style invites me into empowerment” she said, and I stopped and thought for a while. What exactly are we looking for from the health professionals we meet? Are we looking for an expert, someone to provide us with the answers? Or are we looking for someone to provide us with the right questions and information for us to reach own conclusions?
I often think that the “expert driven” way of practicing health is a little outdated. There was a time when you quietly approached an expert, told your story, and patiently waited to be told what to do. This expert was well known and respected in their field and had proven success. Rarely did we question, challenge or consult.
However, in many ways, the practice of health care has changed. In a world where we have access to massive amounts of good quality (and poor quality) information, we often tend to read more and, therefore, know more about the factors that effect and can improve our health. We have more opportunity to openly consult with others about the solutions that is right for us.
Sometimes, however, I wonder if we have we simply changed from being directed by the views of one expert to now being driven by the opinions of many. Has more information left us more clear about the decisions that are right for us, or more confused about the many options that all seem appropriate and right for others and could, therefore, be right for us.
How do we bring our health back to us? How do we learn to ask ourselves the right questions, and listen to ourselves, our own intuitive understanding about what is best for us? In all the noise, is it possible to stop and listen carefully to the beating of our own hearts and the pounding of our own pulse?
Perhaps there is not a correct answer and perhaps each scenario has to be dealt with in its own way. Yet, I can’t help but notice that when you ask people the right questions, challenge some of their assumptions and arm them with the information they need, they devise solutions perfect for them and create their own path.