When I started SOAR, I wanted to identify myself with a word that encompasses what I do. Given my allopathic training in physical therapy and bioengineering and my personal experiences, alternative training in Holistic Nutrition and coaching, what word encompasses all of that? I thought Integrative Physical Therapist was a good start.
Integration has many meanings in the world of sociology, economy, mathematics, electronics, and even genetics. Here are some subsets of the definition, “unification” “entering an agreement in order to enhance cooperation”, “computing areas together”, “assembling large and complicated systems from less-complicated units” and “bringing different races together.” I like that. Integration is bringing the allopathic and alternative healthcare ideas TOGETHER.
In bringing them together, where does that put you, the patient?
Turns out that puts YOU right at the heart of your health, where you belong.
Along my journey and sharing, sometimes people have thought that I am against medication or allopathic medicine. That is far from the truth. Both alternative and allopathic health care providers are both in ways faulty and in ways correct. The biggest problem is that they don’t communicate TOGETHER. They haven’t integrated yet.
Recently, my son needed surgery. We did not go into the surgery blindly. We had worked “alternatively” with a naturopath for a few years and made dramatic improvements in his health. We also worked “traditionally” with a medical doctor/surgeon. We worked with BOTH. We communicated our concerns and desires related to our holistic lifestyle to ALL those involved. And the best part was, we were in control of our son’s care. We respected each and every one of our healthcare providers and they BOTH allowed us to make the right decision for our family. There was no arguing, shaming or even belittling us for communicating our lifestyle or desires. In fact, they were all supportive. See, it made sense because we are paying attention to our health.
The only way the integration happened was us…the patient. Although my son is not yet old enough to make his own decisions, I hope that we are demonstrating how to value and respect those with experience, yet forming our own decisions.
I am an Integrative Physical Therapist and Holistic Health Coach. Integrative and holistic means that I help YOU find the path to overcome your painful condition using movement, nutrition, sleep, and lifestyles habits to optimize your performance and health. I do a lot of research (human google so to speak) and more listening to you and your body so that I can coach you how to do it yourself. That may include traditional testing or alternative testing and even supplement recommendations. If you need medication, then we will refer you out to your doctor. In the end, you need to be the master of your health. I am NOT the anti-medication or anti-doctor or anti-alternative provider. I am an INTEGRATOR of allopathic and alternative principles putting you in charge of your own health and recovery.
For me, integrative practitioners are the future of our health. Integrative practitioners must be open minded and look at the whole person. Turf wars over licensure are not integrating. We need to listen to each other as professionals, but more important, we need to find ways to put each and every patient in control of their health.
The FIRST step in integrating, is to be the master of your own health. In order for me to care for my son, I must take care of myself first. It’s like on the airplane when they say to put your mask on first and then your child. Even as a healthcare provider, you can’t take care of others if you haven’t taken care of yourself.
You are in charge of your health, what are you waiting for?
Remove. Replace. Restore.
Remove the barriers between allopathic and alternative medicine.
Replace with an open mind and listening ears. Patients, talk to your healthcare providers, bring a list of questions. They want to help you. Professional turf wars only delay our progress to making our country healthy.
Restore health…please…so we can focus on connecting to our family, friends and our earth…not suffering.
Eat Well. Move Well. Sleep Well. Soar On.
Dr Carolyn Dolan DPT, Cert MDT, MSHN
Where physical therapy, nutrition and lifestyle meet, because how you live your life determines whether or not you soar. Inspiring action with information so you can reduce pain, optimize healing and improve function naturally during recovery from injury, surgery or painful condition. This is a website for the open-minded; obstinate need not apply.