How do you create a treatment plan for patients with chronic illnesses? I have patients that I treat in the clinic that have been diagnosed with asthma, diabetes and chronic pain. There are times when they want to focus on other issues that are not directly related to their illness. At the clinic we often create treatment plans based on the chief complaint. One of my favorite patients (LOL…they are ALL my favorite!!). Has asthma yet wanted the “pretties,” this means facial acupuncture for fine lines and wrinkles. The patient also likes Gua Sha and Tui Na on the face. Another patient who has been diagnosed with a few chronic illnesses yet insists on Plum Blossom treatments to help with thinning hair.
I give the patients both the necessary points for the illness and the accessory points and modalities for the warm and fuzzies. After all, patients who are dealing with a chronic illness are not consumed with the illness so, neither should I! I think all treatments enhance health and well-being. No treatment is frivolous. There is a fine line as practitioners to not dismiss our patients request no matter how much we want to focus on the chronic illness. We are under time constraints, but I try to make time for cupping, Tui Na, or a longer intake if they want to talk. Patients with chronic illnesses are in medical offices or hospitals quite often. They must endure countless appointments and maybe even medical procedures. I try to be mindful of this when they come to the Whole Health Center.
I was mis-diagnosed with a chronic illness, and for years I had to go from doctor to doctor. I eventually developed white coat syndrome. My blood pressure and pulse rate would go through the roof the minute I was in the room waiting for the doctor. I appreciated the doctors who would take a minute and listen it validated me as a person and not just a diagnosis. Therefore, my treatment approach is genuine empathy and understanding. A disease does not define any human. Wellness is just that: Wellness for every aspect of the patient.
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