Experiencing a Health Set-Back?
Experts Say Remain Practical, Yet Open
By JiJi Russell
Most of us have experienced a health setback at some point in our lives. Maybe a recurring back injury limited your activity level more and for longer than you had hoped; or perhaps one of those recent tenacious flu strains snagged you and subsided only to give way to a sinus infection. Or maybe you’ve experienced a more grave situation, like a cancer diagnosis that required aggressive therapy. Whatever the details, a setback in health can prove challenging on many levels, and can put you through your paces both physically and emotionally.
I thought I’d put the question of health setbacks to four area health and wellness practitioners to see what insights they can to offer on how to move through those times when your health falls below par.
A common theme that emerged was the importance of self-education, which is to say learning as much as you can about your condition so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed. Another theme relates to exploring your options. There are many therapies and modalities available in our times. One person’s path to wellness might look very different from the person next to him, even if they share a similar condition.
Let’s see what the experts have to say.
Madhur D. Solanki, DO; Family Physician, Valley Hospitalists, PC (Winchester, Va.).
“Knowledge is an indispensable tool in dealing with a setback in health. Taking the extra step from having access to information to actually educating oneself about a particular condition is key. This education process can have the effect of reducing anxiety, creating realistic expectations, and allowing planning for the near or distant future. A commonly rushed 10–15 minute office interaction with a physician will likely be inadequate, but at least can be the start of the process of obtaining resources in the pursuit of gaining knowledge.”
Geo Derick, M.S.; Registered Herbalist, Nutrition and Health Coach, geosjoy.com, (Berryville, Va.).
“Take simple steps forward. Choose ones that you can manage in your particular situation that will allow your body to heal, such as nourishing and hydrating yourself. Allow yourself time to rest. Ask for and accept support from others around you. It often takes focus and intention to heal, which can require great patience. Healing takes time. We often discover habits or behavioral traits that led us to a health crisis. This discovery can prove an essential part of healing our mind-body-spirit. It can be transformational.”
Kathy Stewart, M.D. Oncologist with Shenandoah Oncology Associates (Winchester, Va.).
“Compromised health, major or minor, can be among the most stressful challenges we face. After many years in medical practice, and witnessing thousands of patients and their families travel through health crises, I am convinced that the most healthy approach is the pragmatic one, especially in the initial stages. You must first clearly define the health issue that faces you and understand it as much as you can by speaking with your healthcare professionals and reading reputable sources of information.
Once you have a handle on the diagnosis and accept it, the next question is, What can I do about it? You need to determine a plan of action, put one foot in front of the other, and start walking. As human beings, most of us who face these kinds of situations simply do what we have to do to get through them. The last piece of advice is to treat yourself with the same empathy that you would someone else in your shoes. Don’t be afraid of asking for and accepting help from family and friends. In the end, it really does take a village.”
Celeste Krawchuck, D.C. D.I.C.C.P. Doctor of chiropractic with Berryville Family Chiropractic, berryvillechiropractic.com.
“Learn what all of your options are so that you can determine what is best for you. Keep a positive attitude, as your state of mind ultimately will affect your outcome. Chiropractic adjustments help not only with your physical level of comfort, but with your overall health and emotional state as well.”
My own personal recommendation is to try to incorporate deep breathing and meditation into your day, even if only for five minutes. Both practices can help provide a calming effect to your nervous system and can help you gain clarity when you most need it. “
Stay tuned for an upcoming overview of healing arts modalities and practitioners available in and around Clarke County.