In celebration of the Astoria Regatta this week I thought I would bring you a nautical theme. A few days ago I was aboard the Tourist 2, one of the original ferry boats that brought people back and forth across the Columbia River before the Megler bridge was built 50 years ago, and as I held the wheel up on the top deck I thought of the parallels between this little ferry boat navigating across the sometimes choppy and uncertain waters of the mighty Columbia and the uncertainty of navigating our own way to good health through the murky waters of medical issues and trying to understand our bodies.
I'll be speaking at the Extraordinary Living Conference at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon on September 10th about how to be an advocate for your health and how to navigate the waters on a pathway to wellness. This subject has excited me for many years and I have built my wellness practice on the foundation of helping people to have a full, healthy and vibrant life.
So let's get started! I have a list of 5 things that will help you calm the waters and provide smooth sailing to good health.
Let’s get HONEST. Be honest with YOURSELF about your health. Be honest with your PHYSICIAN about your health. It’s hard to admit that you might not be in the best physical or mental state that you would like to be. Looking at yourself naked in the mirror can be challenging to face. But being honest about it is the first step to wanting to do something about it. Honesty with your primary care physician is vital to establishing a relationship that leads to health.
Find the right doctor. Remember, you are in charge of advocating for your health. Take time to interview several doctors and ask questions about how they relate to, and what they offer to their patients. You want your primary care physician to take the time to listen to your needs and questions and help you find answers.
Have someone accompany you to your appointments. This is the time you may want to seek out a health coach. Having another person there to take notes or listen and ask more questions will help assure that you are getting the care you need. It can be overwhelming at times when dealing with multiple health issues.
Do your own research. It’s the 21st century! The internet provides access to research data, medical journal reports and studies and so many ways to find out more about a certain condition or other resources and alternative methods to achieving good health. Don’t be afraid to take your finding to your appointment and discuss them with your doctor.
Seek out all the various options available in your area to reach optimum health. Perhaps it’s a tai chi or yoga class, water aerobics or a group of friends that get together and walk on a regular basis. Get to know the integrative therapists in town. Reflexology, massage, aromatherapy and acupuncture are all modalities with strong evidence of bringing health and balance to the body.
Try something new. Maybe a new food or an alternative healthy practice such as a float tank experience, meditation or the use of a far infrared sauna. My favorite is Prana Wellness Center in Astoria, Oregon. They have an amazing selection of integrative therapies to explore in a beautiful setting.
As you navigate your way to optimal health and vitality, remember to be kind to yourself, honor what your body is able to do today and surround yourself with others who want the same. Keep your hands firmly on the wheel and smooth sailing will follow you.