Some say it is their partner.
Wise kids say it is their parents. Brave kids like to say it is them over their parents. (Occasionally kids even appear like it too)
I’m guessing your employer probably has an opinion on this as well.
But who really is the boss of you?
I was wondering if this following scenario sound familiar to you?
You have a health concern. You chat to your friends and family and they all have an opinion on what it is and what you should do about it. Eventually you organise yourself to visit your GP who uses their years of study to give you their diagnosis / opinion. They refer you to a specialist who has even more years of study and an even firmer opinion on what is going on and what you should do about it. You follow their advice. Treatment done. Sounds familiar?
But when do you actually get involved in the decision-making process about what is happening to you?
How much do you know about what is happening to you?
For many years some health professionals (and I stress SOME not ALL) have kept the rationale behind their diagnoses a secret and then dictate without negotiation what steps are to happen when and take full control to make it happen. And partially due to our uneducated state, partially out of respect to the mammoth amount of study they have done to get to their qualifications and partially because sometimes we are just over it and want not to think about it anymore, we blindly do as we are told like our well-behaved inner child tells us we have to. We do this without understanding what we are doing, why it is good for us and what any side effects could to be.
Now I am not suggesting that the experts are not experts and have an incredible amount of knowledge at their fingertips. I am not suggesting that their advice isn’t of quality. We all know there are both good and bad eggs in every profession.
I am referring to the high number of people who are having procedures and taking medication without knowing why and what the side effects are. I’ve watched people get bumped around from expert to expert and blindly following the latest “thing” without being involved in the conversation. I’ve seen people taking the blue, white, brown and yellow pills without knowing what any of them are for. The blue, white, brown and yellow pills might all be very important, but wouldn’t it be nice to be empowered enough to know why you even take them? And also to know that they aren’t counteracting each other’s hard work in the battle ground of your body?
A positive shift
I have been hearing about a shift in health care I am really excited about; using health professionals to support your health care rather than blind puppeteering. You are entitled to ask questions and have all the information before you agree to treatment. Generally speaking, nobody knows your body better than you; you usually know when something is not quite right, if not exactly what. The experts are there to be listened to and respected including listening when they say “no”. However, you are entitled to ask “why” that answer is “no” and to a second opinion. By being informed you know if you are reacting to a treatment in an expected or an unhealthy way. You are entitled to know why one course of action is more appropriate for you specifically over other options available.
So let’s negotiate
I got really cross a little while ago when I had an emergency massage treatment from a different therapist. I was particularly clear on what I wanted assistance with and was also specifically clear about a technique I did NOT want to happen (hey, I’m a massage therapist – I should have the inside scoop here!). They then proceeded to do exactly what I didn’t want to happen and then afterwards told me about expected side effects (which I was specifically wanting to avoid at that time).
I’m not sharing this experience to rant. I am a passionate believer in the importance of informed consent. That experience has reinforced my own values about ensuring a massage treatment plan is negotiated; that my clients know what I am suggesting we do, why and what any side effects are likely to be. And if they ever don’t agree for any particular reason, that’s OK, we simply re-renegotiate. Once the massage has started, if our treatment needs to change for any reason or you simply change your mind, that’s OK too! Together we will modify our plan.
I will provide recommendations and there may be reasons why what you originally ask for is not appropriate. But most importantly it all starts with a conversation. It’s your body. You get to enjoy the benefits. Let’s make sure they actually benefit you in the way you want them to.
In my treatment room, you get to be the final boss of you.
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