Food for thought indeed. Good point about"positively, realism and sincerity" from a naturopathic doc's perspective. "Health plans" as you put it are my pet peeve too, although we do need some structured guidelines for patients to follow, all treatments need to be highly individualized in order to be most effective, and that is where the challenge lies. I've always maintained that its the "intelligent" patients are the ones who get better sooner. As naturopaths, most of us don't "shove" programs down people's throats, patients do enough shoving all manner of the wrong kind of stuff down theirs and wonder why they don't get well.
If your treatment program works consistently and you are confident that it will for your patient and it doesn't, as you say - there is an "obstacle to cure" which is either evident or hidden. And THAT'S what makes a more skilled clinician come to the foreground in my opinion. He or she should be able to find this barrier and expose it, flush it out so to speak. Unfortunately, not all patients are willing to then tackle these obstacles I've discovered. And not all patients are willing to pull out all the stops and really commit, they partially recover and then relapse in time - blaming the doc. We get used to this, you kind of develop a thick hide over the years as a skilled practitioner as you start to understand human nature more.
With regard to tests, you do have a good point about food allergy blood testing, but (in my humble opinion) are incorrect as far as comprehensive stool testing is concerned. Yes they are expensive, BUT - they can yield the kind of information that can pinpoint to where the treatment priorities lie. For example, a 20 year old female patient's stool test today revealed that she has no parasites, but very poor protein digestion (high muscle fiber count in stool test), very low levels of sIgA (poor gut immunity, very low levels of beneficials (almost non-existent and loaded with yeast in all three stool samples, yeast culture was high and so was the microscopic yeast finding. This is priceless information. It revealed the following:
- Eating too much meat or chewing insufficiently (she is a powerlifter it turns out who is eating red meat 3 times daily), plenty of digestive enzymes have been recommended.
- Very low levels of beneficials and diarrhea. Note - NO parasites, but very low level of beneficials.
- Loads of yeast. This is a typical yeast infection case, yet the patient has no refined carbs in her diet, just meats and vegetables. This lady was placed on my Candida Crusher Diet Plan.
- Very low levels of sIgA. This patient will an irritable bowel. She has been placed additionally n my Low-Allergy Diet. We are repairing her LGS. I expect a full recovery in this case within 6 months.
Could I have treated her without the stool test? Of curse I could have, but the test has allowed me to short-cut treatment and get straight to the heart of the case. It is going to save her time, money and misery. It is SO worth it for so many people, but this has to be weighed up with every patient.