Written for The Healthy Planet by TJ Williams, DC, PhD
January is a great time to look forward to the year ahead and set intentions. What are your goals for 2018? How do you plan to achieve them? So many of us start off the year with the intention of getting healthy and/or losing weight. We set the intention and we may even come up with a plan to achieve our goal, but so many times we end up at the same place the next year, repeating the same cycle. What gives? There are two major components to reaching your health goals: (1) figuring out where you are and (2) figuring out what you need to do to get you where you want to be. Both steps must be addressed in order for a person to reach their health goals.
Figure out where you are
The first step is figuring out your current health status. Surprisingly, most people skip this extremely important step entirely and jump straight to the second step of trying to figure out what they need to do to get healthy. How can you possibly figure out what steps you need to take to reach your health goals if you don’t even know where you’re starting from? At The Institute of Natural Health, we practice functional medicine (as opposed to conventional or alternative medicine). As functional medicine practitioners, we spend time with our patients, listening to their health histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, biochemical, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health. By using the most state-of-the art diagnostic testing and equipment and incorporating the latest in genetic science, systems biology, and an understanding of how environment and lifestyle factors influence health, we are able to determine what is holding a person back from reaching their health goals.
Figure out a plan to get you where you want to be
The second step in getting healthy is coming up with a plan to get you where you want to be. We frequently see patients who have struggled with weight or health issues for years and have diligently followed various different plans because they read somewhere that it worked or they had a friend who got good results or a number of other reasons. The problem is that we’re all unique and what works for one person may not work for another. In functional medicine, the treatment plan for similar symptoms, such as resistance to weight loss, might vary tremendously for different patients, according to their medical history and the results of laboratory testing. Factors that can come into play in producing the same symptoms include vitamin deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, genetics, food intolerances, environmental exposures, pathogenic bacteria, parasites, chronic viral pathogens, structural abnormalities and, last but not least, emotional toxicities like anger, shame, fear, or guilt. Why waste another year working a plan that may never get you where you want to go? Instead, let us help you map out a program to ensure you accomplish your 2018 health goals.
If you would like more information on medical weight loss and/or functional medicine, please contact us at (314) 293-8123 or visit us at the inhstl.com. Dr. TJ Williams is the Clinic Director for the Institute of Natural Health and the host of the radio program Wellness 101, which provides common-sense, science-based strategies for a healthy life. Wellness 101 airs Sundays at 3:00pm on FM NewsTalk 97.1.