Become a Project Manager of Your Health

Visiting doctor after doctor, none could diagnose my pain. They would prescribe a pill with the hopes of relief. Finally one doctor, after still not providing a diagnosis, said, “Let’s give you a hysterectomy. Maybe that will help.” This experience led me to become the project manager of my own health.

doctorTwo issues currently exist with our Western medical system. First, our current system no longer treats the patient but treats the symptoms. Medications are administered not to remove the illness but to relieve the symptoms. Pharmaceutical companies market to patients and doctors offering quick fixes to our discomfort. Secondly, the medical practice has become so specialized they have forgotten the overall individual and how the systems work as a whole. These specialists have amazing knowledge about individual systems and their functionality but are often at a loss as to how the other parts of us could affect that system.

Because of this, whether taking care of a family member or your own needs, it is important to take control of your health and wellbeing. By becoming the project manager of our health, we link together the specialists, add in our own inherent and empirical data, and make lifestyle changes to reduce and prevent illnesses. Hire in the specialists when you need their knowledge, but know you are the decision maker.

Four ways to be the project manager of your health:

Know Your Body

When you experience a symptom, look at your whole body not just where the pain is. What other symptoms, large or small, are you experiencing? Our bodies are complex interconnected systems. When one area is off, it may be caused by something else – or may be affecting something else. I remember when I was having heel pain eventually I learned that it was caused by a tight muscle in my thigh. It I focused on relieving the pain in my heel, I would have never found the true cause of my pain – and it would have come back.

Be aware of how your unique body works. Be a detective of your distinctive body and its functioning. How do you feel after different foods? What happens just before you notice symptoms? How does your exercise or sleep affect your body’s functionality? Take the time to uncover correlations to help you understand the cause and effect of your discomfort.

Look Beyond Your Body

Remember to look beyond the body itself. The way we eat, exercise, sleep, move, believe, think, and act all have an effect on our body. In my own case, my inability to decrease my stress level was the key factor of my physical body pain. Don’t immediately blame your body or some disease for your issues. Sometimes the culprit is our lifestyle. Our bodies are designed for perfection, how are you helping or hindering this perfection?

The power in looking beyond your body to your habits and way of living is in empowering you to minimize or remove unwanted symptoms. If you always have acid reflux after eating pizza, try to stop eating pizza instead of adding a pill to your diet. The pill is only covering up the symptom and may be negatively affecting other parts of your body. Instead, try making lifestyle changes and see how you can positively affect your health.

Inform the Doctor

Doctors have degrees in medicine but they don’t have a degree in your specific body; only you do. Trust yourself. Know that you are the expert of your body and what is good for you. It is your responsibility to let the doctor know about other issues, other reactions you have noticed, and ways you have found to bring relief. Speak up and help the doctor understand how your unique body works. Remember that the doctor is not with you every moment of every day. Only you are. Your responsibility is to ensure all your healthcare practitioners are aware of your unique situation and needs.

A friend recently went to the doctor for an infection. The remedy the doctor prescribed would have been counter to the cancer procedure this individual was on, even though this issue was spelled out on the intake form. Doctors are human too. They may over look things. Be your own advocate and ensure nothing is overlooked.

Doctors are magnificently specialized which means they have vast knowledge in one area, but it also means they may only look at one part or system. Help the doctor to see the whole picture of your unique case. Just like a project manager, coordinate different teams (doctors) to ensure the project is being handled properly.

Look to the Long Term

In our current immediate gratification society, we often want easy and quick results. A personal trainer I know was working with a few women on their New Year’s resolution weight loss goals. These women were disappointed when they only lost two pounds the first week. In other programs, the women often lost eight pounds the first week. However, they also regain the weight as quickly as they lost it.

Our health is a marathon not a sprint. Short term fixes may also lead to fast-paced reversals. Quick solutions may also create other issues in other parts of our bodies. As the project manager of your health, look to the long term. Take the time to create a diet, exercise, and mental health routine which slowly and surely creates a strong foundation for your health. This may take longer and take more will power than simply popping a pill, but it also allows your body to health itself and maintain better health for a longer period of time.

Money Rules Man by_BenHeine

Beyond Money and Power

Lately I have been experiencing a ground swell of desire for a new way to be and live. I expect to see this from my clients, however I am seeing it in places and people I would not expect.

Arianna Huffington shares her thoughts about redefining success in her new book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder. Instead of focusing solely on money and power she calls us to look to a third metric centered on the quality of our lives.

A relaxing weekend at a friend’s summer house becomes a discussion about values and goals. The quest for a successful business is being overtaken by the desire to focus on family and a slower way of living.

Interviewing potential financial advisors shifts into a discussion of how the stress of making six figures hurts health, relationships, and quality of life.

Money Rules Man by_BenHeineWe are not yet at the tipping point of embracing new values, but there is growing discontentment with how things are and a longing for something different. The challenge is money and power are so ingrained in our society. Deep in our psyche we still believe: Work hard. Keep up with the Jones. Make something of yourself. He with the most toys wins. Earnings = worth. Beat the other guy to win.

Yet all of these ideas are beginning to feel hollow. Big “wins” leave us dissatisfied. We earn and we buy and we don’t enjoy our lives. We strive and compete and we damage our health.

What does it take to embrace new values?

The first step is to define what you TRULY value. Not what society tells you is important, not what your family has always valued, not what your friends are striving for, but what you truly value. Deep down inside we all know what is important to us. The reason we do not focus on it is because it is clouded by convention.

  • Spend some time thinking and feeling about what truly makes you happy, brings you joy, and makes you feel fulfilled.
  • Next, list the things which are currently taking priority like your to-do list and current goals. Sit with each of these obstacles and uncover if they are truly important to you.
  • Begin to replace your current priorities with your true values and see how your health, joy, and relationships improve.

Share with us what you truly value and how you are going to start bringing it back into your life.