Body & Soul with Gail Harris
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Total Well-Being: Starting the Search
Help YourSelf

No question, it can get pretty confusing when you try to make your way through all the choices you have in health care these days. Even the vocabulary of non-conventional approaches to optimal health is changing: What used to be called alternative medicine is now often described as complementary, functional, integrative or even "new" medicine.

So where do you begin? How can you find out who's out there, and especially how can you determine which doctor or health care provider is right for you?

Here are some guidelines to help you get started.

  • First, find a health care provider before you get sick. That way you'll be comfortable if and when you really need them.
  • Always check the person's credentials. Make a phone call before you visit to ask about professional degrees, training, certifications and licenses. For fields that aren't licensed yet, look for healers who have put in years of apprenticeship with a Master in the field.
  • Notice if the practitioner is dealing with you as a "whole person," and taking the time to get to know you. Are they willing to share scientific evidence for therapies that they recommend? Are they willing to admit it when they don't have an immediate answer?
  • Are you expected to be actively involved in your own care? A good healthcare provider is also a good teacher, who helps you learn about behavior, lifestyle and diet, and who also lives the lifestyle they're recommending to you.
  • In that first visit, you may want to draw up a personal wellness plan with your doctor, so that you'll be able to do your part to stay healthy -- which is what optimal care, the Body & Soul way, is all about.

Body & Soul is currently airing Monday-Friday at 7:00pm and 8:30pm on PBS YOU.

Program Description
James S. Gordon, M.D.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Gabrielle Roth
Help YourSelf
Tell Me More

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