Collaborative care is taking into consideration that in your health journey, you are in the driver’s seat. That is not to say that you never experience a time when your life is completely in the hands of others as a baby is or in health professional ‘s hands from an accident or that you have a need for serious treatment or surgery. However for the most part we are responsible for our own wellbeing in co-operation with other people. Sometime you may feel most comfortable seeing a doctor or medical specialist, other times it may be an exercise trainer, nutritionist, naturopath, councillor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist etc. Each may be more appropriate for you to get advice from for a particular stage in your life, support, help you manage your stress, give treatment, lifestyle guidance and support but you are collaborating with each of them as you feel comfortable. It doesn’t matter what they think of each other’s methods but rather do you gain the help and benefit you need to be well at the appropriate time. There may be a period that you are using a few to build momentum to control chronic problems with your health.
At the same time you need to build inner collaboration between your mind, body and spirit. While you are talking to others about your health and getting their advice you are having your own inner conversations. They need to be acknowledged in the plan to deal with your problems.
As well I have had many patients say to me “I thought that was what was happening, but I wasn’t sure.” By listening and explaining what I thought was happening it helped them trust in their own inner voice more. As long as you’re not listening to worry it is amazing how accurate it is.
Another example is that you may see a doctor on a regular annually to keep an eye on your health parameters but you may see a herbalist if you get a cold, a naturopath for digestive issues and have a regular massage or acupuncture to deal with your stress or pain. They are part of your team that you collaborate with for your wellbeing.
The less you collaborate between your own mind and body the more you will have to rely on your outer team. Everyone agrees lifestyle choices are important.