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We all have a story. We should tell our stories, write them down, share them and embrace their lessons. Others can learn rom our narrative.

In my health and wellness coaching practice, I see all kinds of patients -  of course I see those with chronic health problems, dealing with multiple medications and frequent hospitalizations. But I also see those dealing with personal and family trauma including all manner off violence and tragedy. I also see those dealing with addictions and compulsive behaviors. And they all have stories. I love their stories!

Many of my colleagues, especially those ensconced in typical contemporary traditional medicine practices, driven by lowering costs and driving up profit, try to cut patients off when they begin talking about “nonmedical” issues. They feel it is a waste of time and money to let patents go on about their lives. I do not agree. There is  benefit to the patient, and to the practitioner bother to learn more about parents lives, aside from their main “medical” complaint. Here’s a recent example:

An elderly lady came to us to discuss how to manage her arthritis pain and poor sleep. Normally, providers would discuss strategies to approach her medications, her limited mobility, and sleep hygiene. However, after letting her discuss her life, she disclosed to me that she was dealing with anxiety and panic attacks after finding her best friend unconscious, and not breathing with no pulse. Our patient performed CPR until paramedics arrived, and unfortunately her friend died despite all of their efforts.

Of course the trauma she experienced contributed to her anxiety and poor sleep.  Had we not allowed her to talk about it, we never would have known. Just the mere discussion of this experience - getting it out in the open and making it “real” helped her to realize that she would benefit from further counseling or therapy.

And we learned that listening to folks, really listening and letting them tell their story, results in true healing and relief from suffering. Isn’t that our goal as health care providers?

Take time to listen to people’s stories, and take time to tell your own. Everyone benefits!

In health,

Dr. John Monaco

MONACO Wellness

(813) 541-6440

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