There are many healthcare crises to worry about these days. The opioid crisis that still goes on to this day and the anti-vax movement has brought about diseases we had long thought eradicated. The future of medicine is in question because it seems that so many people no longer trust doctors. Things must change, and to facilitate this change, healthcare professionals must meet their patients halfway. Overprescribing medication can bring on a variety of unexpected side effects, and though a completely holistic approach is out of the question, it can be a good way to round out the recovery regimen for a variety of patients and their ailments.
Physical, mental, and emotional recovery must all be prioritized equally to give your patient the best chance at reclaiming their life after an accident or illness. Not only will it help round out your patient’s recovery, but it can also help them trust your judgment when a stronger prescription medicine is necessary.
The Importance of Wellness During Recovery
Being injured or suffering from a debilitating illness or disability is not just physically restrictive; it is mentally scarring. There might be issues of PTSD as a result of the accident, anger, depression, or anxiety that your patient is dealing with. What’s worse is that the symptoms tend to develop over time, meaning your patient might be heading towards a downward spiral. If you have a patient who you would typically have prescribed an opioid first, allow them the option of choosing less addictive alternatives. Currently, people use a variety of tools from marijuana products like Trulieve to help manage pain, to yoga and other low-impact sports to improve flexibility. Don’t let your patients find these solutions by themselves and instead start prescribing them.
By adopting a rounded approach to their recovery regimen, you can help boost their emotional and mental health so that they don’t fall into that pit. It isn’t a cure-all, but getting out there and exercising, reconnecting with nature, going to art therapy, or anything else you deem helpful is going to boost your patient’s wellbeing. To highlight the importance of your patient’s wellbeing, just look at the benefits observed from prescribing nature as just one of the recovery strategies. Patient recovery rates were seen to improve even if people had as little as a glimpse of trees from their hospital window. A study in the UK has found that prescribing contact with nature is highly beneficial, with every £1 ($1.3 USD) spent, £8.50 ($11.06 USD) in value was returned.
These social prescriptions and alternative medicines can help improve a patient’s health and outlook on life, allowing doctors to help their patients recover fully.
The Benefits of Including Wellness in Recovery Regimens
The benefits of including wellness in any recovery regimen are widespread.
1. Reduced Reliance on Opioids
By prescribing alternatives to pain relief, we can cut down on the opioid crisis and give patients a means to better manage their pain.
2. Boost in Mental and Emotional Wellbeing
Mental health plays a significant role in the health and recovery rates of patients. By prescribing social or wellness recovery tactics as well as medication, medical professionals can improve their patients’ outlook and life.
3. Encourages Diversification
Being willing to offer a rounded, almost holistic approach to medicine (that does absolutely prescribe medication as necessary) can help bridge the gap of distrust that many people have towards the so-called “Big Pharma.” It will also encourage patients to listen. By meeting them halfway, we can build our way up to stronger medication as necessary.
Tips for Building a Recovery Plan with Wellness in Mind
In order to successfully build a recovery plan with wellness at the center, you will need to:
1. Be On Top of the Science
Spending time outdoors in nature has been proven to improve health and wellbeing. Stay on top of such studies so that you know the best holistic treatments and activities patients can enjoy in their own time.
2. Ask Your Patient What They Would be Interested In
Be happy to make suggestions, but also remember to be open about what the patients want. If they experience severe anxiety taking a healthy cooking class, then more solo wellness activities are in order.
If you want your patients to recover completely and trust you as their medical professional, then you will need to round out their recovery regimen. Medication alone is no longer acceptable. We need to start prescribing alternative medicine and wellness as part of the recovery process, and then build up on prescribed medicine as necessary.