Smiling caucasian woman receiving an acupuncture treatmentDo you suffer from chronic pain in your back, neck, feet, or wrists (carpal tunnel)? What about ongoing headaches or migraines? Maybe your day is disrupted by sinus pains, stress and anxiety. Or, perhaps you don’t know exactly what the problem is, you just know you feel “off.” In other words, you’re not well.

Standard medical care would fix this first (and maybe primarily) with medicine. If you’re experiencing pains or headaches, take a painkiller. If something doesn’t work the way it should, get surgery. Feeling stressed or anxious? Antidepressants can fix that. This perspective fits 21st-century American culture well — we want results, and we want them now. So pop a pill, it’ll make you feel better.

But there’s a problem with this plan, and it’s called symptom management. In other words, when your entire treatment strategy is built on treating and alleviating symptoms, you fail to resolve the underlying root issue. Pain exists because your body is trying to send your brain a message. Stay away from the fire, it’ll destroy you. Don’t stub your toe again, it’ll stop working. Swallow a pain reliever, though, and the message stops. The pain is gone, but the issue it pointed towards isn’t. You’re still not well.

Wellness doctors aren’t concerned with simply relieving pain, but rather attending to your entire well-being. They don’t do symptom management — they promote and cultivate wellness. Wellness is achieved when your body is daily operating at its fully health capacity. When you solve the root problems of your discomfort, you feel better and stronger than you ever would have by treating surface-level symptoms. Your overall wellness is improved, and you live in the full spectrum of healthiness.

Wellness doctors achieve this by partnering with their patients to diagnose root problems, treat the condition, and improve lifestyle to prevent future illness. They spend lots of time with their patients, because people aren’t one-size-fits-all. Each person is unique and requires unique care. Furthermore, the human body is complex, and the root cause of a discomfort isn’t always easy to recognize quickly. A wellness doctor takes the time to know a patient and his or her particular case. This way the doctor can provide the most effective care possible.

Once a wellness doctor learns the physiological cause of an illness or condition, he treats it using natural health solutions whenever possible. Wellness doctors aren’t adamantly opposed to the use of medicine or surgery, but defer to the body’s built-in, intrinsic healing properties whenever possible. When properly taken care of, the human body is surprisingly good at fixing itself, and wellness doctors do everything they can to promote this.