I couldn’t wait to write and share this blog post with you! It’s all about what defines a great Lyme practitioner.
I’ll get to the point in a moment, but let me give some context as to how this concept came to be…
Just got back from being behind the scenes of a Facebook live that took place with Dr Nicola Ducharme, an Australian born Natropathic doctor who is based in San Diego, who sees and treat Lyme patients, and has recently launched an online course.
She is not my Dr.
I have never met her before.
I do know of her though some friends who see and skype her for consults.
And I’ve read two of her books, in the past, Lyme Brain and The Lyme Diet. Both of which are great books (actually if you ask me, I think ALL Lyme books are great, as they are tools to help educate yourself on Lyme recovery and treatments … and there are no surprises that I’m big on empowering yourself with as much knowledge as possible so you can make informed decisions about your treatment and recover plan).
From the moment I saw her, I noticed she had a lovely energy and presence about her. And I felt connected with her and understood – even though we didn’t speak until after her talk!
The mini interview she did was great – I really enjoyed it and the message of hope was a clear theme throughout the talk. This is a good sign of a supportive practitioner.
Meeting Nicola got me thinking about what defines a great Lyme practitioner?
There is no official or ‘set criteria’ available for defining a great (or poor) Lyme practitioner. And (it might be surprising to those people who do know me that no) I don’t have a checklist ready to whip out each time I meet a new practitioner, but there are some guidelines that I have used over the years as a bit of a guide.
Let me share some of these with you –
- Knowledge – hmm … I think we can probably all agree this should be at the top of the list. How much do they know about Lyme and coninfections, symptoms, diagnostics, treatments, herxing, abx and herbals, supportive therapies and the list goes on and on.
- Intuition – I’ve always had gut feelings about my practitioners, and most of the time my intuition was right. So I’ve learnt to feel into what my body is trying to tell me, and if it’s saying walk away, don’t go there or I don’t think this practitioner is right for you – then I listen.
- Acceptance – Learning that not all practitioners are going to be ‘great’ or the right fit is important (so as you don’t use up to much of the limited energy, funds and patience you have). Accepting that not all practitioners are ‘great’ will help you to easily identify if one is … or isn’t!
- Empathy – hmm … how do I start with this one?! So, no all practitioners have the ability to empathise – but I have found that those who do, tend to get extra brownie points and are more likely to be great practitioners – sometimes I have found this to be more important that their knowledge!
- Experience – practitioners who have had first-hand experience with recovering from Lyme disease have a passion for helping others to recover and often make amazing practitioners (such as Dr Darin Ingels, who I know personally and who writes about his journey in his book The Lyme Solution).
- Lymes – does the practitioner refer to Lyme as ‘Lymes’. If they do, they might know a bit about Lyme (without the s), but are likely to have less knowledge than someone who can at least pronounce the dis-ease correctly (refer to point 1).
Now, these are the first 6 concepts that came to me – but there are many more concepts you can use to determine if a practitioner is great … for you.
As we know, a practitioner that is great for me may not be great for you, and vice versa.
And … it doesn’t matter if your practitioner is a Specialist, Doctor, Naturopathic Doctor, naturopath, nutritionist, wellness coach, massage therapist, energetic medicine practitioner, spiritual healer, acupuncturist, herbalist, chiropractor or any other practitioner – you are able to use this (or your own) criteria.
So based on the 15 minute Facebook Live I was back stage, the 5 min group chat, and the 10 minute impromptu interview I personally had with Nicola, it was clear to me, at a glance, that she ticked a lot of boxes (that I mentioned above) and my criteria for a great practitioner.
I have met and have been fortunate enough to have had many great practitioners on my team during my Lyme journey – but I’ve also encountered the other end of the scale.
Weather you know it consciously or not, I’m sure you have your own criteria for determining if a practitioner is ‘great’ for you – what are your guidelines? Sharing them here, might just help someone on their journey to finding a ‘great’ practitioner.