– Benjamin Franklin
When I start a new year, it is often with reflection and hope. I tend to think about my life’s journey, check off my achievements, readjust my trajectory for the future and then, with some excitement, anticipate my ensuing future. As I recently went through this annual process, one clear question dominated my thoughts: Have I achieved what I set out to do in my career?
In most cases, the answer is yes! To date, I have been blessed to have completed nearly 250,000 motivating, educating, relieving and correcting consultations and I have built amazing relationships with my team, my colleagues and my clients. All of this has happened in an environment of joy, laughter, sadness, tears, empowerment, enlightenment and incredible human growth. But one gaping hole was still evident, in this 35-year journey, despite my passion for PREVENTION, I was still running a predominantly REACTIVE clinic!
So what does this mean? In a nutshell, the majority of my clients were still only coming to see me because something had gone wrong, not because they wanted to put things in place to stop this from happening. I can promise you that it takes less time, money and effort to prevent than react. What’s more, the rewards of the former are also exponentially larger.
Now I know that I can’t make anyone do something that they don’t want to do. However, if they are not aware of the power of prevention, or are unsure as to how to go about it, then that is another matter. And so with this in mind I began my adventure to solve this conundrum. Firstly, I thought that there was no need to reinvent the wheel, so I went looking for a successful holistic preventative program running in Australia. Alas, I couldn’t find any! Yes there were specific medically orientated programs focusing on the heart, obesity, diabetes, mental health and corporate stress. But they were all either, lacking a big picture view, thin on the ground or very expensive. Unfortunately, I found the same story when I broadened my view to the international landscape. So it appeared it wasn’t going to be plug and play exercise.
The more I pondered the more it was clear was that my mission was primarily about awareness and habit change. I needed a concise, simple and inexpensive process that would help people improve their health direction in the areas that were specific to them. It would need to be in the form of an annual check-up that would continue to educate and motivate a person throughout their lives. Only then could someone be sure that they were always on track.
Over a golden grind one morning, (you’ve got to try one of these spicy health drinks), I had my “AHA!’” moment. Whenever we are trying to become proficient at something we either get a coach or copy someone who is already well-skilled. So who are the most skilled at health? The answer, quite simply, is the groups of people with the longest health-span; they are living proof of what you need to be doing. Thus, the “Health Audit” was born! Using the habits of the long living Okinawans, Sardinians, Puerto Ricans and Loma Lindas as a guide, I developed a two-part program that helps to get you on the same path as these super healthy humans. The Health Audit will increase your awareness of your weak spots and make it possible to put “bullseye” action steps in place.
My goal is to have every one of our clients complete an annual Health Audit so that they have a true insurance policy for their health. Clearly, it is better to prepare and prevent than repair and regret!
Everyone on our team has contributed to the development of this program. Our amazing naturopaths Lindsay and Emma have given professional input, my super smart wife, Rose, has provided administrative wisdom and the rest of the team have asked the questions that have helped to identify and iron out little issues ahead of time.
So how does the Heath Audit work? Firstly, you will need to invest in an information gathering consultation in which you’ll complete a number of objective tests. These tests will be married with findings of our subjective questionnaire that you’ll need to complete in advance. This initial visit will be completed by one of our vivacious front of house team members, Georgie Beeforth. You may not realize that the majority of our reception team are tertiary educated and Georgie holds a Bachelor of Health Science with triple majors in Psychology, Nutrition and Health Promotions. So she is well qualified to head up the testing and data analysis of this program. Thereafter, your Naturopath will drive the second consultation of the Health Audit. After analysing your results Lindsay, Emma, Ellie or myself will explain your areas of need and deliver three specific action steps to help you on your journey to better health. Why three? Quite simply, this has been shown to be the maximum number of issues that anyone can focus on at one time with the expectation of a successful outcome. Keeping it simple, keeps it powerful!
A few of you may have noticed that I mentioned a new name when talking about my Naturopathic team. Eliie Fisher will be joining us this month – after a four months of training and observing with Lindsay, Emma and I. As a team, we are so excited to have such a fantastic practitioner joining us. Having completed two degrees whilst working as an executive PA at a major Melbourne hospitable she is not only super capable, but she brings enthusiasm, energy and fun to the role. Like all of us at Claridge Naturopathics, she is passionate about getting to the bottom of your issues and empowering you to truly build your health. They say you’re only as good as the company you keep and I feel so lucky so have found another like-minded person to join our team.
So as we enter into 2018, I do hope that you will consider incorporating the power of prevention into your life. I’m confident that the Health Audit will inspire you to make the changes that you both want and need. Remember, the greatest gift that you can give to yourself and your world is a healthy you!
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