Health counselling is more than patient-centred care

canoe journey

From the thousands of people who have walked through our doors at The Acupuncture Turning Point, we have rediscovered again and again the best way to serve each one.  We promote the unfolding discovery that happens when a person pays better attention to his or her own body rather in contrast to taking a prescriptive approach. We strive not to take on the role of a white coat professional who knows what is best.  Disease management is the proper domain of authoritative and highly trained doctors and other primary healthcare providers.  The healthcare we offer at our clinic is not meant to be in place of medical treatments, but rather alongside of or in addition to them — we do not

Gord Grant - Acupuncturist

Gord Grant PhD, RAc

consider ourselves to offer “alternative” healthcare.  Rather, we offer complementary care to the expertise of other primary healthcare professionals who manage diseases and investigate critical symptoms. In this capacity, our techniques promote balance in the subtle environment of natural health functions and in the inherent tendency of the body to heal itself.

Patient-centred healthcare is a newer term and idea in our conventional healthcare system — it means involving patients in making health care decisions for themselves by taking the time to educate them and respecting their choices and preferences.  But this still does not accurately describe our approach to caring for our clients.  Instead we assume and acknowledge that people come to us in different stages of self-awareness, motivation, means and abilities.  Just as acupuncture works within the innate capacity of the body’s healing systems, we support the process of people discovering what each has to do in order to make a shift in his or her broader sense of health.  We and our collaborative partners empower individuals to honour the intelligence of their own unique circumstances.  We work within the shifting landscape of a person’s choices, encompassing medical and complementary treatments, exercise and movement, nutrition and diet, relationship and career transitions, and more.

We meet our clients well on their ways in their unique journeys. We meet the person who has seen many medical experts to cope with multiple critical health issues and is at the end of her rope — only to unexpectedly discover with her there are whole new opportunities to go forward in simple and obvious ways.  We see the the young athlete who is dealing with an injury that is not healing quickly or fully despite doing “all the right things” required medically — but at second glance when we encourage him to investigate in a more systematic, thoughtful and personally authoritative manner, he discovers ways to improve incrementally.  We take the time to help each person discover, reevaluate or affirm what makes something better or worse, what matters, and from this help align his or her goals, resources, and actions. Sometimes it takes just one session where someone is ripe and ready for a turning point; other times, the process unfolds sporadically and with difficulty making progress and then regressing, over many months of trial and error.  Either way, we see ourselves as partners helping clients clarify their roles, influences and resources in their particular and evolving situations.

Now we are offering specific “health stewardship” services which include health counselling, health advocacy, and health research (read a short definition of each below).  We already have been doing this as an intrinsic and important element of our services; but we now also offer these as stand alone products for those who seek them in a principal way.  We prefer to think of ourselves as “health counsellors” or “health advisors” rather than “health coaches”.  Although it may be a fine distinction to some, but in our minds we are not the experts who coach and prescribe a “workout formula” for a person to follow to improve their health. There is a time and place for that.  But the hole we see in the system, and the job we strive to do, is to help you reveal the nature of your particular health as a special and distinct process – we facilitate this unique journey in a broader and more meaningful context.