Why Waiting Can Win Your Wellness War: Mastering the Art of Patience with Your Health Practitioner

It seems that today more than ever people are eager for quick results in improving their health. When in pain, folks want fast relief with analgesic drugs. When a body part swells, they pack ice on it and take anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling rapidly. When they suffer insomnia, they take supplements or medication to help them fall asleep fast. But this mode of trying to improve wellness delivers disappointing results. People are not getting better faster. They are just filling the proverbial pothole for an immediate quick fix when the entire road needs repair.


To allow something to happen on its own means to permit or give permission to someone or something to follow its own path. In terms of wellness, this perspective has many guises. For instance, we allow our healthcare providers to examine us and give us tests, medication, and treatments. Essentially, we give them permission to care for us.

When we take medication (herbal or prescription), we hope and trust that the medicine can help us get better. We can’t really fight it, so we allow it to take effect in us. Or do we? Often, you may not take medication as directed because you grow frustrated at its lackluster results or uncomfortable side effects. Or maybe you’re just too darn busy to remember to take the medicine.

In the same way, you may not complete all of your visits to an acupuncturist, therapist, or chiropractor because you’re too rushed or you think the therapy isn’t working. You may even switch medications, treatment modalities, and healthcare providers more frequently than necessary.

In other words, too often we don’t allow the caregiver to manage our care; we don’t allow the medicine or herbs to do their jobs; we don’t allow the healer to take his time adjusting spinal alignment; and we don’t give energetic work enough time to produce shifted thought that effects a significant change.

We are impatient because we want things now. And this not only is a sign of immaturity but also of arrogance. We think we know better than the person treating us.

Just let it happen

It is essential when discussing wellness that we understand that the healing process takes time.

It takes time for herbs, supplements, and medications to reach an efficacious level in the body. It takes time for new habits to form. It takes time for the body to accept spinal adjustments and to allow those adjustments to remain in place and energy channels to remain open. It takes time to reboot the digestive system with fasts and cleanses. It takes time for wounds to heal — all of them.

So we need to let things happen in their own time and on their own terms.

If an acupuncturist tells you it will take two courses of treatment to rebalance an energetic imbalance causing fibromyalgia, then you must allow those treatments to do their work on their timeframe — even though each course of treatment might require 10 office visits.

If you need to eat specific vegetables, herbs, and broths for a period of time to detoxify the liver, then don’t sabotage yourself and the treatment; give yourself permission to be patient and allow the detox to take its course of action on its schedule, not your own.

No trivial matter

This may all seem trivial, but I assure you it is not. A primary complaint of physicians and reasons for side effects and lack of benefits derive from patient irresponsibility.

Many people — more than you might think — simply don’t take their medication as directed (in quantity, frequency, or duration). This is one of the reasons we have a problem on our hands with antibiotic resistance now: When too many people start to feel better, they stop taking their antibiotics before the end of the required course of treatment.

Moreover, ask any physical therapist or chiropractor where the greatest obstacle to health resides, and he will tell you it is in getting patients to come to their required visits and to do their exercises at home.

People want immediate relief, and they want it on their own terms. And it’s simply not happening. Why? We ignore the advice of healthcare professionals. We think we know more than they do even though they are educated in their craft, went to school for their vocation, and keep up to date by means of classes, reading, and seminars. They also treat a steady stream of patients and have a firm knowledge base they use for treatments.

But we are impatient patients. We act arrogant and immature. We know better and want an end result right now.

We do not allow our healthcare providers to truly care for us in the best way they know how. We don’t allow their treatment methods (whether pills, diets, or hands-on therapies) to take their natural course.

The art of allowing

There is actually an art to allowing.

Believe in your treatment: Give it full permission and allowance to work.

Believing that your healthcare provider has your best interests in mind is an essential first step. If you don’t believe this is the case, change providers.

Believe in the treatment method. This requires listening to what your provider tells you about treatment. You must then ask questions about the treatment so you truly understand it.

If you hear that your course of antibiotics requires eight days and ask questions to understand why, you will be more prepared to take the full course of the medicine.

Be more patient: This is a hard one for many. Suffering through the health issue while allowing the modality to take effect can be difficult. But being patient is necessary, and patience can be more easily accomplished once you understand and believe in the treatment modality. You must also trust in the care provider.

Trust, belief, and patience can allow you to give yourself permission to allow the course of treatment to help you return to a state of wellness. Relax into wellness by practicing the art of allowing. It takes a little practice but is worth it in the end.