What comes to mind when you think of self-care? It could be taking a bath, getting yourself a bouquet of flowers, putting on a face mask, reading your favorite book/magazine, or maybe taking a walk in the sunshine. There is so much that can be considered in the realm of self-care. Today, I want to challenge your personal definition of what self-care can mean.
In a way, self-care is all about putting ourselves first, especially in a world where we are almost always taught to put others’ needs before our own. Dr. Jason Bradley, founder of EPIC Functional Medicine, often talks about the airplane analogy to help individual’s challenge this narrative. When you’re on a plane and the oxygen masks drop; what is the first thing they tell you to do? They tell you to put the mask on yourself first. But why? Because if you run out of oxygen yourself, you’re not going to be able to help anyone else. So they instruct you to first help yourself THEN help others around you. When thinking about self-care, there is the same take-home message. You need to help yourself first, so you can be able to help/support those around you. In my opinion, that is also what functional medicine is all about – putting yourself first so you can feel your best and give your best to those around you.
Now, let’s define self-care. Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s health/wellbeing. This is what functional medicine helps you to do. Our goal is to help you to take action to improve your health, so you can feel your best and be able to better support those around you. We understand that the implementation of this is easier said than done, but we’re here to help you through it!
So now the question is: how exactly does functional medicine count as self-care? To answer this question, let’s discuss more about what goes into a functional medicine care plan. Within our EPIC program, the first step is to look into labs. We will dig deep into blood work, stool, hormones, food sensitivities, and more if needed. Gaining knowledge about what is going on inside your body helps us understand in what ways your body needs support in order to function properly. Since everyone’s body is unique; each person is given a unique care plan based again on what their body needs to thrive.
Outside of the lab work though is where the biggest connection between functional medicine and self-care come in. Through our EPIC curriculum and workshops, we walk each client through our recommendations regarding the EPIC Five pillars: diet, hydration, movement, stress management, and sleep patterns. But we don’t stop there- we give so much information/resources at the beginning of care, and each month (or so) we walk you through one of the five pillars. We do this so you don’t have to tackle all of these changes at once, if you’re not ready. Another benefit of breaking down the pillars is that we get to learn more about you and learn how our recommendation will realistically fit into your life. We understand that these are big, lifestyle changes, so we try our best to meet you where you are and help you move forward from there. We also understand that everyone’s day-to-day looks different, so it is important to talk through the options within the pillars again to figure out which works best for YOU in YOUR life.
The EPIC Five plan will help you to navigate these self-care changes- we can help you to finally put yourself first and take charge of your health because YOU DESERVE TO FEEL/BE YOUR BEST SELF! No matter what stage of change you’re in or how long you’ve been working towards your health goals – we will meet you where you are, truly listen to understand what you’re going through/have been through, and use what we learn from you and your personal results to provide you with the best care we possibly can. We know you just want to feel better, and we want that for you to! So if you’re interested to know what your personal care plan might look like- schedule a free Health Strategy Session with our nurse here: calendly.com/epicfmc/enrollment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To your Health and Wellness,
EPIC Functional Medicine