Who's on Your Wellness Team?
There’s no doubt about it when they say “If you want to go fast go alone if you want to go far go together”. Individually, we have limited resources and knowledge, and sometimes we need to reach out to others for support in order to move forward. This applies to many aspects of your life.
Take for example an athlete. They have a dedicate manager who steers their professional career in the right direction. They have a nutritionist in order to fuel appropriately so they have energy to train and compete. They have a doctor to help them through health issues. And they have a physiotherapist to keep their body in check.
But I’m not an athlete, why should I have a wellness team?
Regardless of whether or not you are training for a marathon or fitness challenge, a wellness team is intended to guide you to help you heal and feel your best. Your team should include dedicated health practitioners that support your health goals and aid with your health issues. A team might include a naturopathic doctor, medical doctor, acupuncturist, personal trainer, massage therapist and/or nutritionist (you may include other health practitioners as well).
What to look for in a health practitioner?
Each practitioner has their own focus, treatment style, beliefs and values. Ensure that you take the time to learn about their expertise and background in order to make an informed decision. Keep in mind that you can change your teammates should any changes arise. As we move through different life stages, our needs and requirements may change.
Remember, every relationship needs nourishing. If you are not committed to make the changes recommended to you or do not follow up, you will not reap the benefits.
When I set out my goal to complete my first triathlon this upcoming summer, I knew I needed a supportive team. There are many aspects of training and recovery that I am not familiar with, which is why I reached out to Jordan Titchener for acupuncture, Ariana Fotinakis for training tips and naturopathic doctor Dr. Dominika Zarzeczny for nutrition guidance. I also have a supportive group of friends challenging me through my training and keeping me positive.
During the upcoming months, I will shine light on my personal journey towards becoming a triathlete, how various modalities are helping me through my training and recovery, and the nutrition component. I will be sharing my story here on my website and on Instagram.
Before I sign off, I wanted to share with you Ariana’s, Jordan’s and Dominika's perspective on the importance of having your own wellness team.
Why iS IT important to pick a dedicated team of practitioners?
Ariana: Support from others is one of your biggest assets when you're working towards a new challenge or making a new lifestyle change. Having friends, family members, and colleagues cheering you on along the way is a huge motivator to stay the course, and they can pick you back up when you've lost faith in yourself. But your support network can be made even more powerful when you have a team of health practitioners monitoring your progress and keeping your body and mind in tip top shape. While there are certainly many workout plans, videos, and meal plans you can work from online, and so many doctors, physiotherapists, and acupuncturists that you could visit a new one each week, having a dedicated team who understands you, your body, your goals, and your unique lifestyle demands is second to none. These individuals know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. They understand the mechanics of your body. They know the obstacles you might encounter and can help you work through them. You can't get that from a downloadable fitness plan or by taking a trip to the walk-in clinic every time you feel an ache or a pain.
Jordan: I personally find that teamwork allows progress to take place. Everyone is in it together and within the healthcare atmosphere the people around you become a encouraging support system during a long term training program. It is important to have a fully qualified medical team that is able service an athlete as they progress through the periodization of their program. As an acupuncturist, I employ an integrative, holistic approach to medicine and wherever possible I like to communicate with the patient’s medical providers to ensure continuity of care.
Dr. Dominika: The future is preventative. The future is a team. And the future is patient centered. It's not about who is better. It's about working as who you are and ensuring you fill those conditions.
"The future of healthcare is teaching people how to create more and more health in their lives... and whatever profession will best deliver that will be the healthcare profession of the future."
- Food As Medicine, Dr. Terry Wahls
About Ariana Fotinakis, Personal Trainer
Ariana is a personal trainer, blogger, triathlete, and self love advocate living in Vancouver BC. After years of alcohol abuse and negative self talk stemming from anxiety and low self-esteem, Ariana turned her life around by making her health a priority and improving her relationship with herself. It's now her mission to help other women struggling in self-defeating patterns become their happiest, healthiest, most confident selves. When she's not training clients, writing, or prepping for triathlons, Ariana can be found scouring the city in search of great coffee.
About Jordan Titchener, Acupuncturist
Jordan Titchener, R.Ac, is the founder and director of Inner Chi Acupuncture & Wellness. Jordan’s interest in Eastern philosophy led him to study Traditional Chinese Medicine at Vancouver’s International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ICTCM). Before studying Acupuncture, Jordan was a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) and emergency responder. Jordan is a pain relief specialist who eliminates chronic and acute pain for working professionals and athletes.
When Jordan is not treating patients, he can be found trying out new workout classes, playing ice hockey, supporting local businesses and spending time with his family.
About Dr. Dominika Zarzeczny, Naturopathic Doctor
Dr. Dominika Zarzeczny N.D. is a licensed naturopathic doctor based in Toronto. Dominika’s practice focuses on treating women’s health, including PMS and menopause, as well as mental health, including depression, anxiety and ADHD. She has been a guest speaker on topics such as menopause, childhood anxiety, ADHD and depression.
In 2014, Dr. Dominika was nominated “Best Naturopathic Doctor” by Faces Magazine. She completed her 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate at Radiant Life Yoga School in Nicaragua in Fall 2014.
Do you have a team of health practitioners? If you are looking for a particular health practitioner (e.g. acupuncturist, personal training, nutritionist, naturopathic doctor), let me know and I’d be happy to make a recommendation.