One thing you will continue to notice as a nutritionist or other natural health practitioner is that people will want to know about a natural remedy for “what ails for them” without you really knowing anything about their unique situation.
Sometimes the solution is something simple and easy. Sometimes it is not.
Here is the dilemna.
You will be tempted to give them free advice to be kind and generous, but you run the risk of that advice not being right (for them as an individual) and of losing your credibility with them (or reflecting badly on the credibility of natural medicine for all of us).
Make a habit of getting the full picture before you make a recommendation……after all, that is what being a holistic practitioner is all about!
When we recommend a natural remedy for a systemic problem, we are essentially philosophically looking through the lens of the medical mindset- the only difference is that the medicine that we recommend is natural!
While I do agree that yes certain natural remedies can and do treat symptoms (and that they can take the much needed edge off the discomfort or be appropriate for where that person is at in terms of their ability to take responsibility for their health), rarely though can one natural remedy truly heal.
As a holistic practitioner, you are trying to offer more than just a band aid.
It is likely that you do this work because you wanted to help your clients heal at the level of root cause and you are not satisified with simply writing natural prescriptions for symptoms.
Let that lady you met at party, the guy you sat beside on the bus or curious aquintances search the internet if they want to use natural remedies to relieve symptoms. It is easy and free, generally non toxic, does not take up your time or reflect badly on you if the top remedy ‘out there’ for their symptom does not work for them.
You can still be helpful by recommending a website or a book you know that is great on the subject they are seeking help with. Let them know that you would be happy to chat with them about it when you are back in your office if they would like to book an appointment to speak with you.
Keep your focus on those that want to take the journey that you offer, so that you can really giving them your full time, energy and attention.
Sure you face the dilemmna that people will think that you are stingy or trying to get something from them if you suggest that they make a formal appointment with you for personalized recommendations.
I get it. We all want to be liked or at least avoid people’s dissapproval.
But if you take the time to explain how you really work and why it is both best for them and for you, people really DO get it.
It is all really logical when they take a moment to really think about it.
As a holistic practitioner, how do I approach the question “What remedy should I take for (fill in the blank)?”
I simply say something to the effect of….” this may not be the best remedy for you based on your unique situation but (such and such) is known as being a top remedy for (insert the symptom they asked about). In order to really offer you relevant advice though, I would need to look into your unique health situation and come up with a personalized plan that would have you heal (their issue) at the level of root cause, rather than just treat the symptoms.”
This usually opens up a bunch of questions about your approach (which is great) because you get to pitch your work without feeling salesy.
If it feels appropriate you can wrap up the conversation saying something to the effect of…..
“If that sounds intriguing to you, I offer a complimentary session that you can apply for if you are interested in learning more about how I might be able to help”.
If they are interested in exploring further, hand them the your business card (make sure it includes a link to where they can apply for your complimentary session eg: www.SherryRothwell.com/apply) and let them decide whether or not to take the next step to have a further converstion with you.
Remember, if their eyes glaze over or they change the topic right away, they weren’t really seriously going to implement what you told them anyway, so be glad that you didn’t spend the time!
Take a risk on saying “no” to giving away free health advice because in the end it is better for everyone.
Better for you, better for them and better for the natural health field.
If they want free health info, they can search the internet or if they want low cost info, they can take an e-course.
In fact, if they spend the time and energy investing their money and time in less personalized solutions and do not eventually find the answers that they are looking for, they will be primed through that prior expended energy to better value YOUR time, energy and experience (if they do in fact become your client in the future!).
And thats is a win-win for everyone.
How about you? How do you handle these kinds of situations as a holistic practitioner? Tell me in the comments below!