‘Keep Calm and Go To Dr. T’
“Keep Calm and Go To Dr. T”. This phrase is actually how a client got referred to me.
Your pain is complex, but the solutions shouldn’t be complicated. The health and wellness ecosystem is complicated—even for those of us who are practitioners within it. There are no factual statements; it’s not math. Everything in biology has a half-life, and there are always things that are constantly changing and, at times, becoming contradictory. We need to embrace complexity and shield ourselves from over-complication.
Additionally, the rate at which we are receiving new information about it has also rapidly increased. Fifty years ago, human knowledge would double every 25 years—today it doubles every 13 months. This provides us with both opportunity and overload. So, in accounting for the changes that are happening around us and within us, it becomes difficult to know what to do. Out of this ocean of new knowledge, where are you, as a patient, to find your beacon of light?
In this age of self-diagnosis—where you can find information on every worst-case scenario known to humanity on the Internet—it becomes important for you to be able to triage yourself and to find the right team for you.
With that in mind, this is what I aim to do in treatment with my clients, based on my clinical experience:
Differentiate between the hardware and the software problems.
- Are you just collecting different apps, or is your glitch in the operating system? As an example, you hurt your back. Tissue damage, inflammation, and joint misalignment would be considered hardware issues. The software would be your brain’s response of a cascade of compensation and resource allocation to bias your protection and safety before function. The hardware is what is happening locally at the site of the injury, whereas the software will dictate the compensatory patterns, muscle spasms, and pain response. Treatment that takes into account the interaction between the hardware and the software is key to a successful recovery and increases resiliency.
Provide an expanded concept of quality care.
- There is an illusion of options out there. For me, it is important to determine exactly what you need to do and what I need to do to keep calm the areas that are injured, and build back your tolerance and function. I can help you find more colours to paint a new picture of wellness that is vivid, strong, and awe-inspiring.
See and hear you, as you like to be seen and heard.
- A critical part of your process stems from the information I gain from listening to you, but also from your physical response to the treatment. That is feedback that we can only gain when you become actively involved in your own process. Sometimes the exercise will provide the relief, but it is designed to figure out if you are a responder, neutral, or a non- responder. That provides the next piece of ‘data’ for me to help guide you, but it also gives you agency in your own recovery.
Having the lens to view rehabilitation from both sides, this is what I aim to be as a clinician based on what I would hope for as a client:
A health care provider to serve as an analyst or coach to guide your process.
- There is a lot of data to take into account when looking at your health. Whether it be simply your test results, x-ray/MRI reports, the latest research, or all of the complexities within your biosphere, it is important to me to have a broad enough bandwidth to take in all of that information, and provide you with your next steps to set you up for success and winning.
An orthogonal thinker.
- Orthogonal thinking describes the ability to gain new insights from a variety of perhaps seemingly unrelated perspectives—it is what the cool kids call lily padding. In allowing even a momentary blurring of boundaries amongst these views, new possibilities may emerge and blind spots can be shrunk. We all have ‘reactants’—those previous experiences that result in us making an immediate, subconscious decision about all things that fall into a similar category. In a nuanced view of how your brain, biology, and environment are interacting in your current state, I become better at helping you navigate your health and recovery. Daniel Kahneman in Thinking, Fast and Slow, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb in The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, are both excellent resources to further explore these concepts.
A facilitator, using the brain’s neuroplasticity as an orchestrator of life.
- Novel experiences, good or bad, allow us to generate new pathways to overcome our previous experiences of pain and struggle. In your rehabilitation, we drive the pathways that require active participation, as these are the same pathways that allow you to become more active and in control of your life. The only blessing after an injury, accident, or illness is the opportunity to test our character, motivation, patience, enthusiasm, and forgiveness. This is validated by our understanding of neuroplasticity, and the science of post-traumatic growth. However, let me not feed you with empty calories as others might do, with the promise of ease and simple steps, as this is something that I have struggled with myself.
For my part, I constantly evaluate my own blind spots to stay at the forefront of what is happening next, to help you stay at the forefront of your health and well-being. Because, despite the complexities (or, perhaps, partially because of them), I find it most rewarding and energizing to work with those patients who truly wish to get ahead of the problem, and be active participants in fulfilling their life’s purpose.
Dr. Tabrizi is a chiropractor, osteopath and a passionate member of both the local and scientific community, whose goal is to teach that the pursuit of optimal health and wellness is much more than being symptom-free. His practice is rooted in the philosophy of treating the person rather than just treating the illness or ailment. As a result of his interdisciplinary training, Dr. Tabrizi has developed a neuroscience-based therapeutic education approach to treating his patients, focusing on healing illness from a wider perspective, placing equal responsibility on patient as well as practitioner. Dr. Tabrizi aims to educate his patients and provide them with the tools and framework needed to integrate pain management and healthy living into the fabric of their everyday lives.
Great article Dr. Tabrizi.