We are incredibly excited to share The VITAL Method with you after several months of creation in the background here at The Women’s Vitality Center. As our team has grown and we are working towards having a bigger impact, we wanted to define our signature approach in order to empower and support more women in getting the kind of care they need and deserve.
As part of this process, we have been taking a closer look at WHY we do what we do, WHAT exactly it is that we do, and HOW we do it. After close to 20 years of successfully helping thousands of women, we wanted to create this framework and offer it to YOU so you can learn a highly effective way to approach your own health journey.
We believe that women are vital and that every woman has a positive difference to make in the world. We are here to help you have your hormones and overall health supporting you to do just that.
If you would like help to figure out how to balance your hormones and optimize your health so you can “Live it up” and experience more joy in your life overall, we invite you to book a complimentary Vitality Discovery Call.
In this article, we’re excited to teach you the 5 steps of The VITAL Method which we think is the perfect antidote to the patriarchal medical system which offers so little help for most women’s hormonal issues.
“V” is for Validate
To validate is to recognize and acknowledge what you are experiencing in your body and in your life.
This is a key missing piece in the healthcare experience for so many women. How often have you left the doctor’s office feeling dismissed, disregarded, and unheard? How often have you been told “that’s just how it is”?
We hear this from new patients all the time and we see the emotional impact. When you know that something is going on with your body, and make the time and effort to go to a healthcare professional for support, the last thing you need is to leave feeling as though you were not heard, understood, or believed.
At The Women’s Vitality Center we are committed to a more feminine version of health care, where we listen, acknowledge, and validate the journey that you have been on, and, rather than look down from a pedestal and judge you or just tell you what to do, we partner with you on the healing path and create solutions together.
You are not alone, your experience is real, and you deserve to be heard and receive the support you need to heal.
No matter who you are working with you on your health, you can put the “V” step of The VITAL Method into practice with the following Action Steps:
- The next time you visit your healthcare provider, if you feel dismissed or disbelieved, stand up for yourself. Tell them that you deserve to be treated with respect, that your symptoms are real, and that even if they doesn’t have answers, at the very least they can believe your lived experience and respect your choices.
- Validate and trust your own feelings. For many women, being disregarded or dismissed can feel like the norm, and we can start to question our own experience! Don’t let medical gaslighting inform your belief in yourself.
- Find friends or colleagues whom you trust, and confide in them. Social support is one of the most important components of our overall wellness, and we all need to be seen and heard.
“I” is for Investigate
It’s important to figure out what is going on so you can know what to do to feel better.
In our holistic approach to health, we recognize there can be multiple causes contributing to your symptoms and we believe in seeking to first understand the whole picture. The standard medicine “band-aid approach” misses out on the important step of Investigating to figure out what is going on underneath the symptoms.
There are three angles we use to Investigate.
First it’s important to take the time to hear the whole story and get to know more details about the symptoms, when they happen, and how they are impacting your life. Looking at your hormonal symptoms as well as digestion, immune system, family history and other aspects of your health can often give us clues about what might be contributing.
We also know that daily lifestyle practices play a huge role in overall wellness. Looking at the 5 Foundational Factors – Nutrition, Fitness, Sleep, Stress and Mindset – can help bring awareness to the impact that each of these may be having on your symptoms.
And finally lab testing can also be incredibly insightful and provide a more objective angle. When working with patients, we either focus on the most likely issues based on our initial conversation and test those first, or we can cast a wider net to screen and rule things out. Sometimes knowing what factors are NOT involved can be just as important as discovering the imbalances that DO need to be addressed.
5 Foundational Factors
Track and notice to see if these factors have any influence on your symptoms:
Common labs to consider:
- Blood Sugar
- Complete Thyroid
- General blood test screening
- Inflammation markers
- Nutrient levels
- Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone – need to be tested carefully
- (if needed) Digestive health
Because human bodies are complex, and female hormones are especially complex, it can be tempting to think of lab results as the “real truth” about your health and therefore the best way to investigate. However, keep in mind that the details of your symptoms and health history and the things you notice about your body are just as important as any lab result, and all of this information should be taken together when you are “Investigating”.
“T” is for Target and Track
Once you have Investigated and you know more about what is happening in your body, it’s time to create a focused plan to address your specific needs. You’ll want to consider your priorities, your short and long term goals and the specific obstacles you’re facing. Obstacles may be the symptoms, health conditions or imbalances going on in your body, as well as other obligations or challenges in your life that you need to be realistic about as you find your way forward in health.
You want to feel better as quickly as possible so, when your time and energy feel limited, it’s best to prioritize and focus on the “little hinges that swing big doors”.
With all of these factors in mind, it may start to feel clear to you which one or two things to target first. You may have some ideas about what feels possible or what you want to work on first, so listen to your inner wisdom. However, if you are feeling uncertain about what to do next, you may need an experienced holistic health provider who can guide you in creating an effective plan. It’s hard to know which lifestyle changes are really worth doing, what supplements to take, and when to consider taking thyroid or bioidentical hormones so expert help is sometimes needed.
The last part of the T step is to Track so you can evaluate the outcomes of your efforts. Here at TWVC we think of these as “vital signs” that you want to notice over time such as your energy level, your sleep quality, your digestive health, your periods or your lab values. These are the markers that will let you know when you are making progress or when it’s time to take the next step.
“A” is for Adjust
Effective healthcare is not a simple Google search where you look up symptom X and do Y treatment and that’s that. The female body is just way more complex than that, like a beautiful web of different interconnected factors.
“L” is for Live it up!
We hope that this framework helps you navigate your own health issues and inspires you to find the care that you need and deserve.