• Don’t Take My Word For It – The Value of a Second Opinion

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    Has a complementary healthcare provider, perhaps a massage therapist, ever recommended a course of treatment, a supplement, or a series of treatments that you just weren’t comfortable with? What did you do? Did you go along with their recommendation because “they’re the professional?” Or, did you dig in your heals and refuse to listen to their reasoning? Maybe you listened but still felt confused and unable to make a decision. Did you ever consider getting a second opinion? Second opinions aren’t just for surgery and other invasive procedures, you know.

    Getting a second opinion is not only a wise choice as a healthcare consumer (February IS wise health consumer month, after all), it’s also a stress reducing choice. If another practitioner confirms the proposed treatment, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve got good health care and a competent practitioner. If, however, you’re told that the proposed treatment is unnecessary or, worse, possibly detrimental, you can rest easy knowing that you’ve probably saved yourself a lot of time and money.

    Here are a few examples of times you’ll want to get a second opinion:

    • They tell you that you’ll need to take x supplement every day for the rest of your life. This is especially true if they are the only source for that particular supplement in your area, or they make a blanket statement like “everyone is deficient in this.”
    • They tell you that the product you need should only be purchased through x company, whom thankfully they are a distributor for, and that the same product from any other company is inferior or harmful.
    • They tell you that you need a specific minimum number of (expensive) treatments in a very short span of time, before you can begin coming in for weekly maintenance.
    • Their recommendation doesn’t seem to jibe with their profession; i.e. a massage therapist recommending dietary changes or supplements.

    There are, of course, countless reasons to get a second opinion, but for brevity’s sake I chose the ones I see and hear about the most.

    So, where do you get a second opinion? Try one of these:

    • Someone from the same profession, but at a different place of business
    • Someone from the same profession, but a different “branch” of it. For instance, seeing an orthopedic massage therapist (or medical massage therapist, or structural integrationist) for a second opinion on a therapeutic massage therapist’s recommendation
    • A much more experienced practitioner from the same “branch” of the profession as the original practitioner
    • A naturopathic physician
    • A doctor (either MD or DO) of Integrative Medicine. These doctors study both western (allopathic) medicine as well as complementary therapies so they should be familiar with the recommendation you’re seeking a second opinion on

    Have you ever gotten a second opinion for a complementary healthcare treatment? Have you ever wanted to? Let me know in the comment below!

    Oh yeah, don’t forget to like, share, retweet, pin, etc. C’mon, you know the drill.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Carolyn Waterstradt says:

    After Christmas I sign-up with a weight loss plan to help drop a few pounds. After paying for the program and begin on it a week, I was told I needed to take fish oil. I told them I did take fish oil. They said their fish oil didn’t contain toxins. I said, “Neither do mine.” The next time I went a different employee told me I could not take my fish oil but had to take theirs and asked if I had switched yet. When I said no, I was told my fish oil had more calories than theirs and could interfere with losing weight. I went home and looked. Mine had 5 calories per capsule. They did the same thing with their multivitamins. Needless to say, I didn’t finish out my time in their program. I enrolled in a fitness class and had great results.

    • Michelle Doetsch says:

      Good for you! It’s always a red flag when their brand is the only one that is pure enough to meet your goal. I’m so glad the exercise class worked out for you.