This post is an excerpt from my book, How to Heal Hashimoto’s: An Integrative Roadmap to Remission.
One of the things I sought to do in writing the book was to teach you how to evaluate and treat yourself so that you can get some successes and then build on them to create positive healing momentum.
That’s what the A.P.A.R.T. System is and I’ve broken it down for your here.
Remission is a journey.
It involves taking responsibility for your life and circumstances and doing whatever is necessary to change that life and those circumstances.
The road to your remission should be ever evolving and growing, and it should be a process that you continue to improve upon and refine.
So it is not a destination. Getting there is just half the battle.
Staying there is the other half. And the only way you can stay there is to be committed for the long haul.
Measurable goals should be:
These goals are just that. They are meant to be targets. You may not reach them 100%.
And that’s ok, not reaching them 100% does not mean you will have failed or that you should give up and quit trying.
These are just numbers and numbers in isolation are never a complete measure of success or failure.
One important thing to remember about laboratory tests is that they are not meaningful outside the context of what you are experiencing in your own body.
So you must always be aware of what is happening in your body, of how you feel and also of what factors led up to that. Try to pay attention to both the good and the bad.
What you feel is clinically relevant and diagnostically important. And, really everything you do and try is just a test. What happens as a result is data that we can use; it provides us with clues and valuable information.
In addition, one should never keep forcing a solution when the evidence before you plainly shows you that it isn’t working.
You must change your plan when that happens.
This can be tricky, but it is possible to do it if you have a system.
Unfortunately, this is usually not part of the mainstream approach. With conventional medicine, medication is often the first treatment option, diet and lifestyle changes are ignored or dismissed and the experiences that you have within your body are not given the importance that they deserve.
To address this problem and offer an alternative way of approaching healing that does take important factors like diet, lifestyle, physical, emotional and spiritual experiences into account, I’ve created a simple system for you to use.
It’s called The A.P.A.R.T. System, because this approach stands apart and so will your results if you use it.
This is a simple, easy-to-remember acronym for getting better results that aren’t based on protocols, dogma, or preconceived ideas.
It goes like this:
Each letter has two ideas that are associated with it.
Data has healing power, if you know what data to collect and analyze and you know what to do with that information. (Both are big “ifs.”)
You need to ask what the symptoms are and assess the different systems of the body to find out where these symptoms are coming from.
And every bodily system and lifestyle practice needs to be a suspect. Don’t exclude something because you’re attached to it, feel like you can’t dowithout it or have decided that it isn’t a problem.
Everything in your life should be evaluated with equal scrutiny and if it isn’t working to make you better, it may have to be eliminated.
This includes people, places, and things like your favorite foods and drinks.
Not everything has the same level of importance. This is what 80/20 teaches us (20 per cent of your issues cause 80 per cent of your symptoms – I’ve described in more detail in the Introduction).
Some things are having more of an impact than others. Figure out which they are (the positive feedback loops – or the things that are repeated and reinforced in your body and mind) and focus on those first, then make a plan to fix them.
I have created a Cheat Sheet in the back of the book that contains what I think are the most common 20 percent issues that cause 80 percent of our problems.
Act and put your plan into motion. Then observe what the results are. Double down on what works and change what doesn’t. And results should be apparent relatively quickly.
If they aren’t, you need to make changes.
The common practice of a doctor or practitioner prescribing something and then telling the patient to come back in three to six months is not the best approach, in my opinion. That’s way too long, especially if it isn’t working.
Retest, reassess and ask all over again. Figure out what worked and what didn’t. Double down on what worked and either eliminate or recreate a plan for what didn’t.
It sounds obvious, but it is often overlooked or forgotten. Testing and reevaluating what you have done to see the result of your treatment is essential for good care.
Quick side note here: In my opinion, what I have learned over many years of practice is that you need to trust what the data is telling you. In most cases, when you make the right choice, you start feeling better.
Things like a “healing crisis,” a “die off,” or a “detox reaction” sometimes occur, but they can also be a cover for incompetence. The right decision should result in a positive result relatively quickly.
If you are doing something and you aren’t getting better or you continue to feel worse, or it causes more discomfort, pain, and adverse symptoms, then you need to question whether that is the best course of action.
Eliminate it, reduce variables, and find out which part of what you are doing is causing that reaction or set of symptoms.
And all of this should not be done on the basis of lab tests alone. With Hashimoto’s it must include a thorough examination of the signs and symptoms as well.
Remember, what you feel is diagnostically important and clinically relevant.
Keep doing it, keep refining, keep building on the positive results and keep looking for the remaining positive feedback loops that are causing vicious cycles.
People sometimes give up before giving a certain approach a chance. Or they get some good results and then slide back to their old ways of doing things. When you find something that works, keep doing it. Don’t quit and don’t give up.
Lab work and symptoms should all confirm that this has taken place.
Again, lab tests must always be viewed in context to how you feel. It is the combination of these two factors that determine success or failure.
In addition, you must create realistic goals that are small enough to achieve and then build upon them. Acknowledge and celebrate your small victories.
You can’t go from sick to perfect in a couple of weeks.
As I said, remission is a journey. It is measured by how you feel, by your lab tests and by your quality of life.
In other words, this journey is all about creating a lifestyle that will sustain and foster ongoing success.
Would you like to read the whole book? It chock full of great information and is available at all major book retailers.
So now, not only is it my profession, it’s my passion, and it’s personal. I’ve been joking with people lately saying it’s a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I really get it, and a curse because I really got it! ?