Patients have voted and now the winners of the 2017 Patients’ Choice Award are confirmed. The award is presented to physicians by the largest Austrian business directory and the healthcare portal Docfinder. The main criteria for this are the best reviews and most clicks. Overall, only about 5 percent of all physicians from Austria can look forward to receiving this award, which considers criteria such as empathy of the doctor, patient confidence about the doctor, satisfaction with the treatments, assistance care, services, as well as practice equipment.
Every year since we started our practice, we are excited about receiving this award, which reaffirms and reinvigorates us. We say ‘Thank you!’ to our patients who see and appreciate our efforts. Unfortunately, most people assume that it has to fit and so they take our service for granted. At a time when people are waiting in long queues, make phone calls with robots and only get automated answers and 5-minute standard consultations, we remain true to our philosophy: people, especially those who are not healthy, need a direct contact person who advises them individually right from the start, supports them and stands by their side with heart and mind.
In difficult life stages, we all need someone who not only has the expertise to solve our health problems, but also perceives us as human beings and expands our knowledge so that we can gain a better understanding of ourselves and look at our body from a new perspective.
For example, many patients come to us after suffering years of depression, and most of them simply consider it an individual character flaw. Likewise, argumentativeness, anxiousness, emotional instability or restlessness are often accepted as characteristics of one’s own personality, and often this persists throughout life.
However, our hormone system has a tremendous impact on our overall being, our state of health and what we do or even what we buy. Women before ovulation like to buy sexy underwear, after ovulation prefer pyjamas. The phrase ‘You smell good’ could be changed to ‘I think your hormones are a perfect match for mine!’
Why else would we like to smell good and buy expensive perfumes, especially before a first date?!
The same is true in reverse: by depriving ourselves of our own hormones through, for example, synthetic hormones (medications or contraceptives), our natural body fragrance changes, and so does our behaviour as well as our mate selection. It often happens that after discontinuing the pill, the couple in question separates.
For example, we inherit our hormone system from our parents. For example, if the mother suffered from rheumatism all her life, we do not inherit the rheumatism itself, but the hormonal constellation coupled with a similar lifestyle (diet, rhythm of life) reflected in the disease. Similarly, the strong progesterone drop after birth shocks the wonderful moment of bliss and replaces it with the mother’s baby blues, which can bring tragic consequences.
Once we become aware of it, we can breathe a sigh of relief. On the one hand, it is surprising that we do not have as much influence on our behaviour as we would like. On the other hand, it is good to realise that we can take matters into our own hands and that we can actively change it as well as exert a positive influence on our health and even our personality.
I remember a couple who came into our practice desperately seeking help for years. They loved each other very much, and he called her his great love. But she had not let him touch her for 5 years. She felt uncomfortable in her body, was unbalanced and depressed and could not even explain herself. In short, the family was about to break up.
Dr Farmini removed her implanon (hormonal contraceptive rod) and created an individual therapy with bioidentical hormones for her. After only three months, the woman came back to us to get a hormone-free copper coil IUD. After a few months, both were back with us. He showed up in a half-open white linen shirt; both looked happy and refreshed and had just returned from the Maldives. They told us that their two children asked her what their mom uses for a cream. She responded: ‘It’s a cream to make Mama feel better again.’ Her daughter then said: ‘Is that why you’re talking to us again?’
This is a true story with a happy ending. But how many people have no idea that synthetic hormones can have such a serious impact on us?
Not to mention the environmental aspect: synthetic hormones are excreted in the urine and thus get into our groundwater. We are basically being contaminated from all sides with chemicals and unnatural hormones that can be equated to drugs – and this also affects our children.
It is high time to understand and comprehend our world holistically. Because we are part of it, and many of our decisions affect not only ourselves, but also our fellow human beings and our environment in ways that we may not be able to foresee due to lack of information.
Through the Patients’ Choice Award, we can bring patients together with therapists and physicians who consider our health not only an individual aspiration, but also a chain reaction between us and the world we live in.
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