My First Visit to a Holistic Doctor: What Happened?

On the day I had my first visit with a holistic doctor, I would describe my mental condition as “skeptical” and “desperate.”

This is an interesting combination because “desperate” tends to lessen “skeptical” to a marked degree. Now that it’s long past, I can say that this was an excellent thing. Had I allowed my skeptical nature to rule, I would not have the excellent health and knowledge of how to stay that way I currently enjoy.

I’m a corporate organization consultant. It’s fun: I go into different businesses, investigate how they’re put together, redesign them and implement new and better organization. Staff are happier and more productive, the company is more profitable, and the owners and execs can sleep again.

Dr. Billiot Consultation

Dr. Billiot consulting with a new patient

Dr. Billiot Consultation

Dr. Billiot consulting with a new patient

My First Visit to a Holistic Doctor: What Happened?

On the day I had my first visit with a holistic doctor, I would describe my mental condition as “skeptical” and “desperate.”

This is an interesting combination because “desperate” tends to lessen “skeptical” to a marked degree. Now that it’s long past, I can say that this was an excellent thing. Had I allowed my skeptical nature to rule, I would not have the excellent health and knowledge of how to stay that way I currently enjoy.

I’m a corporate organization consultant. It’s fun: I go into different businesses, investigate how they’re put together, redesign them and implement new and better organization. Staff are happier and more productive, the company is more profitable, and the owners and execs can sleep again.

But at the time I first went to a holistic doctor, I was losing it. Constant lower energy had become complete exhaustion by 4:00 PM every day. I knew I was in real trouble when I had to pull onto the shoulder of I-285 because I couldn’t stay awake to the next exit. I recall being at a board meeting and panicking because I couldn’t remember which of my clients I was meeting with. Luckily there was a big sculpture of their logo on the wall… that’s what saved me.

So, I went to the doctor.

I have a distrust of medical doctors. The one I went to didn’t have an answer but ordered up a bunch of blood work. The labs all came back in normal ranges, and that was that. I also have had a poor history with alternative health care. I let a chiropractor client of mine do a treatment program to resolve a long-standing nerve pain in my shoulder. He adjusted me twice a week for four months with absolutely zero results.

But, desperation overcomes skepticism. I decided I could go to a string of medical specialists in hopes of discovering that I had a rare but easily-treatable disease. Or I could find a holistic doctor who could actually solve my problem. Since it seemed to me that I had about as much chance of success with either of these far-fetched ideas, I’d try the one that didn’t use drugs and surgery first.

An accountant friend of mine listened to my dilemma. He looked around, leaned in closer, and told me about this doctor that had completely fixed his terrible digestive problems. “Look, I don’t understand how this works, but it does. She pushes down on your arm to test stuff, and if what she’s testing stresses your body, the arm gets weak.” I had thought I was prepared for some alternative health ideas, but this was raising my eyebrows past my hairline. But I respected and trusted my friend, so I got the phone number.

My phone call was truly a new experience. The first question asked was, “What kind of health problems have you been experiencing?” The nice woman then pulled most of my story right out of me. I felt a little better just getting to tell someone about it. And this was before I’d given her my name. I was shocked that the first question wasn’t “what insurance network are you in.”

I was scheduled for a one-hour initial visit, and she sent me a link to an online questionnaire. The lovely lady warned me that the questionnaire was very complete and would take 45 minutes to fill out.

She was right about the 45 minutes. I answered all the usual medical history questions. However, the questionnaire’s main thrust was my symptoms and how my life was affected by these health problems. There were also a lot of lifestyle questions, even “what do you eat for breakfast” (I don’t).

The day of my appointment came, and to be honest, I found myself really nervous. I’m an analytical guy by my profession, so I examined my feelings. Mainly, I had a lot riding on this visit. I had no other possible solution to my decreasing energy. I didn’t know how much longer I would be able to hang on. My friend swore by these people, and my experience with them so far seemed competent and confident. Could this work? What would I have to do? What if they couldn’t help me? Yeah, I was a nervous wreck.

New Patient met in Reception

The clinic was in a nice, large space in an office complex. It was open, clean, organized, and friendly. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t told to “sign-in” by a surly receptionist who never looked up from her screen. This person jumped up and came out from behind the desk to welcome me. She looked me in the eye. Smiled. It was definitely an alternative experience from normal health care.

The first thing I was assigned to do was watch a 10-minute video. HERE IS A LINK TO THIS VIDEO The guy in the video explained that they weren’t going to treat my problems but instead were going to help my body get back its ability to heal. He said that to do this, my body had to be the doctor, and the clinic doctor and staff (and me, apparently) are assistants to help the body. “Who do you think knows the most about your body and health problems, your body? Or the best doctor in the world?” I guess he had a point.

Then the video guy proceeds to demonstrate the weird arm-weakness thing my friend had told me about. Unlike my friend, he seemed to understand the physiology of why this “reflex testing” worked and did a credible job explaining and demonstrating it. I was more than halfway convinced, which is saying something. He did make a good point, that if it was possible to directly test the nervous system to discover stresses and what would help resolve them, this would make it possible for the “body to be the doctor.”

Heart Rate Variability Test

Heart Rate Variability Test (Autonomic Nervous System Lab)

Then they strapped electrodes to me and put me on a table. This was a lab called “Heart Rate Variability.”

Once again, the technician who set up the test explained everything as we went along and exhibited the same interested, caring attitude I’d experienced with the receptionist. She told me this was a test of the condition of my autonomic nervous system to show any barriers to my healing and the overall condition my body was in.

The test took maybe ten minutes and didn’t hurt a bit. Then we did the blood pressure and weight thing, and they put me in a room.

It was a big room that looked like a nice office except for the treatment table and hundreds of little jars in racks. There were many things in that room that I could not identify.

Dr Billiot in Treatment Room

In yet another departure from normal health care, I only sat in the room five minutes before the doctor came in. You know those people who sort of radiate competence and confidence? Dr. Billiot is one of those. On the one hand, she obviously had zero concern about her ability to help me. At the same time, she wasn’t even slightly arrogant about that. In my work, I deal a lot with people who can get a job done no matter what, and I pride myself on being able to identify this kind of person. Needless to say, I felt a lot better and less nervous at this point.

Dr. Billiot got right to work, actually spending half an hour going over the questionnaire I’d filled out. By the time we were done, she knew much more about how my health had affected my life than I’d ever realized myself. Here’s the thing: she was obviously preparing to have a go at resolving the entire problem so it would never come back. There was no “quick patch up” in her mind at all. This was an engineer surveying to build a suspension bridge. We’re talking long-term, permanent resolution of my health.

Then she demonstrated the weird arm-weakness thing on me. It was a through the looking glass moment. My arm actually got weak. What can I say?

She put me on the table and tested me. She kept up a constant series of questions and comments as she went, and ten minutes later, she was done.

She sat me up, looked me in the eye, and told me she could help me. I’ll say to you, until that moment, I really was in despair. I just wasn’t admitting to it. But I got it. The idea that my body could get back its ability to heal had just become real to me.

I didn’t know how this was going to happen, what I’d have to do, how long it would take, or what it would cost. But you know? I didn’t care.

And that was my first experience with holistic health care.

But at the time I first went to a holistic doctor, I was losing it. Constant lower energy had become complete exhaustion by 4:00 PM every day. I knew I was in real trouble when I had to pull onto the shoulder of I-285 because I couldn’t stay awake to the next exit. I recall being at a board meeting and panicking because I couldn’t remember which of my clients I was meeting with. Luckily there was a big sculpture of their logo on the wall… that’s what saved me.

So, I went to the doctor.

I have a distrust of medical doctors. The one I went to didn’t have an answer but ordered up a bunch of blood work. The labs all came back in normal ranges, and that was that. I also have had a poor history with alternative health care. I let a chiropractor client of mine do a treatment program to resolve a long-standing nerve pain in my shoulder. He adjusted me twice a week for four months with absolutely zero results.

But, desperation overcomes skepticism. I decided I could go to a string of medical specialists in hopes of discovering that I had a rare but easily-treatable disease. Or I could find a holistic doctor who could actually solve my problem. Since it seemed to me that I had about as much chance of success with either of these far-fetched ideas, I’d try the one that didn’t use drugs and surgery first.

An accountant friend of mine listened to my dilemma. He looked around, leaned in closer, and told me about this doctor that had completely fixed his terrible digestive problems. “Look, I don’t understand how this works, but it does. She pushes down on your arm to test stuff, and if what she’s testing stresses your body, the arm gets weak.” I had thought I was prepared for some alternative health ideas, but this was raising my eyebrows past my hairline. But I respected and trusted my friend, so I got the phone number.

My phone call was truly a new experience. The first question asked was, “What kind of health problems have you been experiencing?” The nice woman then pulled most of my story right out of me. I felt a little better just getting to tell someone about it. And this was before I’d given her my name. I was shocked that the first question wasn’t “what insurance network are you in.”

I was scheduled for a one-hour initial visit, and she sent me a link to an online questionnaire. The lovely lady warned me that the questionnaire was very complete and would take 45 minutes to fill out.

She was right about the 45 minutes. I answered all the usual medical history questions. However, the questionnaire’s main thrust was my symptoms and how my life was affected by these health problems. There were also a lot of lifestyle questions, even “what do you eat for breakfast” (I don’t).

The day of my appointment came, and to be honest, I found myself really nervous. I’m an analytical guy by my profession, so I examined my feelings. Mainly, I had a lot riding on this visit. I had no other possible solution to my decreasing energy. I didn’t know how much longer I would be able to hang on. My friend swore by these people, and my experience with them so far seemed competent and confident. Could this work? What would I have to do? What if they couldn’t help me? Yeah, I was a nervous wreck.

The clinic was in a nice, large space in an office complex. It was open, clean, organized, and friendly. For the first time in my life, I wasn’tNew Patient met in Reception​ told to “sign-in” by a surly receptionist who never looked up from her screen. This person jumped up and came out from behind the desk to welcome me. She looked me in the eye. Smiled. It was definitely an alternative experience from normal health care.

The first thing I was assigned to do was watch a 10-minute video. HERE IS A LINK TO THIS VIDEO The guy in the video explained that they weren’t going to treat my problems but instead were going to help my body get back its ability to heal. He said that to do this, my body had to be the doctor, and the clinic doctor and staff (and me, apparently) are assistants to help the body. “Who do you think knows the most about your body and health problems, your body? Or the best doctor in the world?” I guess he had a point.

Then the video guy proceeds to demonstrate the weird arm-weakness thing my friend had told me about. Unlike my friend, he seemed to understand the physiology of why this “reflex testing” worked and did a credible job explaining and demonstrating it. I was more than halfway convinced, which is saying something. He did make a good point, that if it was possible to directly test the nervous system to discover stresses and what would help resolve them, this would make it possible for the “body to be the doctor.”

Then they strapped electrodes to me and put me on a table. This was a lab called “Heart Rate Variability.”Heart Rate Variability Test

Once again, the technician who set up the test explained everything as we went along and exhibited the same interested, caring attitude I’d experienced with the receptionist. She told me this was a test of the condition of my autonomic nervous system to show any barriers to my healing and the overall condition my body was in.

The test took maybe ten minutes and didn’t hurt a bit. Then we did the blood pressure and weight thing, and they put me in a room.

It was a big room that looked like a nice office except for the treatment table and hundreds of little jars in racks. There were many things in that room that I could not identify.Dr Billiot in Treatment Room

In yet another departure from normal health care, I only sat in the room five minutes before the doctor came in. You know those people who sort of radiate competence and confidence? Dr. Billiot is one of those. On the one hand, she obviously had zero concern about her ability to help me. At the same time, she wasn’t even slightly arrogant about that. In my work, I deal a lot with people who can get a job done no matter what, and I pride myself on being able to identify this kind of person. Needless to say, I felt a lot better and less nervous at this point.

Dr. Billiot got right to work, actually spending half an hour going over the questionnaire I’d filled out. By the time we were done, she knew much more about how my health had affected my life than I’d ever realized myself. Here’s the thing: she was obviously preparing to have a go at resolving the entire problem so it would never come back. There was no “quick patch up” in her mind at all. This was an engineer surveying to build a suspension bridge. We’re talking long-term, permanent resolution of my health.

Then she demonstrated the weird arm-weakness thing on me. It was a through the looking glass moment. My arm actually got weak. What can I say?

She put me on the table and tested me. She kept up a constant series of questions and comments as she went, and ten minutes later, she was done.

She sat me up, looked me in the eye, and told me she could help me. I’ll say to you, until that moment, I really was in despair. I just wasn’t admitting to it. But I got it. The idea that my body could get back its ability to heal had just become real to me.

I didn’t know how this was going to happen, what I’d have to do, how long it would take, or what it would cost. But you know? I didn’t care.

And that was my first experience with holistic health care.