All healing takes time. It takes injured heart muscle 6 weeks to heal, regardless of the time in the hospital that an insurance company will reimburse after a heart attack. It takes time for the inflammatory molecules created by the immune system responding to a viral infection to be metabolized, which is why symptoms of fatigue and malaise can go on for a time after the infection is gone. All healing takes time, regardless of the efficiencies of modern medicine.

It takes time to gather adequate history that can help to reveal the nature and the origins of a disease. It takes time to understand who the person is who is suffering from a disease. People get diseases; illness is their experience of having diseases. People can get the same disease and will have very individualized experiences of having the disease. It takes time to define people's illnesses, time to understand the origins of their experiences, and time to understand the resources that they bring to alleviate their suffering. Adequate, thorough evaluation of a suffering individual, in their wholeness, takes time.

It takes time to create a treatment plan for a given individual suffering from a given disease. Thoughtfulness takes time, as does consideration of a person' wholeness: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual, when planning their treatment. It takes time to be mindful of how one is relating and of the effects of that relationship during evaluation and planning for a given patient/client.

It takes time to explain a treatment plan for a patient/client. It takes time to properly convince a person why a specific treatment is being suggested, and it takes time to allow a person to respond to the suggestions. It takes time to convince a person adequately enough that she or he will accept the treatment plan, and will embrace its purpose and the discipline that it may take to follow the plan, as well as accepting the risks that may be presented by the plan.

It takes time to support a person through a treatment plan, and to adapt the plan as needed when it is being administered. It takes time to listen to concerns, to answer questions, and to soothe fears. It takes time to notice unexpected effects of treatment, time to adequately explain those effects, and time to deal with them. That may mean redesigning the treatment plan, and that takes time.

It takes time to appropriately deal with a patient's/client's family or other support system. Adequate time taken with the supporting people, or even people hindering the person being treated, can come back to assist in the healing. Sometimes, family or friends can convince or sustain a person being treated better than any professional can. Providing the supporting people with adequate information and motivation can take time.

When treatment works, it takes time to adequately sustain the treatment, create a plan for convalescence or rehabilitation if necessary. Then it takes time to maintain and sustain any wellness gains or positive changes that have occurred.

If therapy ends up not being effective, or a decision is made to stop trying to treat a disease and/or to create a setting for a comfortable, dignified end-of-life, it takes time to facilitate the shift and to handle the anxiety and fear that can arise, in patients/clients, family, or even in professional caregivers that are involved.

Evaluation, design of treatment plan, support through the treatment, evaluation of results and response to evolution of the patient - all this takes time. It also takes time for a caregiver to provide herself or himself with adequate self-care to enable participation in healing relationship and to effectively do the technical work and the thoughtful evaluations and responses that are necessary for optimal healing.

In our rapid-paced, highly stimulated culture with its constant communication demands, time is considered expendable, and efficiency and financial considerations are often considered more important than the quality of healthcare experience. We only perform healthcare in the fashion of the culture in which we perform it. Wellness is talked about in our culture, but is not really valued. We talk about wellness as a way to motivate people to engage in a variety of income-generating, health-seeking activities, but our culture does not really value wellness. Our food industry promotes unhealthy nutrition in the name of profit. Our education system ignores wellness, brain growth, and the enormous variety of learning styles that students may have, in the name of teaching mathematics and science to compete in the international world of commerce. Our politics is focused on the acquisition of power and in the promotion of fear for political ends, rather than focusing on public wellness. We do not keep our children safe and we constantly erode our environment, all in the interest of financial gain and to empower special interest groups.

We must begin to value adequate time allowed and taken, to change our culture and our healthcare, promoting and enabling wellness. At the least, we need to adequately reimburse time spent between practitioners and patients/clients to enable healing, effective interactions. Such interactions will ultimately decrease the need for expensive testing, often done, instead of the taking of adequate history, to try to figure out what is going on. The financial gains from such testing are part of the reason our medical system does not change. We need to value and adequately reimburse time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.