There has been attention for a number of years now for so-called ‘misunderstood or unexplained’ complaints. The terms most widely used in the Netherlands are LOK (lichamelijk onbegrepen klachten, or somatically misunderstood complaints) and SOLK (somatisch onvoldoende verklaarde lichamelijke klachten, or somatically insufficiently explained physical complaints). In the Dutch daily Trouw, Eveline Brandt sketched a picture of ‘misunderstood diseases’:
“‘Physically unexplained disorders’, ‘complaints that are difficult to objectify’, ‘psychosomatic illnesses’, ‘somatization’ or ‘functional complaints’ – misunderstood ailments are one of the biggest problems in healthcare. A sense of powerlessness lives among doctors and a mutual feeling of being misunderstood.”
Physical complaints are complex but useful, as they have a signaling function. For physical causes, they are often clearly traceable, whereas with ‘misunderstood’ complaints this is more difficult. The body is in fact warning you, which is a reason to reflect on your situation.
Learning to become aware of your body can help you here, learning to feel what the body has to say. If the overload lasts longer, complaints are likely to arise, both physically, cognitively and emotionally. This of course has direct consequences in daily life.
There has been a lot of attention and research into this kind of complaints in recent years. Consequently, there are always new developments, which are being followed critically by Practice Mieke Stevens through education, conferences and training courses.
From the start in 2000, Praktijk Mieke Stevens has assumed an integral, personal and realistic approach to the client. Of course, it requires attention and energy to work on pain, unprocessed emotions and stress, but there are clear benefits by improving the quality of life.