• Caroline O'Hagan

One size fits all, does not fit all!

I'm back at uni, studying my Bachelor of Complementary Medicine, which is giving me an amazing overview of complementary therapies as a whole, and on individual levels. In each modality, there is a comparison to the Allopathic and conventional model of medical treatment that we see, especially here in Australia, the USA and the UK, and the very common thread is how the reductive view of medicine, and the opinion that the human body is a machine and the Doctor is a mechanic, speaks volumes about the issues with "Modern" medicine.

What do all these words that I just used mean? They all lead to the same conclusion - the human body is just a machine, full of parts that all work separately to each other, but are pulled together by a common theme - the circulatory system and brain. If a part is broken, it must be removed. If it isn't "crucial" it can be taken out and not replaced. If it is important, it can be replaced. Chemical medicines can force symptoms to subside, with no regard for the consequences of this.

There is a term for disease that is caused by medical intervention. "Iatrogenic" illness is specifically caused by medical examination or treatment, and in many cases can be worse than the original ailment. In 2015-2016, there were between 5 and 10 adverse health events per 100 admissions in Australian hospitals. All of the data surrounding these numbers can be found here. Globally, prescription medications are the third highest leading cause of death. That is not a great figure. So what this means, is that if you are on multiple prescription drugs, and keep having more added to the list to counter the unwanted symptoms that are occurring as a result of all the other medications you are on, you are on a path that is unlikely to lead to wellness and good health in the end. This article in the British Medical Journal will go in to more detail.

So what can you do about it? If what I just said seems to describe you and your situation, then you do have options. The very first thing that needs to happen is that it's time to reconsider how you currently regard your own health. If you are of the opinion that the "Doctor" is the only person who could possibly know how to treat you, then I am here to give you some new information.

Just like I mentioned above, the Doctors and "specialists" only look at your body as a machine full of independent parts. Being able to "specialise" in one part of the body says it all! An expert on just the kidneys for example, possibly has less knowledge on the intricacies of how the kidneys and their functions can affect just about every other part of your body. And they do. A Cancer specialist focusses on how to kill the cancer, while possibly ignoring all of the other signs and symptoms that have lead your body to become so unwell that cancer was able to develop in the first place. The focus is purely on making the bad symptom go away, or at least suppressing it to extend life. When the causality is ignored, there is a very strong chance that your disease will return, possibly manifesting elsewhere, but probably as strongly or more so than before.

What are the options I mentioned?

Taking a "Holistic" (originating from the word "Wholistic" meaning whole) view of your body and your health is vital. Modern medicine absolutely has a place - it is vital to the survival of mankind - but even some Doctors and experts agree that Modern medicine is geared towards triage, surgery, and emergency help, not long term health.

More and more Doctors are expanding their knowledge and education to learn about Nutrition (Currently they get less than 20 hours over their 4 year degree, and I'm here to tell you that wouldn't even be enough time to scratch the surface of this very complex science), relaxation, alternative medicines and exercise, so in the future we might see better holistic treatment from your GP, but we are a long way from that currently.

It's time to take it upon yourself to learn more. Seek out the assistance of other health care professionals that aren't paid by our government. At the moment, the government is reviewing it's cancellation of Natural therapies in the Private Health Insurance reform, and has vowed to spend $2million in 2020 to determine its true stance on current Naturopathic Medicine. Pretty optimistic that they will change their minds about that one!

Heres a run down of what some Natural Therapies are all about!

Naturopathy - encompasses Herbal and Nutritional medicines, and seeks to find and treat the causes of illness, whether they be physical, emotional, spiritual (often a combination of them all). This may involve a treatment plan that includes herbal medicines, vitamins and supplements (nutraceuticals), relaxation techniques, Flower Essences and focussing on digestive health as a starting point. Used all over the world in various forms, this practice is based on ancient medicines and currently cutting edge science. This article is very recent and outlines the importance and relevance of Naturopathic medicine in todays world.

Homeopathy - The principle of like cures like - treatments are tailored to specific characteristics of symptoms, using medicines that have been diluted many times that in a healthy person would induce the symptoms being suffered by the patient. There are thousands of medicines to fit just about every symptomatic picture. India has a very large homeopathic presence, with many Homeopathic Hospitals and currenty over 200,000 registered Homeopathic Doctors.

Traditional Chinese Medicine - evolved over thousands of years, this system of herbs, acupuncture, tai chi and more focuses on balancing the body using symbiotic treatments and opposites. A very complex and ancient medical system, widely used today in many parts of the world.

There are many manual therapies that are important as part of a holistic approach to health.

Remedial Massage - treatment for muscular pain and injury

Reflexology - foot massage following a "map" of the body on your feet, hands and ears, that can have profound healing effects

Chiropractic - manual manipulation of the spine to improve neurological function, reduce pain and improve posture

Osteopathy - manipulation, massage and stretching to promote healthy muscles and bones, reduce pain and improve posture

Myopractic - a deep tissue massage to reduce pain and improve motion of muscles Bowen Therapy - manipulation of muscle fascia through a series of small movements, to reduce pain and improve mobility

Alexander Techinique - retraining ones posture to reduce strain and pain

Reiki - Energetic healing through the laying on of hands. A vibrational healing modality with far reaching benefits

Kinesiology - muscle testing for many aspects of physical and mental health

Butyeko teaches breathing techniques and has amazing results in people with respiratory conditions such as asthma.

There are many more, some more mainstream than others, but my point is that there are so many options out there for you, that to decide that the only choice is Modern medicine (it's called modern because it's only been around for about 100 years), when in truth you probably need a combination of different therapies. Keep going to the doctor, but research other health care options for yourself too.

Yes that can cost money, and yes there are charlatans out there.

My tips for finding a good practitioner - Make sure you are choosing a reputable practitioner, one who is a member of the appropriate association for their modality, who is covered by public liability insurance (which is not possible if they are not qualified) and one who you feel comfortable with. You will be putting your wellbeing in to their hands.

Promises of "Cure" are illegal. Anyone or any company that says they can fix you up right away are not being truthful.

Healing can be a long journey, and by opening yourself up to lots of avenues of assistance, you are giving yourself the best chance of regaining good health.

I am always happy to spend some time with you on the phone, discussing your needs. If I feel that Naturopathy is not what you need right now, I will tell you that.

My primary goal is to help you be well again. That may happen after only one or two consultations, or it could take months of working together.

The important thing is to remain optimistic, open to changes, and be prepared to do the work. My job, and the job of any practitioner, is to facilitate your healing. Give you the tools you need to heal yourself.

You can call me on 0433 280 621 (Caroline) or email me here.

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