There seems to be such a divide between the natural medicine world; and the orthodox model that the majority of the population embraces. People seem to sit stubbornly on one side of the fence or the other giving no credit or ground to the other side at all as if we are mortal enemies and have nothing to offer each other.
This mindset of pitching natural against orthodox is one that does no one any favors and sets up an environment where we can miss out on the amazing benefits that both worlds have to offer. Now, of course, I err on the side of the natural medicine world, with one of my passions in life being to continue to explore the area of healing, and how the body is able to heal itself, given the right tools and environment.
However, I also have one foot in the medical model, having suffered from an illness that was potentially fatal without the introduction of a hormone replacement so I am not one to blanket all modern medicine as evil and corrupt. It does have its place.
My belief is that we do the least harm first, knowing that most illnesses, especially chronic illnesses, can be reversed through natural medicine, but that orthodox is there for those times when we are in severe situations and are in need of that level of intervention.
I would love to see modern medicine focus on what it does best, which is treating life-threatening, acute issues, and leave the rest to us but I might be dreaming about that one I do hope that the day will come though when we do recognize each other’s strengths, and integrate them to form a better option for patients, especially for those patients who don’t know any better, and leave their health decisions solely in the hands of their doctor. At least if we had an integrated system, that patient would receive much gentler care and may be educated about their health at the same time, rather than just popping a drug or having some surgery.
One area that I do think is essential in our quest for health, is regular testing, just to make sure we’re on track and not missing anything. I hear a lot of people who live very healthy lifestyles and eat very healthy diets, say that they haven’t been to a doctor for twenty years, like it’s a badge of honor. This scares my pants out of me, and every time I hear that, I want to give a lecture about the dangers of being ignorant as to what is going on inside your body. We have access to some amazing testing today, and not utilizing these modern tools, can be foolhardy.
Feeling fit, energetic, and healthy is not necessarily an indicator that everything is on track and running well internally, funnily enough. Of course, it gives you an awesome guide as to the fact that you’re getting it pretty right, but there are many chronic illnesses that start long before any symptoms show up.
In my mind, eating well, exercising, drinking pure water, getting sunlight, rest, having passion and lots of love and laughter in your life are all preventative medicine. I see testing as also falling into that category.
Take me for example. In my family, we have a history of osteoporosis. My grandmother suffered with it dreadfully, my mother developed it in her forties and I showed signs of osteopenia when I was 28 years old. Vitamin D is intricately linked with bone health, and after having my full genetic profile tested, I found that I fell into the 15% of people who do not process Vitamin D well and need much, much higher amounts to achieve the same result as the other 85% of people. So unless I am getting a lot of sunlight on a regular basis I am likely to be deficient. So as well as getting some sunlight, I take supplementation and include foods that contain some Vitamin D such as raw butter.