Sometimes I find it difficult to believe what I’m reading. As I write there is a report of a study in the UK which followed over 5 million Britons over 7 years (how much did that cost?) and concluded excess weight increases the risk of developing ten common cancers by up to 62 per cent. Which begs the question: what caused the excess weight?
Once again we see the myopia of present day healthcare. These are regarded as two separate compartments – the excess weight and the cancers – one claimed to be marginally causative to the other. The question as to whether there is a major cause behind both does not seem to arise.
Similar studies to this appear to be on the increase such as the implied causal relationship between obesity and diabetes. Again, is not there a common factor, or factors, behind both and contributing to both?
Treatments – Disease or Person?
Since the beginning of time, and in practically every civilisation, the understanding has been that all is well unless there is present an awareness of abnormalities that would be identified as symptoms.
In ancient times, systems such as the Ayurvedic, Chinese and Egyptian, included an array of non invasive therapies such as diet, herbal medicines, massage, counselling, exercise, acupuncture and so on. In the main, however, they were adjuncts used for the treatment of diseases, although to a degree, they were often considered to be tailored specifically to the patient. In that sense they could be considered to be, at least in part, for treatment of the person rather than the disease/illness.
Fast forward and we find we have made little progress in spite of the daily barrage of assertions of the “new research” in which the word “could” often features prominently – “could lead to a cure for…..”
Today’s feeble attempt to present our medical culture as proactive ranges from the low tech recommendation such as regular checks of blood pressure readings (with the sights firmly fixed on the lifelong medication to follow) through cholesterol level checks, heart rate measurements, urine tests to the more high tech end of scans.
Apart from anything else some of the tests are themselves not without risk. Nor are the interpretations an exact science. In a report in Which? Magazine (http://www.which.co.uk/campaigns/food-and-health/private-health-checks/private-health-scans-the-concerns) it concluded: “CT scans use radiation. Independent expert advisory group Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) said that if 100,000 people underwent a typical dose CT scan every five years from the age of 40 to 70, approximately 240 would die as a result of those scans. Annual scans would potentially result in 1,200 deaths. COMARE recommends that companies stop full-body CT scanning immediately because it believes the harm outweighs the benefit.
What a sorry state of fragmentation we have arrived at. For those readers who are already familiar with my writings it will be at once clear that, in the greater world of medicine, the segmental, or fragmented approach to healthcare is alive and well. The total integrated unit that is each of us is excluded from consideration of any possible rational understanding of health and of harnessing the incredible healing potential that is already within.
Within each of us is a unique, already organized, intelligent healing instrument, just bursting to work on our behalf, centrifugally; from within outwards. It comprises the most profound combination of activities all of which are constantly striving for normality (health) and never the opposite. We ignore this at our peril – and ignorance. The release of that locked up potential within (disorder) becomes a primary task of the professional.
We’ve made great medical progress in the last generation. What used to be merely an itch is now an allergy. Anonymous
From the Desk of Robert Boyd, DO (UK)