Natural Medicine and the Origin of Disease
Let’s face it; for better or worse, we exist in a world far different than a few decades ago—or even 5 years ago. We are all trying to slow down (and BE HERE NOW) while at the same time, feel obliged to keep up with the fast pace of modern living and do it all! Hopefully we think carefully about our priorities and make decisions to help create balance within our lives—between health, family and personal needs.
There is more health information available at our fingertips now than ever before. And with this bombardment of medical claims, health insights and green living tips, we have to be more diligent than ever in our attempts to digest and decipher their validity. And, not go into fear mode.
With good sound reasoning and analytical minds, we need to look behind the headlines, see through the financial interests, and clearly assess the information at-hand.
As a naturopathic doctor, acupuncturist, mother of two and self-proclaimed science nerd, it is my goal to sift through the medical literature and health advertisements to understand which advice will truly benefit my patients, and equally importantly, prevent them from unnecessary harm.
Retail natural supplement companies tell us that this product is good for this issue and this one is good for that problem, but this is not true deep medicine. This is just treating the symptoms and not identifying the underlying cause. You may know 5 different people who develop migraine headaches and there are likely 5 different reasons—and thus 5 different treatments—for these unique individuals.
So, to help digest the visual bombardment and medical insights of our present time, let me share some concepts for you to ponder and “try on for size”. I will follow-up with many specific ideas and examples in more detail in future blogs and look forward to sharing my research.
#1: Most health conditions, if not all, are multifactorial in nature. This means there can be many contributing factors that led to the development of one’s health issue. Through some good detective work, we can discover top causes and make changes accordingly. Other times, we need be more creative and look at the big picture in order to identify how a person went down the road to dis-ease.
#2: There are common themes in the development of health issues I see on a daily basis. It can benefit us all to take a step back to look observe undeniable patterns—as clinicians have done historically for millennia—as it is to look at the small details (which can unfortunately sometimes detract from the whole and mislead us.)
#3: “Stressors” both from the environment and internal world contribute to disease. The environmental influences can include modern toxicity and lifestyle factors, where as the internal world refers to mental/emotional states and our unique genetic expression on the cellular level. This is why natural medicine practitioners need to take a thorough intake and get to know the person “as a whole” and not just the symptoms.
#4: These “stressors” impact all of us differently. And, symptoms are expressed as a person attempts to respond to, and deal with the stressors. Depending on genetic inheritance, inherent weakness and personal temperament, we respond in different fashions. Some people can eat most foods without problems, other cannot. Some people handle vaccinations with no issue, other people may be deeply impacted.
Please stay tuned for our next blog article for a more in depth look into some of these concepts. The human condition is extremely fascinating, and we can all feel a bit more at ease when we embrace these simple concepts and begin to see ourselves more clearly. There is no right or wrong. It is just about how you respond to the world around you.