We have been publishing Positive Health PH Online for 25 years, with content spanning the entire spectrum of health through the lens of Complementary / Alternative (CAM) / Integrated treatment approaches. The subjects of PH Online articles, research, book reviews are hugely diverse, including Mind/Body, Emotional, Psychospiritual, Nutritional, Herbal, Ayurvedic, Homeopathy, Flower Essences, Aromatherapy, Bodywork, Cancer, ME/CFS.
However, as has been often stated within these pages, HealthCare Systems in the UK, USA and many other countries are not remotely Integrated, do not embrace Complementary / Alternative Medicine; they are mostly modelled around conventional, allopathic, pharmaceutically-driven treatment models, excluding all practitioners not in that system.
I have recently re-drawn in more colourful fashion an image originally presented at a Conference in Olympia in 1997, representing our healthcare system with a dramatic schism, dividing the allopathic from the complementary practices and disciplines.
Numerous health professionals, scientists, environmental and social scientists have been thinking very deeply about our healthcare system, impediments to providing individual, personalized care with the individual at its heart and processes which need to be undergone and trialled in order to create a more sustainable health system. Prior to the publication of PH Online Feb 2019 Issue 252, a major report A blueprint for health system sustainability in the UK by lead author Robert Verkerk PhD, Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit, Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) International was delivered to the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on 13 December.
“This report, the result of over 2 years of research and consultation with health professionals, researchers and citizens, argues that many of the NHS’ woes could be remedied by changing the way the UK population manages its health.
“The Government’s planned £20 billion funding increase over the next 5 years will inevitably plug some of the shortfalls in healthcare delivery,” says lead author of the report, Robert Verkerk PhD.
Dr Verkerk continues, “But the greatest challenge facing the NHS is not just about money - it’s the sheer burden caused by preventable, chronic diseases. The solution is less about finding new ways of treating these complex diseases, and more about finding better ways of allowing us to stay healthy for longer. We need a unified language so that the public can communicate effectively and meaningfully with health and fitness professionals and be empowered in the process.”
“To this end, the project team responsible for developing the ‘blueprint’ has used both the principles of sustainability and the science of ecology as key lenses through which to look at how individuals can participate more fully in optimising their health within their unique, varied and dynamic ecosystems. Focusing the greater part of healthcare inputs on complex chronic disease states is both expensive and rarely effective. Instead, a bottom-up approach is needed with much more effort expended in the community, before irreversible diseases have manifested. At the same time, health and fitness professionals need to be able to collaborate more effectively to guide individuals.” Download Report
The articles within PH Online Issue 252 encompass the totality of Mind/Body/Spirit; at the same time reflecting the ongoing deep malaise in mental health which so pervades society – Depression, Suicide, Young Lives Snuffed Out and Music and Mental Health. Psychospiritual articles include Walk the Soulful Talk from Within and Fire: Fascinating, Friendly and Fearsome.
Nancy Blake in her article ME/CFS Advice for 2019 presents her heartfelt yet tough truths regarding how she has battled to keep the most severe ME at bay and how to be a survivor:
“I apologise in advance to both those who already know and practise much of this, and to those who will find it much too complicated and long-winded. ME/CFS is a big and complicated elephant, we can know parts, and not know that we don’t know other parts.
“I have to count myself in on this: I had had ME for thirty years and still had no idea that the severe forms of ME involve intense, intractable pain which can go on for decades, along with seizures and intermittent paralyses. I didn’t know that ‘light and sound hypersensitivity’ can mean an intensification of already unbearable agony.
“Note: ME can attack in the severest form right from the beginning, beyond any meaning of rest, and maintain relentless progress into even more acute and extreme suffering. To those patients, my advice will seem at best irrelevant, at worst, positively insulting. My hope is that the patient whose illness onset is less ferocious will find it helps prevent a decline into severity.
“In fact, I used to say that ME/CFS was like being in a prison with elastic walls..but at least it wasn’t painful. I wondered whether the emphasis I placed in my articles and books on the dangers of exercise might be exaggerated. It was not. My knowledge had been incomplete: the advice I had given was correct.”
The UK House of Commons ME Debate Held on 24 Jan 2019 makes riveting viewing:
Articles addressing clinical subjects include Sleep Apnoea, Adrenal Fatigue, Colonic Irrigation, Emma Lane’s Tells of the Dise-eased Body, Infographic Alcohol – How Much is too Much and the story and homage: Cystic Fibrosis – the Story of Michael Morrison.
Richard Eaton explores the contribution by practitioners of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to the provision of cancer healthcare in the United Kingdom in his article Cancer and Complementary Medicine: A Roundup.
Carlos Monteiro explores “the forgotten theory of the accumulation of lactic acid as the cause of arthritis and rheumatism, and its renaissance in the case of RA” in his article Autonomic Dysfunction and Increased Lactate Production with Accumulation in the Body: The Key Factors for the Development of Rheumatoid Arthritis in which
“they postulate a new hypothesis for the cause of RA which has autonomic dysfunction as a precursor, by stimulating an increased lactate/lactic acid production and its accumulation in the body.”
“Also, we present a compatible and fundamental drug, according to this hypothesis, for the prevention or in management of RA, eventually with a cure, of some patients.”
Dr Amir explores and documents the importance of skeletal symmetry and the link between the jaw and your Hip in his clinical report Explaining the Concept of Cranio Dental & Skeletal Symmetry - How your Jaw Links with your Hip.
Further Bodywork editorial features in Issue 252 include Carole Preen’s Neuroskeletal Re-alignment Therapy (NSRT) - Does It Work?, Balancing Exercise, Relaxation, and Rest for Effective Self-Care and New Year Resolutions and Anxieties. Dr Ava Lorenc reports on a study conducted by the University of Bristol and a team of researchers from across the UK: Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Patients with Mental Health and Musculoskeletal Problems: a Scoping Study.
We still await the outcome of Brexit, still up in the air, divisive and fiercely contested which remains to be seen. It would appear that schisms in politics and nations are mirrored in the healthcare system as well. I wish you all enjoyable reading.