With ever-increasing complexity in life, we learn to compartmentalize our life in an attempt to bring order to chaos. We have our spiritual life, family life, work life, social life, animal/pet life, recreational life and our health. Our health gets further compartmentalized into food, exercise, stress-relief, sleep, hydration, energy and disease-management. The disease-management is even further compartmentalized, or fractionalized, to all the specialty fields of medicine. We have a doctor for our joints, one for our heart, another for our digestive system, another for our emotional health, etc. Even within these specialties are sub-specialties! Wow! Is this wise?
On the surface, it does make sense. As our health, or rather our disease model, is becoming more complex, there isn’t a doctor around that can be an expert in all areas. Because of this fractionalization of our medical care, we tend to lose track of the whole picture, the body as a whole entity. When we treat one symptom, not the entire symptom picture, we jeopardize other parts. When those parts that got jeopardized from the treatment scream out at us, we call it side-effects.
For instance, when we take acid-reducing pills for heartburn or reflux, we handicap the digestive system and it can’t break down the nutrients needed for other bodily functions. Calcium and magnesium deficiencies, common when taking these medications, can increase the risk for osteoporosis. Vioxx, now taken off the market, had a high risk of heart-related incidents, though it was a powerful anti- inflammatory drug.
In all areas of health and choices in health care, we need to not forget that the body is complex. It is a highly intelligent, highly complex interactive relationship which we do not fully understand. For instance, it is now commonly known that the gut acts like a brain on many levels. The gut-brain mechanism is only recently being understood. We used to think that the appendix was a worthless organ, serving no purpose and best discarded. Now we understand that it assists in lubricating the intestines, is part of the gut’s immune system and assists in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
Whenever considering a remedy for symptoms, it is best to take a “wholistic” (whole body) and holistic (natural) approach. Viewing the body as a picture, and the symptoms as pieces of a puzzle, gives a crisper idea of what went wrong in the first place. Then, the picture is treated — the whole person — and not just the symptom. Obviously there are times where the puzzle piece has to be handled, such as when you’re having a heart attack, but then getting down to what went wrong to precipitate that event needs to be addressed. YOU need to be evaluated, treated, supported and nourished, and not just your symptom.
To learn more about fitting the pieces of your health puzzle together, to get a clearer picture of your health, come to our upcoming health class, Health Detectives, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or register here: http://bit.ly/HealthDetectives
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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with over four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective.”
She looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic.
Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.