The Other Way To Do Things

Since being in Warkworth for my general practice rotation, I have come into contact with a lot of people who present following being told by their Naturo/osteo/homeo- path, or their kinesiologist, in one case, to go see their GP

What the heck is kinesiology?? Well I looked it up, and apparently it’s the “study of human and nonhuman animal-body movements, performance, and function by applying the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and neuroscience.”

Which means absolutely nothing to me. But a mother brought her very young daughter in to see the GP saying that her kinesiologist had felt her tummy and deemed that she had an intolerance to gluten. Her mother had as such removed all gluten from her diet. Even though she tested negative for gluten intolerance.

Another young girl presented with depression and stated that she had recently changed her diet because her naturopath had carried out a ‘hair test’ and found that she was allergic to dairy and wheat.

Other patients have come in saying their ___path had advised they get an X-ray or should see their doctor after  having a few sessions with them.

Unfortunately, A few of these patients have already progressed far through their illness before they present to the doctor.

I don’t understand it.

Now. I’m not against alternative medicine. I have a background that appreciates alternative medicine a lot.

But I just have issue where medicine with no evidence, becomes “medicine” that interferes with good health and medicine that does have evidence.

If you fell over and hurt your hip. Don’t go to an osteopath for 2 months with no improvement and then have the osteopath recommend that you see your GP. At which point your hip is extremely injured and you probably need surgery.

What is it about this? Why are people so keen on this “natural therapy” ideology? Anything as long as it has the word “natural” in it. But why?

I’m not so much concerned about that as I’m concerned about the bad name alopathic medicine currently has. What is it that people find so horrible about conventional medicine?

The side effects? Well the only thing I can say about that, is that because these medications are so extensively studied, you’re able to isolate the cause of some particular discomfort you experience. Whereas with alternative medicine, you don’t know what the side effects are, so you won’t think to connect any new symptoms you have, with that thing that you’ve had 500 sessions for with your naturopath.

The whole prevention vs. intervention thing? Whereby people believe naturopaths work on preventative medicine. As in your allergy to dairy was caught early so you can avoid it and hence make your quality of life so much better. Whereas doctors just give you a medication to control your blood pressure when it’s become high already.

Err. Here’s the thing. Doctors do not only do interventions. I wonder why people still think that. The blood pressure medication given to you is supposed to control your blood pressure AND tries to prevent the multiple other conditions that can result from your high blood pressure. And hey, they can do that without pulling things like ice cream out of your diet.

To me, that can’t be a bad thing.

Again, I’m not closed off to alternative medicine. I’m sure it has definitely worked for people and has changed their lives and all that. But that doesn’t mean that conventional medicine is all full of harmful chemicals, etc.

Which is another thing. People say conventional medicine is not “natural”. I take issue with this word. Every medicine ever made, every chemical ever isolated could ONLY have arised from plants, soil, or water. Your blood pressure tablets did not fall from the sky. Neither did it spontaneously come about at the hand of your doctor. Nothing can be made “unnaturally” in the world if you go right down to the basics.

Basically, I guess I’m trying to understand. You can go ahead and opt for other therapies. But don’t do so with the assumption that conventional medicine is all a scam and there’s nothing “natural” about it. Because that isn’t true.

There should only be 2 classes within medicine. That which is evidence based, and that which isn’t. There shouldn’t be a question of “natural vs unnatural” or “good vs bad” medicine.

Also, what on Earth is an osteopath??

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