Les éléments de la
La médecine conventionnelle nous a bien servit pour mieux comprendre,
morceau par morceau, toute les parties du casse-tête que représente le
Depuis longtemps, les médecins se spécialisent et analysent seulement
une partie de l'anatomie humaine. À la fois très utile, cette pratique
nous empêche de mieux comprendre le fonctionnement du corps humain dans
son ensemble. Il nous est donc quasi impossible d'identifier les vraies
causes de nos maladies.
Au courant des dernières années, la médecine préventive a fait son
apparition et même encore aujourd'hui, malheureusement les docteurs qui
la pratiquent sont censurés par leur propre association professionnelle.
En contraste à ces types de médecine, la médecine naturelle prône la
considération du corps humain dans son entier en fonction de son
Découvrez ce que vous pouvez faire par le biais de votre alimentation
pour de rester en santé !.
As a young woman, I spent 2 years nursing in a hospital setting.
During that time, I became discouraged with the lack of interest in
health promotion. Instead the focus was on disease mitigation. My
interest in health remained and for the last 30 years my family has been
using alternative medicine such as chiropractic, homeopathy and herbal.
I believe that what we have in Canada is a "Disease Care"
system, as opposed to a "Health Care" system. My own
experience and reading tell me that we can do a lot for ourselves, we
just have to be informed and motivated to be healthy. Conventional
medicine and holistic medicine are fundamentally very different and
holistic medicine has a lot to offer, particularly in the treatment of
The conventional way
The system of scientific analysis is very important for accumulating
information about our health. Over the centuries, we have looked at
smaller and smaller bits of the human body, analyzing their parts and
figuring out how they work together. Also, in the study of biology, have
we looked at the pieces of things. Take trees, for instance. We know how
photosynthesis works in leaves to produce sugars for the plant. We have
studied the mycorrhizal fungi in and outside the roots which allow the
tree to take up minerals from the soil and use them. We know a great
deal about trees in this analytical way. But we are only just now
learning that we have to put all this information together with air
quality, soil quality, temperature, in order to understand the overall
health of the tree and how it is living in its ecosystem.
So too with the human body. For a long time, doctors have studied
parts of the body in isolation: you can go to a heart specialist or an
ear-nose-throat doctor, an ophthalmologist or an orthopedist. You could
go see a doctor who sees only people with arthritis, cancer, heart
disease, or migraines. These divisions, however useful they are as
specialties, prevent the overview which is needed to address chronic
Chronic illness is the result of various factors that need to be seen
as a whole. Clean air and water, happiness, genetic predisposition, and
above all, the food we eat, contribute to the health of our bodies; just
as the lack of those things contribute to illness. And we can't see
those effects when we look at pieces of the body as separate entities.
We have to synthesize what we know, and look at our body as a whole. We
also have to look at it in its ecosystem, which is where clean air and
water come in.
The other unfortunate result of looking at only pieces of the puzzle
is that cancer, for instance, is considered in isolation. People think
of it as a disease that just happens to a person, instead of a disease
which has a cause. For too long, the organizations which are dedicated
to "winning a war" have looked at weapons such as surgery,
chemo, radiation, as the only tools available. But what if we look at
cancer as the "result" of something? Can't we then look at
"causes", and think about prevention?
Only in the last few years has mainstream medicine even begun to look
at causes of disease. Preventive medicine is a new discipline, and even
now, doctors who practice it by prescribing air filters, diet changes
and avoidance of chemical exposure, are being censured by their
professional organizations as practicing medicine outside the normal
The holistic way
In contrast to this approach, Natural Medicine has long looked at the
human body as a whole, in its surroundings and ecosystem. These various
disciplines look at preventing illness by strengthening the body's own
resources which fight (there's that metaphor again!) invasion by viruses
and bacteria, and by providing the body with the right elements to stay
healthy, namely, pure food, water and air. (I guess we have to find the
laughter on our own!) A Naturopathic Physician studies homeopathy,
herbal medicine, nutrition, aromatherapy, as well as the structure and
functions of the human body. He or she uses all that knowledge to figure
out on an individual basis what will increase a person's ability to ward
off disease. They treat disease by helping the whole body be healthy.
Herbal medicine is one of the gentlest disciplines, and we have the
opportunity to collect our herbal medicines ourselves from our own
region. Red clover, St.John's wort, alfalfa, comfrey, coltsfoot, yarrow,
plantain, are some of the medicinal herbs available to us in the ditches
and backyards of our region. Learning the uses of herbs, collecting and
drying them, then making tisanes or tinctures: this practice is
profoundly grounding in connecting us to the natural world. There are
"challenging" herbs, which provoke bodily protective
responses; these would include marshmallow and dandelion. There are
"normalizers" like hawthorn berries, which raises low blood
pressure, but lowers raised pressure, returning the stressed responses
to a normal range. There are "eliminators" like bearberry,
which helps diuresis. These are all ours for the picking. I would
encourage people interested in this practice to find a good book, like
David Hoffmann's Herbal Handbook. It contains a wealth of information
about holistic health practice with herbal medicine as its centerpiece.
Red clover (photo: NM Essences)
A lesser known practice is "homeopathy". This involves the
application of tiny pills which contain the active energies of different
remedies, prescribed after very extensive questioning on the part of the
practitioner as to physical, mental, environmental and spiritual
attributes of the patient. The purpose of the remedies is to help the
body return to a healthy state; results take time, as the bodily organs
and tissues are gently normalized. Again, the emphasis is not on
attacking a disease, but on helping the body achieve balance and heal
One of the most important things we can do for our health is to eat
whole, unprocessed foods. There are many theories about whether to be a
vegetarian, fruitarian, vegan, macrobiotic or omnivore, and they all
have very convincing arguments on their side. Again, find good books
that don't aim to sell you anything-we even should read authors we don't
There are common factors in any good argument:
1) Eat as locally as possible. This makes environmental sense;
corn flakes contain 3 cents worth of corn, the rest is paying for
packaging and shipping. When we eat locally we avoid massive
transportation impacts and also support local farmers, maintaining rural
viability. In New Brunswick we have a local mill which produces a wide
variety of nutritious organic whole cereals which take minimal prep
time. We have farmers raising beef, chicken, lamb and pork right in our
counties, and doing it in animal-friendly ways, without growth-promoters
or protein supplements. We have an increasing number of organic
vegetable farmers, making healthy local produce available through
farmers' markets and local natural food stores.
2) If you must go to a supermarket, eat foods from around the
outside walls of the store. These are the vegetables, fruits, and
meat that are not processed until you take them home to cook. Processed
foods have their vitamins, minerals, and fiber removed, then replaced in
some small degree. Those are the packaged foods on the shelves in the
middle. They are the food choices that support huge vertically
integrated multinational companies.
(photo: progressive urban)
3) Learn to cook! Again, find a good book, attend a cooking
class, ask someone's mom. There are varied approaches: the macrobiotic
recommendation is to lightly steam everything, to break down the cell
walls and make digestion and absorption easier. Others recommend eating
live foods, to benefit from the enzymes which are destroyed by heat.
At home, we eat two meals a day, which include a piece of meat, at
least 3 veggies, and a salad. This is the diet that makes us feel best
and takes advantage of our large garden throughout the year.
To summarize, the point of natural healing is to stimulate the body
in its innate ability to maintain health, instead of waiting for disease
to happen and have to work harder to regain a healthy state. This
healthy state can be achieved and maintained through access to clean
air, clean water, organic food, homeopathic preparations, massage, reiki,
tai chi, yoga, meditation, herbal teas, and consultation with your local
naturopathic physician. Plan ahead and be healthy!
And don't forget to laugh several times a day at the ridiculous and
lovable world we live in.