Dear Editor – I am compelled to write to you regarding the current practices of the medical establishment and the outrageous waste of time and resources that could be rectified with some basic common sense.
Mr Jones had spent the last three months undergoing a series of tests, investigations and referrals to specialists. His symptoms were worsening and he was in constant pain when he eventually received a disheartening diagnosis, ‘there’s nothing wrong with you.’
This scenario is surprisingly common. Since the opening of the Herbal Clinic in 1978 patients have been willing to travel long distances to consult us having received the ‘all clear’ because they know that something is not right.
Despite the thousands of pounds spent (by the NHS) on advanced medical tests, the array of pharmaceutical medication and appointments with specialist consultants, I routinely discover that not a single question has been directed at establishing the root cause of disease.
The patient has been viewed as a generic biological entity, to be tested for anticipated outcomes, then dismissed if their individual chemistry fails to emulate that of the hypothesized disease.
A hundred years ago it was standard practice for a doctor to inspect a patient’s tongue, giving insight to the overall condition of the body, then proceed to ask questions to find out what was going on from the patient’s point of view. In my experience it is essential to assess and treat every aspect of the patient; structural, biochemical and mental/emotional. Without this unified approach we may devote years perfecting an individual’s diet and inner chemistry yet fail to resolve a key life problem that is causing unhappiness, stress and the consequent disease.
Today, with pressure on the NHS to make cutbacks wherever possible, what doctor has the time to establish the cause of disease, unique to each individual, when a disease label and prescription drug can be handed out in a fraction of the time?
I find myself in outrage. The further we advance in technology, the more we lose sight of our humanness. This treatment of patients is unethical, disrespectful and above all ineffective.
I urge you to print this letter, not only to provide hope to those who have similarly been given the ‘all clear’ yet continue to suffer, but also to provoke thought in those who handle patient care in every setting; a patient is more than the sum of human parts.
Western Mail, Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal, Community Times – Mumbles, Bay Magazine, Healthy, Green Parent, Woman and Home and Natural Health,
The Herbal Clinic in Swansea provides natural healthcare with the use of organic herbs, acupuncture and iridology.