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Good health is something we all hope to enjoy, but knowing what to do to reach or maintain great physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health is increasingly confusing and complicated. In a world where we’re bombarded with conflicting and unreliable stories where one minute something is good for us and the next that it will increase our chances of disease or premature death, it’s almost impossible to find the right approach.
That’s where we’re here to help. We believe in a balanced, integrated approach to health, that combines the best of modern allopathic medicine with a holistic approach. There are times when you want a surgeon rather than a flower essence and times when talking to a qualified therapist is more effective than popping pills. We look at health from the point of view that each of us is a person with specific needs in a specific environment, rather than a walking symptom. It’s about supplying the information you need and signposting further resources to help you make informed choices on your journey to better health.
There’s an old saying that, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”.
Most people who take a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing have always recognised that prevention is better than cure. It’s an idea that goes back to the earliest systems of medical care, whether that be Hippocrates favouring a plant-based diet, or the Traditional Chinese Medicine practice of only paying your doctor when you are well. Now, it seems like the UK government is coming around to this way of thinking, too.
At the start of November, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock addressed the International Association of National Public Health Institutes about his vision to help people make healthier choices. The government will introduce a white paper on this approach in 2019. Healthier choices mean better health. Better health means shifting our priorities towards a more holistic, person-centred, approach to health, rather than simply offering a bottle of pills.
I guess for each of us, good health means something different. For some, it’s about feeling full of energy and glowing with health; an Instagram-perfect life of yoga poses in tiny shorts and bowls filled with raw vegetables. Others would settle for not feeling tired or in constant pain.
In this country, we’re lucky that a lot of the things that kill people or make them ill have been eradicated. We have clean water and few disease-bearing insects. For the most part, we have enough to eat, without fear of an outbreak of some epidemic or other. Many diseases have been eradicated and, thanks to scientific advances, many things that used to kill us can now be treated.
It’s struck me lately just how complicated it is to live a healthy lifestyle. If one aspect of our lives gets out of balance, then it impacts on everything else. This seems to be particularly true of women. We eat badly, feel tired and lack energy, our hormones get out of whack, we gain weight, become more susceptible to chronic lifestyle diseases, feel depressed, can’t find time for ourselves and then eat badly…it’s a cycle that we need to break, yet we’re often not taken seriously by the medical establishment. A ten minute GP appointment doesn’t lend itself to listening to a multi-faceted problem, so more often than not, we end up with a prescription that boosts serotonin or adjusts our hormones, but fails to tackle the real issues. We are not simply symptoms, we are whole beings. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on women’s health in this issue.