By Dr Nyjon K Eccles BSc MBBS MRCP PhD
Those of you who follow us on social media will be aware that we’ve had quite a lot of positive coverage over the last few weeks, with features about our breast thermography screening service appearing in both Elle and Cosmopolitan magazines.
For those who have yet to learn about thermography, the process is a completely safe method of detecting abnormalities in breast tissue – including cancers – by using computer-assisted thermal imaging. The system we use called ThermoCheck has been developed from 14 year experience of using Thermography in my clinic. Crucially, it’s suitable for adult women of all ages.
Both writers draw the same fundamental conclusion about thermography: that it has a place as a legitimate addition to the various methods so-called conventional medicine currently uses to track and mitigate breast health.
It’s inevitable, of course, to discover I’m not surprised by this. But it raises again in my mind the question of why natural treatments are so routinely and automatically decried, disregarded and dismissed by clinical health practitioners to the point that many people searching for different options in managing their health remain oblivious to the availability of a great number of treatments they might actually wish to properly consider.
There are all number of examples of individuals and organisations invested, personally, financially or otherwise, in the multi-billion-dollar global business of delivering health care who happily denounce natural medicine as a preventative or curative treatment option but who appear unwilling to engage in a proper debate.
Not all natural treatments work for everybody and, as in every industry, there are examples of people whose treatments are not all they’re claimed to be.
But the same is true in ‘conventional’ health provision, too.
We know that some drugs don’t work. We know that chemotherapy that works for one person may not work for another. We know that diagnoses are sometimes wrong. We know that diagnoses are occasionally missed entirely. In fact, the entire medical world is a highly profitable conglomeration of zero guarantees.
So why, in this context, when people might benefit from a wider range of possible diagnostic or treatment options, do natural therapies continue to be so wilfully ignored by other practitioners?
Let’s put aside for a moment the fact there may be a financial motivation for a significant element of the ‘establishment’ opposition to a more natural approach to medicine, and deal instead with the objections that, on the surface at least, seem to be professionally-motivated.
For some of these detractors, their argument against the adoption of natural medicine into what we might describe as the mainstream stems from a perceived lack of scientific evidence that the treatments on offer are effective.
The earlier point about effectiveness never being guaranteed notwithstanding, no one seems willing to clearly define when a lack of evidence becomes enough evidence. At The Natural Doctor®, we have evidence that breast thermography can be a third more effective than mammography at detecting cancer. We have evidence that abnormal Thermograms can be normal again in 6 months by bespoke nutritional interventions. We have evidence that our hair restoration treatment, BioGroHair, can see natural regrowth of hair within eight weeks. We have evidence that our bioidentical hormone treatments are effective in reducing the symptoms of the menopause.
But that’s just one aspect of the debate. The reality is that by its own admission, science is only now beginning to understand how the extent of the medicinal possibilities nature can offer.
The emerging science of Zoopharmacognosy is the study of how animals use indigenous plants, roots, minerals and seeds to treat a variety of ailments.
In Tanzania, sick chimpanzees – and only the sick animals – eat the aspilia plant and the pith of the vernonia plant to treat parasitic intestinal worms. South American parrots and macaws eat soil to negate the toxins present in the seeds they commonly eat. Pregnant African elephants nearing term walk up to 20 miles from their common territory to find a shrub that has long been used by humans to induce labour.
Nature is brimming with evidence – and observed evidence, at that – to show it has a tremendous capacity to heal and protect; and there is significant evidence that in using the same molecules and chemicals naturally available to us we are able to provide new and exciting options for people in search of answers to their health concerns.
Yet despite this, its preventative and healing powers continue to be ignored by an industry that is itself susceptible to falling short in the care it provides.
No one is arguing for natural treatments and therapies to replace or supplant the traditional care practices at the heart of the service provided by the NHS and private practice.
But there is a strong argument to stop ignoring natural and complementary services such as those we offer and to begin to see how they can augment and support the care that is routinely provided in GP surgeries and hospital clinics.