Chapter 1 Excerpt

When you sell a woman a book you don’t just sell her paper, ink and glue, you sell her a whole new life!  There’s heaven and earth in a real book.  The real purpose of books is to inspire the mind to do its own thinking!  Christopher Morely

 

Chapter 1

 A Time for Change

 A large group of women have already decided to find the answers.  They are troubled by ineffective treatments and the side effects of their drugs.  They do not necessarily doubt the sincerity and intelligence of their physicians, however are concerned that they are not troubled by the toxic effects their patients are left with after using medications nor the rate at which prescriptions are written.

Women are so hungry for good information they are attending seminars, reading books, doing research and talking amongst one another to gain feedback and comfort in sharing what has become a common threat to their well-being.

Women must work toward becoming more informed and confident to sort out truths from myths and use intuition in making personal healthcare decisions.

Women gaining information will create a “new medicine” that will focus on the whole body.  This new medicine will match the results of the science that insists that healing the body and prevention is just as important as treatment when necessary.  This new medicine will embrace the importance of self-responsibility, good nutrition, supplements, exercise, self-awareness, relaxation, spirituality and prayer.  It will teach women that they can heal themselves without drugs and surgery and without the scorn from uninformed healthcare professionals.  Women will create “health”.

There is good reasoning behind this approach. Despite popular opinion, the United States does not have anywhere near the best health in the world.  Of thirteen countries in comparison, the U.S. ranks an average of 12th (second from the bottom) for 16 health indicators.  We rank dead last, 13th, for low birth weight percentages and regarding life expectancy, the oldest age group was better in the 1980’s than in the 1990’s. We are 27th in life expectancy and Cuba is 28th. Japan ranks highest among developed countries in terms of health and the U.S. among the lowest.  Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA 2000.

Yet, we have the most expensive health care in the world, approximately ($5,000 per person annually), consumers are without insurance and suffer from some of the most devastating contraindications from state of the art pharmaceutical drugs and thousands of men and women die from medical errors that could have been avoided. Our healthcare system is the number one cause of death due to medical errors.

Unlike natural approaches to health and healing that has stood the test of time, our modern medical model is constantly reversing opinions. Consider what author/surgeon Sherwin B. Nuland notes:

  •  Is radical mastectomy the best treatment for breast cancer?
  • Is drinking coffee associated with an increased risk of pancreatic malignancy?
  • Should every ruptured spleen be removed?
  • Is a low-fiber diet the best treatment for chronic diverticulitis?
  • Is acid production by the stomach the key factor in peptic ulcer?
  • Should every man, or nearly all men, with prostate cancer have surgery?
  • Are most cases of impotence psychosomatic?

The answer to every one of these questions was once “Yes” and is now “No.” Nuland SB.  Whoops!  The New York Review of Books, July 18, 2002;10-13.

It is evident, that healthcare decisions must be made by you, the consumer, not the politicians, bureaucrats or gatekeepers.  Learn how to avoid the medical maze by taking charge and applying a genuine practical approach.

First Steps…How to Relate to Your Doctor

Partnering with your healthcare practitioner is good medicine. Patients, who ask questions, do a little research and get 2nd and 3rd opinions, motivate their practitioners; informed practitioners, that is, to give them more information because they are perceived as being personally involved and intelligent.

The quality of healthcare you receive depends largely on your ability to communicate with your healthcare practitioner.  If your healthcare practitioner is not meeting your needs or is unwilling to talk to you and answer your questions, please, find one who will.

There are many good practitioners who are highly dedicated to their profession and are committed to working with you.  

How to Choose a Practitioner

This is not always an easy task, particularly when you are looking for someone to work with in providing answers to this “new medicine”. A good starting point will be to:

  •  ask a friend or family member
  • contact an accredited hospital and one that is open to integrative practices and has a history of practicing them
  • contact a local healthcare practitioner who has developed a good reputation
  • search the internet
  • contact The American Holistic Association ( they have compiled a list of practitioners and resources)   http://ahha.org/ahre.htm
  • check with medical associations affiliated with different specialties
  • interview your healthcare practitioner before you make an appointment

What to Expect from a Good Practitioner

Does he/she :

  • listen to you?
  • explain his/her findings?
  • answer your questions?
  • remain open to your suggestions?
  • carefully examine you?
  • take time with you?
  • stay up with the latest scientific literature?
  • make you feel comfortable?
  • have an office staff that is attentive and knowledgeable?
  • look at you holistically rather than as a symptom or pain?

Getting the Most out of your Office Visit

  • prepare a list of questions prior to your visit
  • write down responses from your healthcare practitioner or use a tape recorder
  • do research on your illness/condition if possible
  • ask questions
  • bring medical records or results from previous tests administered
  • inform your healthcare practitioner about any sensitivity to medications/herbs/supplements
  • inform your healthcare practitioner about any medications/herbs/or supplements you are currently taking
  • Never assume that a hospital or a nursing staff or a doctor’s office will do any coordinating of the big picture. Patients with complicated health challenges need an advocate to help do that for them.  Do not hesitate to bring someone along to be a second set of ears for you.

Testing

If your doctor suggests a test of any kind, ask him to be specific about foods, medications or other factors that might affect the results. For instance, a blood test to determine cholesterol levels requires nine to 12 hours of fasting before the blood is drawn. Without the fast, levels could easily be high enough to prompt many doctors to prescribe a statin drug.

A… Ask questions.
R… Research
T… Take control of your health care.

Remember, medicine is an ART.

If your doctor prescribes the use of any drug, always ask:

  • What problem are these drugs trying to solve?
  • Is it a life or death situation?
  • By solving this problem, what other problems have I created?
  • Does the benefit out weigh the risk?
  • Who benefits most from this drug?
  • Is there an alternative that is safer?
  • How long do I need to take this drug before I can expect a positive impact?
  • How long must I be on the drug?
  • When will I be retested to evaluate whether or not I can stop using the drug?

Take this list along with you every time you visit a healthcare practitioner.  Medicine and the concept of health is changing even though many people hardly notice what is going on.  But for those that do, transformation is in the works.

A large constituency of women along with some men, are creating the demand for this transformation of medicine.  Great things are happening and the foundation of this greatness lies in education.  Join the growing ranks of those who are creating the demand for this new world of medicine.