Remember that saying from earlier times?
It described the dilemma of being stranded at sea, surrounded by salt water, which could not be drunk, and therefore could not support life. We are at sea again, though this time we are surrounded by information. I am framing this idea in terms of disease, health and medicine, in the age of information explosion.
Many is the time a client has walked into my clinic and thrown down the gauntlet – usually a tome, an extensive internet downloaded document, describing in massive detail their particular complaint. Don’t get me wrong, I have a very healthy appetite for information and I think a well informed practitioner and client make a terrific team, and together they will prevail. So, can too much information become a problem?
Yes, especially when it confers no true perspective, of the problem. Remember, the ‘problem’ is a symptom that exists inside a complex psychological and physiological landscape. Information which lacks perspective, will lead to confusion and suggest only vague directions in which to proceed treatment-wise, especially given that many conditions of dis-ease mimic each other and that our bodies are organisms affected by a multitude of both internal and external factors.
That’s a lot to take into consideration.
Context and Bio-individuality
So, managing and utilizing information is all about the need for ‘context’, and this is very much due to our innate ‘bio-individuality.’ The term ‘bio-individuality, alludes to our personal physical and psychological uniqueness. Our being unique means that information about ones health or dis-ease, must be carefully and specifically sorted, investigated and made meaningful to each individual, with discreet application, not broad brushstrokes. The subsequent treatment also demands specific tailoring, as would a well-fitted suit or wedding dress. This is why a very thorough medical history must
always be taken and constantly updated. Being a practitioner in the 21st century is tantamount to being a forensic investigator and that’s why I love
my work so much: it’s a daily challenge.
The best thing then, that an effectual practitioner can do for a patient is to place their condition(s) into context. Information without context reminds me of the story of the five blind men asked to describe an elephant. Each had hold of a different part of the great animal and each was convinced that what he felt, described the elephant in its entirety. Do for a patient is to place their condition(s) into context.
Information without context reminds me of the story of the five blind men asked to describe an elephant. Each had hold of a different part of the great animal and each was convinced that what he felt, described the elephant in its entirety.
Yes, ‘the download’ enables one to obtain enormous amounts of particulars and details regarding a symptom, such that clients can become more knowledgeable than their practitioners, regarding a solitary disease process but in a very isolated, singular, tunnel fashion.
Uniqueness -to be human
Any pathological condition exists within an individual who has: a particular constitution, a medical and surgical history, a complex emotional and mental background, and a familial genetic predisposition. It exists within a body with particular dietary habits and patterns over time, a body which is of a certain nationality, age, gender and weight, possibly having certain allergies, intolerances and sensitivities, engaged in particular occupations and expressing individual physiological tendencies.
Each individual experiences their own patterns oriences their own patterns of stress.
Each individual perceives life and reacts to their perceptions in a unique way.
As if to underscore this absolute uniqueness, consider the remarkable fact that all 6 billion of us on the planet have different fingerprints.
The other problem is that nothing resides in isolation. Body and mind processes exist as parts of a continuum. Everything is inter-related and influences everything else. If you are not convinced, put ‘psycho-neuro-immunology’ into a search engine! All things exist as part of a background-foreground relationship; nothing is static and one-dimensional. Inside this body are untold numbers of complex moving parts and trillions of cells, all of which communicate.
Example: A symptom, such as a pain, then, can be seen as a signal from one part to another or many other parts of our body/mind, and not simply an isolated, unconnected phenomenon. We are nothing if not truly connected beings, within ourselves and to the biosphere.
A mass of information – before it has a context -can only really inform us about the pain as a singular entity, not about its position and relevance in the communication system.
I suggest that an effective, sustainable, health- promoting healing style, requires us to discern the communication process, to be able to perceive the entire living system and recognise both internal and external causative factors operating within the continuum of that system, the human body. In essence, whilst it requires immediate attention, the pain, for example, may be merely the tip of an iceberg. The iceberg is the bigger picture of ‘dysfunction’, from which the pain derives.
Treating- promoting healing style, requires us to discern the communication process, to be able to perceive the entire living system and recognise both internal and external causative factors operating within the continuum of that system, the human body. In essence, whilst it requires immediate attention, the pain, for example, may be merely the tip of an iceberg. The iceberg is the bigger picture of ‘dysfunction’, from which the pain derives.
Treating only the tip means allowing chronic, recurring disease to ensue and one’s energy and vitality to slowly, imperceptibly, disappear. I an sure most people who are over the age of 55 have noticed that chronic ill health, over time, will be felt in numerous places as more and more body systems suffer as they impact on one another.
A perfect example is ‘Metabolic Syndrome X’. This is so named because of its inter-relatedness. It refers to a combination of : High Blood Pressure, Obesity, High Cholesterol and Diabetes; its on the rise in western societies especially.
Successful outcomes are also about specificity, in terms of both treatment and the medicines prescribed. More on this topic in another newsletter.
So, information is vitally important whilst its context is the key to unraveling disease states.
Staying well via preventative measures, is an ongoing team effort by yourself and your practitioner. Keeping up your maintenance visits for treatmentsand team effort by yourself and your practitioner. Keeping up your maintenance visits for treatments and making the most of all the information we have athand, from all medical sources, gives us our best chance to succeed.