How is Herbalism different from Pharmaceutically based (Allopathic) medicine?

Landscape

First we have to understand the Mainstream/Allopathic/Medical/Doctor/Centralised Healthcare landscape in which we all live (and are largely unaware of) in Western Culture

Example Questions

If you are woman with approaching concerns about/or with existing symptoms relating to your menopause probably 95% will go to their doctor and will not consider any alternatives (this is just an example) or if you are man with an urinary tract or digestive issues then you will probably go to your doctor in the first instance.

Allopathic Medicine Definition:

A system in which medical doctors and other healthcare professionals (such as nurses, pharmacists, and therapists) treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called biomedicine, conventional medicine, mainstream medicine, orthodox medicine, and Western medicine.

And on the other side of the arguement?

Naturopathic/Integrative/Functional/Homeopathic/Herbalism/Iridology/Acupuncture/Alternative Treatments. (Also referred to by some as Witchcraft, unproven waste of time and money, Quackery, delusional rubbish, fake, lacking in research, not proven by science or the stuff Great Grandmother used to do as standard or considered to be as effective as a mass produced herbal teabag)

How Allopathic (ie NHS doctor based medicine is percieved)

Since birth we are told that doctor knows best, stay up to date with your innoculations, the established NHS medical system is the first and only place that we should go to for help. We should do this because their treatements are often proven, established and have the backing of science. Doctors are highly educated, intelligent and have our best interests at heart. We should trust them and place our complete faith in them. We trust a doctor and go and see them even if we dont know exactly what they are going to do, or the method of their treatment plan. In this situation they are the expert and we are the recipient of their expertise. So in a way the doctor is ‘doing to us’ and we are ‘receiving from them’. So we could also say that there is a power difference between the doctor and us. We can also say that we might have a tendency to be passive as a result.

So what’s the problem with this?

Most of the time there isn’t a problem. Vaccines have saved many lives, doctors are benevolent, well meaning, many treatments are successful and healthcare in Western culture is something to be proud of.

There are many things that Allopathic mainstream medicine can treat that a Herbalist can’t treat like Cancer for example (and other life threatening conditions). However a herbalist can support your bodies system and immunity in the fight against cancer as an example

However lets look at the Mainstream/Allopathic model of Healthcare in more detail: There are several more subtle effects that might be happening

-Most people are unconscious about this Healthcare landscape in which their decisions are being made. For many it is impossible to consider that there are other equally valid truths and options for healing. They can be dismissive and sometimes reactionary at the possiblity of other options.

-Patients needing help only consider 1 option only for assistance, instead of other options. This may mean a narrowing of their treatment options that are under consideration

Loss of Agency and Sovereignty in the individual about their health and how well they know their body “Doctor knows best so I will trust the doctor more than myself”

Lack of independent thinking in individuals means we can end up not being concsious of our bodies, health, symptoms and issues

-Sometimes doctors don’t know the answer. When they say they don’t know a significant chunk of patients simply stop there and stop searching for answers

-Doctors tend to diagnose by elimination and deduction/reduction eg we will test for x. Oh its not x, so we will test for y, Oh, its not y, lets test for z and so on. This can take time and still may not find the issue.

-Hosptials are organised by body part eg Thorassic, Cardiology, Dermatology, Orthopaedics etc. Sometimes there can be a lack of considering how one issue in your body might affect another part or system in your body.

eg: A doctor is not necessarily going to tell you that the antibiotics kill good bacteria as well as bad. Therefore it will help your recovery to have some yogurt with cultures in it to replenish your gut biome. Your biome is significantly negatively affected by the prescription. Or that stress affects the functioning of your endocrine system (a system that is deeply embedded into many aspects of our overall functioning)

-Sometimes there can be side effects and complications as more than one prescription is required and many of these combinations are not tested together

Some treatements can be a bit blunt and direct eg HRT gives one dose once a month and is not very incremental. So a one size fits all approach can occur without any consideration for the different bodily/system landscapes within each patient

-Some prescriptions are designed to manage symptoms rather than address and eliminate the cause of the issue (eg HRT, antidepressants)

-We tend to overvalue the impact of prescription drugs and undervalue the healing potential of naturally occuring herbs

Dependency on prescriptions can result

-The importance of emotions in impacting our health can be neglected as ‘symptoms’ are given priority

-Doctors (through no fault of their own) often have only a short time to see their patients

-Allopathic Medicine is industrially mass produced

So when you are treated with Herbalism and Iridology how is the above addressed?

-A patient being treated by this method will be encouraged to be an equal partner, and to contribute ideas and suggestions and participate in the treatment with lifestyle and dietary changes for example. As a result the patient becomes a participant and gains sovereignty and agency over their own health, body and its processes by getting to know them more

Independent thinking is encouraged that can be helpful for your overall future healing journey and for your life in general.

Your inner health as a “system” instead of “separate parts”. Iridology allows a more integrated overall snapshot of your inner health to be taken in one moment. Iridology allows a view of your organs and systems in one go (being viewed by one person). This is instead of being passed from place to place. So having a presentation of your whole system can give a refreshing new view of how one issue is affecting another issue. This allows for joined up progressive diagnosis and treatements from the herbalist.

(Imagine if instead of replacing the oddly worn tyre on your car (addressing the symptom), your garage ran a complete diagnosis of every aspect of the functioning of your car first. Advising next steps (working out why the tyre wore oddly) then came next)

-Sometimes (depending on the issue) surgical interventions can be avoided and end up being treated non surgically with herbs, tinctures and teas.

Herbal medicine is progressive ie often the first month of treatment can solve some things but not others and may reveal other issues that were hidden. A second month of herbs can be tailored the new internal landscape in your body. (For example Sarah has treated skin conditions where the patient was told by Allopathic medicine that they would need to keep taking steroids after they had already taken them for 20 years. The patient ended up with not perfect but much better skin and got off the steroids after 3 months of treatment)

-Herbal Medicine is powerful but gentle with few (if any) side effects. (Remember most pharmaceutical drugs are derived from naturally occuring active ingredients)

-Herbal Medicine supports your bodies inate healing drives to bring you back into balance and harmony. It can often address root causes. Dependency is very unlikely with herbal solutions

-Your Body and Mind are always in relationship to each other (whether you are aware of this or not). One affects the other. Their inter-related nature is accepted as normal with Herbal Medicine

-Sarah speaks with you for between 45mins and 60 mins in the first full session and is available on the phone afterwards.

-Herbal treatments of capsules and tinctures are brought together by hand and created personally for you

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