Friday, August 19, 2011

Man 'flu and having faith in our own body

Why is it so hard to get a doctor’s appointment and are we too dependent on Western Medicine? Rather ironically I thought up this topic last week, when I was the picture of good health. Today my head is pounding, I have a roaring temperature, runny nose and hacking cough and have had to reschedule my clients. I seem to have somehow contracted the female equivalent of “man ‘flu” (only much much worse). I sincerely hope my obituary doesn’t appear in this issue of The Bridge as well.
Meanwhile back to my topic for the week. Being blessed with relatively good health, I only visit my doctor occasionally for an annual check up, which I usually get around to every two or three years. I am always amazed at just how busy my doctor is. Typically I will phone for an appointment to be told by the very helpful receptionist, that there is a six week wait. Unless it’s urgent and then they will do their level best to squeeze me in. SIX WEEKS! (note: my doctor isn’t in Barham).
In our world of mobile phones, text messaging, the internet, fast cars, fast food; we are so expectant on instant results, that no one has any patience (except for doctors… and that’s an entirely different word). We want to be better NOW (God knows, I do), we want to rush off to the doctor and get a pill or potion as soon as possible. I wonder though, is this helping our bodies? Have we lost faith in our body’s own incredible power to heal itself. Are we clogging up doctor’s appointment books with unnecessary appointments? Would it not be better to perhaps pause, spend a day in bed or relaxing in the sunshine, get extra sleep, live on homemade chicken soup and give our bodies a chance to heal themselves? Obviously I’m referring to relatively trivial, run of the mill illnesses here. For serious medical concerns get to your local GP or hospital quick smart.
About ten years ago I was struck down with my first ever bout of sinusitis; it was agony. Off to the doctor I went and was quickly prescribed some antibiotics, they worked like magic. Or so I thought until the next bout of sinusitis followed a month or so later and so began a cycle of sinusitis, doctor’s appointment, antibiotics, sinusitis, doctor’s appointment, antibiotics. That went on for the best part of 18 months until I discovered an ancient Chinese remedy: sniffing warm salt water up my nose. Simple yet effective in solving sinusitis.
There is a lot to be said for good food, fresh air, regular exercise and plenty of sleep (some days this is easier to achieve than others). My regular early morning walk with my friend Ilka is as much about mental health as it is about physical health. The physical exercise gets the endorphins bouncing at the start of the day and we take turns in discussing whatever is on our minds (some fascinating topics I tell you!). Right about now I could mention the benefits of regular massage therapy…. but that may be viewed as advertising…. so I won’t.

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