New Medicine is a more involved, integrated approach to health care. Moira Gardener shows you how to build your New Medicine toolkit.
Think about health care in terms of everything for body, mind and soul. Look at health as the gift it is — and think New Medicine. The term New Medicine thinking originated from how I personally view taking care of my health. It is a response to observing people who don’t understand the modern health care system and were either frustrated with it or didn’t really think about the role they play as consumers.
Become an Active Participant in Your Health
New Medicine means being an active participant in your health care, someone who does the research and teams up with professionals (yes, plural), and is open to alternatives. It’s adopting a way of thinking and begins with an attitude check-up. Sometimes illness itself is a step in the right direction — if we need to be stopped in our tracks. Likewise, pain is not always a bad thing; it is a stop light to make us look closely at what needs to be examined. View that stoplight as preventive medicine — when you pay attention, treatment becomes easier.
New Medicine thinking goes back to starting the day with gratitude in the form of a quiet moment of prayer or meditation, finding an affirmation, a joke or a word for the day — soul food. Call it whatever you wish, but it is the springboard that launches us into our health.
To get into a good frame of mind, do something fun or creative, or rediscover play. Laughter is not only fun,it’s necessary and it has a positive chemical impact on the body. Laugh Yoga is a good tool with which to begin a New Medicine health kit.
After this, ask yourself, “Am I doing my basics (exercise, rest and diet)?” Invest time in anything that gets the blood moving and the heart rate up. Walking seems to receive the most votes from the health profession. If there are mobility issues, focus on what you can do. Perhaps water exercise or armchair yoga are good alternatives. The old adage of use it or lose it was never more true when the goal is to remain mobile.
Seek Out Information
Doing research on your areas of concern is important. Asking questions is key. I learned how important it is to do the research when I became ill and had to make some lifestyle choices, like slowing down and making dietary changes. Today, the information highway makes research easier. Part of your research may also involve networking to find answers.
Work with Health Care Professionals
A crucial part of New Medicine thinking is working with health care professionals. What is it you require? Is this reasonable? In New Medicine, a good general practitioner (GP) is the first line of defense, steering you through the system, doing what she/he can do for you, then opening up his/her network of specialists. When you acquire a GP, you also acquire that GP’s associations as well.
In New Medicine thinking, you become an active participant within a network that contains a variety of health care providers. One of the great things is the emergence of active living clinics that are synergistic in nature and incorporate a variety of therapies for the benefit of clients. Add to this a naturopathic practitioner to take on some of the roles of the old school doctor, such as treating flu and colds, and providing diet advice, counselling and vitamin therapies.
Finally, in times of stress, remember that an invaluable practitioner is the counsellor. It takes a courageous individual to reach out and say, “I need help.” A good counsellor is one who gives you tools to adjust your thinking and, when you have learned how to use them, pushes you off to do what you can now do for yourself.
The New Medicine Mindset
There are a myriad of alternatives out there so make them part of your tool kit. Look to your research and your practitioners, then seek out healthy alternatives. This can include anything you take in mentally or physically. There are a lot of buzzwords — anti-oxidants, glutothion, orthomolecular medicine, alkaline diets, and books filled with information on supplements. There are vegans, vegetarians, and flexitarians. How do you know what’s best? As an active participant in your health care, do the research and persevere to find a personal fit you can live with.
Now that your health kit is filled with active participation, research, health care practitioners, and a few alternatives that work for you — congratulations! You’ve moved into a New Medicine mindset.
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