The achievements of 21st century academic medicine are indisputable and medical doctors do great work. Albeit, in our everyday life, juggling work, family and leisure activities, we tend to have little room left for taking good care of ourselves. Health appears sometimes to be one of the goods we acquire, like a business transaction. The patient gives money and gets health in return. What works well in other areas of life cannot be applied to health. Health is a personal affair and it is your own personal responsibility. No one can heal anybody. Healing always comes from within when the self-healing capacity of the body is stimulated. The major difference between academic medicine and natural medicine is the type of support offered. But it must always be ‘help through self-help’.

Another characteristic of Western medicine is the focusing on symptoms. When in pain, take a painkiller and the pain is gone – but what about the reason for the pain? Health means more than the lack of symptoms.

Using the car as an analogy, one would not stick tape over a warning light and keep on driving because we all know what would happen to the motor, if we ignored that warning.

Pain is a warning. Pain tells you to take a look because something is out of balance. Likewise, illness is the body’s attempt to correct a deficit. The human body is marvelous, it can compensate a lot and for a long time. It is comparable to a sturdy shelf. You can place a lot of books on that shelf. If you keep adding books, the shelf will start to bend at some point. With the next volume, you may even hear a faint cracking sound. And then comes the moment when you add one too many books and the shelf gives way. In regard to our body, we call the ‘faint cracking sound’ ‘little ailments’, the ‘broken shelf’ is an illness.

In my opinion the objective is not to fight the illness. Of course, it is imperative to alleviate acute symptoms, but the real objective must be to find out how the affliction came about. What is the base it grew on? What are the factors that put strain on your shelf?

To that end, it is paramount to look at a person in his entirety. Body, mind and soul form a unity and everything is connected to everything and reacts, accordingly, in unison. The aim is to find out what it takes to find the balance again. This is where my idea of A.C.T. kicks in. The actions you take are conditions precedent to any change. Look at your personal shelf, at your ‘warning light’ and ask yourself what you could do to reinstate the balance. My part is to support you in doing so.

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