OUR WHOLE journey of healthcare has been to create a standard of care that is based upon the body's truths, that is, the body's own inherent health requirements.
First of all, we haven't had a standard of care that is uniform across board for all health practitioners, regardless of credentials or specialty.
What matters to an orthodox practitioner doesn't matter to a medical herbalist, a Homeopath or an Acupuncturist and vice-versa.
It's like we are treating different bodies and contradicting each other all the time, which is not only unnecessary but a crime against our responsibilities to our patients.
I think of this as a form of reductionism that ultimately treats the body like it's a mechanical object, and at its worst, chases the symptoms around the body like a puppy chasing its tail.
The difference between a medical herbalist and an orthodox practitioner is the therapies they use and not necessarily the way they think.
Herbal medicines may be more natural, with less morbidity and fewer side-effects, but they are still often administered from an allopathic perspective.
The therapies may differ but the thought process is often similar even though herbal medicine practitioners may employ less invasive techniques.
We need to look at the body in a different way. What I teach and practice is not about the differences in what I do, but, the different way in which I do it. When I recommend a surgery, it is the result of a totally different way of looking at the body that has brought me to that conclusion.
Patients say to me that; “But my x-ray shows that I have herniated disc. And my Surgeon also says that the x-ray indicates that I have to have a surgery”.
Yet, there is a whole movement in medicine that recognizes that there is often no statistical connection between the radiologist's interpretation of the x-ray and the patients' pain!
So we need to solve problems at their roots.
We need a standard of care that holds us all equally responsible for working with a problem-solving algorithm based upon how the human body works: structural integrity, mechanical integrity, balanced muscular integrity, neuro-regulatory function, psycho-spiritual integrity, energetic integrity, metabolic and genetic factors and occupational factors, to mention a few parts.
Whether you are a medical Herbalist, orthodox Practitioner, Chiropractor, an ordinary Healer or an Acupuncturist, it is still necessary to look at all these things in order to truly serve your patients.
Medicine, as a practice of healing is about the person on the table in front of you who has come for help from their suffering. We have lost sight of that. What we mostly seem to do is to impose our concepts, egos and the therapies that we are trained to do on everyone we see.
To get it right, I think we have to change something first in ourselves then in our hearts.
We have to learn to listen with our minds and our hearts. We must have the courage and faith and the training, to allow the healing process to evolve from within us and our patients.
Like Jimmy the bone Doctor, I pray that we can begin to get out of the way and let the Creator and the spirits of our ancestors come through and help us as physicians to heal.
The healthcare agenda of this country will never be complete until we embrace herbal and other alternative forms of medical practice.
This is what holistic healthcare is all about. We should not be consumed by our petty differences and pride; rather we should be united in our common interest to use science and tradition to bring health and restoration to the sick.
This is what Ghana's healthcare delivery system and the people of Ghana deserve.
Let's all embrace it for a healthier and better Ghana.
(Article by Mr. Richmond Amo, a Phytotherapy and Herbal Medicine
Consultant), E-mail: [email protected]