Third principle: Self responsibility for getting well
‘Who is in charge of your healing? Is it the doctor, naturopath or specialist? Ultimately it has to be you! Health professionals are there as guides to help get you on the right track, and each of them have their place in your process, if that is what you choose. But you need to be in charge! Looking at our subjects, it is fascinating to note that two took self-responsibility and sought no outside help! John found the answer on the net, and just experimented from then on, once he had his direction. The rest took responsibility by seeking assistance through naturopaths, doctors, counsellors, massage therapists, acupuncturists and others. They also researched the literature and discovered their own routes to healing.
When naturopathic students attend their first lecture at college we emphasise this important point of self-responsibility. How is it that so many people pass responsibility on to others, and will not contribute to the process of finding their own solutions? The answer is simple. It is the way we have been taught, and many know no other way. Fortunately society is changing, and more people are seeking out naturopaths to see what else can be done. What I believe we are beginning to see is true integrative medicine, not complementary or alternative, but one in which all health professionals can contribute to an individual’s health, under the individual’s direction. In New Zealand and Australia we have an organization named AIMA (Australasian Integrative Medicine Association), which was set up originally by doctors to promote the integration of all forms of medicine into an integrative approach. It has a growing membership that will ensure that the future direction is inclusive and in the best interests of the client. I believe this will be the future of medicine.’
This is an extract from my book ‘Journeys Back to Health’, which I wrote in 2006. This third principle remains as true as ever today. In clinic today I see people who realize that there is no magic solution, and that better health often requires changes in diet, lifestyle, and consciousness. Those who hope the answer to greatly improved health lies simply in taking a supplement or two are often deluding themselves.
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