- LONDON - It's no secret why "complementary health" has become
so popular. With orthodox medicine, you are lucky to get five minutes
with an understandably frazzled doctor. With complementary medicine, a
good practitioner (for a fee) will take an entire history, adopt a positive
approach to your treatment plan and look past the symptoms of your illness
to the cause.
- This explains why hardly a week goes
by on this page without some mention of the immune system, and yet, just
as we have got to grips with bolstering the body's natural defense system,
I detect another huge shift in the way complementary practitioners are
going to be treating disease.
- Instead of concentrating on the body's
natural defenses, many are looking deeper still for the fundamental cause
of illness. A growing number of therapists and healers are talking about
deeper energy "blockages" and something else called Bioresonance.
- Hailed as the new medicine for the 21st
century, the theory, which has its roots in quantum physics, is that you
can both diagnose and treat disease using energy wavelength or resonance.
One of the pioneers in this country is Agnes Kernan, a former nurse and
qualified homeopath who is also the founder of the London Bio-Dynamics
Center. It has developed a new computerized Bioresonance system that,
by sending a small electrical charge through your body, can measure your
response to 4,000 different items.
- Kernan explains that the computer has
been programmed to "store" the wavelengths (or resonance) of
these items and will compare the wavelengths from the body with its memory
bank. When a match is made, the therapist selects appropriate treatment.
In less than an hour, you can be tested for allergies, food intolerances,
vitamin and mineral deficiencies, viral infections, enzyme deficiencies,
muscular, skeletal and emotional problems.
- So, having delved as deep as possible
physically, what about our emotional health? Sales of self-development
books have rocketed by 75 percent in the past decade, and what will really
inspire people at the beginning of the next millennium is the idea of
- Such is the enthusiasm for anything to
do with the spirit that Diana Cooper, who has popularized again the idea
in this country of the existence of angels, is staging an Angel Day in
London on April 18 where, she says, she will show hundreds of people how
to connect with their own "helping angels".
- Complementary Breakthroughs
- When it comes to looking after your own
health, there are only three routes that most people rely on: nutrition,
homeopathy and herbalism. I asked three experts about the most exciting
developments in their field.
- Stephen Terrass, a nutritionist and technical
director of Solgar Vitamins, says the growing acceptance of the fact
that a compound called homocysteine, and not cholesterol, is the real
risk factor in heart disease will change the nation's health.
- When there are high levels of homocysteine
in the blood (homocysteine is a normal by-product of protein metabolism),
it rapidly damages the arteries and causes build-up of artherosclerotic
plaque " the main trigger for heart attacks and strokes.
- Tests have proved that measuring the
level of homocysteine in the blood is 40 times more accurate as a tool
for predicting heart disease than measuring blood cholesterol.
- Practitioners have suspected all along
that the human body is naturally a homeopathic machine and research by
the homeopathic pharmacy Ainsworths confirms this, making the discipline
the most natural and effective remedy when things do go wrong. Homeopathy
relies on the principle of treating like with like, but until now scientists
could not explain fully how it worked. Thanks to current research, it
is now believed to work on the deeper principle of " guess what?
- This is a natural phenomenon, says Tony
Pinkus, a homeopathic pharmacist and director of Ainsworths, and is what
happens when, for example, you hit a tuning fork. "The fork has been
tuned to resonate at a particular frequency, so it doesn't matter how hard
you hit it. You will also notice that anything else in the room that resonates
naturally at the same frequency as the fork will also start vibrating,
which you will hear as a humming noise."
- The new theory about homeopathy is that
it works in the same way. When, for example, you have a sore throat, you
not only have the physical pain and symptoms, you are also conscious
that you have a sore throat and are, therefore, aware that you are ill.
So both the mind and body are affected and more than one resonance is out
- If you think of normal resonance as being
like a melody, illness shifts the tune to a different key. It follows
that if you are ill you need a treatment that, by resonating with your
sick state, will restore that original harmony.
- Homeopathy mimics what happens in the
body, where vital organs, such as the beating heart, act as the tuning
forks to impart that natural vibration or frequency to the body fluids.
"What we believe is that the signal, or what we call the memory effect
of resonance, is recorded or held in the fluid of the body. The implication
is that the body is a natural homeopathic machine, which is the long-awaited
explanation of how homeopathy actually works."
- The biggest change of all in herbalism
is the widespread integration of disciplines that, for too long, were
at loggerheads. The industry is launching a new core curriculum to bring
the training of all herbalists up to an accredited standard.
- The scheme is the culmination of four
years of dialogue between all the main disciplines that rely on herbal
remedies, including Chinese, Ayurvedic, Tibetan and western herbalists.
- Michael McIntyre, a medical herbalist
and chairman of the European Herbal Practitioners Association, says the
new training and accreditation scheme will provide a template throughout
Europe and pave the way for a fully integrated approach to health, with
medical herbalists one day practicing alongside qualified doctors.
- McIntyre says one of the more exciting
developments in herbalism is the concept of polypharmacy: "The old
idea that one herb with one active ingredient is the best cure has been
replaced by the realization that using combinations of herbs can produce
quite astonishing effects."
- New research is also conferring extraordinary
properties on everyday herbs. Rosemary, for example, is not only delicious
in food, but has a definite effect on the circulation. It is a powerful
antioxidant and is known to strengthen the heartbeat. Similarly, sage
is now known to restore impaired vascular supply to the brain and is believed
to play a role in the treatment of Alzheimer's-like diseases and in enhancing