A Radical Healer
"The significant business of your life is alive and well, awaiting discovery, within your very soul. You and I were born to come into ourselves as complete and distinctive persons. Accepting this, we build a valuable life."
-- Marsha Sinetar
This message is for you ….a Radical Healer.
You may already be a radical healer, you may be one in the making; it depends on your attitude.
Some of us are content with state health services just as they are; they may be effective, not so effective,
but we just accept them. For some, they have to fight and battle and be their own best self- advocate for
better health services, for themselves and for friends and family. And for some, a sudden health
emergency, or near death experience, may have awakened them to take more and better self-
responsibility for their own health and well-being.
For whatever reason, a Radical Healer stems from an awakening, becoming more aware of what
is and isn’t working in life, often with regards to health. Somehow, we are encouraged or nudged to be
better and more widely informed, and then, armed with a new found attitude or information, required
to be radical and bold, to take action we perhaps never dreamed we would or would have to take, called to
find ways to bless others on the way, all in a journey to maximum health, to peace and happiness.
So in short, this website is about two things – the systems of health available to you,
and your own health and wellbeing. And whether you are passive (ie put up with anything)
or assertive ie do all you can, no matter how radical or bold, in pursuit of better health.
The Current Official Health System
The current health paradigm, or bio-medical model, in the West, is more about
managing your disease, not about helping you create health. Yet which would you
rather have; a life that is you constantly managing your symptoms, taking medications,
attending hospital, being told to follow dietary advice that is so discredited and has
been outdated for some time, no hint of a wholistic approach to your treatment, but
constant appointments because the system separates out departments and never
considers your conditions as a whole. And doing all this with greater intensity and
frequency as you age?
Or would you rather a life where you are helped to create and maintain good health
for as long as possible? Even if you have to manage that your self?
This website is about your ability to be better able to be responsible for your health, to take back the power from a burdened health system that needs to learn to genuinely put the patient at the forefront of their own care. It’s about having more energy to face a seemingly ever demanding life, it’s about feeling better in all senses around your health and well-being, and about bringing the best you possibly can to others - your family, your friends, to your career, to your passions, to the world, and fundamentally to yourself. When you feel good, and know why, you can help others feel good. I call that being a blessing. And we need more Radical Healers, people who bless.
Too many of us are increasingly running on empty. Many of us, myself included at one point, are burned out, frazzled and behave irritably, in an ill-tempered and ill-natured way. We’re done in, down and depressed and often can't admit it, or at least won’t admit it, but more and more we know we’re unable to give life our all. And our doctors seem challenged to understand. How can they? In a standard ten minute appointment, they can barely consider one symptom let alone explore the story that lies behind it, or the wider perspectives of your health. I would hate to work in a system such as doctors have to, and with every decision one that holds potential to harm or heal.
We need change, and more and more we, the public, say we want change, but many prefer to look away, ignore the signs that tell us the NHS itself is chronically ill. Whatever, we need also to face up to is that many of us are living a life that is just not sustainable and which more and more places ever increasing demands on our health service. We cannot go on with our own sweet ways, neither can we go on tolerating the health system as it is. Let’s stop making excuses. It's not the public's fault the NHS is underfunded, under- staffed, is at breaking point, has cumbersome administrative system, has a restrictive medical model, refuses to see the benefits in accessing a wider range of healing modalities. But we can influence our politicians to make better decisions about health, to make better use of the public purse. And we can take better responsibility for our own health. Perhaps if we were to take greater conscious care of our health we might lean less on state health services. But it is not as simple as that duality.
It's not our fault that our health care system fills the coffers of big pharma; I look at my former diabetes care - expensive in simply treating my symptoms with costly medications yet failing to promote the benefits of proper nutrition, encouraging me to make lifestyle changes, promoting the creation of health. There is overwhelming evidence that the standard British diet promoted by the NHS does nothing to help people with diabetes type 2 whereas when people follow a low carb, high fat diet, there is more and more evidence that they reverse their diabetes, create vastly improved health, and often reduce any need for medication. Yet I seldom hear the policy makers acknowledge that a change in one simple aspect of diabetes treatment, a change in nutrition, could (a) save the NHS a fortune and (b) help patients become healthy again. And who wins? Big pharma. For as long as I remain unhealthy, they keep giving me the pills.
Agents of change
There is a sad truth in the world; many people aren’t putting their best selves forward. We, as patients have been indoctrinated into being patient, to expect things to be done for and to us. We find ways to play small and expect little, to be receivers of treatment and not active participants in our own health creation, to play the victim and not the victor. It is we who should be demanding that the NHS be reviewed at a health paradigm and systems level and not just give it more money to do more of the same. We the public could play a greater role as agents of change. Inside every Clark Kent, there is a constant superman waiting to break out - inside every Diana, Princess of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta, is a wonder woman. Inside every body and everybody, there is a soul, a spirit, a spark of light able to ignite and show a new way. As agents of change we need to let our light shine.
I know this from personal experience because for many years I was one of life’s givers - ironically I worked in the orthodox health field at the time, I had founded a Sexual Health Charity and was an advocate for people and their health, and quite literally, paid more attention to helping others than to looking after myself. I was aware that slightly off the radar, something didn’t just feel right, but I carried on regardless. Until one day, my body just gave in, said enough is enough, and I was given about three months to live.
And just when my life really needed health services, I found the NHS inadequate and services so difficult to access; I found our health system so narrow and limited in what it could offer – mainly drugs, surgery, and radiation and none of that was going to help. So what does a person do when the doctors say, “There is nothing we can do” ? I was in my mid to late forties.
I decided I had to raise the roof and begin to influence a different paradigm, both on my behalf and on behalf of my health clients. I had to take matters into my own hands, on more than one occasion. And this is a familiar scenario now for so many, when they have run the gamut of all the NHS can offer...they either give up or they turn elsewhere. They are either passive or active and assertive.
At one point I was told I had to learn to live with constant pain, that the pain medication offered by the NHS was only about 15% effective.. I sought private sessions with an expert in Advance Biostructural Correction, a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor, a nutritionist, specialists in Fibromyalgia and I am now mostly pain free and mobile again. But am left with the question - why does the NHS say there is nothing THEY can do and they spend resources in regular follow-ups which always tell the same story ("there is nothing we can do") when clearly there are healing modalities that can help?
The NHS is not a HEALTH service but simply a disease and symptom management service.
We need to be advocates of change - not just passive recipients.
Bring out your own Radical Healer
What is the significant business of your life? What is your purpose? Andrew Schneider , American TV producer, says that purpose "is more than just having a direction. It is about one's place in the universe. It is the journey of finding that place and being there and living fully whatever that place is. It is your own unique place that nobody else has, had, or will have."
How would you describe your place in the universe?
"We become powerful in the face of our fears when we have a sense that we make a difference in this world. Affirmations of purpose communicate the truth that we are all meaningful participants in this Universe and that we are worthy of giving and receiving love. Some affirmations of purpose are:
- I know that I count and I act as though I do.
- I spread warmth and love everywhere I go.
- I am a healing force in the Universe."
-- Susan Jeffers
One group of people for whom the concept of Radical Healer can be helpful is those who frequently appear in GPs’ surgeries presenting with a whole host of “functional disorders,” inter-related symptoms, or multiple morbidity and are told, frustratingly, to choose one symptom for a given appointment, usually about ten minutes, because, as my GPs have oft told me, only one symptom per consultation is allowed. This system is crazy. I can go in with five symptoms each related, each having effect on the other, the cause likely to be the same for each of the five yet (1) the GP has only time to deal with one symptom and (2) within that, seldom even considers or treats the cause. (That said I am grateful to my present GP who affords me more time per consultation should it merit it.)
Despite undergoing the full gamut of blood and hospital tests, no abnormalities are found, no one is connecting the dots, the patient waits months often over a year for a related appointment, each symptom is dealt with by a separate department, their inter-relation ignored. This, as a system, is totally ineffective and can do little more than offer Elastoplast for one wound.
And so, these “heart sick” patients continue to have repeat visits to the GP, continue to suffer from pain and discomfort, which continues in increasing ways to blight their lives, increase in intensity, become more and more disempowering, their quality of life more and more impeded and encumbered. This is understandably frustrating for them, for they know full well something is awry but there is no medical evidence for what they experience and so they get nowhere with their GPs. This system of having to have external scientific evidence is crazy. Surely what the patient is saying is evidence! To keep telling me, "We can find nothing" when clearly other non-conventional therapists can, is a waste of resources. Yet Functional Medicine has much to offer, taking time to explore the root cause of a condition. Functional Medicine is different to conventional medicine.
I appreciate that in its present format the NHS cannot deal with everything; it could, by changing the medical paradigm and including the wider gamut of approaches such as functional medicine, integrative medicine, and various complementary and alternative therapies and in particular getting to the root cause. of a condition. Why can’t my GP refer me for homeopathy, acupuncture, or even prescribe medical cannabis if those would work best? Why? All this could happen if politicians (local and national) and heads of NHS authorities were better informed, if they too were willing to be radical and bold, to influence a change in the paradigm of health within the NHS.
But it’s not down to politicians alone, national or local, it is down to all of us. And so, if you too have run the gamut, seeking help here and there, and getting nowhere, your invitation is to become a radical healer, looking for different sources of help, even if you have to pay for it - if you can - to start advocating for a different system – not one that is a gross waste of time and resources, the patient's as well as the health service, where ten minutes per consultation is laughable, where GPs are trained to doll out prescriptions that palliate or treat symptoms yet seldom address the cause of our conditions. Why do the public put up with this approach to its health? Why do we simply sit back and hear politicians, without discrimination, commit more and more money into increasing resources to perpetuate a system which is in radical need of change?
Some say we need to advocate for a new system or take matters into our own hands. It is not a question of either or. We must do both. Because hoping things will get better seldom works in the field of health; if our body is screaming it needs help, it means it. Fighting the NHS won’t work. There are ways and means of influencing change. And often it calls for us to be bold and to take radical action.
Your body is designed with an amazing facility to keep bringing you back into good health, it’s called homeostasis, but if you’re burned out, the battery is dry, then it is difficult for it to do its job and heal you. You job is to help it – through living in a way that will prevent disease occurring, or changing your ways if a disease does occur, and through a change in lifestyle, help your body get you back to vibrant good health. Most of us know this – it’s just that sadly we ignore it and our health system presently does not encourage the creation of health, so focussed is it on managing symptoms and political targets, readjusting to constantly shifting financial scenarios.
I acknowledge that our emergency services are probably second to none; they are excellent if we have an accident, a medical emergency, something physical needs fixing. But our health service is less well-equipped to deal with conditions caused by poor lifestyle factors, chronic fatigue, chronic inflammation, and by a poor gut microbiome and the mind / body connection. And now we are drowning in a tide of people barely afloat with multiple morbidity, defying death with diabetes, acutely overweight with obesity. But we, the patient, must play our part. There is so much more we could do, if only we would accept responsibility.
A word about me
My background is in counselling and in founding a health charity, in healing and helping. I have learned much working and living in the UK, Germany, New Zealand, and Spain, that tells me our present health paradigm in the UK is no longer relevant and I see no point in continuing to plough money into giving it more resources without reviewing whether in fact it is any longer appropriate..
Along the way, training in nutrition, energy medicine, hypnotherapy, massage, metaphysical sciences, emotional freedom techniques, HIV/AIDS, etc – I have learned lots that can be encapsulated into different compartments of mind, body, spirit medicine. And from a spiritual, holistic, perspective, it seemed all my experiences were not for me alone – it felt more I was being called to share what I had learned so that others might benefit.
Whilst I regret I may not have done so earlier - there have been valid reasons - and I am reminded that for everything there is a time and a season and now seems the right time to bring it all under one roof, in one home, one community, in one project, with one aim, to help people find their own best way to heal…people open to taking responsibility, to putting in the work, no matter their circumstances, open to new ideas even if they were out of their comfort zone,
If you are reading or watching this I am sure this won’t be the first time you will have said you must do something about your health and well-being. You will have put it off for myriad reasons – not knowing where to start, perhaps too ill to start, not knowing what kind of information you needed or if you did, where to get it, or simply a thought that “this too will pass.”
But now, you are here for a reason. Just don’t let this be one more site, book or programme you read or do and then pass on to the next.
It is time to take action.
If you’re not feeling the way you think you should feel, maybe your energy is lagging, your brain is fogged up, life is just not trucking, you are not happy, you are living with a chronic disease and doctors say it is just how it is meant to be, learn to live with it, you are in constant pain or depressive feelings make you want to crawl under the duvet and not face the world, perhaps you are heavier than you would wish but efforts to reach your best weight have never really worked, you have run the gamut of conventional medicine with no great sense of lasting help and are at the point where you are hearing yourself acknowledge, enough is enough. I get it.
I truly get it – I’ve been there – and I’m not convinced that medical people truly understand it is not always about your condition or symptom, it is how it adversely affects your quality of life and needs to be tackled at the level of root cause.
Many will have looked out at the world and sensed that society works against us – with its fast paced ways, its fast, processed foods, its unhelpful health systems, …. it almost sets us up to fail – time is short, life is busy, we make poor choices as we are juggling so many balls at any one time. But that’s blaming the world out there. We must come back to self- responsibility. What can I do?
Now, I know change can be hard, it requires our time, our effort, stickability, a change in mindset, attitude, and behaviours – but it doesn’t have to be difficult, once you know how and at least try out the new ideas you come across.
So become aware – what is and isn’t working in your life. And why?
Become better informed – what’s causing the present situation? What can you
do about it? How might you need to change your mind set, be more open to
different ways? What about research? Where to begin?
Be prepared to be bold and take radical action. You might have to do things you
never imagined you would have to do. You may have to go right out your comfort
zone. If you are a believer in conventional medicine only, you may just have to be
more open to functional and alternative medicine, or combining all of them.
Just as I feel I am being called to share what I have learned through all my life
experiences, you too will have a life purpose. So be willing to consider how you
are being called to serve. How can you be a blessing on others.
As you create better health, even perhaps with a disability, create better well-being,
celebrate that you are attracting more joy and happiness and peace into your life.
All this means being proactive – something we learn not to be as we just kind of passively respond to life along the way rather than creating life.
This is an encouragement for you to become a Radical Healer, to uncover your grander purpose.
Consider what your life would be like if you shed your defences and negative behavioural patterns, especially those that were barriers to love –and opened to being vulnerable, loving, to a new and uncertain way.
Consider a life which revealed to you a path of awakening that can truly connect you with the centredness, calmness, health and vitality and unconditional love you’ve always desired.
The Radical Healer
A nurse's story of saving her husband's life with The Pioppi Diet