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The case for integrated care
12:42pm Friday 20th April 2007 in Health
Have you ever wondered where to go for your health needs - the GP or a complementary health practitioner? Why not both at the same time?
This view may not be the most popular in all health care camps, but in my opinion it is the way forward for the future of health care.
As a nurse and a homeopath, I consider myself allied to both areas of health care and strongly believe they can work well together.
I trained at the Oxford Radcliffe Hospital in 1985, and worked for many years on the medical wards. More recently I worked as a Macmillan Nurse in Devon and it was during this time that I came across homeopathy.
My 18-month old daughter needed constant antibiotics for recurrent chest infections, and in desperation I sought the advice of a homeopath. Within 48 hours my daughter had improved dramatically and this improvement was sustained.
A few years later, my father was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and I convinced him to see my homeopath. I witnessed the tremendous benefits he gained from treatment (whilst simultaneously taking all his conventional medicines).
Lisa Marty, RGN RSHom, is a registered nurse and homeopath. She studied homeopathy at the Contemporary College of Homeopathy and is a registered member of the Society of Homeopaths. Lisa’s aim is to provide a holistic healing experience, grounded in an understanding of the stresses and constraints of 21st century living. If you want to find out more about Lisa Marty and homeopathy, or to make an appointment, please call The Bell Trees Clinic, 01865 200365.
His energy improved as did his breathing - neither conventional nor complementary medicine cured him but a combination of both significantly alleviated his suffering. I was now certain that I wanted to study homeopathy.
I spent four years studying at the Contemporary College of Homeopathy in Devon, where my aspiration to integrate practice was encouraged. The college taught in a grounded and pragmatic fashion and maintained a healthy respect for all other health care professionals.
The college was originally set up with the support and encouragement of the GPs.
The spirit of conventional and homeopathic teamwork was enhanced by the busy student clinic where patients were referred from a local GP practice.
The most important issue when seeking help from a practitioner is to ensure that they are well-trained professionals who will facilitate an informed choice for the patient.
Providing information, or how to access the information, and good communication is fundamental to providing quality care. Just as at times it will be necessary to pursue conventional medicine alone, at other times it may be more appropriate to seek homeopathy, acupuncture or another therapy.
Ultimately, however, combining conventional and homeopathic medicine can be hugely beneficial to health. The key to successful integrative care is professionals working together.
Communication, collaboration, and tolerance between the practitioners themselves, and with their patients, is indispensable for this to work. Integrated care is teamwork. It provides the best possible care tailored to the needs of each individual. Integrated care has to be the future for healthcare in the 21st century.
Conventional and homeopathic medicine can work very well together, especially in the following cases: Pregnancy and childbirth: working alongside midwives, homeopathy can be helpful when treating symptoms such as morning sickness and constipation. It can also empower women in labour by offering remedies with a variety of states and problems that can arise - still in conjunction with the conventional treatments. It is most certainly effective in promoting healing post-Caesarean, episiotomies, or for bruising women incur during labour Complementary to surgery: Homeopathy can be very helpful to help speed up recovery Asthma and allergies: Work has been done to show that giving a homeopathic dose of the allergen may help reduce symptoms, while using conventional treatments simultaneously.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy: Homeopathic remedies may be useful in easing side-effects Palliative care: In the last stages of life, homeopathy can similarly help reduce suffering alongside all other medical and complementary treatments.