Not a great place to be when you have a serious illness – you’ve tried all the medical therapy available, you’re exhausted, your health is worsening and your treatment options are dwindling.

If you have decided to go on a treatment search, it is no time to ‘go it alone’ though. It’s easy to think that because a treatment might be ‘natural’ or ‘non-medical’ that you can figure out what to do yourself. Some people do, but it can take a long time to figure out what’s best for you and not everyone has enough time to do that. It is far better to seek professional help.

I really like this approach that has come out of Stanford University, where some science has been applied to the notion of people selecting their own form of healthcare. Doctor Halsted Holman, professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, advocates four principles of personalised and self-managed medicine that he calls: “patient empowerment”:

  1. To cure yourself, the cause of your health problem needs to be found
  2. To properly treat ongoing illness, one needs to keep trying different therapies until you find one that helps
  3. Patients know best their own condition, and can share this knowledge with their practitioner in shaping a self- management program.
  4. To achieve success, the patient and their health professionals must share knowledge and divide authority.

The people with serious or life-threatening disease that I have interviewed in Good News for People with Bad News are a testament to what can be gained when you look beyond the world of orthodox treatment methods. These people simply refused to accept their bleak diagnosis. They either chose not to use a treatment that would have side effects on them, and searched, sometimes for a few years, looking for different kind of treatment that would help them to recover. This ‘different kind’ of treatment was sometimes a scientifically proven, yet little-known medical treatment. Fortunately, there are plenty of these treatments around – we just have to know where to find them.

The starting point of integrative healthcare is often looking at diet and nutrition. Do you take this on yourself? If you feel confident you can, but more likely you will find yourself looking at a sea of information and advice that will confuse and overwhelm you. One trap is finding a fabulous treatment, but it may not be the best one to help your particular problem.

You are most likely to find specific treatment from an integrative doctor, who will conduct tests to get more information about your illness. Integrative doctors use both orthodox medicine and therapies like nutrition, herbal medicine and innovative medical techniques. This is where you are likely to find a doctor who will work with you and receive ‘individualised’ treatment, that will address your unique health issues.

Each country has associations where you can find lists of doctors who offer integrative medicine:

USA:

Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine (once the American Holistic Medical Association)

Integrative Doctors – an Online Guide

UK:

Complementary Medical Association

Canada:

Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine

Australia and New Zealand:

Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine

International:

International Practitioner Directory – to find a holistic healthcare practitioner, integrative doctor, chiropractor, holistic dentist etc in your area.

If you can’t find an integrative doctor near you from these links, do an internet search of ‘Integrative Doctors’ + your country.

I hope this information helps to shortcut long internet searches for you. It is almost certain that there is a treatment available that can help you. That’s what this blog is all about.