Healthcare with a Heart

Would you want your healthcare professional to leave you immobile in a room without fluids or water for 24 hours? How would you feel if they did this to someone you love? In healthcare today there are two primary models of working: the medical, allopathic model and the holistic, naturopathic model. Professionals in both schools of thought often view the other methods with varying degrees of doubt about their effectiveness or value. Doctors and nurses might believe there is little scientific evidence provided for complementary or alternative medicine and so it must be of no real value to the recipient. Holistic and naturopathic practitioners might see a failure to address the correct root causes of poor health through the medical focus on managing symptoms. Opinions can be divided on the causes and treatments of 'flu-like or 'cold' symptoms. Is the condition caused by the bug that's going around? Is it best to supress symptoms with chemicals that dry up the flow of mucous, hide the aches and pains and kill bacteria? Is the cause rooted in an overly driven lifestyle? Is it best to take time out to rest, drink water, take vitamin C and zinc or a herbal formula? Is the body clearing out harmful toxins through sweating, cloudy urine or a runny nose? The whole picture will probably contain elements of many of these possible causes and treatments. Each person needs to choose their healthcare program responsibly. However, healthcare professionals have a higher responsibility towards their clients or patients, particularly when a person is too ill to make that choice for themselves. This is where the fundamental values of the qualified professional really matter. The question is, does the practitioner really care?

In the UK, all qualfied and registered healthcare practitioners must be trained to meet the government requirements of National Occupational Standards (NOS) in Healthcare, whether they are a nurse employed by the NHS or an acupuncturist in private practice. The growth in complementary medicine means that many therapies are not yet state regulated but are voluntarily meeting the standards laid down, in advance of regulation coming in the future. Pathway Balancing Kinesiology practitioners are trained to meet these standards of professionalism. However, there is far more to the Pathway Balancing training and the treatments our clients are given in a session. The Pathway Balancing system describes a Journey that balances energy, improves health, increases levels of awareness and leads to a continually better lifestyle. At the highest and furthest levels of the Journey, the practitioner is trained to work with clients at the Level called 'Heart Consciousness'. It's about being open-hearted, sensitive to the sacredness of life and being caring towards others. Perhaps the clinical, science-based medical training loses some of this Heart Consciousness along the way? Maybe the medical system, that uses scientific experiments on live animals as evidence, disregards the sacredness of human life in the process?

Sadly, my recent personal experience has caused me to question the beliefs and practices of medical staff in the NHS. My 94-year-old father, recovering in hospital from pneumonia, was left without a fluid drip and was not offered any water for 24-hours, until my family questioned the staff about it. The Consultant's view was that "people like these" are a "long way from their baseline" so the drip had been stopped and if they couldn't sit up they couldn't drink water without choking. I asked him if this was the same as leaving someone without water or fluids for 24 hours and seeing how long it took for the person to die. It took us 2 hours to get the Hospital Consultant to agree to let staff tilt the bed up and provide us with a sponge to moisten Dad's lips. As soon as the water touched his lips, Dad gasped and sucked the water as hard as he could, eyes open wide and following my sister's hand desperately as she soaked the sponge again. I broke down sobbing. After drinking a cup & a half of water, Dad was offered a yoghurt, which he ate hungrily. Four days later Dad has continued to improve and we hope to get him safely out of Colchester Hospital in Essex, as soon as possible. Whatever model of healthcare practised, the primary emphasis surely is the word care. What kind of care would you like from your professional practitioner? Isn't the best practice one that offers healthcare with a heart? Corrina.

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