How are you individually and collectively responding to the pandemic? By Dr David Owen


9 months ago by Dr David Owen


I and the other practitioners at The Natural Practice have been reflecting a lot on what individuals and our wider patient population need.  Patients like you that choose to use natural approaches to healthcare are often highly attuned to your mental and physical wellbeing needs.  Of course a priority is your immediate health, minimising your exposure to and the impact of Covid-19 infection on you and your loved ones. But there are also wider questions about our individual and collective health to reflect on. Why do some patients get the virus so badly, can you reduce your susceptibility to it, how do we maximise our wellbeing despite the fear in society and the lifestyle restrictions required of us.

At The Natural Practice we have been very busy, supporting existing patients, many previous patients returning and many new patients. Obviously some of our services have been impacted but despite this I detect an increased vibrancy and demand for looking at health more holistically and listening to our physical and psychological needs.  Indeed it is as if our patients are articulating a deeper need not just for them but also for others to think of and experience health in a broader more holistic way. If you are interested in taking stock of your health you might like to read more about the MOTs for Positive Health at the practice.

Over 40 years practicing as a doctor I have seen the medical profession make wonderous advances in technology, research and treatments.  Rolling out the availability of evidence based treatments, improvements in longevity and wellbeing to many.  Given the history of medicine, it is a privileged time to be alive.  As a medical doctor it is indeed a golden age in which to practice.  On the other hand there is a shadow cast by this where our self-healing potential has not always been coached and developed.  You can find out more by clicking on the link to my Podcast here

Where we have become increasingly dependent on and expectant of the wonders of western medicine.  When individual treatments and global health governance falls short of these expectations it creates a lot of uncertainty and fear.  This fear, has elements of anticipatory anxiety and grief, has its own deep impact on our health.  Over my time in practice it has been increasingly hard to talk of vitality, constitution or susceptibility.  These terms and concepts are too often dismissed as fringe, flaky and frivolous.  The idea that structure and function are intimately intertwined is considered an occasional coincidence not a general principle where changes in one always impacts the other.  Where symptoms can be considered the way the body communicates what it needs and where treatment and recovery can be a positive life affirming journey and deeply rebalancing and sustaining.  Everyday an individuals’ mental and emotional state interplays with their physical state, influencing their health and shaping their lifestyle and environment.  If you are interested in the idea of ‘getting in touch with your inner doctor' you might like to think about attending one of Dr Katya's courses on optimal health.

Over the last few decades the dominance of pharmacological and surgical interventions have at times made integrating natural medicines with hundreds of years of experience in multiple different cultures increasingly difficult to practice.  Where diversity of thought and opinion have been culled in the name of orthodoxy and best practice.  Patients often have to work hard to access our help and the sort of treatments we offer.  For others it is just not affordable although we offer a limited range of reduced fees and a charity clinic.  Perhaps it’s nothing more than a tendency to see what you hope for but I sense on the back of the pandemic that many patients are revisiting the deeper questions raised by the illnesses we get or are at risk of.  Exploring the broader view of wellbeing as a dynamic state that needs ongoing attention.  Health is not something to be taken for granted and addressed just in response to an illness.  Perhaps the shock of the Pandemic will result is some readjustment.  Rightly celebrating the best of western medical interventions but integrating also the broader treatment models and long traditions of natural medicines.  It is possible to hold both, balancing the need for specific treatments with a deeper reflection on our health and wellbeing.

If you would like to read or hear more about the ideas here please follow the following link:-

Unfinished Conversations II - Illness as a threshold event v continuum