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  • Writer's pictureMARY LIGHT ND MH LMT

Intestinal & Digestive Health

I purposely titled this in terms of "health"! Health is bringing a system or organs and glands back to balanced and healthy functioning. This is what we do in classical traditional naturopathy.

That is certainly not the allopathic approach, which is to label disease, and many do not ever get well. As a traditional naturopath, my work with these issues is to bring about restoration of function and health of the inner ecology. Given that it is a complex part of our body, and many have suffered and deteriorated for years before coming to me, this takes time, as complex tissues likely need to regenerate and restore.

Allopathic ("conventional") medical approaches tell patients , usually, that there is "no cure" and "nothing they can do to cure". What this actually means is that within their system they can offer no actual restoration of the body. Symptoms suppressed- with drugs, and steroids, are not a solution. Cutting out organs and glands does not bring about actual restoration of function. Ultimately these same patients then think "nobody" has a solution, as if the allopathic medical approach is the only one offering a solution. They may often believe that if a medical doctor cannot "cure", why could anyone else be able to do so. This is understandable given decades of corporate dominance in our culture, and given the lack of understanding currently as to how natural medicine is able to restore health. The truth is, many have been helped considerably by following natural medicine protocols.

Our stomach, small and large intestine- these are all ECOLOGICAL areas within our body, each with a potential for specific probiotic health and with specific sensitivities and structures.

In my own past, I cringe to look back at how I had been treated in the conventional medical world with certain digestive issues. Nothing was ever done to restore health, nor was any understanding shown that that is possible. I ultimately got well in several instances by avoiding conventional medical routes altogether, and going to well trained holistic practitioners instead, including on one occasion , someone employing classical acupuncture.

Sickness, disease, and imbalance in this important body system utterly brings down the quality of life. I have observed folks who are obviously suffering with variations of whatever disease doctors decide to call it....not only does it interfere with normal social functioning, but we lose electroytes, heart strength and function, and the ability to absorb actual nutrients well, to name a few effects of long term intestinal and digestive malfunction. TO NOT RESTORE this system , means further deterioration, possibly loss of organs through surgery. The medical industry has even taken to glamorizing colostomy bags by posing models wearing bikinis with these bags. As if they were fashion accessories. This sends some odd mixed messages.

But let's move to the positive news:

Herbal formulas, and diet changes, of different kinds can offer the following actions to our systems: Soothe inflammed tissue, rebuild better tissue, nourish tissue, balance stomach acids, gently clear out debris, (diarrhea does not clear out, actally although it might feel like it), bring about a balanced probiotic environment, neutralize toxins, and absorb unwanted matter; lubricate tissues for ease of elimination.....the list goes on. Medical doctors never effectively work with these issues, because they have not been trained to do so. These days, avoiding foods with gluten and commercial dairy and additives is often a first tier of restoration, as well as offering guidance in the consumption of nutrient dense soothing food to rebuild. Herbs are food, too, remember that.

The nervous system is also very important to take into consideration and work with- our nerves serve every single part of our body, they are not just related to whether we feel "nervous' or not. I use nervine and adaptogen formulas to support people going through protocols for healing in this regard. It does not matter what their "diagnoses" is "called". Body tissue is body tissue.

Emotional issues and past trauma may also play a role, and thus need attention. Our digestive system, the food we eat, and the environment in which we had or have meals are very connected to emotional states.

How would I work with someone initially? I would 1) Review a written intake based on client answers to specific questions on a form, including current and past medical interventions and drugs 2) Palpate the abdomen, and specific reflexes 3) Investigate dietary history 4) Determine any herbal formulas, natural applied therapeutics, and dietary recommendations 5) I may demonstrate applied natural therapeutics in a first

or second session. 6) Determine compliance probability in relation to the life/work/home environment of the individual 7) Follow up with additional appointments and directives.

I have observed gradual healing and restoration of tissues and of the function of the digestive system when protocols are followed, particularly if the client is not cherry picking and getting torn in one direction or another with "do this , do that" sort of advice from where-ever. Some remedies I employ are made to bring immediate comfort, such as Intestinal Formula #2, which I use to soothe and greatly reduce diarrhea and also use for bacterial Food Poisoning. Every household should stock this formula, and use it when needed under guidance.

I understand the desperation of anyone with an intestinal infection of any kind. I have overcome SIBO within myself, as well as other related digestive issues, and with others over my practice history. Insurance - what does that word even mean- what exactly is being "insured " for you- the perpetuation of years of disease with no cure?- does not cover much of naturopathic care, but a small investment brings about priceless results, and for life.

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