An Introduction to Holistic Pet Health
- by John Burns BVMS MRCVS
of modern thought is geared to seeing the individual as a
series of separate systems which function independently of
each other. We have specialists for skin, kidneys, nervous
system, bones, heart and so on.
Food companies produce whole ranges of veterinary
-only diets, each food designed to treat or manage a specific
health problem. Diets are developed containing supplements
to promote healthy joints or immune systems, clean teeth,
avoid hairball and so on.
At any time there are many thousands of biochemical
and physiological reactions occurring in the body. These reactions
are co-ordinated and controlled in ways which have evolved
over millions of years and which we can barely begin to understand.
Any effort to influence these reactions is crude and limited
compared to the body's own capabilities.
The objective of Holistic Medicine is to follow
a lifestyle which provides the conditions for the body to
maintain a healthy, stable condition.
By far the most important element and the
one over which we have most control is the daily diet
"We don't know
what causes the problem, we don't know how to cure it but
we can use drugs to relieve it until we really understand
how to deal properly with the problem."
(John Burns BVMS MRCVS, I972)
"Shortly after qualifying as a veterinary
surgeon I heard myself saying these words on numerous occasions
to owners of dogs with skin problems. I was beginning to realise
I was not as well prepared to deal with health problems as
I would have liked. While drugs are useful for treating acute
illnesses and relieving the signs and symptoms of chronic
disease there are few if any chronic diseases which can be
cured by drugs.
A few years later, having read some impressive
reports about acupuncture I decided to become an acupuncturist.
The two-year course on Traditional Oriental Medicine attempted
to unite ancient principles of health to our Western way of
life. During this time I came to realise that acupuncture
suffered from the same important shortcoming as modern medicine
- the illness itself was being treated but the management
did not address the cause of the problem.
At the same time I became a student of the
Macrobiotic movement which was in great vogue in Britain in
the seventies but which has now disappeared from view (in
the UK at least). Macrobiotics attempted to apply and adapt
ancient, traditional philosophy in a way which was practical
and appropriate to our modern lifestyle...........More