Ipple-Pen Diary. Alternative Therapy

I have the greatest admiration for those who work in the National Health Service and respect and support the latest steps being taken to reduce the amount of prescription drugs being prescribed.

Having said that I should (not really) spare a thought for all of the job opportunities that come along whenever our over-worked General Practitioners don’t write out a prescription for tranquillisers or some form of anti-viral drug

The jobs I’m talkin of are those that come under the heading of ‘Alternative Medicines or Therapies’ of which I suspect there are many followers in the nearby hippie commune we call Totnes.

When told they will not be given ‘real’ medicine, by which I mean that which has been scientifically tested and proven to work I wonder how many people are seduced and succumb to the cries of “come and try our alternative medicine”

I’m not sure (and I know this may annoy some people but please don’t write to me because it won’t change my view so don’t waste your time after all it is limited in supply) exactly where on a continuum line between religious belief and scientific medicine alternative therapies lies.

At one end we have religions which all appear to be preaching the same things, faith, love, respect for your fellow man whilst stoking up as much contempt and disdain for and against the other religions as they possibly can on the basis that there is only one true way to be a believer and that it is “ours”.

I admit it’s a little more subtle these days compared with the much simpler times when the parson would stand in the pulpit and denounce anyone who even thought (yes they apparently could tell what you were thinking – if you don’t believe me read Dickens or Hardy) about – well just about anything really – as a blasphemer who should repent or forever be damned.

It was a time when the parson preached about the dangers of ignoring the truth and that Satan wasn’t confined to hell but actually walked amongst us all and who unlike Santa Claus wasn’t our dad dressed up.

Of course it was all about making people fearful of everlasting damnation, to make people feel full of guilt at even thinking of doing anything that would fall foul of the Ten Commandments.

Nowadays of course the Ten Commandments are not so much Commandments as a list against which your performance is to be measured.

In place of the fundamentalist blind prejudice of religion of the past we have people asking questions and looking for alternatives.

It is a move that has also been seen in dealing with those who have trained to be medical practitioners.

When I was a young lad (all those years ago) people had an absolute faith and total belief in anyone who was called Doctor, especially if they wore a white coat and had a stethoscope.

What the doctor said was the new gospel.

Now when a doctor hands out the unpalatable news no matter how true (I’m terribly sorry but drinking a bottle of gin for breakfast really isn’t good for you or your liver) there are hordes of people who will seek a second opinion from a smiling alternative therapist.

And unbelievably people will pay good money for it.

It would be wrong to accuse the alternative therapists of simply being cynical and only in it for the money because whatever else they are they really (just as the parsons) mean every word they say.

And if the treatment doesn’t work?

Well you can be sure that they will provide a comforting level of sympathy, empathy and understanding of your condition.

I do wonder though having listened to all of woes and troubles of people who do the alternative therapists go to or do they self-medicate?

There is another group of people however who aren’t wedded to a belief or reliance on religion, or medicine or alternative therapy and live their lives by the simple dictum that can be summed up by….

“Sod it who really gives a s*** anyway, lets go out and get on with living”,

I think…. I might be one… of the latter.