Being Well:

The Healing Journey


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Tina Steele, MA

Tina Steele is a Science and Medical correspondent who will help you to understand the roles of conventional and alternative, or complimentary, medicine in creating and maintaining health and wellness.
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In days of yore, the family doctor would be a man of the people. He would visit your home when you were too sick to get out of bed, he would deliver your babies, and attend to you on your deathbed. He, and the occasional she, would spend all the time necessary to not only take care of you and your whole family, but he would also make you feel better just by his 'bedside manner' - a lost art in this fast paced, technologically-driven age. Today, not even the well-heeled American can get unlimited access to their physician, and let us not forget the 45 million who have no healthcare whatsoever.

There is so much happening in our lives here in the 21st century that having too much is a never enough, and the drive to acquire becomes an unhealthy obsession, causing an enormous amount of stress. Conversely, the rapidly dwindling middle-class, the average working stiff, the working poor, and the just plain poor have even more stress; they are continually forced to try and stay ahead of their expenses, but see their incomes sliding, their jobs disappearing off the continent altogether, while the cost of living just keeps climbing. They see their healthcare eroded, or their benefits canceled. There are those for whom healthcare simply stays too far out of reach. Houses and much-needed vehicles are being repossessed; rents left unpaid, yet despite all this we are constantly bombarded with the need to spend. We all have to eat, but even that is becoming increasingly hard to do. Prices on the grocery store shelves continue their meteoric rise, and the poorer we get, the unhealthier we become. It's cheap to eat the bad stuff, sometimes it's all there is.

Ironically, the result is the same for both the 'haves' and the 'have nots' . . . rampant heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and a myriad of other behavior-related illnesses. More of our poor smoke, yet it is hideously expensive to do so - some would say that it is a way of coping. This said, it is never too late to make lifestyle changes, but the willingness has to be there for measurable improvement to occur. No matter the socioeconomic background, we have sadly evolved into a society of lazy, pill popping, quick fix, disinvolved, bystanders instead of being proactive in our health. For those lucky enough to have a doctor, instead of questioning everything that he or she says and prescribes, we prefer to blithely ignore the degradation of our bodies, the ever-increasing and debilitating side effects and drug-drug interactions, and just accept that this is the way it's supposed to be. It isn't!

Today's medicine has become elitist, and reached such dizzying heights of complexity that there is little wonder why so many people are confused by their diseases, others marginalized and excluded from even basic care, and all are being driven into the arms of holistic practitioners on an ever increasing basis in search of answers they don't always get. Unable to understand what is happening to them, or why, it is left to people such as Tina Steele, M.A., a Clinical Anthropologist, to demystify disease processes, and to act as a bridge over the growing abyss that exists between conventional (allopathic) and holistic medicine: She believes that healthcare should be approached from both perspectives, in what is known today as Integrative Medicine. Tina recommends using 'modern' medicine principally for screening purposes, as part of a comprehensive preventive healthcare regimen, and treating the mind, body and spirit holistically, to restore balance and to undo past lifestyle indiscretions, and by doing really change lives and improve outcomes. She says we look instead to our wellness, instead of just our health. Our future and not just our today.

Tina Steele, MA

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Editors note:

We are honored to have Tina Steele's participation and contributions to Pathfinders and look forward to learning of the ways our readers have benefited from her articles and guidance on healthcare.
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