Welcome to Dr. Mike Clark's column
Dr. Mike Clark is a medical doctor and homeopath, has a practice based in Midrand, and is dad to Courtnee (16) and Glen (11). Dr. Clark has sent us articles which he has written for a print magazine in South Africa and has given permission for the articles to be re-printed on our website for the benefit of parents globally.
Please click on the article you are interested in:
Obesity in children
by Dr. Mike Clark
Recently there has been an increase of interest in natural or complimentary medicines when treating disease. The seeking of alternative ways of treatment and prevention can be ascribed to :
- Media exposure, e.g. access to the internet, radio talk shows and print media, which has widened the general publics’ knowledge and a worldwide tendency to a more holistic approach that is more gentle and curative than the allopathic model we traditionally use.
Homeopathy is a branch of complimenting medicine which uses the body’s own inherent defense mechanism, termed the “vital force”, to restore the symptoms ( dis-ease ) back to a healthy equilibrium. Our symptoms present on many levels :
- physical , e.g. rash, temperature, cough, headache
- intellectual , e.g. problems with logic, comprehension, memory, abstract thought, judgment
- emotional , e.g. anger, sadness, fear, anxiety, desires, guilt
- spiritual , e.g. striving for joy, selflessness, wisdom, detachment, tolerance, unconditional love
Traditional(allopathic) medicine, focuses on forming a diagnosis based on these collective symptoms and treatment consists of using powerful medicines which work by suppressing our immune system (vital force). To achieve the desired results these medicines usually suppress or inhibit in various forms, therefore overriding our natural ability to heal and cure ourselves.
These allopathic medicines are very much needed, and even life saving in many cases.
Homeopathy on the other hand is used in appropriate cases to “work” with the body’s symptoms, as these are already external indicators of how our defense system is working – the determining factor/clue to selecting the appropriate homeopathic remedy.
While conventional medicines are molecular based or Newtonian, the homeopathic medicines are explained with non-molecular-dynamic physics, namely Quantum Energy. This “invisible” form of energy, similar to the energy pattern in our own immune system has, more out of ignorance, been a stumbling block in the acceptance of homeopathic use – unfortunately ostracizing the prescribing of these natural healing remedies and has negatively impacted the acceptance of prescribing this form of therapy.
The art of homeopathy lies in accurately selecting the appropriate homeopathic remedy based on :
- the combination of symptoms with which the patients present, i.e. physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually and the clinical diagnosis, i.e. determining which of these patients will respond well to these remedies
I believe that the less reliant we become on external medicine to treat ourselves, the stronger our immunity will become.
We are seeing more chronic disease, e.g. allergies, depression, cancer, autoimmune disease, in society than ever before. Many of these conditions can be eased, using holistic principles, i.e. homeopathy, less of a “quick fix” lifestyle and more of a tuning into our bodies and minds. Fortunately we can recognize these imbalances, and proactively reverse these problems before disease sets in on a more permanent basis.
by Dr. Mike Clark
This article was prompted by a reader of "your child" magazine who asked doctor Mike if her 9 year old boy is too young for stress to manifest in the form of headaches, tummy aches and weakened immune system.
Dr. Mike's answer:
Stress as a cause of illness has been common since the 1960's and is estimated to form 60-70% of GP visits. Stress is multifunctional in nature and based on a condition of one's genes, imprinting, physical attributes (diets, housing, material needs) and environmental conditions (lifestyle, support system, etc.)
What are symptoms of stress in children?
In my own practice the disease pattern has changed in the last 15 years. Physically, the following conditions are now common:
- tension headaches, due to a tightening of the neck and shoulder muscles - mainly from pressure and poor posture, sitting in front of the computer and not enough exercise
- Migraines - a sudden onset of headaches, one-sided with a visual aura (sensory aura) followed by intense headaches and vomiting or nausea.
- Stomach pains from excessive acid production causing heartburn after lying down and eating refined foods and fizzy drinks (reflux disease).
- Shingles in children under 10
- Irritable bowl syndrome from stress and a refined diet which causes constipation, cramps, bloating and flatulence
- Mouth ulcers or apthos ulcers
- Childhood obesity and secondary diabetes.
More chronic illness is seen now more than ever before:
- Allergies to foods (gluten, dairy, and colorants) and to inhaled allergies (hay fever and asthma). Symptoms also present as eczema, post nasal drip and a chronic cough.
- Chronic, recurrent infections - with repeated antibiotic and suppressive medicine (cortisone and antihistamines).
- Pediatric cancers such as leukemia and melanomas
- Autoimmune disease including arthritis
The awareness and prevalence of ADHD has brought behavioral problems of children to the fore. Depression, anxiety and self mutilation are seen commonly in practice. Our bodies in their natural form tend towards a balanced state of equilibrium and are comprised of the physical, intellectual and emotional or spiritual:
Poor diet, lack of exercise and the use of suppressive medicines have weakened our children's immune systems. A recent medical journal referred to the "hygiene hypothesis" - a condition causing an oversanitisation of our societies and immune systems, and its resultant weakening due to improved public health, more vaccinations and early antibiotic use.
Having a son in primary school I know there are huge expectations on his performance and time. Work, homework and projects dominate the term time and leave little time to relax, switch off and play. This problem is made worse by the South African suburbia syndrome of electric fences and closed properties and the prevalence of TV, Play Station and computer games. We live in an instant gratification "yes" society - and our immune systems are saying"no".
Emotional or spiritual pressures:
A balance is required in life and certain needs should be addressed; the need for children to express themselves, to be heard and respected, to be creative in their games and sport, to be lovingly guided and mentored by their parents, to understand themselves and their world more easily. I believe that managing our time is one of the greatest skills we can teach our children and ourselves. Proc actively creating protected time several times a week will do so much to help our kids deal with these pressures in a healthy, balanced fashion.
Lifestyle changes and homeopathic treatments will address imbalances at all levels. Supporting your sensitive, perfectionist and anxious 9pyear-old in these ways should help him cope with the stresses of his daily routine more easily. Use of tissue salts like ferum phos, silica, nat phos twice daily will be good remedies to try. Good luck!
(Note by the editor, the latter does not only apply to the 9-year-old whose mom looked for an answer, but is a great schedule to treat your kids immune system for the entire autumn, spring and winter period. When my daughter was 3 years old, she constantly got flu's and so did her class mates. The minute one was over it, they got re infected by their class mates. Getting together regularly with the other moms of Chanel's class mates, more and more of us started to use Dr. Mike's tissue salts for our kids and mixed a spoon full of each of the three tissue salts into in their drinks. Within a month, those of us who used the tissue salts with their kids could see a remarkable improvement and the re-infections stopped. Now no remedy should be taken continuously without a break. I usually start the autumn months with a schedule of one spoon of each tissue salt mixed in her favorite thinned juice for 4 weeks. Then I give it a break for a week. And so on till spring. During the summer months I usually just give a good all around vitamin like biostrath or similar.)