Feeling Fat, Fuzzy, or Frazzled

Invitation to Natural Health Practitioners

A Heartfelt Appeal to Natural Health Providers

As an medical doctor and registered nurse, we are delighted to see more and more alternative health practitioners contributing to this arena of subtle hormone balancing. Your involvement; support, focus, attention, and expertise are desperately needed. Not only does this problem represent an epidemic where millions of people are suffering, but worse, millions are suffering needlessly, which is unconscionable. Modern medicine, as presently structured, is simply not equipped to diagnose and treat these mild hormonal imbalances.

People need better options than their physicians generally provide. They need more support than physicians give. There needs to be greater freedom of choice among a wide variety of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Patients are hungry for this, and they are demanding it.

You have a special role in the evolving model. You can offer a variety of strategies to complement their more traditional medical care. This blending of alternative and traditional therapies has proved more powerful than either would be alone.

You are in the best possible position to work with patients' belief systems, to emphasize the importance of nutrition, emotions, exercise, and bodywork, of adding spiritual practices and finding balance in their lives. It is simply time for you to step forward and
claim your proper place in the evolving model, as an integral and essential part of the consumer's health team, as wise counselors and healers, providing thoughtful insight with compassionate care.

In addition to your work with patients, and perhaps more challenging, you may also need to reach out and create a bridge to the medical doctors. Many physicians have perhaps been too busy treating life- and limb-threatening diseases to give proper attention
to more subtle endocrine issues. Helpful in this endeavor is to bring up any research articles that you have had time to review, perhaps respectfully forwarding them to the more conventional practitioner who is also caring for your patient. Doctors often want to be providing evidence-based care, but don't have time to seek out the most recent evidence that you may be aware of.

In addition, your offer to help the medical doctor with an agitated patient, perhaps in need of nutritional counseling or stress reduction, may be more appreciated than you could have imagined, especially if you can find ways to comfortably collaborate. You will need to stand tall, conveying respect not only for the other practitioners, but also for the fine tradition you represent in your professional field. Ideally, we will all be considered as equal team members, including the consumer at the center of our care.

Rich, as a physician, really appreciates receiving messages that an alternative practitioner treating one of his patients has made certain suggestions, perhaps that the patient could benefit additionally from some lymphatic massage or Pilates training. In this way, we as professionals are able to coordinate and demonstrate our respect for each other, while better treating the patient and expanding knowledge.

We realize that this may feel like bowing to medical doctors, who tend to see themselves as the ultimate authority. However, this kind of bridging and diplomacy can bring rich rewards. We are hopeful there will come the time when it will become a situation of
mutuality, wherein all practitioners consult with each other for the best results for the shared consumer (whom we are encouraging to be less "patient"). We urge you to step up to the plate and to become more involved in the needed revolution in health care.

It appears that today we have an enormous environmental-endocrine problem that the medical doctors are mostly not interested in or prepared to deal with. Your role in stemming the tide of this epidemic is crucial.

Please read this material carefully, and know that while you may not agree with every single statement, it is a beginning in building bridges among your field and that of physicians and other caregivers. Chiropractors would use a more hands-on approach, alleviating musculoskeletal blockages impacting nerves and energy flow. Acupuncturists would place needles appropriately, perhaps using moxa to release blockages. Bodyworkers would each approach the same patient in a unique way, depending on his or her personal training. Osteopathic and naturopathic doctors and practitioners have made wonderful contributions to this field, and have been so helpful to us in our evolution. We truly enjoy this rich collaboration. Through a multidisciplinary approach, consumers can make better informed choices.

For those practitioners who are much further along than we are in this arena of subtle hormone balance, please realize that this book is a deliberate oversimplification. We are attempting to engage the lay public in the realization that their hormones-and not just
sex hormones--could be involved in many of the conditions for which they are now taking prescription symptom-relievers. Moreover, we are trying to get the point across that a major reason for so much hormonal imbalance may well be the increasing pollution of the air, food, and water, with synthetic chemicals that are surprisingly hormonally active. Once they're informed, we encourage consumers and providers to become politically active in behalf of our struggling planet.

We need your help, not simply as practitioners for suffering people, but also as voices of professional outrage. We intend, through this project and others, to command accountability on the part of our government and corporations, to reduce the number,
quantity, and toxicity of these industrial pollutants flooding over us all. The concern for the general welfare of our nation and world must outweigh concerns for industry and financial gain. Thank you for doing your part in this critical time.

Karilee and Richard Shames


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