Nutritional and Environmental Medicine from a Holistic Psycho-Social perspective

By Gregory Goodluck


Why would a psychologist or social worker bother with nutritional and environmental medicine? Surely he should just mind his own business and focus on the area’s he is registered and qualified to practice in?


A few eyebrow’s get raised when I say that I use a bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual perspective, because it is still a struggle for some to even accept that I am fully qualified, competent and able to practice in both psychology and social work concurrently, let alone introduce the possibility of the reasonable consideration of all aspects of the human condition, including the orthomolecular when assisting people to overcome their life distresses.


However, despite the orthodoxies’ fear of anyone stepping outside the square leading to the demystification of disciplines, beyond the esoteric closed shops, I have managed to find my way into the wonderful world of the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) and it’s Primary Course in Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (NEM) at the suggestion of a senior psychologist mentor.


Now, in mid-life, my adolescent love of Biology and Chemistry (year 12) have been rekindled by the wonderfully appetising preliminary reading Good Health in the 21st Century by Carole Hungerford – the first 3 chapters of the book – and introductory lectures by Dr. Matthew Shelton MBChB, MRCGP, DRCOG, FCAnaes DA, FACNEM.


Having dropped out of Biological sciences back in the eighties disillusioned, it is awesome to be now participating in an intellectual community that is using hard science research for it’s best intended purpose – to discover the truth and make life better. It is fantastic to have a group of very sensible scientists stating the case for NEM and acknowledging the terrible ongoing Commercio-Politico struggle for life echoed in the work of Dr Igor Trabrizian – “Nutrition: The Good, The Bad and the Politics” (2006, NRS Publications) that I found in my local Chiropractor’s clinic.


It is slowly restoring my faith in the art and science of medicine to see that so many Medical Doctors are waking up to the fact that the discipline of Medicine, as it has been traditionally taught in universities, has been brain washing Doctors to not think for themselves, but to blindly follow authoritarian, unimodal treatments that have been strongly influenced by the vested interests of Pharmaceutical companies and other lucrative research program agendas.


The millions of dollars wasted on searching for pharmaceutical treatments for preventable diseases has long been of concern to myself and other like minded holistic folk who have watched good friends sicken and die while the cancer industry grows rich and the holistic nutritional medicine industry that could help takes continuous flak from the orthodoxy. The evidence for NEM exists but it continues to be ignored by Medical practitioners chanting the mantra of “vitamins are of no help if a good diet is in place”, but many of them seem to be getting sick of the hollow sound of such empty statements. Empty like the empty nutrition available on our supermarket shelves. The truth is, DOCTORS DON’T KNOW that vitamins help or why they are needed, BECAUSE NOBODY TOLD THEM! Well nobody that holds power over their careers anyway.


It is marvellous to have some really sound, hard science to back our obvious and intuitive understandings, with microscopic scientific insights into the macroscopic nutritional sciences such as Ayurveda, naturopathy and other holistic systems of nutritional health and healing. Mainstream medicine is failing in their duty of care to inform and protect by passing on vital knowledge to the public about mineral depleted soils and environmental toxins that can be addressed with sensible supplementation, thereby avoiding biological dysfunction and arising pathologies.


Any Counsellor, Psychotherapist, Psychologist, Social-worker or Life Coach worth his or her salt should have at least a sprinkling of NEM to supplement their approach to helping people overcome such ubiquitous contemporary issues as anxiety, depression, fatigue, stress, motivational problems, memory, confusion, anger and the gnawing angst that so often pervades people’s lives these days.


It is clear that at least some of these social ills can be improved by addressing the missing nutritional links and reducing environmental hazards. Simple solutions that reduce sugar and caffeine and increase vitamin B can make real strides in people’s recovery. The proof is in the pudding.


It is time for Holism to take hold of the Health field with hard sciences and intelligent understandings.


Nutritional medicine, while paradoxically having a very reductionistic focus, is an eminently sensible, rational, scientific and indispensable foundation to enhancing recovery and promoting and maintaining overall Wellbeing.


I think Mainstream Medicine would agree that there is at least a little truth in the old adage “Healthy body, Healthy mind.”


And by extension there is also a lot of truth in:


“A Healthy diet = A Healthy Body = A Healthy Mind = Healthy Relationships = Healthy Communities = Healthy Society.”