Dr Downing practices Ecological Medicine (sometimes called Functional Medicine). It is best described as a systems approach to health. Systems thinking is “the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole”, according to Wikipedia. Ecological medicine considers the interactions between individuals and the environment, and their health consequences:
- Inputs; the impact of nutritional, environmental and lifestyle factors on the individual
- Processing; the way we handle inputs and how that determines our health
- Outputs; the impact of each individual’s actions on the environment and planet.
Dr Downing is the current president of the British Society for Ecological Medicine.
When you are unwell, it is easy to hope that there is one thing that will heal you. But if your problem were that simple someone or something would probably have fixed it before. It’s not (or rarely is) about a magic bullet, it’s more about identifying all the factors that are making you unwell and addressing them together. Ecological medicine seeks to understand the “whole” system. It is a form of integrative medicine in that it uses both mainstream and innovative treatment modalities.
Please don’t be disappointed therefore when we cannot guarantee that you will receive a particular treatment, and you will always need a proper medical assessment before we prescribe. This is also what the law says; I cannot prescribe you a medication without examining and assessing you – except in an emergency. Things have changed now due to Covid-19, and we can certainly consider a Zoom/FaceTime/Skype consultation first, if appropriate.
20 years ago we would have been happy to identify an allergy or a deficiency and simply treat it, but patients have taught me to always think integratively. Now we acknowledge the complexity, and we might say to you;
“You have these toxins in your system and these unresolved chronic infections, and they have triggered this allergic and this autoimmune reaction. All of these are driving chronic inflammation; we need to bring them all under control. Also you are deficient in these nutrients, which we need to replace, and you have a metabolic weakness here that we must either repair or bypass. Meanwhile the antibiotics/painkillers are becoming part of the problem, not the solution, and will also need dealing with. All of this is causing you considerable stress, which makes it harder to handle.”
Here are some of the ways we approach this complex system. Please remember that achieving good health likely involves most or all of the headings here.
There is more information in my books The Vitamin Cure for Allergies and The Vitamin Cure for Digestive Disease, both of which we have in stock here.