Sustainable Medicine: Whistle-Blowing on 21st-Century Medical Practice
By Dr. Sarah Myhill
Chelsea Green Publishing
A few times a year, I have to do something that I don’t look forward to—take one of our kids in for an annual checkup. We spend two hours in an infection-laced waiting room, listening to endless pharmaceutical commercials, followed by two minutes of interaction that are laced with a bunch of bad advice and outdated information. Sigh. I often wonder, “What if we had a different doctor?” A like-minded doctor. A doctor like the United Kingdom’s Sarah Myhill.
Her book is aimed primarily at people like me, who for whatever reason can’t find a good doctor to work with and want assistance in helping sort out their personal health issues. Myhill says, “Everyone’s an expert in their own bodies and minds and, given the right clues, can work out these mechanisms for themselves. This is the point of this book.” At the same time, Myhill would love for her book to find its way into the hands of other medical professionals.
The book lays out Myhill’s approach to helping her patients, which starts with attention to symptoms. Sadly, she points out, doctors use symptoms mostly to push pills and other costly and often ineffective interventions rather than actually using them to help patients. For those of us who want to restore our health, however, symptoms are the clues that allow us to figure out why we lost it and how to go about regaining it. Myhill provides insights into what we can learn from various symptoms. After that, she moves on to mechanisms and tests. Here is one place where modern medicine could really help people. The testing now available can give all sorts of additional information and insights into why we have the symptoms we do.
The section called “tools of the trade” covers Myhill’s seven-part “basic package” health program to maintain good health. Overall, this section offers excellent basic advice and is full of lots of good information. Although some was familiar, there were many new points that I had not considered or seen before. Components of the seven-part basic package include a “Stone Age diet,” appropriate supplementation, sleep and exercise, proper sunshine and light exposure and a reduced chemical burden (both through detoxification and other measures). Another element involves avoiding infections while learning how to treat the infections one is unable to avoid. The last of the seven—and one I was very happy to see—was love, care and community. Myhill understands that wellness is more than just minerals and movement; it is also found in meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships. True health cannot be achieved if we are nutritionally poor, but it also can’t be achieved if we are relationally poor.
Myhill’s discussion of treatments and case histories lays out specific protocols for dealing with a wide array of chronic degenerative diseases. The protocols cover additional supplementation, integration with very limited but sometimes useful modern medicines and more. The case histories help readers take the treatment protocols and see them painted onto a living person. Individuals looking for a guide to regaining health will find these sections useful, as will practitioners who want to compare their own approaches to those of another holistic and like-minded doctor.
Myhill peppers her entire work with WAPF-compatible views on a host of issues—fat, cholesterol, refined and high-carbohydrate diets, vaccines and so much else. She also mentions the work of Andrew Wakefield; given that Dr. Wakefield is generally treated with scorn in the U.S., it is somewhat refreshing to hear a professional in England talk about him in a positive light. She also discusses low-dose naltrexone (LDN), chelation, glutathione, far-infrared saunas and a host of other alternative therapies, supplements and support protocols as they apply to particular health conditions.
Myhill’s Stone Age diet appears to be similar to the GAPS diet on many levels. One difference is that the GAPS approach uses the GAPS diet as a stepping stone to transition to a traditional, properly prepared whole foods diet, whereas Myhill’s Stone Age diet remains the standard over time. Nonetheless, Myhill recommends fermented foods, fatty foods, lard, ghee and many other good things. Of the modern edible oil industry, she states: “As a nation we have been brainwashed into believing that fat is bad for you. This suits the food manufacturers well because fats are expensive and it is difficult to profit from them except cooking oil and margarine, which they have erroneously convinced us have health benefits.” She also warns about the dangers of vegetarian and vegan diets along with the dangers of factory-farmed meats and seafood. Another recommendation is to avoid “drugs and medications,” which often contain highly processed fillers that have a negative impact on our digestive systems. Finally, she does not neglect to tell her readers to obtain high quality food that is “free from toxins” (that is, grown organically), “fresh and unprocessed,” locally grown and seasonal—and grown in proper soil to produce nutrient-dense food. Overall, food and diet actually are only a small part of the book and not a major focus; it would be interesting to sit down and speak with Myhill more on these issues.
Myhill deserves credit for her willingness to stand up to the health-powers-that-be in the UK. A number of years ago, she was nearly barred from practicing medicine, perhaps because of her warning that “doctors are dangerous” and her website describing the dangers of contraceptive drugs and breast cancer screening—“nono’s” from the perspective of the pharmaceutical industry and big medicine.
How much heat has Myhill taken, trying to practice medicine in a way that seeks to shrug off the pharma/food sickness machine and actually find solutions that help her patients? “Dr. Myhill has been the subject of complaints to the [UK’s] General Medical Council [GMC]. A recent Freedom of Information Act request confirmed that Dr. Myhill is the most investigated doctor in the history of the GMC [emphasis added]. She has been subject to in excess of 30 investigations in the last 15 years. None of the complainants against Dr. Myhill were patients. All complaints against her have been dropped and she practices with a full unrestricted medical license.” Take note—it isn’t her patients (who constantly praise her all over the Internet) who find her approach problematic; it is the powerful vested interests who are seeking to silence her. Thankfully, she has withstood their onslaught and continues to share her unique clinical and medical wisdom for others’ benefit. Thumbs up!
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2018.