I qualified at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (a great place) and worked in general medicine for a few years. I loved it, apart from getting up at night which I hated with a vengeance. Then I moved into general practice. I soon discovered that many of the patient’s problems weren’t helped by conventional medicine. A few patients insisted that there must be an answer to their problems and I, as a doctor, should know these answers. They were very annoying, but I am now grudgingly grateful to them. They forced me to look for answers. These eventually came, slowly, unpredictably, and often too late for them. But others later benefitted.  I have now written a series of patient leaflets which are available on my website featuring what I have learned.

            Soon after entering general practice, I discovered BSEM. At the time, the main area of interest of the society was food intolerances. However, what struck me was these practitioners were always looking for answers (like my annoying patients) and many were achieving remarkable results. The atmosphere in these conferences was quite different from mainstream ones; they generated a sense of energy and excitement. I also explored other alternative approaches (homeopathy, hypnotherapy, NLP, EFT, Electro-crystal therapy) and like with BSEM these conferences had a buzz about them.

            All was well until I heard they were building an incinerator near to where I was living. I knew nothing about these but suspected these were a very bad idea. I found myself on a steep learning curve and eventually co-wrote a booklet on the topic. I soon realised that incinerators were just the tip of a large iceberg and toxicity was a massive global problem, contributing to so many of today’s diseases. Worryingly it goes almost completely unrecognised, and hence untreated, by conventional medicine.

            I have also been fascinated by people who get better against the odds, and this has been the topic of my book “Curing the Incurable”.

            Of course, I should have retired long ago, as most of my GP colleagues of a similar age have sensibly done. But I am still working, albeit part-time, and BSEM is surely to blame by keeping me interested and excited about medicine. And against my expectations I am still learning and enjoying medicine.

            So, what can I say about BSEM? It has grown from a fairly narrow field to one much broader and one with a message which has astonishingly wide-ranging implications for society.

 If all doctors understood the central importance of food (Hippocrates did give them a little hint) we would have a real chance of tackling the huge burden of chronic disease which is now becoming unaffordable by even the richest nations of the world.

And this is a message we desperately need to get out: intensive agriculture is taking us to the edge of the biggest precipice mankind has ever known; it is the single largest contribution to global warming and the UN warns that we may have only have sixty more years left before we have no topsoil left (oops ..that means no more food). I won’t even mention the more minor problems of today like the growing influence on medicine of the pharmaceutical industry and the global burden of toxicity (all these BSEM have highlighted long before they became more well-known).  However, on a more mundane level BSEM is about having more answers for patients and helping those that mainstream medicine has left behind.

I am extremely grateful to BSEM for helping me find more effective ways of treating patients, for all the brilliant conferences and for maintaining my enthusiasm for medicine. My hope is you find BSEM helps you as much as it has helped me.

Postal Address: C/O BSEM Secretary, Dr F Meuschel, British Society for Ecological Medicine, BSEM Administration, Redhill Chambers, 2d High Street, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 1RJ Tel: 07864 637723. Email: [email protected]. Registered Charity No. 326372.
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