Healthcare Perspectives - Enviromental Medicine
Environmental Medicine, also called clinical ecology, is a multidisciplinary field involving medicine, environmental science and chemistry in the study of the interrelationship between [the] environment and human health. With its primary objective as the prevention of disease and since environmental factors such as chemicals and pollutants have been demonstrated to influence health, Environmental Medicine seeks to reveal and prevent disease as caused by environmental factors. Factors including chemical, physical and biological agents which are sometimes found in places and products many people are not aware of.
Environmental Medicine maintains the view that illness is caused and/or exacerbated by external and internal stressors that are either found grossly or subtly within our environment (surrounding lands, air and water, home, workplace etc.). Stressors include airborne particulates, toxic chemicals in industrial and commercial cleaning products, food, infectious organisms, and physical environmental phenomena, such as radiation, temperature, humidity, vibrations and sound. Symptoms exhibited as a result of so-called ecologically instigated diseases are multiple; these include behavior disorders, depression, chronic fatigue, arthritis, hypertension, learning disabilities, schizophrenia, gastrointestinal symptoms, respiratory problems and urinary complaints. There is very little pathology that has not been considered to be related to environmental variables or causes.
Theron Randolph, a founder of the Clinical Ecology movement, asserts the view that each person exists in a dynamic relationship with their environment and that their relationship is ultimately adaptive in nature. When this adaptation becomes strained by unchecked environmental stressors, either acute or chronic illness results. He further claims that the primary aim in Environmental Medicine/Clinical Ecology is the demonstration of the cause-and-effect in relationships between given environmental exposures and specifically affected individuals.
Environmental Medicine, as a diagnostic and educational tool, administers medical care as a prevention-based, cause-oriented and patient-centered application of techniques and environmental changes designed to re-build and maintain an individualís optimum health. The goal of Environmental Medicine is to provide cost-effective treatment of which the result is both better health for the individual and pro-active and preventative education about our environment and its place in the spectrum of expanded health awareness. Modalities of treatment may include dietary planning, nutritional supplement prescription, immunotherapy, psychotherapy, exercise, detoxification, and when appropriate, creating environmental controls which eliminate altogether or limit exposure to identified or questionable stressors.
Environmental medicine is a broad field, but currently prominent issues include:
- The effects of ozone depletion and UV radiation on humans with regards to skin cancer.
- The effects of nuclear accidents, radioactive material and radiation on humans.
- The effects of chemicals on humans, such as dioxin, especially with regards to cancer.
- Radon gas exposure in private homes.
- Air and water pollution on the health of individuals.
- Mercury poisoning and exposure to humans from the diet of fish and sea life.
Healing Modalities within Enviromental Medicine
- Environmental Awareness
- Feng Shui
- Healthful Interior Design
No medical or professional license required.