What do you do if you are feeling under par? Not ill exactly, just not quite right... Nothing too specific - aching joints, low energy, can’t sleep at night, libido out the window and that middle aged spread just will not shift.
You may feel your symptoms are not bad enough to book an appointment with your local GP. And the press is so full of tales of desperate people having to wait weeks to see a doctor to get their problems sorted that there’s even a slight feeling of guilt about ‘unnecessarily’ using up one of the golddust ‘slots’.
On top of that, there’s the new policy - a single ailment per appointment, and sometimes less than 10 minutes to discuss the issue. No wonder doctors listen briefly, write you a prescription quickly and rarely delve into your issues more deeply. They simply don’t have the time.
But dealing with symptoms is rarely a solution and not a long-term answer. Finding what went wrong in the first place is the only way. Identify the cause, take steps to sort it and your symptoms usually disappear. Sometimes in a matter of days.
You take your car to the garage to sort its aches and pains once a year. What about your own MOT? How often do you do a full body check? Year after year of no ‘repairs’ and no ‘refuelling’ and you are likely to be running on empty. And we all know what happens next.
Middle age is a dangerous time when longstanding neglect can trigger unpleasant and often life threatening problems - heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis or the dreaded cancer. Head them off before they get a hold and commit to a complete health check annually - now - rather than sometime in the distant future.
Get yourself back on track and take back responsibility for your own health.
Which brings me to my Reboot Hero this month: the multi-talented John Ogden. Dr John Ogden TCM dip.ac, DNM is a qualified Doctor of Acupuncture and a Doctor of Naturopathy.
So, first of all, what is a naturopathic doctor? And why are they different from the GP you are already signed up with?
In a nutshell, naturopathic doctors focus on holistic health, treating the whole person - body, mind and emotions - rather than just the part of you that might be hurting right now. They examine every aspect of your health - all your many body systems and how they work together - or perhaps don’t. They dig down to the roots of your problems, offering natural solutions wherever possible. Encouraging your body to heal itself and bringing whatever has been under par back to balance, boosting your overall health in the process.
I think the thing I like best about Dr Ogden, apart from the fact that he is kind and extremely knowledgeable, is that he is so vividly ‘alive’ and a walking advertisement for his own brand of vibrant health. At the age of 70 he has the energy of a 40 year old. I have found in life that many people talk persuasively, but relatively few actually walk their talk. He clearly does.
He works both in Yorkshire and from the First Floor Integrated Health Clinic at 44 Harley Street in London, and in a single hour can give you a complete picture of what’s going on in your body and tell you exactly what to do to put it back to rights and get you to a state of optimal health.
The particular reason I went to interview him was to check out his new digital scanner - the Ogden Health Screening System - which he has developed and built himself, and which can now scan 38 different tests in the space of half an hour.
Can you imagine? No more traipsing from hospital to clinic to specialist for an overview, costing a fortune in both time and money. Just a short scan and a precise print out of what’s going on with your heart, your lungs, your kidneys, liver, cholesterol, blood pressure. By the end of your session you will have a comprehensive printout of your weight, BMI, bone mass, visceral fat levels, urine and saliva ph. You will know your resistance to stress levels, how much oxygen there is in your blood and will have had an ECG to boot.
Dr Ogden also looks at your blood cells through a powerful microscope. Are the cells floating freely, or are they clogged and glued together in clumps? Any parasites or candida? It’s all there on the screen, a vast and complex new world under the lens, like watching your own personalised movie. It brings home how vital the health of your cells and the strength of your blood is for your wellbeing. I watched my white blood cells eating up something that shouldn’t have been there. I could see slight scatterings of candida. Clearly time to get back on the ‘no-sugar’ regime. The red blood cells are smooth and round and perfect (or should be!) but the white cells are bigger, fatter irregular blobs. They move around quite fast, cleaning and sorting. Like a very efficient housekeeper. Fascinating, and, unusually for being in a doctor’s surgery, fun.
Digital health is definitely the future for medicine. Could this screening system really be that simple and that accurate? I wanted to see for myself.
I am always looking at diagnostic machines, testing myself in the process of testing them. Once a year I have a full panel of bloods to keep an eye on what is going on, and catch anything that pops up early on, because at that stage it’s easy to rectify. Prevention is always better than retrospective action.
So I know, more or less, what my figures are, and what they should be, which is useful for analysing the many machines out there that claim to give you accurate readings. Generally they do, but sometimes they are way off and I wipe them off my list of recommendations.
Having been presented with a four-page print out of my results, and his suggestions of what to do about the various issues flagged, I went home to read through and compare them with my latest tests on file. And they matched pretty exactly. I have three areas of weakness that usually show up. Kidneys, thyroid and blood oxygenation. They were flagged in this test too. All of them are easy to sort but have been off my radar for some time. So, time to get back on track and focus.
A tick then, for John Ogden’s screening system. It’s a great baseline against which you can check your progress. Without it or something similar, how do you know if what you are doing is working? Are your numbers improving? If they are, keep on with your programme. If not, try a different approach until your readings shift in the right direction.
Watch the video below where he explains about it all in more detail - and tell me what you think.
Dr John Ogden practices at:
Bradford, Yorkshire Clinic – 07565 830168
Harley Street, London Clinic – 0207 580 1076