Pathways of Health
I have just been to an excellent presentation looking at Cat Cardiology. Very much dealing with the Red Level aspects of all that can happen when the poor cat may develop something wrong with its heart. If any of you have been unlucky enough to had a cat that has developed heart problems, you will know when it gets to that stage then things really do get very serious. The good news is that even though things are serious, there are things that can be done. The bad news is, for many cats it only buys a little time. While for others, they may not make it at all. It really does get tough at the far end of the Red Level.
There is still plenty that we don't know. One of the inspiring things about listening to somebody who is very knowledgable in their field, is to hear how the cutting edge of understanding is developing around what we know about treating disease. It was very clear that we have a picture of how disease can progress, once pathology has set in. Time scales very, but there are some fairly well understood pathways of disease for the poor old cat.
While we know quite a lot about this Red Level territory, we know far less about the pathways that lead there in the first place. Genetics is thought to play a part in some way. Similarly it is known that getting the diet wrong can lead to problems. Other factors are far less clear.
This is the essence of the problem that we so often face in the veterinary or medical world. We know that we would prefer for the individual to be safely in the Green, having a life full of optimum health and vitality. Equally we know that sometimes things go wrong and we can end up in the Red Level with all sorts of problems to try and deal with. The bit that is less well understood is the journey away from the Green, into the Amber and on to the Red. And similarly after the Red has been dealt with, how to support back through the Amber and on to the Red.
What to do?
Conventionally, the view is always from the Red Level, from a Disease Downwards perspective. Which is good as far as it goes. When there is the potential to discover a clear cause and effect process, then do something about it, this approach can work very well. Unfortunately much of the journey away from the Green is not so simple. For so many disease processes, there are many things involved. It is Multifactorial.
There is another way.
Rather than continually looking for all the things that might go wrong, then why not start looking at all the things that can go right? Rather than looking form a Disease Downwards perspective, how about looking from a Health Upwards perspective?
The beauty of the Health Upwards perspective, is that we can work at improving the Green Level management, widening the Corridor of Health, irrespective of what disease problem could happen in the future. So for cats, it might be future heart disease, kidney failure, pancreatic problems, overactive thyroid or some other diagnosis that we are worried about. Looking form a Disease Downwards perspective can be really hard to try and get everything right to avoid a particular issue.
Looking form a Health Upwards perspective, at the foundation level we do not need to worry about targeting a specific problem yet. What we need to focus on is is having a clear framework for health, where all the needs are met for optimum health and vitality. It might be at some point in the future we can fine tune for a specific problem. But to start of with there is plenty that can be done at the base level.
The healthier the animal, the less disease there is going to be.
You may have cats, dogs or other pets. You may have horses. You may be a farmer looking after livestock. The principles of creating a Holistic Lifepath are the same. The better you understand and know how to apply these principles, the healthier you will be able to keep the animals in your care. And the healthier you can keep them, the less disease they will have, which has to be good.
To find out more go to the courses page for details of the next Holistic Lifepath workshop.