Essence of Health

A life with little illness and pain, being well, without doctors or hospitals — it’s all possible. Wellness is the mantra for a healthier, happier and calmer life. Startlingly simple but deeply powerful, Dr Craig Hassed’s manual for a healthier, happier and calmer life shows that wellness, not illness, is the essence of managing health. By bringing together the best of evidence-based, holistic medicine in a program that we can put into practice in our daily lives, Dr Hassed shows that the face of new medicine is our own. The biggest challenge facing healthcare in this century isn’t in the discovery of new science or medical treatments, but found within ourselves. The seven crucial pillars of wellbeing —ESSENCE — are drawn from the best of research in traditional and complementary medicine. Hand in hand with motivation and strategies for change, Dr Hassed shows that we are capable of life-long good heath, happiness and calm. Education Stress management Spirituality Exercise Nutrition Connectedness Environment

Mindfulness for Life

Many of us in the modern world are unhappier than they need to be, and mindfulness offers a solution that works. Science and clinical practice have only recently ‘discovered’ the profound potential of mindfulness-based practices for increasing our wellbeing. However, mindfulness has been practised for thousands of years as an attention-training technique that can reduce physical and psychological suffering and enhance health and happiness. Derived from ancient contemplative practices in many cultures and wisdom traditions, mindfulness practice simply involves directing our attention to what is (reality), rather than to what isn’t (our ideas of reality).Mindfulness for Life is written by two experts on mindfulness with many years of personal and clinical experience. The authors have come together to provide both a medical and a psychological perspective on mindfulness and related conditions such as depression and substance abuse. The result is a book that translates the scientific principles underlying mindfulness into a simple, practical and accessible life manual.

Musculoskeletal medicine

Musculoskeletal Medicine — General Practice: The Integrative Approach Series. Musculoskeletal medicine (MSM) is that branch of medicine dealing with the conservative management of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, including the muscles, aponeuroses, joints and bones of the axial and appendicular skeletons, and those parts of the nervous system associated with them. These disorders represent the most common cause of disability in most countries across all age groups and are the third most common reason for presentation to general practice.

Joints and Connective Tissues

Joints and Connective Tissues — General Practice: The Integrative Approach Series. In order to diagnose and manage the patient presenting with musculoskeletal symptoms, it is important to distinguish whether the pathology is arising primarily in the so-called hard tissues (such as bone) or the soft tissues (such as cartilage, disc, synovium, capsule, muscle, tendon, tendon sheath). It is also important to distinguish between the two most common causes of musculoskeletal symptoms, namely inflammatory and degenerative.


Nails — General Practice: The Integrative Approach Series. Nails are important for adornment. Smooth, lustrous nails are considered a sign of health and beauty. The rapid growth of nail salons demonstrates the value that women in particular assign to their nails. Fingernails are also important for fine touch and manipulation. Toenails are protective, especially the large toenails, which bear the brunt of force from jogging, footballing and many other sports. The nail sits right on the bone of the terminal phalanx, and is closely associated with the distal interpha langeal joint. Toenails especially are prone to repeated microtrauma over the years from footwear, sporting injuries and changes due to arthritis. Fingernails suffer from whatever traumas we put our hands through-chemicals, soaps and detergents and, for some, the added insults of nail salons cutting and dissolving cuticles, using harsh chemicals to apply and remove polishes, false nails, acrylics and so on.


Spirituality — General Practice: The Integrative Approach Series. ‘Spirituality’ means different things to different individuals and there is no one way of exploring or expressing it. The search for meaning is ubiquitous to humankind, and being able to make meaning of life, and especially adversity, can have an enormously protective effect on people’s mental health when coping with major life events. Most commonly, people take spirituality and religion to be synonymous, but there are many other ways, aside from religious practice, of exploring and expressing spirituality-through philosophical enquiry, the pursuit of science, creativity, relationships, environmentalism, altruism and social justice, to name a few. Spirituality, in the broad sense described above, is relevant to healthcare because it has a direct impact on a range of health determinants, mental health, lifestyle choices, relationships and coping. This chapter explores the relationships between spirituality, meaning and health.

Adolescent Health & Development

Adolescent Health & Development — General Practice: The Integrative Approach Series. The essence of good adolescent healthcare consists of: understanding adolescent developmentrecognising the intimate relationship between development, health and behaviour at this time of lifeencouraging self-responsibility and self-care using a resiliency-based approachproviding a friendly and accessible service. Adolescent health falls outside biological paradigms, clinical medicine and its usual classifications, and outside the classic distinctions between physical and mental health, between medical and social aspects of health, and between curative and preventive care. Adolescent healthcare is a bio-psychosocial field, one which, by its very nature, requires an integrative approach.

Medical Ethics

Medical Ethics — General Practice: The Integrative Approach Series — ‘Ethics’ is a word derived from the Greek ethikos, which means ‘habit’ or ‘custom’. Put simply, in modern usage it is the study of how we ought to live or act in response to the situations confronting us in daily life. Medical ethics in particular is a branch of bioethics and is the study of how we ought to live or act as doctors. Ethics, being a branch of philosophy, relates to things such as ‘right’, ‘wrong’, ‘duty’ and ‘morality’. Making decisions of an ethical nature in medical practice is often difficult and demanding, and the clinician has to balance medical considerations with legal and moral ones. Taking the time to reflect upon ethical issues, and having a structured approach to doing this, can help clinicians to navigate through many potentially challenging situations. Not taking time for this can compound ethical and moral concerns. This has effects upon our wellbeing and can also have medico-legal implications. As with many medico-legal dilemmas, ethical problems are often compounded by poor communication. This chapter does not present a detailed analysis of particular and complex bioethical issues such as euthanasia, stem cell research or abortion. Nor does it make concrete pronouncements about the ‘correct’ view on given topics or course of action in given situations. It does, however, give an overview of generic ethical terms, concepts and methods that can be applied by the clinician to particular situations. We are interested here in ‘applied ethics’ and not simply ‘theoretical ethics’ or ‘meta-ethics’.

Practice Essentials

Practice Essentials — General Practice: The Integrative Approach Series this chapter provides a checklist of the important factors to consider in establishing and operating an integrative health clinic. It is not a definitive practice management manual. Most of the principles described here are the same as for other medical clinics, but there are some distinctive features. When considering establishing or changing your practice to an integrative model, you will have a range of options to consider.

Pregnancy & Antenatal Care

Pregnancy and antenatal care — General Practice: The Integrative Approach. General practitioners see patients throughout their life cycle, and integrative healthcare begins before conception and continues throughout pregnancy. Depending on your practice environment, you may be the sole practitioner responsible for the patient’s antenatal care as a GP/obstetrician, part of the antenatal shared care team including hospital-based midwives and an obstetrician, or see the patient for preconception advice, and then less frequently during the pregnancy if the patient is seeing an obstetrician for their antenatal care through personal preference or medical best practice. This chapter provides an introduction and overview of pregnancy and antenatal care as well as preconception counselling.