Dr Anuska Viljoen

Dr Anuska Viljoen

BVSc(Hons) VetMFHom MRCVS

A Holistic and Functional Approach to Illness

As a Holistic Veterinarian I am not just interested in treating individual illness and diseases, but in overall prevention of disease and in creating optimum health. In other words, helping my patients express the healthiest organ systems and lifestyles they are capable of is my wish and mission.

When an animal gets older, heart disease and arthritis should not be par for the course. These are avoidable illnesses. Health and happiness is what it is all about, and with the right knowledge and approach, this is certainly possible. As you are what you eat, Nutrition is the cornerstone for any wellness program, and the place I would start in any situation.

LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE

Hippocrates

This is the very best you can do for yourself and your pets.

My approach would one of adopting the Functional Medicine model which accepts the following truths and follows the following principles:

  • Biochemical Individuality (every individual has a unique metabolism)
  • Dynamic balance of internal and external factors
  • Web-like interconnections of physiological factors
  • Health as a positive VITALITY (not merely the absence of illness)
  • Promotion of organ Reserve

These principles are influenced by:

  • Intra- and Intercellular communication (and the matrix between cells)
  • Biogenetics – transformation of food into energy
  • Replication and Maintenance of Structural Integrity (cell to whole)
  • Elimination of wastes and defense
  • Circulation and transport of nutrients in the body

The medical systems or MODALITIES that closely employ these truths and principles are the methods that I use to achieve illness modification, health creation and pursuit of optimum health. These modalities treat mainly on physiological level and not pharmacological level.

  • Clinical Nutrition
  • Homeopathy
  • Homotoxicology
  • Functional Medicine
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Medicine
  • Magnetic therapy
  • Healing

It is imperative to understand that core clinical imbalances occur LONG before frank disease is diagnosable.

Blood tests and other conventional diagnostics can be very ineffective at diagnosing functional problems, for e.g. over 75% of the Kidney nephrons have to stop functioning before one can BEGIN to detect abnormalities on blood tests. By this stage it is very hard to return to health and normal function, so why only start to treat then and not earlier.

Treating animals holistically, I aim to start supporting the body when subtle functional issues become evident, long before medical diagnostics confirm deep seated disease. Unlike trauma or acute illness, diseases generally develop slowly over long periods of time and are not noticed owing to the body’s great capacity to compensate. As soon as we notice lack of normal or if the patient becomes ill of ease (“dis-ease”) we should act in a preventative manner making individual optimal changes to benefit individual optimal health. This is not the same from one patient to the next, owing to biochemical and metabolic individuality. This is why the same treatment for the same disease may work for one patient but not another.

This is what makes holistic medicine massively challenging, and yet tremendously rewarding. I am talking about individual patient care and not the conventional model of patient care by the book.

It is for this reason that the mean (or average) or normal range in a population has less of a meaning than the normal range of an individual patient. If at all possible it is best to get a base line for any patient while they are still in a healthy state. When there are deviations from this it is important to take note and act timeously.

Rather pay for wellness now than illness later.

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