So who has been watching on BBC1 a two-part program called The Doctor Who Gave up Drugs?
For those of you who have not watched this program, it is a must watch (only a few days left for episode one!)
A two-part social experiment
Episode one is the first of a two-part social experiment in which Doctor Chris van Tulleken takes over part of a GP surgery and stops patients’ prescription pills. Here is a link to the program, which can be found on BBC iPlayer: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07w532p
Using exercise to overcome illnesses
In 1995, as part of my 3rd year Osteopathic dissertation, I was very fortunate to meet a charismatic GP by the name of Doctor Hanratty, who worked from East Hailsham in Surrey. Doctor Hanratty had set up an Exercise-on-Prescription program during the preceding years, having sought alternatives to medicating certain patients who suffered from conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and depression:
I approached Doctor Hanratty as I was interested in the possibility of using exercise to help patients overcome illnesses that I thought resulted from lifestyle factors. In particular, I wanted to see if patients suffering from depression can be helped with exercise and with Doctor Hanratty’s help I undertook my dissertation ‘The Effects of Exercise Training on Clinical Depression’, working alongside numerous Surrey GPs who referred patients for my ‘Exercise-on- Prescription’ project.
Weaning off medication
Twenty years later, Doctor Tulleken’s fascinating two-part program illustrates how people suffering with, what he would describe as lifestyle illnesses can gradually begin to be weaned off their medication (with their GPs guidance); these patients suffer from a variety of different conditions including long-term chronic lower back pain, depression and hypertension, to name a few.
Whilst Doctor Tulleken is not against medication, a view shared by myself, he does illustrate how patients can be encouraged over weeks and months to make changes in their lifestyles, enabling them to slowly reduce unnecessary medication and regain control of their lives.
As I mentioned previously, a MUST WATCH program!
Links to both episodes on the BBC iPlayer can be found here: