The Functional Doctor

Dr Georges Mouton, internationally renowned pioneer of functional medicine

Imagine going to see your GP because you’re feeling tired and they give you not only a blood test, but test your urine, saliva, stool and hair as well. This is standard practice for Dr Georges Mouton, the Belgian functional doctor, who practises at the Hale Clinic in London.

‘If you hear a noise in your car you take it to the mechanic to see what is wrong with it. You don’t wait until you are stuck in the middle of nowhere and it breaks down,’ says Dr Mouton.

‘For some reason many people do not do the same with their bodies. It is at the point where they get little complaints that they need to get some medical attention. Otherwise they wait until illness becomes chronic and they need drugs. If they went down the preventative route they would be able to prevent degenerative disease like cancer, heart disease, strokes and auto-immune diseases.’

Dr Georges Mouton is an internationally renowned functional doctor, who practises in London, Madrid and Brussels. His clients include elite athletes to whom good health is absolutely crucial to success. He aims to correct abnormalities in metabolism which could be behind a range of symptoms including feeling tired and lethargic. He looks at lifestyle, diet and supplements to help his patients get back to optimum health.

The efficacy of probiotics

He is a great believer in different strains of probiotics to deal with specific health problems, ‘Intestinal health is fundamental to immunity because the majority of the immune cells are in the gut. Not only do probiotics improve digestive health but they also maintain healthy skin, liver and immune system. They fight infection, candida, helicobacter pylori, and even C. difficile (the hospital acquired infection) and AIDs.

Mouton claims that C. diff could be wiped out of UK hospitals if probiotics were issued to all patients who weren’t in intensive care, in addition to an excellent cleaning protocol. ‘Hospitals in the Netherlands do not have these problems because they are spotless. Their white coats are washed every day and patients’ bags regularly cleaned out.’

He also believes in prescribing probiotics at the same time as prescribing antibiotics, which is common practice in Australia. However, he doesn’t favour yoghurt or sweet drinks as a source of probiotics as so many of the patients he sees are allergic to dairy products. Sweeteners such as Aspartame have their own health issues and not a good substitute for sugar.

‘While technology moves all around us at an incredibly fast pace – just look at your PC, your mobile phone – general practice has stood still. If you go to your doctor with a problem the chances are you will not only receive the same treatment that your parent was given, but also the same as your grandfather was given.’

Mouton lectures regularly about intestinal health, fatty acids, liver detoxification, endocrine imbalances and other “functional” topics throughout Europe, America and Asia. He recently spoke at the Anti-Ageing Medicine World Congress (AAMWC) in Paris.

He also trains nutritional therapists in functional medicine, and his approach includes diet and nutritional counselling, combined with supplementation of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, probiotics, trace elements, fatty acids, antioxidants and natural hormones. The treatment is mainly drug-free, although orthodox medicine is used when necessary.

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New approach to dyslexia and ADHD

An interview with Mark Mathews of the Sunflower Trust

‘It’s too easy to label children with dyslexia and ADHD. People are like computers – if something is wired up incorrectly we don’t function. These children have plenty of other problems.’ Mark Mathews, Sunflower Trust

Mark Mathews set up the Sunflower Trust to help children with dyslexia, ADHD and other similar learning difficulties. He is dyslexic himself and takes an alternative approach to their problems which he believes are several. Mark is a trained osteopath and a human ecologist – he believes in creating the right environment physically, emotionally and mentally to allow children to make the most of themselves.

‘At Sunflower Trust we use applied kinesiology to find out exactly what the problems are – this involves testing muscles in reaction to various stimulus (see Therapies, Kinesiology).

‘For example, when a dyslexic child holds a pen their whole body might go weak. This is usually because they associate picking up the pen with past failures and so we have to reverse this response.

Looking at vulnerabilities

‘There are so many things they have to do which can prove difficult:

• Holding pen and paper
• Writing name
• Writing out alphabet
• Spelling
• Listening
• Reading
• Concentrating

‘If any of these are major issues there will be a related blocked meridian (the energy channel that runs through the body). Meridians mediate the mind, body and biochemistry, and different negative emotions block different organs and related muscles that don’t work well.

‘Young people need to be strong to deal with all of these things and we need to clear out their patterns of behaviour and connect with vulnerabilities. Of course all of these children have other emotional and social issues such as dealing with their brothers and sisters, so we organise homework with parents to help the family to handle challenges and to change their thinking.

Balancing the whole body

‘If the body’s ‘software’ has a bug in it – it won’t work properly. When anyone is stressed they use up their resources and there aren’t enough to go round.
‘Once we’ve established how the body is functioning we can start to correct imbalances. Initially we work on straightening up the skeleton and freeing up muscles and joints using cranial osteopathy and osteopathy.

‘When we have corrected imbalances in the body structure we look at all the body’s system – the glands, hormones, auto-immune, digestive, chemical and respiratory to ensure that they are being supported well enough to work well. When we have established what allergies and sensitivities they have we can introduce a programme of detoxing.

Changing to positive thinking

‘Then using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (see Therapies, NLP) we work to remove negative associations – such as when holding a pen – and replace them with positive ones. The aim is to auto-connect with their strength rather than their vulnerabilities.

The body’s atoms heal in a year

‘We may prescribe essential fatty acids, vitamins or minerals but all treatments are safe and natural and integrate well with each other. The key thing is that within a year 98 per cent of the atoms the body is made up have healed and grown so that the issues are no longer stored in there.’

The Sunflower Trust needs to raise funds to educate more doctors, chiropractors, and osteopaths so that they can carry out this work.

Mark Mathews, 01483 531498

Check out the Sunflower Trust: 0845 054 7509 http://www.sunflowertrust.com

Interview: Janey Lee Grace

Known for her regular appearances on Radio 2’s Steve Wright Show and Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff, Janey Lee Grace has become renowned for her ‘green’ credentials. She reveals how it all started to Healthy Soul.
Janey Lee Grace appears regularly on TV on Channel 5’s The Wright Stuff and also on the Steve Wright Show on BBC Radio 2. Her career has been illustrious and varied as a backing singer with such stars as George Michael, Boy George and Kim Wilde, but increasingly she is becoming known for championing a green lifestyle.

Her book Imperfectly Natural Woman is a great ‘bible’ for anyone interested in living a more natural lifestyle. Janey also keeps people informed about natural lifestyle tips through her website.

Has she always been like this?

‘I was prompted to become a vegetarian in the late 1980s after the Tory Health Minister at the time, Edwina Curry, claimed that most of the country’s eggs were infected by salmonella,’ she says.

‘Being in the pop business I didn’t eat well at all. But in the six months after giving up meat I noticed that I got rid of my irritable bowel syndrome and bloated stomach. I had loads of energy and my skin was clear so I thought if what I put into my body is having that much effect there must be much more I could be doing.

‘I became interested in a holistic approach to life, and started looking seriously into nutrition and had tests to see what mineral and vitamin deficiencies I was lacking and any allergies I might have.

‘For the first time in my life I started considering how the mind affects wellness and at this stage I had some counselling. I gradually took more interest in alternative health and read a book on naturopathy which made a lot of sense.’

Switching on to therapies

Janey didn’t try alternative therapies at the time and it wasn’t for another ten years until she had an aromatherapy massage. ‘That was a real eye opener – I thought that aromatherapy was just pampering more aimed at ladies who lunch! I hadn’t realised that it not so much pampering but more to do with health.

‘Now I just love it and during each of my four pregnancies I’ve had aromatherapy and cranial osteopathy. I had reflexology and cranio-sacral therapy during the two most recent births and they wouldn’t have been natural if it weren’t for reflexology. And when the children were born they each had cranio-sacral.’

Janey’s children are carnivores

Janey is fortunate that her husband is on the same holistic wavelength as she is, and her four children are all under seven and young enough to accept her way of life in most things, but they have their own tastes.

‘They’re all carnivores. My husband and I are both vegetarian and we just assumed that they’d be the same. The first time my son saw a ham sandwich he zoomed over and devoured it!

‘As you can tell from my book title I am imperfect but I am precious about meat. Not all organic food is pure but what is important is where food is sourced from and if meat isn’t organic at least I need to know where it comes from.

‘Every week I get an organic box (from Riverside Organic Farm www.riverford.co.uk) for about £15 with organic eggs and yoghourt. I can then add rice or pasta and make loads of meals from it. Convenience and junk foods are more expensive and if you take into account the ‘expense’ of illness you cannot even equate the cost.’

As Janey’s kids haven’t reached the terrible teens stage where they suit themselves she has an element of control over what they eat. ‘They don’t have fizzy drinks at home but there are alternatives to Coke, such as the drinks made by Whole Earth. Instead of normal ice lollies they have corn syrup lollies. I just try to ensure that they have chemical free alternatives, but obviously if they go to a party they have what’s on offer.’

Favourite natural remedies

Does she have any particular must have remedies that she carries around with her? ‘I always take Arnica whenever I am travelling and Rescue Remedy. On a flight I like to have lavender or ginger or lemon oil to sniff in case I feel faint.

‘I swear by essential fatty acids (Omega 3s and 6s) and take hempseed oil and lots of nuts and seeds. I give the kids children’s fish oils (MORepa mini capsules) and Viridian Viridikid Omega 3 oil.’

Janey’s book Imperfectly Natural Woman is an excellent guide to going green around the house and garden and avoiding chemicals in cleansers, make up, cosmetics and toiletries. ‘I now have a completely chemical free make-up bag with natural nail polish, hair spray, and so on.’

Cutting out chemicals

‘I believe that if we reduce the levels of chemicals in our lives and we become seriously ill our immune system is more able to cope because it hasn’t been so depleted with chemicals. It’s important to think preventatively – if the medical profession spent more time on preventing serious illness there would be far less of it.

‘There’s definitely a case for allopathic (conventional) medicine – anyone might need surgery. And antibiotics are a wonderful invention but you don’t need them for an outbreak of acne which is what I was given as a teenager. It’s more likely to go away if you reduce the chemicals in your life and cut out the Coke!’

Janey still thinks she’s ‘imperfect’ because it’s hard to get it all right. ‘You can’t be an ecowarrior so the best thing for people to do is small bits at a time. Do one thing to start off and realise that it makes you feel better and move on to the next thing.

‘Sometimes I have to do a bit of scaremongering to make people aware of what they are doing. But my book is for people to dip into and read the bits that appeal, not to feel guilty because they haven’t done everything. We aren’t all ready for everything. Some people are into the environment but don’t yet look at what they are putting on to their skin.

And her friends?

‘Of course some of them think I’m barking mad and couldn’t be more opposite to me. But the nice thing is that even though they take the mickey they ask me when they have a problem. Particularly if it’s to do with their children because most people don’t want to give kids loads of antibiotics and chemicals.

A positive future

‘I think the outlook is incredibly positive. There is so much change and so many companies making fantastic natural products. More and more people are aware of the holistic picture and all of these ripples add up to a sea of health.’

See the Healthy Soul Bookstore to order Imperfectly Natural Woman, £12.99, or read more about it in Book Reviews. Janey’s website: http://www.imperfectlynaturalwoman.co.uk