Doctoring Yourself on YouTube

My primary care physician supervises a class of medical students.  One of the 100 students intends to go into primary care (Family care, Internal medicine or General Practice.)    This will be the real health care crisis, as the current MDs age and students eschew an area of medicine that offers low compensation, longer hours and the stress of too many patients in too little time.

No one has addressed this problem in the health care debate. But people who are priced out of healthcare, who like independence and who just want to teach techniques have taken health care into their own hands.  Brett at Current.com has a funny video called Playing Doctor on You Tube. Of course you aren’t benefiting from the diagnosis, clinical experience or medical environment that you get with a real doctor.  And some of it is downright dangerous.  But I wondered what kinds of techniques you can find on YouTube.

Removing stitches for instance, taught by an actual doctor, although there are about a dozen others.  The video came complete with critiques of the stitching and what the result might be on insurance coverage. You can learn how to treat a sprained wrist, a broken toe, a dislocated finger, dislocated shoulder, or sciatica .   There are a number of videos on the Epley manouver for vertigo.

Do you want to treat fertility without a fertility pills (by a MD)?  You can use charting.   If it works, find how to deliver a baby in a taxi-cab ( by a midwife), in water (with assistance), turn a breech baby,  either with or without moxa.   You can learn how to do male or female pelvic floor exercises,  even kegels to polka music, taught by a doctor, midwife, erotic educator or a clown.  Special instructions for pelvic floor exercises for pregnant women are available.    There is even a virtual pelvic floor that lets you visualize what is going on or a vulva puppet to demonstrate the exercises.

You can find millions of videos on diet, on reducing inflammation, treating pinkeye,   Lower your fever with elder, echinacea,  other herbal remedies, spongebaths magnets or just by watchful waiting.  How to prevent the flu from allopathic or alternative methods.  How to treat diabetes by insulin receptor maximization, raw food, Atkins, a vegan diet, and the paleolithic diet.  Using beestings for MS.

Barefoot doctor

Chinese medicine is no less available on the web.  There are demonstrations of acupressurefire dragon treatments, cupping, fire cups, moxa, using a point locator, (and if there are links demonstrating needling yourself, I won’t post them although there are links for acupuncturists like this on how to stop snoring or this on the NADA drug treatment protocol.)

I find lots of useful information for self-treatment, but of course you need to know if the treatment is appropriate, safe and done properly.  I usually look at a variety of videos done by people who I respect.  And even if all those conditions are met,  it can be like the videos I watched on how to fold up a pop-up tent:  the five best videos demonstrate how to do it, but just at the critical point they fail to talk you through how to make the critical twist.  And so while there are things that you can do, if you take treatment into your own hands, you need to learn how to screen out dangerous conditions and to know your limits.

I am pretty much a libertarian on how much people should do for themselves, and in disasters or the back woods, it is good to be as trained as possible to help people.  I think everyone should get trained in first aid and CPR, like Seattle has promoted.  I got trained as an EMT, with backwoods techniques, as soon as I decided to go into herbal medicine.  I teach people natural first aid.  I like books like Ditch Medicine or Where There Is No Doctor which can help you through emergencies.  I like lots of the diagnostic tests and tools of western medicine, although I may interpret them through the eyes of Chinese medicine, but I want to reserve doctors for conditions I can’t treat myself.  But know there is a reason why they say that a doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.  Another perspective, by a trained professional who knows you well, is pretty much essential for serious or chronic conditions.

See Also:

My video on making plantain poultices that could save your life.

Simple Practices for Nearly Everyone

Strategies for Insulin Resistance

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