Saturday, August 29, 2015

Alternative Medicine—the power of choice

Alternative medicine encompasses everything from homeopathy to herbal therapy, acupuncture to massage. To me, alternative or complementary medicine is anything that keeps my body well and on the road to balanced healing. Not to denigrate modern medicine, but many drugs that are commonplace today can actually cause imbalances and keep us from achieving our highest states of health. This, of course, is not always true (especially in cases where health is severely compromised), but on a day-to-day basis, I reach for the alternatives to the drugs and medicines you would find at the pharmacist or doctor’s office.

Alternative medicine, to me, would more accurately be termed original medicine. If you read back in the annals of medical history, herbs, essential oils, and medicines that were completely organic were the norm for centuries. Granted, there were diseases and epidemics that ran rampant and ended lives by the thousands. I certainly wouldn’t want to go to the dentist or have surgery without the benefit of modern medicine. But for many everyday maladies, alternative or complementary medicine can be a viable and healthy alternative to the common drug therapy of medicine today.

Alternative medicine has a preventative posture to it. In order to stay well, there are many things we need to avoid as well as take in. Anything in excess, as we know, can create a polluted environment inside our body. For simplicity, sometimes just avoiding excess can be a very powerful preventative measure for our long-term health.

One of the foremost leaders of the alternative medicine movement is Dr. Andrew Weil. (I wish he was a relative of mine so I could pick his brain at family gatherings.) He has written numerous books that contain vital information to help guide you to alternatives that provide health and well-being.

Weil is an allopathic (“traditional) doctor by training, but he, like many other AMA trained physicians, has gone into a more wholistic* practice, choosing to treat the body as a whole and complete entity vs. specific and individual parts.
*My preference for spelling something involving the whole body.

I’m glad I live in this era where I have a choice as to how I will achieve optimum health, whether it is from conventional treatments or (more likely) from alternative medicine. The alternative for me is prevention.

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