This is a great article about alternative medicine and what it really is. Enjoy!
What is Alternative Medicine?
Alternative medicine offers a broad-based, proactive approach to promote wellness and healing. It’s a wide-lens view of overall health rather than the narrow, reactive approach that characterizes our current mainstream healthcare system.
To better understand the approach of alternative medicine, you must first understand conventional medical treatment. For most Americans, the system has been streamlined to maximize the number of patients a doctor can see in a day. According to one study, doctors spent on average of 17.5 minutes per patient.1 But other studies have shown the time to be more in the vicinity of 7 minutes.
Regardless of the exact number of minutes, the point is that the time you get with a doctor can be severely limited. You may find yourself leaving with prescriptions to be filled to manage your symptoms, but never getting rid of the problem. A lot of patients are taking prescriptions they don’t fully understand. And some of these drugs are so new to the market, their side effects and interactions with other drugs are still being learned. The conventional system has become a disease manager rather than a wellness promoter.
Where conventional medicine has come to rely on prescription pills and surgeries as solutions for many health concerns, alternative medicine looks first to non-aggressive, non-invasive forms of treatment. Natural medicine goes beyond the surface symptoms, working to mend what triggered those symptoms in the first place.
And that takes more than 7 minutes. Alternative methods focus on individualized treatments pulled from a range of disciplines. People don’t come in a one-size-fits-all box. We’re each subjected to different environmental influences, hereditary factors and lifestyle choices. A unique combination of these factors funnels down into common disease states, making the diagnosis a process of detective work to arrive at the right treatment and cure.
Alternative medicine draws on multiple sources to treat patients. Sometimes nutritional therapy will work to resolve an issue for a patient, along with some key supplements. Other patients may need to learn relaxation techniques. Still others will require a combination of treatments to reach a state of wellness.
With alternative medicine, no doors are slammed on particular treatments because they don’t fit within a narrow paradigm. The idea is to use what works for an individual, taking them beyond an on-going disease-state and back to a body in balance. Flexibility and attention are key when it comes to successful alternative treatments.
You can begin to see why conventional medicine struggles to duplicate this type of regimen. Modern healthcare is built on a “silver-bullet cure” that rarely brings about an actual cure. Many of our modern health concerns have intricate underlying causes. For example, poor nutrition can be a source for many of our complaints and disease states. Yet, medical schools devote only a smattering of hours to nutrition education. It’s no wonder that we have an obesity epidemic when you consider that doctors don’t know much about eating well unless they study on their own.
In fact, a textbook is just now being readied for release on the topic of food and nutrients in the management of diseases.2 It’s more than overdue, considering how crucial nutrients are as building blocks for health.
Alternative medicine can work in conjunction with conventional methods. The idea is to achieve true healing and wellness in the patient – not just treat symptoms.
Natural ways of boosting health aren’t big moneymakers, which is why many conventional doctors aren’t up to speed on the latest research that shows how effective these natural treatments can be. The drug companies aren’t underwriting large-scale studies for the simple reason that natural alternatives, such as plants, can’t be patented.
While alternative medicine doesn’t have the benefit of legions of pharmaceutical reps going around to promote its benefits, it does have one thing: it has withstood the test of time. Alternative methods have been used to successfully treat patients for centuries, and in some cases – millennia. Plants have properties that have developed naturally for eons, allowing them to adapt and survive their environments.
Alternative medicine is built on a solid foundation of natural options.To the many people who have become disillusioned with our modern health system, are tired of symptom-management and crave true healing and wellness, alternative medicine offers a wide range of treatments from which to choose a path to health.
The numbers speak for themselves. According to a National Health Statistics Report released by the National Institutes of Health, almost 4 out of 10 adults had used some form of alternative medicine within a 12-month period. They were even more statistically likely to seek this type of treatment when the cost of conventional medicine was a concern.3
Even conventional doctors are coming around. The Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study has found a growing number of doctors are taking supplements and recommending them to their patients.
The foundation of alternative medicine is built on the following solid practices that promote optimum health.
Nutritional therapy: What is considered the standard American diet is low on actual nutrients, but high in fats and sugars. It’s a unique state of malnourishment for people who live on these highly processed foods, and it can lead to a variety of health complaints and disease states. A whole food diet will nourish the body because the nutrients haven’t been stripped out or processed at excessive heat. Include organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and berries, healthy fats, and protein from grass-fed beef and toxin-free fish.
Supplements: Even when you eat a healthy, whole foods diet, it’s possible to miss key minerals. This is due to the exhaustion of the soil in which many of our foods are grown
– the soil has become depleted of vital nutrients.4 A good multivitamin is paramount to help round out your nutritional base.
Exercise: Study after study touts the benefits of physical activity. Short, intense bursts of exercise followed by periods of rest are very effective in promoting health.
Relaxation: Stress is debilitating, so learning how to relax, whether it’s through meditation or a form of exercise is important for optimum health.
Alternative medicine is not for a fringe group of radical thinkers any longer. In fact, at Total Health Breakthroughs, we believe that people can transform their health, maintain their ideal weight, reverse chronic disease and avoid the need for prescription drugs by consuming healthy, nourishing foods, supplementing their diet, drinking pure water, exposing their skin to sunlight and exercising properly and consistently.
This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise’s Total Health Breakthroughs which offers alternative health solutions for mind, body and soul.
If you have any questions, please feel free to Ask Dr. Tara.