What can we learn when we look at when alternative remedies meet traditional medicine for treating certain ailments in a number of different ways?
In a previous post, entitled Running to Fitness, I ended up preferring the more leisurely pace of a walk to a frenetic and thoroughly uncomfortable rush of a run, I think it might be a good place to mention the important role traditional medicine plays in our lives as an adjunct to and not a replacement for alternative medicine and therapies.
It almost seems ludicrous to call modern medicine "traditional" as it is anything but.
The fact of the matter is that what we now call "alternative medicine" or "alternative cures" or "alternative therapy" are the real traditional medicines as they came long before modern medicine was born.
The ancient Chinese probably go back the farthest in mankind's history as practitioners of herbal remedies and mental therapies. These are probably just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to knowing for sure exactly what they used in order to "cure" the ailments afflicting the members of their villages.
The use of certain herbs to allay the symptoms of a variety of illnesses is well documented in English and European history. As for mental therapies such as meditation and the use of the will to power, these date back to biblical times.
The ancient Babylonians used more than military might to become one of the richest nations that probably ever existed.
But that is maybe the topic for another time or even another place, as it borders on the uses of mental abilities that are considered more in keeping with the revelations to be found in "The Secret" than in the realms of alternative therapy and alternative remedies.
So lets come back to the present and where alternative meets traditional medicine and cures.
Effectiveness of Treatments
We know full well that many alternative remedies are just as effective if not more so than their modern medical equivalents for certain ailments, although modern medicine should never be completely overlooked when seeking a cure for any illness or physical ailment. Often a life-threatening condition can be successfully dealt with via surgery where an alternative treatment may fail.
So what often tends to happen is that people will turn to alternative medicine when the established medical profession has no answers, or cannot cure a certain problem using drugs or surgery.
So now lets look at that statement in more depth. It seems clear that just about the entire established medical profession is based around the use of either of these two items.
Drugs or Surgery
You go to see your doctor about this or that complaint and he either writes you a prescription to take to your local pharmacy for this or that drug or drugs, or you are sent to a specialist who will investigate your problem more closely and either recommend more drugs (another trip to the pharmacy) or surgery.
When you think about it, from your local GP's (General Practitioner) perspective there isn't really much more to it apart from knowing which drugs to prescribe for what illness or condition or whether your problem should be escalated to a specialist. GPs of course will know when drugs are not necessary and a change in lifestyle may bring about a swifter relief from the problem, or perhaps a regime of exercise and diet.
There is of course pregnancy and childbirth to consider, but other than the things I've already mentioned, there is not much else you'd go to see your doctor about.
So what about natural therapy?
Well, the medical profession does include some forms of therapy, which broadly fall under the realms of psychiatry and psychology.
Let's discount psychiatry straight away as it is a form of therapy that includes the necessity of taking certain drugs to bring about change. Yes, another trip to the pharmacy!
Psychology is a very broad science and there are several branches that do go some way to bringing relief from certain ailments that the use of drugs and/or surgery cannot.
There are also problems with this in that despite what many eminent psychologists may tell you to the contrary, the workings of the mind are still a very long way from being understood fully by mankind.
In other words, when you go to see a psychologist (or a psychiatrist for that matter), the chances are they are going to use therapies on you that are still experimental because nobody has all the answers!
It doesn't help to know that of all the professions, the one with the highest incident rate of suicides is amongst psychiatrists!
Beware the Shrink
Just remember that next time you contemplate going to see a "shrink" to sort out a problem that would most likely be better remedied by having a "coffee morning" with your closest friends and just spilling your guts and getting it all off your chest to those who would be sympathetic to you.
Better that than to face a complete stranger who not only has the power to prescribe powerful drugs but can also get you sanctioned and carted of to the funny farm if he has a mind to.
Mmm... and they call it the caring profession.
OK, I'm being more than a little harsh on a profession that may not deserve it (entirely), but getting back to the point, the modern evolution of medicine and the medical profession is basically driven by the drugs industry where most of its cures are derived, or the surgeon's knife.
Alternatives to the Medical Profession
Alternative therapies, alternative cures and remedies are less involved with using external substances to provide the results and more oriented on the patient having a majority holding in their own healing.
It uses the person's power of thought and positive thinking to bring the body back into harmony with itself so that it can get on and do what it was designed to do. And that is to heal itself.
Certain herbs can assist in that healing as can a change in diet to include certain foods which are known to provide the right nutrients and antioxidants to help the body to fight off the infection, or cause of the illness, but the bottom line is in helping the body to use its own defences to heal itself.
To this effect, the acupuncturist uses the stimulus of tiny needles to redirect the body's own energy flow back to one of health. The reflexologist uses similar stimulus on points on the soles of the feet and hands to bring the body back into harmony with itself.
The many other similar alternative therapies use varying techniques to bring about what is in essence the same result, which is harmonising the body so that it can heal itself. Even hypnotherapy uses the subconscious part of the mind directly to bring about the necessary change in the body's own energy flow even though it is thought of in a different way, it is the same.
Some medications of course can directly attack the infection, such as antibiotics to bring about a cure.
Treating the Symptoms Only
But we can see that drugs generally only mask the problem by dealing with the symptoms of the disease and bringing about a temporary relief.
Surgery cuts out the offending or diseased tissue or resets the broken bones so they can heal.
By working with the body, alternative remedies and therapies have a more natural approach to healing.
But when modern medicine and alternative remedies are combined in the treatment of a disease or ailment, then the healing process gets a double dose of power and as long as one does not get in the way of the other, the healing can be much more effective and successful.