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Alternative Medicine:  A Comparison


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Alternative Medicine:
A Comparison

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Two systems of medicine are available in the USA: Conventional Western (Allopathic) Medicine and Alternative or Complementary Medicine. Conventional medicine is comprised of drugs that suppress the body's natural immune responses. It is the world of the American Medical Association (AMA) which is aligned with the multibillion dollar pharmaceutical industry. There is no better medicine when it comes to surgery, emergency and trauma.

But there is no question that Alternative Medicine, which is more cost effective over the long term, works better for just about everything else, especially for diseases like cancer, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, sinusitis, etc. Alternative methods work by assisting your body to heal itself instead of introducing strong drugs. They emphasize prevention and attack causes rather than symptoms. The Chinese have a saying about the wisdom of "walking on both feet," which means using the best of both Eastern and Western procedures. Many alternative doctors do just that.

Experience shows that you're likely to get the best results with a practitioner who has trained in a number of different modalities. There may be many underlying factors influencing your health -- poor digestion, nutritional deficiency, toxicity, emotional stress, etc. You want someone who is capable of determining exactly what must be done to help you regain your health. Many alternative practitioners use high-tech, scientific diagnostic tools to pinpoint imbalances or underlying problems in major organs. Those diagnostics, coupled with a thorough line of questioning, help to determine the probable cause so they can work with you toward a solution.

You also want someone who listens and is open-minded and who treats you as an individual. What's good for Dave is not necessarily good for Marie. You are biochemically unique and you deserve to be treated as such. Your health--your very life--depends on it.

For example, the conventional doctor who has 20 patients with asthma will often provide each of them with the same protocol, thus treating the condition and not the patients. An alternative practitioner realizes that asthma has many causes. Perhaps the cause is an allergic reaction or a viral infection or diminished nerve supply due to a misaligned spine. The practitioner will try to find the cause for each patient's condition and treat each differently. This difference between approaches is the cornerstone of alternative medicine.

The purpose of is to help you educate yourself about alternative health care. The success of a treatment or protocol depends on an informed patient as well as a knowledgeable practitioner. Learn to use health practitioners as educators in an ongoing process and be aware that your doctor may also learn something from you. Remember, almost everything is reversible. You only need to find the right therapies.

Why Don't More Doctors Use Alternative Medicine?

You may wonder why these methods are not being used by more doctors. Although they are being used by many, too many mainstream doctors today become so specialized that they treat the body parts and forget they are treating the whole body. This is fine for surgery, emergency or trauma but not for perpetuating good health.

1. One reason for this specialization is that medical schools are organized into organ-specific departments with no common link between them. Although disease usually appears as a local symptom, it is always related to the entire system. So you must treat the whole person to cure the disease, otherwise you are just treating the symptom. The medical school department heads ignore or deride this idea to defend their own orthodox concepts.

2. It takes time for new ideas to be accepted. In the 1800s, a Viennese doctor suggested that his colleagues wash their hands after they finish working on cadavers, instead of using their unwashed hands to deliver babies. After 30 years of ridicule and debate this idea finally caught on. How many babies died waiting for this idea to be accepted? How many cancer, heart and AIDS patients are dying today for the same reason?

Many doctors today are refusing to accept the common sense truths that have existed for centuries. The "cut, burn and poison" mentality of fighting the war on disease that exists today, completely ignores the importance of the immune system. In fact, it often weakens an immune system that is already under assault.

The important truth that is ignored is--it is not the doctors job to fight the war on disease. It is the patient's own immune system that must win that war. The doctor's job is to help the immune system and provide the tools with which it can fight. Since this is not being done in the U.S., American doctors are winning many battles but losing many wars. The majority of cancer patients who are given a "clean bill of health" die within five years. No attention is being paid to the immune system because this area is out of the realm of drugs and modern medicine.

3. Also one of the most powerful industries in America, the pharmaceutical industry, provides a huge amount of funding for the medical schools with the intent of marketing their medicines. There is a great deal of pressure from this industry to keep alternative methods from being taught. However, due to popular demand, some alternatives are now offered as electives. It's a small step--but it's a step in the right direction. Perhaps, 30 years from now, we may be living in a new era when we look back with great disgust at the many lives unnecessarily lost at the hands of conventional medicine.

4. Why don't we hear more about natural medicine from the news media? We are hearing more and more from the news media every day. But have you ever counted the pharmaceutical advertisements during a typical one hour program --especially if it's a movie where one of the characters has a specific health problem? How many drug ads do you think you would see during an expose of the drug industry or a show on the benefits of alternative medicine? The news media, like everyone else, is in the business of making money. Much of those revenues come in the form of advertising dollars. The pharmaceutical giants spend dearly on advertising.

5. Young doctors leaving medical school find themselves in a system that rewards "rescue medicine." That is what they are taught. There is no reward, and there may well be scorn from fellow doctors, for those who take the time to prevent illness or correct the deficiencies that may cause it. To do so would hurt the pocketbook of the medical establishment. Medical insurance supports this view. Financial rewards follow only from sticking to the model of ill-health and treatment. As educated consumers, we need to be keenly aware of the politics of conventional medical care.

6. Malpractice is another great fear for doctors. The definition of malpractice is not whether the treatment is good or bad for the patient, but rather if the practice in question is what other doctors in the given locality normally do or prescribe. Did you ever wonder why some therapies are only available in certain localities or why you may have to travel to a big city for a particular treatment?

7. We, the public, need to change our attitudes toward the "practice" of medicine. It's not about "medicine" or treating bad health. It's about producing good health. Drugs won't get you there and most of the time they will set you back by suppressing a symptom that is pointing to the real problem.  Instead of treating the symptom, treat the cause. The symptom will then disappear. Only then will you experience a true cure.


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