Blog#49: Contrasting Standard and Holistic Medicine
Standard medicine, also called Allopathic medicine, is practiced in this country and in much of the Western world. In this type of medicine, antibiotics or antiviral medications are often used to fight infection, surgery is often used to remove cysts and tumors, radiation and chemotherapeutic drugs are used to destroy cancers, and anti-inflammatory medications are used to help reduce symptoms of allergic and auto-immune problems. While these approaches can sometimes be helpful and even life-saving, they also deplete the body’s natural healing powers and can result in other health problems down the line.
Holistic medicine includes TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), Ayurvedic Medicine, Chiropractic, some nutritional therapies, Homeopathy, Flower Essences, Hypnosis, and more. These therapies treat the entire body, the mind, and the emotions as a unit. When injury or disease affects one body part or organ system, administration of these therapies takes into consideration all parts of a living organism and therefore frequently can minimize the occurrence of subsequent illness. Because these therapies take into consideration the entire person, results tend to take longer and can be accompanied by “healing crises” which eventually resolve, leaving the person stronger than before.
Instead of using an antibiotic to wipe out both the offending organism and healthy flora of the body, thus destroying the healthy biome and leaving the individual’s health vulnerable, Holistic medicine builds up the body’s strength and reserves with supportive Nutrition and Herbs, and with therapies such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Massage and Homeopathy until the individual can re-establish homeostasis, thus preventing infectious agents from causing further harm.
Sometimes, both Allopathic and Holistic medicine can be used together effectively. An example would be in the treatment of Lyme disease. Antibiotics can be helpful as a start to treatment, since they kill off much of the infectious agent. More important are therapies that build up a person’s overall strength to overcome the Lyme microorganism, since this strengthening allows the body to develop resistance to future infections. Many people test positive for the presence of Lyme, yet they don’t have the disease. That is because infections are opportunistic – they are present and wait for an opening, that is, a deficiency in the body’s defenses. People who test positive for Lyme or other infections yet appear healthy might begin to show symptoms later on in life, after a stressful event, such as a serious car accident or a divorce. At this time, the best approach to treatment will usually be to build up the strength and resilience of the body, as well as to help the mind and emotions heal. In this way, the person can overcome these microorganisms by either killing off most of the invaders and putting any remaining infectious organisms back into a state of latency (waiting).
Lyme disease is a spirochete infection, which is similar to a fungal infection. Both are systemic in nature, preventing the absorption of nutrients, wreaking havoc with the immune and nervous systems, and doing much more damage besides. Sometimes, heavy use of antibiotics in the past is what sets a person up for developing Lyme disease after initial exposure, since the person’s immune system has already been compromised through the destruction of a healthy biome.
Holistic medicine can be used not only to allow us to overcome health problems, but also can help prevent us from developing an illness. This was how health care worked in China centuries ago, and how many Holistic practitioners work today.
This month’s offer: feel free to schedule a complimentary consultation to explore the possible use of Holistic medicine to maintain and even improve your health.