10 Advantages of Alternative Medicine & Natural Healing
Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea,
never [returns to] its original dimensions.
—Oliver Wendell Holmes
About the article below: This article was published on ezinearticles.com a few years ago for which I (Alan) earned the title of "Expert Author." It was also published on other online article directories. The version below has some additions and modifications from the original. Some of its concepts & content are on our website because the article was originally intended to be stand alone (that is, independent from our website).
One forward-thinking medical doctor (MD) posted this article on his blog. This is a good indication that more MDs are embracing alternative medicine & natural healing principles outside the box of their orthodox medical training. For an MD to post such an article on his blog not only substantiates the validity of the content—it also indicates that increasingly more MDs truly care about their patients in a holistic manner, that they want better for their patients than mere symptom treating and dependency upon drugs, that they are frustrated with the limitations, and frequent ineffectiveness and dangers of mainstream medicine.
It requires wisdom, courage and commitment for such MDs to "go against the grain" of their profession. It takes wisdom to see truth outside their (expensive) education & training. It takes courage and commitment to stand against opposition from their colleagues and mainstream medical influences. All such MDs are highly regarded and appreciated (of which, there are many).
10 Advantages of Alternative Medicine & Natural Healing
Fact: Emphysema, COPD and other conditions/diseases have been beaten by thousands of people using safe and relatively inexpensive alternative and natural methods, treatments and remedies. Generally speaking, these are simply methods that assist the body and innate healing power and processes with minimizing or eliminating causes (as opposed to symptom treating only). These are not to be construed as "cures" by mainstream medical terminology*. "Curing" this or that is not the general aim of alternative medicine and natural healing. The aim is to get health and healing results.
*When mainstream medicine says there is no "cure" for this or that, it is generally true—by mainstream medicine's definition and direction. It is common sense (or UNcommon sense) that problems will generally not be eliminated by solely treating symptoms, or by using methods that often escalate the cause.
PREFACE to the 10 Advantages
"Alternative Medicine" is kind of an umbrella title for a number of different health or healing philosophies and approaches to medicine, health and healing. Included in alternative medicine are homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic care, acupuncture and natural remedies.
Many diseases and health conditions (i.e., emphysema, COPD, arthritis, cancer) have actually been beaten by alternative medicine and natural methods and remedies. However, mainstream medicine has for years tended to not acknowledge these countless successes, apparently, as many qualified sources say, because they go against its established philosophies, methodologies, and are generally far less profitable than their mainstream treatments.
From our research and that of many highly qualified sources, many safe and effective alternative treatments and remedies have been ignored or even scoffed at for years by mainstream medical authorities and professionals. Mainstream medicine has called some alternative treatments as "unsafe," "unproven", etc. However, consider how many once "approved" mainstream pharmaceutical drugs, prescribed to millions of patients, have been recalled due to harm or death to patients. Consider the numerous potential side effects they list in their ads for their drugs still on the market. (See our "Medicine" page.) (Talk about "unsafe"! Yet, they all-too-often label alternative medicine treatments and natural remedies "unsafe"!)
Alternative medical health and healing "testimonials" have also often been called "anecdotes" or "anecdotal evidence;" sometimes, as in a court room, such can be called "hearsay." Some anecdotal evidence does not qualify as scientific evidence because its nature prevents it from being investigated using the scientific method. We're not discounting the scientific method at all; it certainly has its place, and it is one of the single greatest reasons for humanity's real advances in science, technology and medicine in the last couple of centuries.
There is truly "hearsay" and there is "anecdotal evidence." Applying these labels too broadly, however, can shade or hide the reality of truly valid and valuable research and results. This terminology or labeling can be accurate (i.e., illogical conclusions), desirable and necessary in many situations. If someone were to say, "Goat yogurt mixed with bananas and peanuts prolongs life. I heard of a man who ate this almost every day of his life, and he lived to be 112." This would be a simplistic example of hearsay or anecdotal evidence; the conclusion is unreliable and does not follow the evidence. Such cases may hold some truth, but, by their nature, using the scientific method is not possible.
However, with many successful alternative treatments and natural remedies, we are suggesting that there is often a much higher level of correlation linking them to health or healing, even though the scientific method may not be applicable. Mainstream medical authorities discount or disregard claims, studies or research that are not conducted with the scientific methodology.
Many celebrities, professional athletes, politicians, and other wealthy people are seekers and strong supporters of alternative medicine, natural remedies, etc. Such high performance people need, want and demand high performance supplements, practices and treatments for their minds and bodies. Why shouldn't you and your family have the same?
Objectivity is foundational to the scientific method; however, in the area of medicine and healing, the subjective, human realities of the patient (i.e., belief, expectation, attitude, commitment, family or environmental support, etc.) have been abundantly demonstrated to play major roles in healing. But such real factors and dimensions cannot easily be incorporated by the scientific method; therefore, other methods of measurement, research and investigation are necessary.
Again, the scientific method is highly necessary and deserves glorious credit. But scientists, researchers, doctors, etc., need to have the wisdom to know when it is needed or applicable; they, and we, need to have the wisdom not to discount or discredit evidence simply because it has not or cannot be investigated by the scientific method. Classical science tends to place a higher value upon knowing HOW something works, rather than THAT it works. If it cannot isolate causal relationships and explain HOW, mainstream medicine tends to disregard it.
With the human, subjective variables being very real, medicine, health and healing can be somewhat more complicated than, say, the aerodynamics of flight, or other areas of technology. It seems that to simply label evidence that doesn't fit the strict Western scientific methodology simply because scientists can't fully explain or predict a claim, or that its nature prevents such strategy, would be closed minded. Some factors, variables or dimensions of the human experience are simply broader than the scientific methodology allows. Many truths and realities exist beyond the limitations and definitions of classical mainstream science. (That is, truths of healing that yield high rates of success; realities of healing results.)
As can be seen as you investigate alternative medicine—great results have been realized from alternative medicine, natural remedies, etc. Such results are undeniable. Such results warrant an expansion what real "science" is. For if its purpose is to get at truth and reality for the benefit of humanity, then it has been and is presently missing much truth and reality. Chinese medicine, for example, has its own form of science that does account for and achieve high rates of healing, as opposed to high rates of death and harm by Western medicine. Yet, somehow, Western medicine defenders often arrogantly (and wrongfully) believe and assert that Western medicine is superior. "Superiority", it would seem, should be measured by positive healing results.
Mainstream medicine places a high value upon being able to explain "why" a tested treatment works; if they can't explain it or it isn't predictable by their standards, they tend to discount or discredit the substance, treatment or practice. Yes, it is worthy to want to know why something works or doesn't work. However, wisdom from positive results would seem to say, "Use it … as you continue to investigate the "why" or "how" of it." (Again, consider the countless dangers and deaths that have resulted from mainstream "approved" drugs, treatments and practices. Many of which the public is little aware. See "Medicine" page.)
The bottom line is: the alternative treatments and natural remedies we support and use have demonstrated a much higher degree of value and validity than simple "hearsay" or "anecdotal evidence." A real "truth seeker" will not let fear, bias, ego or agenda interfere with gaining truth and facts.
In recent years millions of people have been awakened to the value and validity of alternative medicine and natural remedies; now, even mainstream practitioners are opening their minds to them. Here a few examples. For years, chiropractic care was basically scoffed at; but now chiropractic care is so widely embraced that many insurance companies cover it and countless people have benefited from it. For years, alternative doctors and health practitioners asserted that good nutrition and cleansing the body of toxins were crucial to good health and healing; yet mainstream medicine tended to downplay their importance. Now, after years of alternative medicine making progress, an increasing number of mainstream practitioners are open to these truths and even practice them personally themselves. This is good news! These mainstream medical professionals are to be appreciated for being forward-thinking!
A third example is that, for years, alternative professionals asserted that antibiotics were way over prescribed by mainstream doctors. Now, in recent years, mainstream sources have come to acknowledge this, as some harmful microbes have become immune to the over prescribed antibiotics. Once again, alternative medicine revealed and proclaimed truth that is now being received. We are not attempting to discount or diminish the value and validity of mainstream medicine. It definitely has its place. And we definitely acknowledge and appreciate the truly dedicated mainstream medical professionals who both practice and advance beneficial methods of medical innovations. In our opinion, there is no better place to go for injuries or trauma than a mainstream medical hospital!
We're just saying that, when it comes to general health and healing of diseases and conditions like emphysema, cancer, COPD, arthritis, etc., both mainstream and alternative treatments should be openly and fairly considered. This seems to be "common sense" wisdom. When you begin to look into the successes of alternative medicine, it will soon become apparent that the countless successes and testimonials cannot be denied. Five, ten or twenty success testimonials from a single source could be overlooked. However, a broader view will reveal that there are countless successes, from many diverse and highly credible sources of alternative medicine and natural remedies. Many such successes are from late stage patients who mainstream medicine had exhausted their limited treatments on, and sent them home to prepare to die. Yet, alternative medicine is credited with a good percentage of restoring the health of such late-stage patients, or at least extending their lives and allowing them to experience a higher quality of life in their final days (as compared to what they likely would have had under mainstream treatment or hospitalization).
At some point in one's investigation of the subject, it becomes apparent that to discount or deny these many diverse successes would be ignorant and closed minded. One man, Jim, was told by his mainstream doctor that there was nothing else he could do for him, and that he would die in about six months from his emphysema and COPD. Shortly after, however, Jim discovered and began a long established, but still relatively little-known alternative treatment. Just six weeks later Jim returned to his mainstream doctor. After some tests, his doctor exclaimed in amazement: "Whatever you've been doing—keep doing it! Your lungs are 70% clear!" Jim is still living—over 20 years since his doctor gave him a six months "death sentence." The treatment Jim used to beat emphysema, COPD and arthritis in six weeks has also been used by thousands of people to heal or greatly improve many other diseases and conditions.
True science, whether in medicine or any other field, should constantly be open to evidence – even if the body of evidence is contrary to the scientist or investigator's premises, hypothesis or expectations. It has been said that the evidence of an experiment or study is dictated by the hypothesis. In a way, this perspective is necessary and even inherently desirable in the scientific process. (Double-blind studies and experiments are indeed important and often necessary and desired.) A scientist should or may have some expectations in the testing of his or her hypothesis. However, if they don't have a grounding or value beyond their results, a purpose that is to get at truth that goes beyond their expectations or purpose – a bias can sway or elevate their agenda above truth and that which may potentially benefit society. And, even with a justifiable and worthy profit motive, if benefiting society or whatever is not the ultimate aim, then hindering truth can be harmful to individuals, society, and/or the environment.
To hold one's foundational assumptions above the evidence blinds one to truth and reality; and getting at truth and reality should be the guiding vision of science, medical or otherwise. Anything less is to devalue and hinder progress that could likely benefit others. Yes, profit can and should be made. Profit is foundational to the stability and advance of the company or institution, and economics in general. Devoid of some fair degree of profit motive, the expressions of gifts and talents of human creativity and innovation would be hindered. But profit or power can wrongfully become more important than people, animals or the environment. Unfortunately, in the real world, this has been the case too many times throughout history as well as today.
The key to true and beneficial "advancement" is to evaluate and proceed with a care and concern for the long-term effects at all levels (human, animal and environment). The primary standard and directive, then, as the creatures on earth who impact the world more than any other – should be to value life at all levels. So, whether it is medicine or another area of science, alternative ideas that demonstrate safety and effectiveness, even if they are not as profitable – should be allowed and supported to the benefit of humanity, individually and collectively. Again, mainstream medicine and the pharmaceutical industry have done much good for the benefit of society. However, to varying degrees and for various reasons, many of the beneficial discoveries, advances and successes of alternative medicine – have too long been ignored or discounted by mainstream medical sources. These many successes of alternative medicine are realities that anyone can quickly discover as they begin to look into the subject with an open mind.
Wisdom is essentially the proper application of knowledge and understanding that tends to bring good and beneficial results. We believe wisdom, when it comes to health and healing, comes from an informed and balanced perspective in various areas of medicine. To expand one's view and perspective, we much expand or shift our perception and understanding from merely disease control and symptom management to focus more on health principles, prevention, and healing at the causal levels. Disease is essentially the body "not-at-ease", out of balance or not in homeostasis. As it is evident that the body has innate processes that tend to try to heal itself, the body innately tries to move toward homeostasis (balance and a state of health and "ease"). When given what it needs, the body can frequently be successful. A balanced perspective in medicine and healing, then, can only come from knowing the truths and realities, of the benefits and successes, of the diverse areas of all forms of healing.
Mainstream medicine, pharmaceutical drugs and alternative medicine each have their place and beneficial purposes. With the mainstream establishments having the dominant advantages in society, which often conflicts with the philosophies and practices of the lesser known areas of alternative medicine, we believe it is important to share some of the advantages. There are many advantages of alternative medicine, natural remedies, etc., but we present ten here that are fundamental. To these purposes, we present to you …
10 ADVANTAGES OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE & NATURAL HEALING
1. Alternative medicine tends to support the innate healing processes of the body more than mainstream medicine
Everyone, even young children, know that the human body has an innate ability or tendency to heal itself. For years, mainstream medicine has tended to ignore or to work against this reality. Many of their treatments actually suppress the innate processes the body uses to cleanse itself of sickness, disease or condition. In some cases it may be necessary to intervene in what the body may be doing in response to disease, illness, conditions or injuries. However, in general, the body knows precisely what to do and is programmed to instinctively heal itself.
One of the common philosophies in alternative medicine is to use treatments that aid, facilitate and strengthen the body's innate healing processes in their efforts to restore health and balance. To work with, rather than against, the self-evident innate healing process, whenever possible, makes sense and has demonstrated countless successes.
2. Alternative medicine tends to treat causes rather than symptoms
Mainstream medicine tends to treat symptoms rather than address the underlying causes of diseases or conditions. Mainstream doctors generally have their dominant treatments, medicines and practices that relatively limit experimentation with individual patients. Alternative medicine tends to have more liberty to experiment and apply different treatments, and often experiment until they get results. In general, their treatments are typically very safe and often natural. (Alternative medicine practitioners often do and should earn income from their practices and products; but could it be that there is much more money in symptom management in the mainstream camps?)
3. Alternative medicine tends to embrace and work with the subjective realities of the mind, belief, expectation, emotions, attitude, etc., of the whole person
Mainstream medicine has for decades tended to dismiss the powerful realities and roles that belief, expectancy and emotions play in health and healing. Double-blind tests and objectivity are often highly necessary and important. However, belief, expectation and other factors are also important and powerful when it comes to health and healing. The internal, subjective experience of a subject is crucial and cannot be denied. Many people today are aware that the human mind and imagination hold unrealized potential in many areas, including health and healing. Consider the amazing experiments, results and fun that have been attained from hypnosis – by the belief of the mind. In education, whether a student can or can't do a given task, is often determined by his or her level of belief and expectation. This is known as "self-fulfilling prophecy."
In the medical field, it has been effectively demonstrated that a single thought (with emotion) can dramatically affect a subject's white blood cell count which is crucial to the immune systems and healing. In subjects who were asked to think of an experience that caused them some sort of negative feeling, their white blood count almost immediately went down. In the same subjects, when asked to think of something positive, their white blood cell counts almost immediately sky rocketed far above the baseline.
It has also been demonstrated that laughter can enhance the white blood cell count, healing endorphins and functions of immune system. Even the Good Book reveals being happy is good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22). Mainstream medicine, for years, has tended to ignore or discount such subjective experiments. Objectivity is often important, but to deny and investigate without acknowledging the subjective experience – is to deny or ignore reality.
4. Alternative medicine is not dependent upon patented drugs that tend to create dependency, side-effects, more complications, and further degeneration
Mainstream medicine tends to support and is highly dependent upon the pharmaceutical industry, which often uses unnatural substances. Apparently, substances that are naturally-occurring cannot be patented. From what we understand, this is generally why the pharmaceutical companies tend to create their own substances, so they can obtain patents and so gain higher profits. Again, some medications are necessary and beneficial. But, again, consider the many once "approved" drugs that have been recalled due to harm and even deaths. Consider the many potential side-effects they list in the ads of drugs currently on the market. (Uh, no thanks . . . I'd rather keep my disease!)
Alternative medicine is not generally into patenting their substances, or at least is not as dependent upon patents. And their treatments are typically safe when used correctly, or are natural. Yes, even "natural" substances can be unsafe, but they must be used appropriately. Alternative treatments aren't always successful. But often treatments can easily be modified or changed until something does work.
5. Alternative medicine tends to have a broader perspective of health and healing, allowing more flexibility and adaptability when treating patients
Mainstream medicine tends to be limited in its approaches and treatments, generally staying solely with medical school practices. How many times have you heard of a doctor giving up on a patient and sending them home to die? Yet, alternative medicine has many types of treatments, and is credited with actually healing a good percentage of patients in the late stages of diseases (after their mainstream doctors had given up on them). Jim's doctor had given him only 6 months to live; but after he started the alternative, natural treatment for his emphysema, his lungs became 70% clear in only six weeks. And this was revealed and stated by his doctor who had given up on him.
Again, alternative medicine treatments aren't always effective. But they have demonstrated much more effectiveness than some of mainstream medicine's treatments. After Jim's doctor told him he had only six months to live, he had no hope, and hopelessness has been linked to early deaths. Without hope, it has been observed, the mind and body tend to weaken and slowly shut down, thus bringing on death sooner. Once Jim heard about the treatment that saved his life, he began to have hope. Hope wasn't really necessary with the treatment that he used (as it has been used successfully on people who had little or no expectation of it). However, hope was enough to get him to try it and take action. (Jim has been thankful for 20 years since.)
Alternative medicine has a broader perspective, approach and adaptability than does mainstream medicine. Thankfully, mainstream medicine in recent years is more accommodating of alternative medicine; they sometimes refer to it as "complimentary medicine." Many alternative therapies will not conflict with mainstream medicine treatments so they can often be done along with mainstream treatments.
6. Alternative medicine fundamentally embraces the now-known reality that good nutrition, balancing and cleansing the body is fundamental to health and healing
For decades, mainstream medicine in general has tended to downplay and even sometimes mock the importance of nutrition, balancing, and cleansing the body. Yet, properly nourishing, balancing and cleansing the body has demonstrated many times that it can greatly assist the body in healing itself. Now, after years of alternative assertions as to the importance of these, even many mainstream practitioners are now eating healthier, taking nutritional supplements, exercising, and balancing and cleansing their own bodies personally.
Mainstream medical students, at least in the past, receive relatively few hours of training in nutrition as compared with many hours of their other medical training. This seems to reveal that mainstream medicine has not tended to value the importance of how critical properly nourishing and cleansing the body is to general health and healing. (A crazy thought: If society was much healthier in general from better nutrition and cleansing, maybe we wouldn't need less of the not-so-healthy drugs of mainstream medicine.) Of course their other medical training is important. However, in recent years, it is great news that even mainstream medical sources are now realizing the extreme importance of good nutrition as alternative practitioners have asserted for decades.
Now, more and more people are being educated by alternative medical knowledge. We are realizing the almost common sense that cells need proper nutrition to be healthy, that the functions of the body need to be balanced, and that, as the processes of food are being converted into energy, toxins are (the by-products that accumulate in the cells) major contributors of disease and adverse conditions. As an automobile needs appropriate fuel, the systems need to be in tune (balanced) (i.e., clean spark plugs), and the exhaust needs to be effectively released – so too do our bodies. With nutrition, balancing and cleansing as important as they are now generally known to be to health and healing, it would be wise to be open to the professional knowledge of someone who is knowledgeable in these areas. One woman totally healed herself of breast cancer, and much of her "treatment" was getting excellent nutrition. Incidentally, this woman was and is a mainstream medical doctor who once worked in a mainstream hospital. The more you learn about proper nutrition, quite possibly, which is the natural tendency of life – you may find you need medicine and doctor's appointments less and less. Proper nutrition, cleansing and exercise are foundational to alternative medicine.
7. Alternative medicine practitioners are generally highly informed about the treatments they prescribe or administer as opposed to mainstream doctors who are often "educated" by pharmaceutical sales representatives about their latest approved drugs
As many new approved pharmaceutical drugs are released on the market each year, mainstream medical doctors tend to know relatively little about them, especially if the doctors have been out of medical school for years. So the doctors are typically educated about the new drugs by the respective pharmaceutical company sales representatives. Alternative medicine doctors or practitioners are typically very educated about the treatments they prescribe, administer or suggest.
8. Alternative medicine tends to avoid dependency on treatments
Again, the human body instinctively and naturally tends to try to heal itself and to get itself back to homeostasis, health, wholeness, and ease (as opposed to "dis-eased"), externally and internally. A disease, illness, condition, ailment or injury is a health crisis. It seems that the role of any medicine should be to get the body out of a state of health crisis as soon as possible. Yet, mainstream medicine tends to create a dependency upon a medication. This is basically symptom management. Alternative medicine's primary purpose is, in general, to get the body out of a health crisis as soon as possible, and eliminate or minimize dependency.
9. Alternative medicine's treatments can often relieve/reverse multiple health problems simultaneously
Many alternative treatments can remedy more than one disease, condition or ailment at a time. Diseases, conditions or ailments at the causal levels can often manifest themselves with multiple symptoms. When a disease or condition is treated at the causal level, or the body is effectively supported, oftentimes—multiple symptoms have been known to reduce or disappear. When the immune system or affected organs are strengthened, it is common sense that they would be stronger in general to fight off other forms of disease, illness or conditions.
Jim did the treatment that saved his life for his emphysema and COPD. However, weeks later—he discovered that the arthritis he had for years also had disappeared. Doing this treatment was the only thing he changed in his life-style during that time, so it was highly likely the treatment got the credit. Many people have experienced multiple healings from a single alternative treatment or remedy.
10. Alternative medicine's treatments can often be done without a doctor or medical supervision, and can empower individuals and families to improve their own health
Many alternative treatments, especially natural remedies, can be done without medical intervention, oversight or prescription. A great thing about alternative medicine is that you can learn much of it on your own just by reading what qualified sources have to say. And this can lead to less dependency upon medicine and incurring medical expenses. And many alternative medicine doctors and practitioners actually practice a philosophy of educating their patients to not to need them so much in the future.
It generally takes initiative and effort to think and learn about alternative medicine and remedies. This requires personal responsibility … which is why the majority of people would prefer to not expend the time and energy to learn for themselves, thus often relying blindly upon their doctors. However, as is consistent with life and reality, the long term effort of personal responsibility and gaining knowledge pays bountiful rewards.
Hopefully, this article has encouraged and excited you to begin or continue your personal discovery of the value, validity and advantages of the many areas and successes of alternative medicine & natural healing.