Category: Topics

Which is More Important? Nutrition or Prescription Drugs?

Many years ago, when man was much more primitive in nature it has been said that he did not have the technological medicinal resources as today’s modern man. While this statement could be argued, what cannot be argued is that the human race is much more accustomed to look for help or healing from prescription drugs rather than from nutritional healing resources such as plants.

In many ways, the body is already the perfect healing machine. We take for granted what happens when we get a cut on our arm. One day later, we see the skin has rejuvenated itself. Better yet, clip your fingernails and toenails and check them one month later to see if they have grown again.

Drugs do not heal people. They stop systems in the body from working that are signaling that something is wrong. There is not a single drug in the world that heals people. Drugs are beneficial if you have a life-threatening issue and you need to knock out one of the systems of the body, but only in a temporary fashion. Why we look to drugs as our first option for natural healing is something that has become a part of our thinking through medical dogmas and propaganda. Hundreds of years ago, people cured sicknesses with natural remedies not with doctored man made formulas.

Both for prevention and chronic condition management, better nutrition is one of the best things you can do to help your body to heal. Many nutrients like selenium, calcium, zinc, essential fatty acids and other nutrients can play a big part in restoring the body through nutritional healing. When you lay down to sleep at night, your body will be at work regenerating and rebuilding itself. If you’re lacking any key nutrients it will search itself and find the missing nutrients in your body and immediately replace them. As a result, you will wake up hungry in the morning.

The most important nutrient that gets depleted of when we sleep is protein. When most people wake up they eat carbohydrates (sugars) in the morning like bread, muffins, bagels and cereals. These things further deplete the body of key nutrients because they require a lot of work for the body to assimilate. The top three nutrients that the body needs are: proteins, fats and then carbohydrates.”

The nutritional healing that you are seeking from any sickness will not be found in any drug. You were created as a perfect being that has the capacity to heal itself given that the proper infrastructures are set in place.

The Origin of the Pharmacy

Drugs do not do anything to help the body’s system to rejuvenate, only to disguise. Drugs were not made to heal people. They were created to stop systems in the body from working that signal that something is wrong (i.e. anti-inflammatory). Most drugs are derived from plants, and if they are not derived directly from plants, they are analogs, or something that is similar to a chemical component in a plant. Germans were the first people to make analogs and use them to treat people, most notably aspirin. It is a myth that we are now living longer than before because of the advent of drugs. Infant mortality and early death was such a big issue a long time ago and as a result the average age was brought down tremendously. Hundreds of years ago people routinely lived into their hundreds. Just over the last seven decades since the advent of antibiotics does the lifespan appear to be creeping upwards.

 

How the body heals itself is all chemistry. It’s all how molecules interact with this divine system of ours. Drugs, allopathy and pharmacy are all limitations compared to what nutrition does for us. Drugs are the way that man has decided our bodies should heal and in essence it is a very intelligent system. A simpler yet more efficient system would be through nutrition. The reason to stay away from drugs is clear. The side effects are deadly (i.e. vomiting, nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, liver problems, etc). Why take anything that makes your body react in such a way? It should be mentioned that one of the leading causes of death in the united states is the side effects of drugs. When you are prescribed medicine by your doctor it would be wise for you to speak with the pharmacist about the pros and cons of the medicines. A pharmacist is a healer not someone that takes orders from the doctor and puts pills in a bottle. Generally, the pharmacist will be able to tell you more about a drug than a doctor could. The ancient art of pharmacy involved making medicine specifically to fit a person’s ailment. The real fundamentals of pharmacy is called medicinal chemistry. That is how you shape a molecule so that it can be medicine for the body.

 

Pharmacy comes from the same word as poison. The way pharmacy works is that it poisons key systems of the body and the logic is that by strategically poisoning those systems in the body, we can affect symptomology. Problem is that it is very dangerous to play with poison as strategic as it may be. With drugs you get one benefit and perhaps a long list of side effects. With nutrition you get one benefit and perhaps a whole list of side benefits. The western world’s first noted physician Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be they food.” This nearly means that we should be healing any ailment through nutrients. The fourth leading cause of death in America after cancer, heart disease and diabetes is prescription medicine. The interesting part is that the prescription medicine deaths stem from taking the drugs as prescribed by the doctor not in overdose.

 

The issue is that everyone wants a magic bullet or a secret pill that will cure them immediately but nutrition is not a magic bullet. However, it does work magically!  It is a gradual process when the body rebuilds itself through nutrition. There are times where you may need to give your body pharmaceuticals for short term symptoms but it is always best to choose nutrition in the long term to rebuild the tissues. By putting in basic supplements or raw materials you will heighten your chances that these symptoms will not occur.

 

Another issue I would like to touch on is that of antibiotics. When broken down you will see that antibiotics simply means “against” your own “biology.” So these medicines actually make the body work against itself. Antibiotics underscore the inappropriate strategy that we have with healing. For example, when you get a cold and have the sniffles, mucous or a fever you don’t want to take antibiotics for this. These are symptoms showing that the body is trying to heal. Mucous is a good thing because it is a protective mechanism that allows the body to protect itself against pathogens, which are disease causing agents. A fever raises the body’s response to an assault, so we want to encourage these symptoms not knock them out. When you understand your body’s response to sickness it makes it easier for you to understand how it works and therefore you are less likely to try to modify or change anything during the healing process.

The Relationship between Yoga and Alternative Medicine

Stripped down to its bare essentials, yoga is an unobtrusive exercise that can deliver an array of health benefits and preventative buffers against many types of ailments. This fact is heralded by pretty much every health professional you’ll meet. Yoga, as a primary treatment for medical conditions, is a more controversial topic that almost always depends on the individual context.

 

Yoga is a great complementary therapy with any number of other health treatments. Got anxiety, for example? Talk to a therapist AND sign up for a yoga class. Have gastro-intestinal distress? Start a probiotic regimen AND sign up for a yoga class. Just don’t expect two or three beginner level classes to cure your Crohn’s. It doesn’t *usually* work that way. Indeed, when yoga is prescribed as a primary treatment, it’s almost always because more widely used methods have failed, and yoga is all that’s left. Even then, it’s often more about managing the symptoms of a disease more than curing it.

 

The Complicated Place Yoga has in Our Culture

Yoga sometimes finds itself in a certain amount of conflict with people of faith who see yoga’s secular meditation as a threat to the power of prayer and communion with their Creator. There is a spiritual element that many people bring to yoga, but you can really bring any number of religious beliefs to the practice. There is nothing that says you can’t pray—either with a short mantra or an open dialogue—at the end of a yoga practice, for example.

 

There’s also a lingering tension within the yoga community itself between those who believe Americanized yoga is ruining the original art form and those who believe that these yoga purists are hoity-toity nincompoops. There are those who swear by a specific sequence of poses and those who prefer to dabble in as many different forms of yoga they can find.

 

There are those who find yoga to be a slightly more effective form of exercise than other types of weight resistance training, and there are those who see yoga as a crucial component to their overall health plan and ability to get through the day and week without losing it altogether.

 

Here’s the thing, though. No matter what place you belong to within the greater culture and general practice of yoga, there are few stories of people who practiced yoga for any real length of time without improving their health in some substantial measure.

 

The Many Connections Between Urgent Care and Alternative Medicine

When using the traditional, if somewhat outdated, framework of Western vs. Alternative Medicine, urgent care is clearly part of mainstream, western medicine. With few exceptions, rapid onset symptoms and conditions require direct intervention and acute care. One of the ways in which proponents of alternative medicine use urgent care is as a kind of substitute for primary care. They follow their own tenets for a healthy lifestyle, while seeking our urgent care as a kind of al a carte solution for their acute medical needs.

 

Seen a different way, however, urgent care is very much alternative medicine—with people of pretty much any medical background and proclivity calling it an “important alternative to emergency care.” Urgent care is also undergoing a rapid and dramatic transformation itself. From sleep disorders to allergies to physical therapy to weight loss, urgent care providers are offering a greater range of healthcare services that are more in line with chronic conditions that may respond better to long-term alternative medicine practices.

 

Put another way, if integrative medicine assimilates multiple medical philosophies into a holistic practice, it’s no surprise that urgent care centers have been the natural landing spot for implementing a more integrative medicine. Here are a few featured urgent care centers from around the country that are good examples of this trend:

 

Known as “acute alternative,” this urgent care clinic in the U.S. Virgin Islands offers a range of primary care, supplements recommendations, and a Smoothie Bar, but what they’re perhaps best known for is their accredited sleep center and sleep disorders program.

 

Despite their reputations, most followers of alternative medicine want to do so under the guidance of a highly qualified medical professional. This Clemente, CA urgent care practice introduced new alternative medicine services after feedback from their patients indicated a lack of services in the area.

 

Some urgent care centers put their connection with alternative medicine front and center. This holistic urgent care center in Scottsdale, Arizona doesn’t just incorporate aspects of alternative medicine into its practice. They “accommodate acute illness, infections, and injuries with an emphasis on natural medical remedies and modalities whenever possible.”

 

More and more providers are combining urgent and comprehensive care services.

This metro Denver urgent care provider is pushing the boundaries of what healthcare services can be effectively offered at their sites. Their adult and pediatric clinic locations have services that include family medicine, occupational medicine, weight loss, mental health, physical therapy, and allergy care.

 

Health education, especially for parents and their kids, can be hugely important for the patient and their family to consistently make the best possible healthcare decisions. Urgent care providers are positioning themselves as a natural authority and arbiter over the practices and philosophies of alternative and traditional medicine. This Coppell, Texas pediatric urgent care center clearly and succinctly lays out the differences and commonalities, between alternative, western, and integrative medicine.

 

Cannabis—The Ultimate Alternative Medicine

To us, cannabis is something of a singular case when it comes to alternative medicine. In a lot of ways, it’s the ultimate alternative medicine. Due to antiquated laws, information, and attitudes about the drug, the DEA continues to classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. For this reason alone, it can’t be considered a mainstream medical treatment. On the other hand, in many states, it’s possible to find a doctor and have an honest conversation based on the latest medical evidence and a personal health evaluation about whether cannabis is a medically appropriate treatment, as well as the potential hazards and benefits associated with its recreational use. It’s culturally accepted in a growing number of contexts and yet outside of the law in many jurisdictions.

 

Cannabis is also like a lot of alternative medicine in that, even outside of a traditional healthcare provider, it’s widely available to a lot of people who must make a personal choice about whether or not to use it. And, unfortunately, this choice has to be made with limited information and an incomplete understanding of the potential consequences. Of course, this can also be said about a lot of widely accepted medical treatments, too. It’s not like you or your doctor can know for sure how you’ll react to a painkiller, especially if you’ve never taken an opiate before.

 

One of the things we consistently advocate for at Alternative Medicine Channel is more research. Not just in the number of studies but also in the replication and honest inquiry into the basic questions of health policy and medical practice. In other words, when, how, and at what cost can cannabis be used as an effective medical treatment? Surely, this is another thread that ties cannabis to the larger history and movement of alternative medicine: What would we know and where would be now if we had invested in more research and development of alternative medicine?

 

How is Alternative Medicine Different than Holistic Medicine?

We see alternative medicine as different than holistic medicine in that alternative medicine is always outside the mainstream. Holistic medicine, by definition, takes an inclusive approach that includes “western medicine” and health protocols that are widely accepted by the medical community. Alternative medicine, in contrast, focuses on these treatments, practices, and lifestyle choices beyond the mainstream. It’s like a syllogism for subsets: Alternative medicine is holistic, but holistic medicine isn’t necessarily alternative.

 

Put another way, we have nothing against holistic medicine and mainstream healthcare. If we break a bone, hit our head, or have a sharp abdominal pain, we go to the ER or at least make an appointment with our doctor. But there’s also a long list of preventative steps and experimental treatments that can be utilized outside of acute care services. There are yet undiscovered and underutilized alternative medicines that are destined to become the mainstream.

 

Moreover, many chronic medical conditions resist first- and second-line treatment protocols. Many medical conditions aren’t cured only managed. And when it comes to not feeling like crap, when you’re experiencing a host of intermittent symptoms of indeterminate cause, it’s tough to know what parts of your diet, exercise, and daily habits are contributing to or mitigating your symptoms. Krohn’s. Asthma. Arthritis. Obesity. Fibromyalgia. Orthopedic pain. Nausea and vomiting. Migraines. The list goes on and on.

 

Let’s get back to the original question: How is alternative medicine different than holistic medicine? Alternative medicine picks up where mainstream medicine leaves off. It seeks attention, further study, and legitimacy when it’s due. Or at least that’s how the Alternative Medicine Channel sees it. Do you see it a different way? Tell us your views. Send us an email with a note about your organization or personal expertise, and we’ll share it with our audience.