No person, medication, or surgery heals someone. It is the body and the body alone that does the job.
A person might send energetic healing in the form of prayer to a person, yet the energy is like watering a plant–it evokes, enlivens and allows the body to do its thing.
The same principle applies with many medications. Antibiotics kill the pathogens that have overwhelmed the body’s defenses and give the body a chance to recover, take over and kill the pathogens on its own. And most surgery sets a wrong right such as a broken leg, a clogged artery, or a new organ to replace a sick one. But ultimately it is the body that makes itself whole again.
Since we are our body, we must realize we are personally responsible for our own healing. Alternative medicine works with this belief and utilizes many different methods to help the body heal and keep it running at its best.
What exactly is alternative medicine?
I like this over-simplified definition from Dictionary.com: “Healthcare and treatment practices, including traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic, folk medicine and naturopathy that minimize or avoid the use of surgery and drugs.”
I like to call alternative medicine the Yin of medicine, the soft, integrating flow of health; whereas the Yang is the scientific, conventional medicine that fights disease.
With alternative medicine, the goal is wholeness, and is coupled with other treatments for what is termed holistic healing.
Chiropractic has gained much acceptance these days and is included in many healthcare plans. I must admit I was a bit woozy with the thought of someone working my spine over. But after my first treatment, I was hooked.
Chiropractic paired with massages and strength training or yoga works holistically by aligning the skeletal, releasing tight muscles and re-sculpting for better body alignment. Many ailments and diseases are relieved or even healed when our bones are in proper working order.
Alternative medicine basically lands into five different categories and all work synergistically with each other.
1) Alternative Medical Systems that include acupuncture, homeopathy, ayurveda, naturopathy.
2) Mind-Body Interventions: meditation, relaxation, hypnosis, biofeedback.
3) Biologically Based Treatments such as herbal remedies and nutritional supplements.
4) Energy Therapies: therapeutic touch, reiki, qi gong.
5) Manipulative & Body Based Methods: massage, chiropractic, reflexology.
The young guns out of medical school these days are embracing the fact that the best of both worlds – conventional medicine and alternative therapies – can work together in helping a patient heal.
It’s called Complementary and Alternative Medicine, or CAM. Inline with this practice is integrative medicine which combines CAM and methods of alternative medicine with evidence-based medicine.
It all gets a bit mind-boggling, but I suggest picking up a book or going online to learn more about alternative medicine and how the medical world is starting to wake-up to the fact that the body is much more than just a biological machine dictated into parts. That our thoughts have a powerful influence on our health and how music and colors can heal. That the foods we eat do have a profound effect on our moods and that water is much more than it seems.
With the onset of our ever increasing knowledge of genetics, a new type of marriage between conventional and alternative medicine is emerging.
Next week I’ll examine how a gene or the lack of one can signal health problems and what one can do about it.
In the ensuing weeks, I’ll continue on with other alternative methods that are gaining validity due to scientific breakthroughs in the world of physics.