Which is the best approach to medicine? Alternative or Conventional?
To all the medical practitioners out there that spend so much of their valuable time beating up ‘alternative’ medicine, and to those ‘natural’ healers that bang on endlessly about how truly ridiculous and terrible ‘conventional’ medicine is, STOP. When you behave like this, you are all pathetic. That’s right, I am dumping you all in the same bucket. You are actually quite similar despite the efforts you go to, to prove otherwise.
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me why I am so ‘neutral’ when it comes to ‘conventional’ and ‘alternative’ medicine I would be very rich but still doing what I am doing. With my mix of conventional and natural health qualifications and with one foot firmly in both camps people don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept that things don’t always have to be ‘black and white’, that you can thrive in places where it is quite ‘grey’.
Naturally (pun intended) there are extremes at either end of the spectrum. There are doctors and associated educational facilities that live off kickbacks from the pharmaceutical industry (you can read more about this here and here) that fear natural health because it is not considered rocket science, it’s simple, it’s cheap and it works. Then there are those that have healed themselves (or others) naturally that fail to acknowledge that conventional treatment did serve them at one stage and had they improved their diet and lifestyle their illness may never have returned however, their message gets conveniently ‘edited’ and all we hear is that they cured themselves naturally and that all conventional medical practitioners are evil.
“people don’t seem to be able to grasp the concept that things don’t always have to be ‘black and white’, that you can thrive in places where it is quite ‘grey’”.
What I believe both camps fail to remember is that (for the majority) we all got in to this for the same reason. I don’t know any of my colleagues that got in to conventional medicine for any other reason other than an overwhelming desire to help people and the same goes for those I work with in natural medicine. So why then are we fighting?
IGNORANCE…in both camps.
Traditional medical schools don’t teach their students about the power of natural medicine and natural health schools don’t give their students the knowledge to be able to identify when a green juice and herbs just aren’t going to cut it. If the knowledge of each were shared in a manner that was non-threatening, without prejudice and respect and all parties worked together to heal humanity perhaps the state of the world’s population would be in a whole lot better shape.
This of course goes against the grain of what many are out there preaching right now. Doctors are going to enormous lengths trying to have natural health courses thrown out of universities and the likes of Don Tolman who I listened to recently here in Brisbane spent three hours spouting a huge number of one-dimensional statements (many in a really annoying ‘baby’ voice I might add!) one of which was that we must “choose which camp you’re in (meaning conventional or natural), don’t do one with some of the other, it’s one or the other”. WRONG. He had the foundations of a really good message on natural health however; the delivery was dismal and in fact quite dangerous if you didn’t already have some prior knowledge. I can only reason that this has to do with his lack of formal education that he also quite proudly believes is completely unnecessary.
“…we all got in to this for the same reason. I don’t know any of my colleagues that got in to conventional medicine for any other reason other than an overwhelming desire to help people and the same goes for those I work with in natural medicine”
So where does this leave people that need help with their health? Actually, nothing has changed. You can do today, what you could have done yesterday or even a decade ago. Too many people are too scared and too lazy with their own health to create a treatment plan that works for them, their lifestyle, their budget, etc. They feel they need to hand over their power to someone else, that they need to be defined by the ‘conventional’ or the ‘natural’ label or even worse that they are not qualified to speak up if undergoing a particular treatment doesn’t feel right.
Many of you will know that I undertook Gerson Therapy however, what you probably didn’t realise is that I did this with the help of not only a Gerson therapist but with three medical practitioners, a massage therapist, a Chinese herbalist, a naturopath and ME and you know what, we all spoke to each other, regularly. Welcome to holistic medicine people! This may seem over the top for some of you, but as I explained to someone recently, if you were renovating your bathroom or putting an extension on your house you are likely to get more than one quote, right? And then to do the job, it’s not a one-man band, there’s the plumber, the plasterer, the electrician, etc., each with their own speciality. If they damaged your house or you didn’t like what they were doing, you would fire them and employ someone else to finish the job. The same goes for your health! You have to take back control and do what you know in your own mind, body and soul is right for you. The sooner you get out of this mindset that one practitioner has all the answers, the better off you will be. Seek out practitioners that are ‘holistic’, that are well networked, that don’t get defensive when you ask for a referral to someone else that you might want to talk to and if you don’t like the ‘bedside manner’ of a particular person, ditch them, find someone else, move on, don’t give up and don’t leave it and just hope the situation will resolve itself, it won’t.
Photo credit: iStockphoto