The Alternative Medicine Difference: Holistic vs Allopathic
I have been a member of the “Alternative” health care space now for 12 years. I put the word in quotes because I believe it’s medicine that should be the alternative (i.e. you should only see your MD when natural, holistic and self-healing techniques have failed) – but I am getting ahead of myself.
Most of our patients have been to and already tried medical care – defined as Allopathic Medicine. Allopathy refers to the treatment of disease via standard of medical care (pharmaceutical intervention to ignite the opposite effects of presenting symptoms or surgery to remove a defective part of your body).
The step into alternative medicine for most people comes only once allopathy has failed (i.e. their symptoms didn’t improve or got worse with the initial therapy (side-effects, reactions etc.) or their condition returned after multiple rounds of medical care). Sometimes a person seeks alternative medicine because they have been proposed/threatened with a “life changing decision” – risky surgery or dangerous pharmaceutical therapy (radiation, chemotherapy etc.)
Often what they view as their “last chance” to heal is the very thing they should have used as their “first step” towards healing – mostly due to the fact alternative medicine has a higher success rate with self-healing, correcting damage caused by previous medical therapies etc. (NOTE. This isn’t a claim to say natural therapies are a 100% curative – there are limits based on how progressed a health case is – i.e. there can be a point where it’s “too late” even with alternative care). This is the main reason I plant the following flag: “Alternative medicine should be (in my opinion) mainstream health care and medicine
Here’s a few reasons I make that claim:
It’s Completely Natural
Alternative medicine techniques (chiropractic, acupuncture, nutritional therapies etc.) doesn’t depend on chemicals or anything artificial or toxic to the body. I hope it makes sense that you can’t fix an underlying cause by introducing more toxicity which not only adds to the underlying cause but can create another one. Instead alternative medicine seeks to identify and remove whatever is interfering with the body’s natural self-healing process.
Chiropractic seeks to remove interference in the brain-body/organ communication and adds energy to the spine/nerves via an adjustment at the right place and at the right time to allow spinal nerve communication to be restored. Healing occurs from within, through increasing brain-body/organ communication.
Acupuncture seeks to remove interference in the energetic pathways of your organic systems (meridians) applying corrective energy via a needle (or sometimes pressure) at a specific place (points) to restore balance in your energetic systems (yin/yang) allowing the body to return to normal tone.
Massage seeks to remove muscle contractions/knots interfering with the normal function and tone of the muscle which can restrict body motion. Energy is added via the therapist’s touch and technique to release the muscle interference and restore normal motion.
Do you see the theme? Energy and intent are ADDED to the right place or system at the right time, removing an interference allowing the body to restore normal function and heal itself. I would always want that FIRST before doing the opposite.
It Trusts and Acknowledges the Bodies Innate Intelligence
Symptoms that prompt a person to seek medical care are actually a “language” your body is using to alert you to a problem. If you don’t speak the language, or acknowledge the intelligent design of your body you will miss or not understand what this innate language is trying to tell you. Alternative practitioners spend countless hours leaning how to speak “innate intelligence” reading body signals and interpreting their underlying meaning.
For example, pain is a warning that something serious is going on underneath (a torn muscle, degeneration of a joint, soft tissue or ligament, infection etc.). It is NOT a signal that you are deficient in Aspirin, Advil or the thousands of other “Pain relievers”. PAIN is an acronym for “Pay Attention Inside Now”
Alternative practitioners also trust that the body is doing the right thing at the right time all the time – translation: we believe your body knows more about what’s going on that we (a human) could ever – and as such we respect the body rather than trying to “force” a change to take place by chemically or surgically altering function.
It’s Doesn’t Require A Prescription
You don’t need a referral to see an alternative practitioner. You don’t need to read though a “warning label” that once unfolded is larger than a US road map! Alternative practitioners believe you have everything inside you already to heal – you simply have one (or many) interferences restricting that self-healing power from expressing itself at 100% capacity.
It’s Extremely Safe
The side effects of medicine include everything from dizziness to diarrhea, dementia to death. The side effects of alternative medicine include energy, weight loss, a sense of wellbeing and healing. In 2017 an estimated 47,000 people died from overdosing on prescription opioids (note this is only ONE of thousands of classes of drugs). Medicine as a whole (i.e. treating a condition with prescriptions and/or surgery) has an annual death toll of more than 250,000 Americans. There are some reports that say people have died while or after receiving acupuncture, chiropractic, massage etc. – do they exist – yes. I found one report that says 90 people died after receiving acupuncture (the report was published on Google after reviewing 10 years of published death rates of acupuncture. Translation – about 1 person per year dies from acupuncture.) I found one report that said “Warning: Chiropractic Can Kill You” referencing a “loosely verified” article stating that in a 15-year period of time 26 reported deaths occurred following chiropractic manipulation of the neck – resulting in stroke. An article in Chiropractic Manipulative Therapies responded noting the incidence of stroke following chiropractic adjustment is 1 in 1.6 million adjustments preformed.
It doesn’t take a PHD in statistics to see that alternative therapies are EXTREMELY safe when compared to the “alternative” of receiving medicinal care (prescription and/or OTC pills, surgery etc.)
In 2016, NPR made a shocking announcement on their Morning Edition radio show – “Medical Errors are the number 3 Cause of US Deaths” noting that the only thing more dangerous than your MD is heart disease and cancer (according to the numbers). The lead researcher Dr. Martin Makary noted that it could be the #1 cause of death in the US simply because most death certificates list the disease that was being treated (heart disease, cancer etc.) and not that the person died due to complications of treatment of said disease.
Translation: ‘Warning: Medicine Can Kill you!” (and you are worried about stepping into an “Alternative Medicine” approach to your health because you think it lacks evidence-based research or support from the medical community.