Don’t Cut! Holistic Alternatives Gain Recognition

Don’t Cut! Holistic Alternatives Gain Recognition

For most people in today’s world, surgery or drugs have been the only choices to abate pain, but holistic alternatives are gaining recognition on the global stage, and we are all the better for it! I recently completed my own certification in a modality called Body Logic, a truly incredible process which focuses on realigning the skeletal structure by releasing the restrictions that hold it in misalignment. Utilizing pressure and traction, each bone is stimulated and encouraged to let go, allowing the body to move towards better alignment.

The creator of this wonderful work is a woman named Yamuna Zake, a true visionary for our time. Yamuna ZakeShe also developed a method of personal care called Yamuna Body Rolling or YBR, which utilizes a ball and some education to help people understand these same principles in caring for their own aches and pains. I love the empowerment this gives to people who feel they have no other choice than what the doctors may be telling them. There is so much that can be done before resorting to something as drastic as surgery or drugs. I have known this for many years, but now I am finding other voices, voices that are recognized in the professional world, that are adding their witness to my own.

Last week I finished a book I recommend to anyone who may want to consider some of these other options. The author’s focus is on the use of yoga, but he points out that holistic alternatives often dovetail with each other. The name of the book is “Yoga as Medicine: the Yogic Prescription for Health & Healing” by Timothy McCall, MD. I particularly appreciated the comparisons he made between the approaches of conventional medicine and yoga as medicine, and I would say the medicine of many other holistic alternative therapies as well.

 

Comparison of Conventional Medicine and Yoga as Medicine

CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE

YOGA AS MEDICINE

Reductionist

Holistic

Faster in onset

Slower in onset

Effects tend to wane over time

Effects tend to increase over time

Best at dealing with acute problems

Less good at dealing with acute problems (accidents, emergencies)

Less good at dealing with chronic problems (diabetes, arthritis)

Very good at dealing with chronic problems

Less good at dealing with psychosomatic illness (stress, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, etc.)

Excellent at dealing with psychosomatic illness

Good at dealing with pain (at least in theory) but poor with suffering

Can help with pain and excellent at dealing with suffering

Therapies usually rely on one major mechanism of action

Therapies rely on many simultaneous mechanisms of action

Treatments standardized

Treatments tailored to the individual

Often ignores possible healing synergies

Relies on additive and multiplying effects of multiple interventions

Side effects usually negative

Side effects often positive

Doctor controlled

Patient controlled

Patient is mostly the passive recipient of therapy. Patient can be unconscious.

Patient actively does the treatment (with some guidance). Consciousness required.

Usually little learning involved

Involves learning

High-tech

Low-tech

Many treatments must be given in hospital or clinic

Treatments can be done at home

Disdains anecdotal evidence

Relies on direct experience of patient

Relies on diagnostic tests over direct exam of the patient

Relies on direct observation of the patient

Expensive and may require continued expenditure over time

Inexpensive; once you learn yoga and buy props, it’s free unless you decide to study more

Minor emphasis on prevention

Major emphasis on prevention

The absence of symptoms or signs of disease, and normal lab tests re equated with health

Health is defined as a high level of physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being

Conventional MedicineFrom this comparison, it is easy to see that while conventional medicine may be effective in dealing with acute problems (injuries from accidents, etc.), it is not very good at all in dealing with chronic problems (heart disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, etc.). Holistic AlternativesHolistic alternatives place a great emphasis on education, personal responsibility and prevention. This builds a sense of empowerment in the patient as they internalize their ability to do something to help themselves. Conventional medicine has the patient being the passive recipient of treatment, fostering dependence and doctor control.

Conventional MedicineOf course, the comparison of cost cannot be overlooked. The rising costs of health care is a frightening prospect for us all and a terrible burden on whoever is paying those costs. Herein is the real dilemma. A doctor’s visit—and the ensuing drugs or surgeries “purchased” as a result of that visit—may cost thousands of dollars, but insurance is the one paying those costs so the patient does not see it as “expensive.” Conventional MedicineMost alternative therapies, privately taught, probably range from $80-$180 depending on the therapy and where you live. You may only need two or three sessions, especially if you are willing to work on your own, in order to take care of the immediate problem. This is a mere fraction of the cost of the more invasive and less effective therapies the insurance company is willing to pay for. However, because insurance companies do not cover most of these treatments, they are seen as being “expensive” by the patient. This is a very big problem, indeed!

I need to note that there are times when conventional medicine and surgery and drugs are the best option available. I am suggesting that they generally should not be our FIRST option. The other day a man came to me who was told he was going to need a rod put in his cervical spine. I asked him what other therapeutic options had been suggested to him. He said, “Nothing.” Perhaps surgery is what this man needed. He was having some pretty serious effects in his shoulder and arm. But his words are very significant, “I wish I would have looked at other options earlier.” I am quite certain that if he had he could have avoided this surgery. How can we begin to empower the public to take proactive measures to protect their own health and freedom of movement?

Please share your ideas. I would love to hear about any alternative therapies that have worked for you.

Holistic Alternatives

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