Why Listening to Your Doctor Can Make You Sick
I recently came across a statistic that up to 25% of medication use is considered unnecessary or inappropriate. I also recently had someone recently point out to me that most people who are told by their doctor that they need medication for the rest of their lives, believe them. The tragedy in this idea is not only that medications used in the long-term can cause more illness than they cure, but also that when patients arrive at this “solution” by their doctor, they stop there. They typically aren’t pointed toward alternatives, such as holistic medicine, an approach that considers the whole body. This alternative medicine approach could identify and correct the underlying problem, eliminating the need for medications.
Pharmaceuticals were never intended to be used as the standard of care to reverse disease. In fact, most drugs have been proven safe and effective to treat symptoms for the short-term, and not as a life-long solution. However, millions of Americans are currently on multiple medications for years and decades, not reducing their illness, but adding to their demise. Medication-related illness is the leading cause of death in the U.S. today.
Why alternative medicine is the medicine of the future
As patients have become dissatisfied with the results they’re getting form conventional medicine (pharmaceuticals and surgery), they have sought out other modalities, and they have become very, very popular. In fact, these “alternative medical treatments” are now a billion-dollar industry.
Non-pharmaceutical treatments have been established in every medical specialty, and data on their effectiveness and underlying mechanisms is becoming more and more clearly identified.
As Andrew Weil recently said: “We’ll soon lose the term ‘alternative’ and just have this be regular medicine.” There is so much research to support methods and perspectives that have been arrived at through non-pharmaceutical institutions that it will soon be considered malpractice not to fully incorporate this into the standard of care we offer our patients.
How do I make choices about integrative medicine?
In today’s day and age, patients must intelligently educate themselves about the modalities that are right for them and choose accordingly. With all the choices out there, it can be difficult to navigate which is right for you today.
The way I teach my patients to do this is by listening to their body for information. Your body has wisdom that goes beyond anything any doctor could ever tell you. All the diagnostic tests in the world cannot compare to what your body’s wisdom can tell you….if you learn how to listen.
It’s remarkable what your body will communicate to you once you give it your time and attention, and learn to get the precise information you need.
Here are 3 steps to ask when you are considering any medical intervention (pharmaceutical or “alternative medicine”):
- Put your attention on your body.
Connect with your body by taking a few deep breaths and feel the breath moving through your body. This gets you present and brings your attention from the myriad of things going on in your life into your body.
- Focus on the “problem” or symptom.
Bring your attention to the area of your body that hurts, or to the idea of the illness or symptoms you have had. Using images is a great way to communicate to your mind what you want to focus on. If it’s weight gain, think of a scale, or your tight clothing. If it’s low energy, focus on feeling tired and envision yourself asleep on your desk.
- Ask the question: “What would it take for me to feel vibrant and healthy?”
Just ask this silently in your head, say it aloud, or write it down. All will get the message to your higher mind.
- Let it go and stay tuned for the answer.
Write down the first 3 things that come to mind. (Your mind knows so much more than you are consciously aware of, so the information may just come right up after asking.) Sometimes the answer will come later and pop into your head out of nowhere. It may come in the form of meeting someone who offers a solution that feels right to you. The answer may also come in the form of images you see, such as food in the trash (junk food.) Pay attention to the images that come to mind, because your body communicates in images.
I wish you blessings as you navigate the depths of your body.
We’re a long time from the days where doctors were the experts on the body, and patients lived a life disconnected from what was happening inside themselves, often not even being told of the diagnosis! Today, it’s time for us all to intimately connect within for our own answers, and begin using doctors to support us in heeding the needs of our bodies.
P.S. I appreciate your questions and comments. What is your understanding of “alternative” and “holistic” medicine? What has been your experience of it? Have you been reluctant to embrace this or eager to learn more?