Incorporating Holistic Approaches in Medicine

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Photo Credit: http://nursection.com/holistic-nursing-jobs-practice-care-journal/

As I stated before, holism attracts patients because of the exceptional care and attention they receive. They feel as if they are in the best hands with a doctor that only cares about restoring their well-being. Pat McDonald, a registered nurse states in the peer reviewed article that, “a doctor ordering them to take unfamiliar pills may not be enough explanation for these patients.” Instead, health officials must understand that patients today lack confidence in them. Their concerns about communication with health professionals, with a desire for more time and attention ultimately leave them looking for alternative medicines. Acknowledging this will be beneficial to health officials as they can reflect on areas where they can attend to the patient better rather than treating patients as just another appointment. Ms. McDonald recognizes this, “Mutual respect, empathy, and respect are the key-elements in a therapeutic partnership,” McDonald states. She goes on to say ” Perhaps it is time to look at the dominance of science-based medicine and, taking the views of consumers into account.” It’s time for people to see that they’re other medicines out there than the conventional prescription medication doctors prescribe you. With a little research one can find tons of information on herbs, aromatherapy, botanical products and more.

Big Pharma’s role in the Opiod Epidemic

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Photo Credit: https://www.narconon.org/blog/behind-the-curtain-of-the-opioid-epidemic-the-companies-that-profit.html

Opioid disturb pain signals by binding to the receptors in the brain and spinal cord while also releasing dopamine causing euphoria. Different kind of opioids include morphine, codeine, vicodin, and percocet. The opioid epidemic has quickly become the worst health crisis in history.  Last year alone opioid overdoses claimed more lives than car crashes and gun homicides combined, Finally, some states have began to take action. In the scholarly news article written by Wayne Drash, a writer for CNN Wire, it claims a lawsuit has been filed in Arkansas naming 52 opioid manufacturers in the act of “falsely touted the benefits of long-term opioid use.” The suit continues to say “each manufacturer defendant knew that its misrepresentations of the risks and benefits of opioids were not supported by, or were directly contrary to the scientific evidence.” Meaning representatives of big drug companies lied about the effects of their product. In Arkansas , they feel as if they’re lawsuit is unique because it focuses on a solution rather than a problem. There is no debate over how to fix the opiod crisis in Arkansas. They simply want drug manufacturers to pay as it is not fair to charge it to the taxpayers rather than the ones who created the problem. More than 2 million Americans are addicted to painkillers. Those who stop taking the pills after becoming dependent suffer from withdrawals. Tolerance gets built up after taking the opioid just a couple of times. This creates more dependency on the drug. The problem is people are prescribed these pills and they end up getting addicted on them after taking them frequently requiring more and more to fulfill their needs which in turns makes more money for the opioid developers. During 2016, their were more than 63,600 overdoes fatalities in the country and that number is only going to go up without action.

Big Pharma vs. Holistic Health Care

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Photo Credit: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/plant-medicine-vs-drugs-tamika-moseley-sickle-cell-natural-healing

The idea of holistic health is not new at all. Actually it dates back to the days of Hippocrates, the ancient Greek philosopher and practitioner known as the “Father of Medicine.” According to Hiding The Truth, a website that prides itself on being a skeptic of information

Catholic monks and nuns cared for the sick, when no one else would. They used mostly holistic methods but began to try other methods for treating disease and injury. With the invention of the firearm, surgery became more common then. Gun shot wounds were usually dealt with by amputation, with no anesthesia these practices were barbaric.

As a result, germs started spreading everywhere. Companies soon had to develop chemicals to combat this and this demand sparked the start of the pharmaceutical industry. Since then, pharmaceutical companies have gotten so big they hold monopoly on health care in the US. They have gained enough power to essentially control doctors by assuring their medications are the ones used, instead of holistic methods. For example, in 2004 a ban on Ephedra was placed. Ephedra is nothing more than the Chinese herb Ma Jung. This herb was used for centuries to treat allergies among with other respiratory problems. Actually, Ma Jung is an ingredient in many over-the-counter allergy medicines except the price to get it over the counter is significantly more expensive. Hidingthetruth.com states,Ma Jung works by increasing blood flow, and metabolism slightly to calm the body’s allergic reactions.” Although, it has side effects that include increase blood pressure and increased heart rate. As with any medicine there are people who will abuse them. People used Ma Jung more than recommended  because they thought an increased metabolism would help them lose weight. Although, it was only a small share of people this resulted in 100 deaths and an immediate ban on the herb. The irony in all this is around that time 280,000 people died directly from over-the-counter and prescription pills. Drug companies refuse to acknowledge the part they played in countless deaths of people and would much rather continue making huge profits. Though it is a sad reality, diseases are managed more than treated today. Drug companies much rather keep you on prescription pills designed to treat symptoms instead of cure simply because their is more money in it for them. Without financial motivation, companies have no incentive to develop cures, but only to prolong them. It’s all about the money in these situations and unfortunately real lives are at stake. It’s time we take back our health care system and the first step is to get informed. Meet with a holistic doctor and ask them whatever questions you have. Take time to familiarize yourself with holistic medicine and choose the best method or approach that fits you!

Types of Holistic Medicine

Complementary medicine is rapidly growing in population. Too often patients feel their needs are brushed off by orthodox health officials. As a result patients take a liking to alternative methods used by a holistic doctor. There are hundreds of different kinds of holistic therapies to go through all of those would be very time consuming, so it’s great that the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) differentiates holistic practices in 5 categories.

  1. Alternative Medical Systems – any nontraditional systems that was created out the standard Western biomedical practice. An example of this would be Traditional Chinese Medicine which focuses on achieving health through the acquisition of harmony in one’s life. The idea is harmony brings good health and well-being while disharmony or negative factors lead to illness and stress-related diseases. Traditional Chinese Medicines include acupuncture and Chinese herbs.newell Credit: https://www.healthline.com/health/dry-needling-vs-acupuncture
  2. Mind-Body Interventions– These therapies focus on the relationships among the brain, mind, body, and behavior and their effect on health and disease. These approaches encompass several therapies such as yoga, visual imagery, and meditation.
  3. Biologically-Based Therapies– these therapies refer to substances found in nature like herbs, food and vitamins. Some examples include dietary supplements, herbal products and botanical medicines.
  4. Body-Based Methods– Body based treatments involve the movement of the body or one or more parts of the body to combat imbalances in soft tissues along with bones and joints. An example of a body based method would be message therapy, or chiropractic work.
  5. Energy Therapies– Energy therapies focus on the energy though to exist in and around the body. In these therapies ,a source of external energy such as electromagnetic fields is used to influence healing. Energy therapies include Reiki and Qigong (a Chinese meditative exercise).

What is it?

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Photo Credit: https://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/develop-mind-body-spirit/

To understand holistic practices, we must first understand the basis from which they exist. Holism, according to healthy-holistic-living.com is “to look at the self from a whole (holistic) perspective and to understand the mind, body and spirit connection and the importance of balancing all aspects of one’s life. Holistic doctors and their patients share a common ground in terms of trust. The patient feels the doctor is looking out for their best interest rather than prescribing them the conventional prescription pills. Patients are tended to with care and all factors of their lives are considered in treatment including : divorce, financial issues, crime and stress. This is important because it allows the doctor to see what other factors other than physical wear and tear is diminishing the quality of life of the patient. I know in my experience with doctors I always got the feeling they were rushing through just to get to the next appointment. This is a fundamental problem in the health care system. Holistic doctors look to improve relationships with their patients, tending to their every need while presenting natural remedies to illnesses and disease.