The answer is, it depends. In my opinion, having been deeply involved in the worlds of both Eastern and Western medicine, I have come to believe and know that there is a place for everything. Generally, and unfortunately for now, natural remedies and alternative medicine is tried as a last resort rather than a first, and it needs to be the other way around. When a disease process begins, it does so at the cellular level creating generalized symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, depression, GI upset and malaise. These are so easy to treat with some lifestyle counseling about diet, exercise, meditation, stress, and even some herbs, oils or other therapies like massage, hypnosis, acupuncture, and even prayer that may be suggested. These symptoms, while considered minor, are the “seeds of illness” – the indications that something is off in our body-mind, heart and/or spirit. These symptoms, when ignored, can inevitably progress to ulcers, heart disease, infections, auto-immune diseases, Alzheimer’s, and cancer which are clearly more difficult to treat and where the “big guns” of pharmaceutical intervention becomes necessary and frankly, makes the most sense. So right there should be your incentive to focus on preventing these things before they gain momentum and become terminal. That’s not to say that natural lifestyle remedies should not be employed in addition to western approaches - they absolutely should so that the treatment can work even better. To learn more about this and other topics on holistic/medical approaches, contact me, and I will be happy to help you discern the options that are right for you.
Dr. Joanna Carmichael is an RN, Dr. of Metaphysics, Divinity, Interfaith Minister, Ayurveda Practitioner, Spiritual Teacher and Founder & CEO of the Kalyana Centre in Narberth, PA