Natural Medicine: Save Money and Improve Your Long-Term Health
Someone who is unfamiliar with natural health medicine may imagine medicine men chanting around a fire or old women crushing unknown herbs in a bowl. Though those may be a part of natural health in centuries past, natural medicine has evolved to fit into the modern world. Learn more about natural health and how it can help you save money and improve your long-term health.
What is Natural Medicine?
According to Steven Bratman, author of, The Alternative Medicine Sourcebook, natural medicine is “any healing practice that does not fit into the realm of conventional medicine.” Another way of putting it might be: Natural medicine is any practice of medicine that doesn’t involve the use of drugs or surgery to treat disease.
Conventional Medicine vs. Naturopathic Medicine
Conventional medicine is about treating symptoms. Think about the last time you visited your doctor with the flu, a bout of insomnia or other physical illness. He most likely spent a few minutes reviewing your medical history, listening to your complaint and then sent you away with a prescription, right?
Naturopathic medicine is about prevention of disease and treating the person as a whole, not just the symptoms. When you visit a doctor of naturopathic medicine, he or she will usually spend over an hour with you during your first consultation, assessing your past medical history, family history, diet, emotional history and family past.
This will give the doctor a complete picture of you as a whole person so he or she can offer treatment options that get to the root cause of the problem.
Once you understand how chiropractic medicine works, it makes sense that this simple health treatment can do such wonders. A doctor of chiropractic medicine treats illness by performing subtle manipulations of the spine. The theory behind the practice is that neurological conditions, digestive problems, circulatory issues and even erectile dysfunction are caused by physical or psychological trauma that blocks the connection between the brain and the rest of the body, causing interference in body-brain communication. Subtle spinal adjustments are designed to correct these blockages so the body can heal itself.
Acupuncture originated in the East centuries ago and the practice of medicine has recently made its way to the West. The theory behind this practice is disease and illness is caused by a blockage in life energy called, ‘Chi’. Acupuncture uses fine, hollow-pointed needles placed on specific points on the body, called meridians, to release this energy and help it to flow freely again.
Reiki is a type of energy healing that began in the East thousands of years ago. It operates on a similar principle as acupuncture in that blocked life force energy is also thought to be the cause of illness and disease. However, Reiki is a bit more broad-spectrum than that. The healer lays his or her hands on or above the patient and the patient may feel a warm, tingling sensation. The Reiki energy seems to go where it is needed most in the body even if the complaint is unspecified.
Massage therapy is a method of natural health medicine you’re probably already familiar with. Massage can help stimulate the immune system, improve digestion, treat insomnia and help ease chronic pain. They are many different types of massage to choose from:
• Deep Tissue
• Trigger Point
• Hot Stone
The type you select will depend on the physical or mental health problem you’re looking to heal.
Dietary Changes and Supplements
Dietary changes and supplements can help you save money because the food you eat and the nutrients you take in (or don’t take in) can have a profound effect on your health. The additives and preservatives in processed foods not only make you gain weight, they can cause a slew of health problems. Trade in your processed foods for whole foods such as:
• Organic Chicken, Meat and Fish
• Organic Vegetables and Fruit
• Whole Grains
• Beans, Legumes, Nuts
• Brown Rice
• Pure Water
Dietary supplements also have their place in a healthy diet. Supplements such as vitamin D, probiotics, magnesium, digestive aids and whole-food vitamins can fill in the gaps when food-sources aren’t enough.
Can Natural Health and Modern Medicine go Together?
This depends on the type of conventional doctor you’re seeing. Some are open-minded about natural health while others think it’s just a bunch of bunk. When natural health and modern medicine go together, it’s called complementary medicine.
An Ounce of Prevention
Natural health falls right in line with Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you’re eating a poor diet, not getting enough sleep, under a lot of stress and dependant on over-the-counter and prescription medications, your body is a breeding-ground for diseases ranging from diabetes to fibromyalgia to cancer.
Natural health is more than just a visit with a naturopath or a chiropractor it’s a way of life. In order to improve your long-term health and avoid crippling disease, mental health problems and dependence on medication, you need to live a healthy lifestyle. This means eating a whole-food diet, getting plenty of exercise and sleep and reducing stress.
Save money and improve your long-term health; give natural health medicine a try!