Alternative to Conventional Medicine
A guest post by local Natural Medicine Practitioner and Owner of Earth Theories (100% Natural & Earth Friendly Beauty Products) Mehnaz Pirzada
I was inspired on writing this post as being a mom, I am always concerned for the well being of our families. I want to be pro active when choosing natural alternatives to healing. As with all of the side effects that have become widespread and prominent with modern medicine, we have to be aware as to how we approach medicine and choose the treatment to heal ourselves. As conscience individuals we have an important role to play in our own healing choices. By taking a responsible stance for how we choose to treat our bodies is the first positive approach we can take in healing ourselves and our families.
I chose the word healing instead of cure as we may not be fully cured of our illness, but there is always room for healing. It’s the restoration of balance in ourselves, emotionally and physically, which is a path to cure.
Before I write about alternate medicine I want to define Health. What is Health? Is Health the absence of disease or symptoms? Or can a sick person also feel healthy?
Health is more than simply the absence of illness. Health is the ability to get ill and recover. Being healthy gives us the ability to withstand stress and an over all flexibility to live a balanced life. On an emotional level healthy means we are able to express our emotions and feelings in a productive way. Being emotionally and mentally healthy enables us to think with clarity and make sound decisions.
Health can be expressed in numerous ways;
The opposite of Health is Dis-Ease.
What is Disease?
Dis-ease is the limitation or imbalance that limits personal freedom. In our society we view disease as a bad thing but in natural medicine the disease is simply an alarm that is our body’s way of alerting us of taking some time out and clearing out these symptoms. For instance, we may view a Fever as a dreadful thing and kill the fever by taking an ibuprofen. However, fever is actually a good thing as it is helping the body get rid of the pathogen that has invaded our system by burning high temperature.
In emotional scenarios of mental disturbance, like depression and anxiety our body is alerting us to the fact that there may be some deficiencies and it’s time to alter and make the necessary life style changes. Its our body’s way of communication to tell us about how we are living our lives and how do we cope with day to day stresses.
Disease can be viewed as follows:
As human beings we all have an inclination to get rid of the disease and live a healthy balanced life. However, when we approach disease as well as the treatment to take care of that illness, it definitely deserves careful thinking and mindful approach. The first step of healing starts from within. By taking the first initiative on holding ourselves accountable for what happens to our bodies we can then start to formulate a plan on creating for ourselves the right tools and balance we want within ourselves and in our lives.
Eventually, being involved in our own healing process gives us a sense of stability and boosts our self confidence and personal growth which helps us in looking into other alternative options.
This is where I would like to introduce Homeopathy, as an alternative medicine. Restoration of health doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of the symptoms. The suppression of an illness will lead to a more chronic or deeply rooted illness. For instance, children who are diagnosed with eczema and then treated with steroids are thought to be successfully treated once the skin clears up. Later on, these children tend to develop asthma as the disease was driven deeper into the organs.
The modern medical procedure has always been that if the body is producing certain symptoms the best approach would be to antidote those symptoms. For example a cough is suppressed by using anti-cough syrup, anti-histamine for allergies and anti-depressants to treat depression and laxatives for constipation.
The question we should ask ourselves is this what we call a “Cure”?
Well, to further investigate on getting to the right track, I would like to give a brief description on what Homeopathy is.
The history of Homeopathy begins with its founder Samuel Hahnemann a German physician. The word “ Homeopathy”, is derived from a Greek word, homeo, which means same or similar and pathos, which means suffering is based on the principle of Law of Similar or “ Like cures like.”
Homeopathy was discovered by Hahnemann at a time when the practice of medicine was unregulated and dangerous. The sick were treated with toxic mixtures of lead, mercury and arsenic. Bloodletting, purging and being plastered with leeches were standard practices. Hahnemann therefore discovered a gentle and non invasive way of treating the symptoms of the disease unlike modern medicine that works on the Law of opposites for e.g antibiotics, antihistamines, antidepressants and anti cough are just few examples. The use of modern medicine on the basis of opposite only gives temporary relief or simply suppresses the disease driving it deeper into the organism it cannot cure. Homeopathy is an individual based medicine and not one size fits all.
The Latin phrase, “Similia Similibus Curentur”, ( let like be cured by like) defines, the guiding and the main principle of homeopathy. The principle, Law of Similars, or that of like cures like, had a prior history prescribed by Hippocrates and Paracelsus and was practiced by many cultures and societies but it was Hahnemann who gave it a name and laid out it’s principle into a systematic medical science in the 18th century.
The purpose of Law of Similars, ( Omoios (similar), Pathos (disease) ), is the very basic principle as in homeopathy the objective is the restoration of the body to homeostasis or healthy balance, which is considered it’s natural state. The symptoms of the disease are regarded as the body’s own defensive mechanism to correct its imbalance rather than attacking the disease and trying to get rid of the symptoms. As in homeopathy, the symptoms or the disease are regarded as a positive evidence of the body’s intelligence, the homeopath will study the symptoms and prescribe a remedy designed to stimulate our body’s own healing capacity rather than suppressing the symptoms.
The onion can also help explain the law of similars. Most people struggle with watery eyes and a running nose because of the vapors of an onion. A person suffering with these symptoms during a cold or a hay fever, is prescribed Allium Cepa, a homeopathic remedy of red onion which will relieve the symptoms. What an onion can produce in the healthy, it will treat in the sick person as well. One more example would be the use of a homeopathic remedy of Coffea Cruda, prepared from coffee which is often used to treat the same type of insomnia that too much coffee can cause.
As Hahnemann says, “No two individuals are alike. The developmental of the vital energy in one differs from that in another. Each one possesses a special harmony a special psychophysical construction which is determined by the interplay of hereditary tendencies and factors of disease”.
“While conventional medicine believes that it must fight the disease bearing factor which it sees as the main cause for disease, homeopathy believes that it must strengthen the organisms defense mechanism in order to be able to fight the imbalance”. (George Vithoulikas)
Homeopathy posed a serious threat to conventional medicine in several ways. One of the most important reasons that homeopathy was disliked or opposed the most was by the drug companies and physicians as homeopathic approach did not prescribe conventional medicine. Homeopathy therefore posed a philosophical and economic threat to the medicine industry. Economy plays a major role in what is practiced and what is allowed to be practiced.
I believe that the intervention of conventional medicine can be necessary at times but in our societies the overuse of these modern drugs and antibiotics and antidepressants have lead to an outcome of increasing ill health due to their serious side effects and resulting in resistance to the drugs themselves. On the contrary, Homeopathy is a very gentle, safe and non invasive way of bringing balance in our health and lives.
I will end with one of my favorite quotes from Hahnemann:
“The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health rapidly, gently, permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles.”
For more information, visit her site at www.eartheories.com