I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

04 November 2011

Have Your Cake and Eat it Too! How integrative medicine is the best of both worlds

Guest Post:  Allison Brooks

Nature and Life. These are two words that should be easy to define, but in today’s culture, the definitions become convoluted. With technology interfering, it is hard to figure out where life begins or ends, and where nature loses its place with civilization.

For example, Death should be the easiest thing to describe about life, but when technology is added, everything changes and the definition becomes foggy. With life-support technology, a machine can do the work the body can’t.  This makes one think, that if the machine were not on, then that person would be dead, so what makes him living now? Do the actions of breathing make one living or does the vision of that person’s soul? In many cultures, like in Japan and Taiwan, life-support is shunned upon because when the soul leaves the body, that person is gone.

This interference of technology is what makes the definition of nature just as tricky. The use of life-support is hindering nature from doing her job. It is sad that when someone thinks of nature, a forest scene comes to mind, and not humans. This should not be the case, humans are nature, and should embrace it. 

This lost sense of being a part of nature, actually has people doubting the laws and effectiveness of nature. For example, more people would chose to listen to a “white-coat” doctor prescribe a plethora of medications, before ever going to a naturopathic practitioner. What is so attractive about chemicals and medications that can barely be pronounced? Herbal teas and homeopathic cures sound friendlier. Natural remedies also, aid the body in healing; actually curing ailments, instead of just treating symptoms. This is not the case with conventional treatments.

This is why integrative medicine is such a miracle practice. It combines the best of the conventional and alternative treatments to produce a rewarding effect. Basically, “you can have your cake and eat it too”. While powerful drugs or therapies, like chemo and radiation, do their job on a specific location, alternative treatments heal the body as a whole, making it more receptive to treatment. Therapies, like Reiki, acupuncture, and massage, have proven to reduce negative symptoms, promote immune system function, and increase the overall well-being of the individual.

There have been many studies conducted over the years on the successfulness of integrative medicine with many different ailments and diseases. Many doctors recommend patients diagnosed with a low-survivability rate cancer to adopt a complimentary therapy while undergoing conventional treatments. Patients with aggressive cancers, like non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, pleural mesothelioma, and higher-stage breast cancers have shown positive results when using integrative therapies.

 Allison Brooks is a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi where she had earned a B.S.  in Biomedical Anthropology.

Allison is currently engaged in research within the study of Ethnography, a branch of Anthropology which compares and analyzes different cultures.   Her focus is on the effects of Biomedicalization with a vast interest in numerous branches of Anthropology.

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