The question often arises as to the differences between the mainstream medicine approach to health issues and the alternative health or holistic approaches that are becoming more popular today.
I have focused my entire career starting in 1979 on the philosophy that a high percentage of standard treatments for health disorders focuses solely on treating the symptoms of a disease rather than addressing the true underlying causes. There are many who say, “I had heartburn and the pills that were prescribed totally stopped my pain” so I was cured! The issue I have with this type of statement is that despite the discomfort disappearing in the person taking the drug, the underlying issue was never healed. This means that when the drug is withdrawn someday, (usually due to side effects or costs) the original symptoms will come roaring back worse than before because no one ever discussed why it originated and what therapies could have actually healed it. I use the analogy often in conversations that treating symptoms is like having a red warning light come on in your car dashboard and you take a piece of duct tape and place it over the light so it is invisible rather than fix the problem. Now compare this standard medical approach to the same person experiencing acid reflux or heartburn who visits someone trained in functional integrative healthcare, holistic care. (these terms are far more accurate than alternative medicine). The investigation would begin with asking a number of questions to the patient that would focus around lifestyle. Foods, sleep patterns, stress levels, nutritional supplements, exercise, joy levels, toxic load, candida, heavy metals, along with looking into blood work that could reveal other imbalances. These interactions would require far more time than today’s medical model allows which is the number one reason it is not more popular. Education and advice are the first line prescriptions normally offered by integrative alternative approaches.
Below is an example of a physician who understands very well the value of an integrative practice:
Dr. Wolfson is an integrative cardiologist that has the following on his website which I love:
I made a choice.
When I opened my office in Paradise Valley, Arizona, my heart was filled with extraordinary emotions. The list is long but includes excitement, passion, anxiety, and even a little worry. But I knew I had the power to change lives and the ability to enact change in those who I encountered. It’s been three years since Wolfson Integrative Cardiology saw its first patient. Thank you to the 1000’s I have met with along the way. I trust you have found the experience worth it.
Right next door to my office is a conventional medical practice. It opened around the same time as mine. The doctor who runs it seems like a great guy, and probably is. But the patients that go in and out his doors do not look healthy, in fact, quite the opposite. They don’t look healthy because they are not healthy. The office is a revolving door of drug reps bringing payola food and patients with prescriptions for pain pills and antibiotics.
Amazing health is so close to these people
All they have to do is choose my door versus the other door. Behind my door is an organic lifestyle with advice about organic, Paleo nutrition. My patients learn about environmental chemicals and pollutants and why/how to avoid them. Behind my door is evidence-based supplements that are changing people's lives and a doctor who orders the most in-depth testing on the planet.
What is not behind my door are prescriptions for narcotics, antibiotics, psych meds, heartburn meds, or other poisons. Pharmaceuticals help in the case of life-threatening illness, the kind of care for which people should go to a hospital, not a medical office.
Why do patients choose one practice over another?
First off, these people do not even know that natural health care exists. The only world they know are pills and procedures to cover up the aches, pains, anxiety, depression, and other maladies. Second, even if they did know about natural health care, they would pass it off as too difficult, too expensive, or “unproven.” Let’s face it, many people would rather continue with their cigarettes, pain pills, alcohol and other addictions. They don’t want to cut back on sugar, stop eating fast food or adopt any semblance of a healthy lifestyle. Click Here to get to Dr. Wolfson’s site. Integrative approaches to almost all health issues can be addressed with the functional approach I am writing about but here is a specific example as to insomnia. The invaluable sleep information can be found by downloading our FREE E-Book - No More Restless Nights. This protocol fully embraces the integrative approach rather than the cookie cutter prescriptions for sleep medicines. You will see from the suggestions for conquering insomnia that it focuses on rebalancing and retraining the body to learn to sleep again rather than simply knock someone out with drugs that will never address the true underlying cause of poor sleep. I fully believe the future of healthcare will be personalized medicine for those who are interested and understand the vital importance of this type of therapy. I am convinced that our body “Carries its own medicine” but we need wise holistic therapies to activate this internal pharmacy.
We are also pleased to announce that we received a limited supply of Dr. Wolfson’s best selling book, The Paleo Cardiologist, and will be providing a 30% discount for a limited time to those who would like to purchase.