Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Integrative Health

 When dealing with any health issue it is important to realize that each method of treatment has it's benefits. Often, one method is more effective than another, or preferred, but the beauty is in the ability to choose. Each way of approaching a health issue has a positive intent and valid means of reaching the goal of optimum well-being.  The ideal way to integrate Natural, Eastern and Western medicine is to put each in their place to serve your needs. First, Natural methods-the methods we control at home. Natural methods are the foundation of health and always have a place in our healing process. Next, Eastern methods-the medicine we use to prevent and treat illness or injury without invasive means. Eastern Methods are also effective means of treatment at any point during the healing process. Lastly, Western medicine-the life saving means of treatment, and the reduction of pain and suffering. Western medicine has it's place as a last resort, it is not designed for preventative or maintenance health care, but it is highly effective in preserving life.

   Natural methods are beneficial in the prevention and treatment of an imbalance through our pro-active involvement. Natural medicine is based on biological laws that govern our health- such as nutrition, stress management, and spiritual awareness. All of which are up to us to pursue and implement in our lives. Natural methods require taking full responsibility of your state of health, and your complete participation. Often easier said than done, the effectiveness of Natural methods is in the individual's ability to make healthy choices and create a balanced lifestyle.

   Eastern medicine is based on theoretical concepts and the identification of functional entities, which regulate breathing, digestion, aging etc. Chinese herbs, acupuncture, Ayurveda, and massage are all examples of Eastern medicine. The entire person is taken into account when treating an imbalance if using Eastern methods.  This is helpful because instead of isolating an issue and treating it as it's own entity, you consider the web of connection within the body and utilize their relationships to heal. For example, if you have diabetes, instead of taking insulin to balance blood sugar, you might take herbs, change your diet, and get acupuncture treatments to tonify the meridian in association with the pancreas so that your body can balance blood sugar on it's own.

   Western medicine is based on science, research and technology to diagnose and treat symptoms of illness or injury, usually with medication or surgery. Although it is not a preventative medicine, Western methods do greatly assist persons with illness or injury by providing advanced technology to prolong life and reduce suffering. Such as, Chemotherapy, life support, anesthesia, blood tests, antibiotics, vaccines, etc. Western medicine treats the symptom of the apparent problem and assists the individual in pain relief, but it does not cure the cause of the issue. For example, if you have a headache, you take a pain relieving pill to reduce suffering, but it does not cure you of headaches. Or, if you have cancer, Western medicine will try to cure the cancer, but it does not cure the cause of the cancer so that it doesn't return.

   By integrating Natural, Eastern, and Western medicine we are taking advantage of  biological laws, age old wisdom, and new technology. Utilizing each method in accordance with your personal needs expands the boundaries of possibility for balanced health. We can incorporate these three by preventing illness or injury with Natural and Eastern methods, maintaining health with Natural and Eastern methods, and utilizing Western medicine to assist us when our own efforts cannot come to the rescue. In this way, we take full responsibility by doing everything in our control to maintain optimum health. If and when circumstances out of our control occur, we can seek assistance from the new technology that Western medicine provides-in addition to Natural and Eastern methods we already implement to help ourselves to the best of our ability.

Effective health care depends on self-care; this fact is currently heralded as if it were a discovery.