In my last post, we discussed that the holistic attitude treats the person as a WHOLE, and doesn’t only look at the symptoms. In doing so, we try to find the CAUSE of the ailment or issue. When we focus on treating the underlying cause, we rectify the problem and the symptoms disappear along with it.
Today, I want to bring up a point that isn’t always obvious when it comes to Natural Medicine Vs. Conventional treatments.
Taking Responsibility for our OWN Health Care
I had never thought much about this concept until I started reading the health Newsletters that my Doctor’s office publishes. He keeps pushing this concept of taking responsibility, and instead of feeling like a “victim” to really feel empowered to make choices in our healthcare.
What does this mean?
I hope these 3 examples will help explain this.
The other day my friend called me. (and Lord I hope she isn’t pissed that I’m using her story for my blog :)) My friend has a little baby – and she recently took her for a checkup. She goes to a regular pediatrician, will try a natural remedy once in a while, but for the most part is mainstream in the medical care she gives her child.
Ok –so here’s the story.
At this recent check- up, the Doctor was discussing with my friend about getting the next round of Vaccinations. My friend has no problem with immunizations, and at this point her baby is 100% up to date on all her shots. However, she discussed with the doctor about slowing it down, perhaps spacing the shots out over time… allow my friend to research some more if ALL the shots are even necessary. etc etc. (ya know voicing a normal parental concern).
Well, instead of being reassured, and discussing the options for the baby, instead, my friend was met with an attack that she is a horrible and irresponsible mother if she doesn’t give her baby ALL the shots on time. The pediatrician then began to give my friend statistics of babies who have died because they didn’t receive their shots, and plainly told my friend that if her baby wasn’t immunized, she might be one of those dead babies.
My dear readers, I am NOT making this story up. (or paraphrasing)
My friend told me that she left the Pediatrician’s office horrified and quite traumatized. She never had any inkling to skip Vaccines and her doctor was already giving her the third degree.
I am super proud that my friend stood up – left the doctor’s office and found a new Pediatrician for her infant.
THIS is what I mean when I ask “are we taking responsibility?” Do we have no say in what we believe is right for our family’s health? Do we just listen to whatever the Doctor says even if we don’t fully think it’s the correct thing?
Here’s another ‘fun’ example – this time a little different.
I read many health blogs. Through these blogs I have met extraordinary people who have debilitating chronic illnesses. These are people that when you look at them, they seem fine, healthy, ‘normal’, but they are plagued by ‘invisible illnesses.” Diseases that hold them back from having a proper functioning day or life.
It’s very inspiring (and often times heart breaking ) to read their blogs… but there is a common thread that is found amongst many if not all of them.
The Doctors CANNOT help them!
Many of these people go from specialist to specialist for YEARS to find out what’s wrong with them… blood tests, invasive procedures just to get a “name” for what is crippling them – only to receive answers such as “we don’t know what’s wrong with you” or “go to a Psychiatrist because we can’t find anything wrong.” These are people who follow the “rules” of conventional medicine, going to doctors, getting their shots, etc.
Its heartbreaking to read about my fellow bloggers who depend on pills of pain medication, anti inflammatory meds – just to help them get through the day. These aren’t medications to help FIX their problem, but just to MANAGE their issue – so they’re not crying out in pain day after day.
THIS is what I mean when I say “are we just a victim?” if the Doctor throws his hands up and shrugs – does that mean I’m doomed to a life with little to no hope?
THIS is what we mean when we say:
Take Responsibility for your OWN health.
What does this mean on a practical level?
Here’s my last example that I hope will answer this question.
Last week I read an article from The School of Natural Healing. I always find their stories and articles fascinating and I love that the stories are about your average Joe Shmo American.
The story goes like this. (I’ll keep it brief )
A mom was feeding her young son supper. In the dish was Cashews, and not realizing it at the time, her son is allergic. So, in the middle of eating, as you can imagine: the kid’s face blows up, eyes swell shut – ya know – typical allergic reaction.
(I just want to point out here that as I’m reading this story, I’m waiting for her to get the point where she jumps in the car and takes the kid to the emergency room – because even with my “vast” (ha!) knowledge of Natural Remedies – I would have NO idea what to do in this situation except PANIC, FREAK OUT and call my hubby )
But back to the story.
The mom goes on to explain what herbs, remedies and other stuff she gave her son and how his condition was monitored over the next few hours. The swelling goes down, the redness goes away, he vomits, goes to sleep, and the next morning he’s back to normal.
NO TRIP TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM!
It reminded me that so often – SO OFTEN – we don’t know how to handle basic health issues. Please don’t misunderstand me – I know there is a time when we need to call our Doctor, or rush to the ER, but imagine how empowered (and less panicked) we can be if we all had a basic understanding of how to deal with situations. (even if it just means understanding both is happening to our bodies, and the effect of what we are putting into them.)
This is what I mean when I say – are we victims? Are we just sheep that follow what the system tells us we must do? Or do we take responsibility for our own health – do our own research, understand what our bodies are telling us, thereby making decisions (with the help of Doctors) that we feel confident is best for us and our families?
What do you think?