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Does alternative medicine work in the real world? Read on for 5 pitfalls to avoid if you decide to go this route.
This post may seem counterintuitive, since I’m an advocate for alternative health care and trying to live life as naturally as possible. But it’s funny, lately I’ve realized that us “crunchy” people are prone to making some major mistakes when it comes to natural and alternative medicine.
These pitfalls are based on my own experience and mistakes. I hope you can learn something to help you make better choices about your health!
Does alternative medicine work? Here are 5 potential pitfalls.
Pitfall # 1: When it stops you from seeking medical help from an M.D.
Sometimes there are minor health issues that can be resolved through personal research and experimentation of natural remedies. But if you’re experiencing a major health issue, SEE A DOCTOR!
This should go without saying, but sadly it is not obvious for many people. For a while, I was one of those people! Concerned about the overuse of pharmaceutical drugs and the tendency of many doctors to simply suppress symptoms rather than treat root causes, I was hesitant to make an appointment even though my intuition was telling me something was wrong.
Instead of finding out what was really going on, I would flit from one natural remedy to the next, looking for answers. Needless to say, I wasted a LOT of time and money! We have to get a professional picture of what’s going on with our health in order to know what direction to take.
Be wise about choosing your doctor, though. Thankfully, there are more and more medical professionals today who are starting to walk away from the medical pharmaceutical model and treat causes, not just symptoms, of disease.
Try to find a functional medical doctor who is willing to look at your health holistically. Someone who knows what’s going on in the body and is willing to look deeper than just perscribing a pill and sending you packing.
Educate yourself, too. Find out what tests are important to run for your specific condition and what the optimal (not just normal) lab ranges are. Ask about ways to naturally treat your condition through diet, lifestyle, and supplementation – not medication alone. If your doctor is not open to a holistic or natural approach, keep searching! You’ll find someone who is.
Seeing a real doctor and getting necessary tests run will give you a true picture of what’s going on with your health. From there, you can seek the proper treatment, whether it be all natural or conventional.
Pitfall #2: When it’s based on unscientific methods.
Just because someone claims to be an expert on natural healing doesn’t make them one. Sometimes, us “natural minded folk” tend to be too trusting of any method, personality, or idea that comes along. Just because something is “all natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the real deal or even good for you! And many times, it can be based on faulty science by someone who wants to make a buck.
For example, someone might claim that a particular supplement or therapy is exactly what you need – but it might not be a good fit for your body chemistry.
If something seems hokey or too good to be true, it probably is. A little common sense goes a long way. As my doctor says, there are no shortcuts when it comes to health. The body needs time to heal.
Pitfall #3: When it’s too extreme.
While I’m a fan of living a natural lifestyle and eating real food, it can easily become an obsession. Some “expert” might say you need to eliminate all carbs, all fat, all meat, all dairy… and the list goes on. I’m not talking about food allergies here – I’m talking about the notion that there is something inherently wrong with certain foods that were created by God.
If you listen to every expert, pretty soon you will have nothing left to eat! Be wary of anyone who says you need to cut out an entire food group – this can lead to serious deficiencies and stress the body.
This is where intuition is so important. God put cravings in our body for a reason – it’s a message that we need a certain type of food! Imagine that. Sometimes we can be too smart for our own good.
Pitfall #4: When it creates fear in our lives.
While being health conscious is a good thing, sometimes we can take it a little too far. We can become laser-focused on all the chemicals and toxins in our homes and food that we start to become afraid. Fear can be just as toxic to health as chemicals. A balanced approach is key.
Try to eat real, unprocessed food from a variety of food groups at home. But if you’re invited to a party, restaurant, or event – try not to stress if the menu isn’t perfect. Having fun with friends is important for good health, too!
Pitfall #5: When a company or brand claims that the only way to optimal health is by purchasing their product.
This one gets to me a little bit. If you’re a part of a company that claims to be a fast-track to perfect health, I’m not trying to offend you. I’m just skeptical.
The only things people truly need for good health are good nutrition, enough sleep, exercise, and sunshine. All of which are free (well, except for food of course). Disease usually happens when one or all of these components gets out of balance.
To think that a pill or potion from a specific MLM company is going to fix all your health issues, well… it’s just highly unlikely. I’m not saying that none of these can be helpful. But there are probably other products that could do the job just as well. You’d probably be better off spending your money on healthy food!
So, there you have it – the five pitfalls of alternative and natural healthcare. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in natural methods! Recently, I’ve learned the importance of exercising more discernment in this area.
If you want to see the top natural products I genuinely recommend, check out my healthy living resource page!
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Have you experienced any pitfalls in the alternative medicine world? Comment below!