“Quiet down and listen to your own heartbeat. Quiet down and listen to your own pulse. Quiet down and pay attention to what your health is telling you. It’s the most accurate and cheapest diagnosis you’ll ever have.”
-Neel Trivedi (at a mental health seminar)

Yesterday, I explored some broad views about how people felt about natural medication both in place of as well as alternative to chemically based drugs. In today’s follow-up post, I’m quoting specific examples of how certain individuals feel and why.

Rosa, a fifty-six year old neighbor of mine, has been on prescription medication for various ailments including arthritis, diabetes and a heart condition for several years. Much like my own case, she tried replacing her medication with natural supplements but all efforts produced very little fruition.

“In certain cases, like my arthritis, it did help a little bit,” Rosa said. “I tried acupuncture as well as holistic supplements. It did loosen up my joints which in turn, eased the pain a little bit. But I can’t say it was as effective as an over-the-counter pain reliever.”

Rosa’s case highlights an important factor when comparing natural supplements to normal drugs. In many cases, natural supplements can help prevent a health issue from excelerating but rarely does it actually serve as an effective tool to omit it all together.

My mom’s regular acupuncturist (name withheld by request) and one I’ve seen on occasion said, “Acupuncture, plant-based herbs and any other approach to healthcare that is defined as ‘alternative’ is more about sustaining your health than actually curing something. What I do is either prevent certain ailments when detected at a preliminary stage from exacerbating or keep them from coming back once the ailment has deteriorate. That’s why it wouldn’t be nearly as effective as a name-brand pain reliever or an Ambien type of sleep aid. Those drugs provide immediate relief because of the chemicals in them but eventually, you’ll crash and need a larger quantity to keep going.”

While there is validity in the acupunctarist’s claims, what about those people, like myself, who’s bodies never respond to alternative treatments?

“I would suggest to try an alternative approach side-by-side to your prescription medication,” the acupuncturist said. “Don’t look for immediate relief. Instead, keep taking your meds but see if natural supplements help in eventually lowering your dosage. But take it one step at a time and overall, listen to your body.”

The statement above sums up my personal thoughts about alternative medication in comparison to chemically-based drugs.

Be open to anything. Don’t dismiss unorthodox treatments outright without looking into them. But don’t villify prescription medication either. Yes, there are pharmacies who will hand out drugs like candies to make an extra buck or two. Yes, some doctors will write prescriptions without batting an eyelid.

And yet there are bodies who need chemical assistance. And yet again, there are some who don’t. To reiterate what I stated in yesterday’s post, every individual’s body is different. Everyone’s healthcare needs are different. To determine what’s right for you, be in tune with your mind and body.

Do you agree with the ideas expressed in today’s post? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

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