Last week, I attended a seminar at the local hospital presented by a physician who specialized in internal medicine. Over the past few years, he has become very interested in integrative medicine, which combines traditional western medicine with more holistic, natural practices. His seminar was about herbal alternatives to certain medicines. He gave each person attending an agenda which included information about each herb or supplement he would be discussing so we could follow along. It was really interesting and for me, a definite small victory for the holistic community. Here we have a local doctor who is not only giving out information on alternative therapies, but actually encouraging people to try them. I thought it was great to hear a doctor talk about treating the whole problem at its root, rather than just pumping patients full of pills to treat their symptoms, and then sending them on their way (with a huge bill and really no better off then they were when they walked through the door).
I'm absolutely not disregarding western medicine and I do feel it has earned its place in our society. But if there are less expensive alternatives that don't cause side effects and actually treat the problem, not just the symptom, then why not try it first? Americans are just so used to quick fixes, that to us it seems too time consuming and too inconvenient to put in the effort it takes to treat a disease using methods other than pills and surgeries. I myself have certainly fallen victim to that mentality and have only recently begun to explore the benefits of holistic medicine. Listening to the seminar kind of brought me back to remembering why I started on that path in the first place. And when the doctor said that the absolute best way to treat a disease and its symptoms always comes back to diet and exercise, it gave me sort of a jolt. I know this. Of course I know this...but how easy it is to forget and start to ache for a simpler way out. This is a conundrum because there really isn't anything simpler than the basic idea of diet and exercise. But to most people, myself included, there's just something about making those changes that seems so incredibly difficult, and we tend to inevitably turn back to quick fixes rather than stay on track with eating well and working out.
Another method that the doctor discussed as a way to prevent and treat disease was stress reduction, another seemingly simple task. Reduce stress, and blood pressure drops. Reduce stress, and fatigue lessens. Reduce stress, and perhaps weight loss becomes easier. But reducing stress-even though it is a simple idea-is very, very difficult for most people. I know that even with the introduction of stress relieving activities like yoga, early morning walks, and the occasional hot bath, I'm still overwhelmed by daily life and that stress definitely interferes with my drive to lose weight. What's sad is that if someone asked me what's the one thing I want more than anything (other than my mom's health and world peace, of course!), I would tell them I wanted to lose weight and feel better about myself. But even wanting it that badly can't seem to make me stay on track and not look out for the quicker fixes.
My boss at the natural market where I work has just introduced an all homeopathic HCG diet and has offered it to me at cost so I can try it and tell customers about my experience. If you have been following my blog, you know that I was nearly tempted into trying the HCG diet last year (the non-homeopathic, sketchier version) but at the last minute decided I was too smart for that. Now, with the offer on the table, I'm wondering if I should just go for it or if I can outsmart my insanely strong craving for this all new quick fix. My rational side says I can beat it, but my all-American side is sitting on my shoulder with a little red pitchfork and whispering to me, "Just do it." No clue yet what the final decision will be. I just hope it's the right one.
Published On: March 23, 2011