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Alternative Medicine

Holisticonline.com Philosophy

The objective of HolisticOnline.com is to provide you with the information you need to make an intelligent decision on how to take care of yourself. With this aim in mind, we will cover all fields of the conventional and alternative medicine. We will try not to bias our viewpoint. 

However, we do have some opinions. This is an era of team work. At workplace, we teach workers the importance of being a team member and of working together. HolisticOnline believes that a similar team work between conventional and alternative medical practices make a lot of sense. This will allow us to take advantage of the synergism between conventional medicine (or Western medicine or allopathy) and the alternative medicine. (Synergy means that when we combine two things, the combination is better than the sum of the individual things. Something like 2 + 2 is not 4 but more than 4.) In this sense, we like complementary medicine or integrative medicine, as is more commonly called today. Combination of the best practices of both can significantly improve the healthcare delivered to the patients, something one cannot achieve alone. We will explain this further.

For example, when a patient has a severe heart attack, it is only prudent to take the person to the nearest emergency room and administer the medicines to stabilize the condition of the patient. "Good holistic doctors recognize that regular medicine really is best in certain areas, especially emergency situations," says Dr. Dennis Gersten, publisher of Atlantis, a bi-monthly imagery newsletter. "Using an inhaler during an attack can save the life of someone with asthma. What it can't do is improve the condition in the long term. That's where other treatments come in." It is important to look for the root cause for the problem. This is where most of the alternative practices become very useful.

One area where alternative treatment is particularly helpful is the managing of stress, which has been implicated in a wide range of conditions, from allergies and skin problems to gastrointestinal disorders and heart disease. Meditation, sound therapy and touch therapies such as massage and reflexology offer simple, practical techniques to keep stress at bay. Heart disease may come as a result of poor dietary habits, or from severe stress or from other lifestyle related causes. There are several wonderful practices available in the alternative health arena that will be of help. For example, Dean Ornish's "Opening Your Heart Program" may be one such program. It includes relaxation, meditation, and emotional sharing in support groups as well as exercise and dietary changes. On the other hand, acupuncture can greatly boost the immune systems of cancer or HIV patients while also improving their overall mental attitude and their general perspective of their disease. There are many herbs available that improves the immune system. The Co-enzyme Q-10 (popularly known as Co-Q10) is found to have some wonderful properties that helps combat heart disease. Ayurvedic medicines are available that had been shown very effective for treating diabetes. Ayurvedic texts written more than 5000 years ago refer to "hardening of vessels" and refer to a herbal treatment, which had been found clinically to be effective in lowering cholesterol without the adverse side effects of some of the traditional cholesterol lowering drugs. There are many such examples you can find in HolisticOnline. Again, we do not profess to dispense medical advise. We provide you with information that you can use to make better decisions pertaining your health.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the synergistic effect of conventional and holistic medicine can be demonstrated by an incident reported by Dr. Rosenfeld in "Dr. Rosenfeld's Guide to Alternative Medicine:"

Another patient, a woman of forty-eight, developed a hard lump on the right side of her neck. Biopsy revealed it to be a cancer that had originated in and spread from the base of the tongue. Her oncologist agreed that radiating her mouth and throat offered the best chance of cure, and that she would require some forty treatments. Unfortunately, X-ray therapy often burns the delicate tissues of the mouth, making eating painful, swallowing difficult, the tongue sore and swollen, and the teeth loose. When I forewarned the patient about all these possible complications, she consulted a specialist in alternative medicine. He advised her to have the radiation but to gargle with sesame oil before and after each session. The radiologist, the oncologist, and I were amused by this simplistic suggestion, but we did not object to it, because it could do no harm - and we had nothing better to offer.

Our patient began the combined X-ray therapy and sesame oil routine. To our astonishment, her mouth never became red and blistered, her tongue did not swell, she lost none of her teeth, and her ability to swallow remained intact! In follow-up exams, her oncologist reported to me that her mouth was "remarkably well hydrated with excellent saliva production, and she states that her taste is almost completely normal." In another chart note, he adds, "I have asked her to document in writing for us what substances, agents, and homeopathic drugs she used during her radiation therapy in hopes that it might benefit other patients. She clearly was extraordinarily positive throughout the course of the treatment, which was obviously to her great benefit."

None of the doctors involved in this case had ever seen anyone tolerate so much radiation so well. Although I can't be sure, I believe that it was the sesame oil that did the trick! In my view, this is an example of how patients can benefit when conventional and alternative practitioners work together to provide them with the best of both worlds.

Next Topic: What is the Difference Between Conventional and Holistic Medicine?

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