Alternative medicine or the latest label complimentary medicine are terms used to define health care that falls outside physician based treatment. I believe it’s a good fit, and is becoming as mainstream to our lives as toady’s high tech world of western medicine. More than just a buzz word, complimentary medicine is now a billion dollar business with state based licenser for all kinds of professional practitioners.


Although buzz word labels change and the focus of treatment modalities may change to meet our health needs the demand is there. These changes are fueled by a wave of discontent running through our country over what traditional medicine doesn’t have to offer. Then there’s the issue of whether or not we can afford treatment due to the prohibitive costs of health care and insurance. If anywhere in your medical history a symptom or condition appears you may then be categorized with those two nasty little words pre-existing condition. Instead of being angry, which you have every right, why not look to new- or rather old ways of staying healthy? Albeit a painful but necessary shift, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing after all.


Example: Following US embargo which denied Cuban medical doctors of western medicines doctors and medical students attend green pharmacy school to learn the use of herbs and plants to maintain health and treat disease.  Forced into this change patient and doctor alike turn more and more to the plants that surround them to treat illness and sustain health. The information gleaned out of this enforced experiment should prove to be useful as to how effective plant medicines are in caring for an entire population.


I don’t believe anyone including myself thinks we should start over, western medicine has so much to offer but where do we go from here? Up until now it appears we have had our  way with nature but as with all things there must be some balance. Nature ignored becomes nature out of control. Drug resistant strains of bacteria, viruses that mutate and opportunistic fungi are proving our over dependence on drugs that mask symptoms and do not treat the root cause of illness.


When we rely totally on these kinds of medicines we further push ourselves into more serious kinds of illness moving further and further away from health and balance. To begin to correct this we must first move away from our over dependence on medications, especially over the counter medications that will lead to deeper imbalances and yes, more pills.


We still need our physicians and their guidance, but rather than total reliance we need to partner with our doctors in the care of our health. A truly caring physician will welcome your interest in the care and feeding of your good health, not question or intimidate. Till next time, Rebecca