Traditional vs Holistic Medicine

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  1. profile image49
    Dr. Health Blogposted 9 years ago

    Last week I visited with a Chiropractor by the name of Jesse Liebman.  Dr. Jesse is not only a Chiropractor, but he also practices wellness and prevention in addition to the science of spinal adjustments.  I didn't go as a patient, but as a curious scientist wanting to learn more about an aspect of medicine that was different from my training, but becoming more in demand by patients.
    We spent a great deal of time talking about why our worlds seem to be at odds with one another and how we could work together to promote health in our patients. 
    What an awesome experience! 
    Do you as a patient feel that you must choose either holistic or western medicine?  Do you have a provider that is open to either?  Please share your thoughts or experiences.

    Okay, I must confess..He did comp me a spinal adjustment.  I must admit, it felt great and did relieve (thus far) my chronic neck pain.

    1. dutchman1951 profile image61
      dutchman1951posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      My regular family Doctor is an ND (Naturopathic Medicine). SHE is very well trained and very capable, and is assisting me with my Diabetes. I am having a lot of success with liquid natural meds, And She is trained to make and use them. I have a regime of diet and natural meds that complement my main Diabetic meds, and surprising enough my Internal Med specialist that I use for my Diabetes, loves the idea!

      She, my ND is going after the internal causes of the disease, and trying to assist my body to repair the Pancreas and rid the blood of the excess sugar. (two seperate ways to attack the disease in combination). Using the ND I have learned a lot about this Disease, in Understandable terms.

      Some of the natural meds are assisting in making my cells less insulin resistant, and I can tell it is reversing the Disease. Feeling in Toes coming back, muscles not aching etc...many good signs. And No Insulin required, thank god.

      Using an ND is the best Medical move I made.

      1. rebekahELLE profile image86
        rebekahELLEposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        wonderful news for you. smile

        1. dutchman1951 profile image61
          dutchman1951posted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you. Also could be good for others with type 2 diabeetes if they would consider an ND as their Doctor. Some here in nashville will not use them, and thats a mistake I think.

    2. profile image0
      cosetteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      yes traditional doctors are beginning to embrace holistic treatments and see their value...and holistic practitioners see the need for aggressive, traditional medicine...i think we are experiencing a whole new era of medicine where it is a combination of holistic, spiritual, and traditional medicine and preventive care on the part of the patient.

    3. profile image0
      sarah dawkinsposted 9 years agoin reply to this


      I live here in the UK where access to western medicine is free and available to all.  However, holistic medicine is still mainly within the private sector.  There are a few GP's now that will refer for some types of holistic medicine, for free, but these are few and far between.

      I choose holistic medicine over western as a first line, partly because I don't believe that we need the volume of chemicals in our lives that we currenly have.  There is a holistic treatment for every ailment and they are there to be found, but you have to look hard as some are not as obvious as others. 

      Last year, I did need to visit my GP as I broke my thumb.  The visit wasn't for any medication as I was able to self medicate with natural and holistic products, but I needed a sick note for work.  The GP was the only place I could get one as we can only self-certificate for a week and I needed many more weeks away from work.

      I don't feel that I have to choose between the two as they both do different jobs but have a combined goal of  health.  The choice is made depending on what my needs are at the time for a return to health.  I believe that they are able to work together, synergistically.

    4. ediggity profile image59
      ediggityposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      We as a patient just want to get better.  Most of the time we don't have a clue on what approach to take for a cure.  That is why we rely on the doctor to provide the best advice and diagnosis.  But the majority of western medicine doctors these days only rely on quick diagnose, and prescribe a pill.  A direct result of the pharmaceutical companies pushing their products.  I had no clue how much Doctors loathed alternative medicine until my last visit.  I mentioned some supplements I was thinking of trying to my Doctor and got an ear full.  I guess it's just job security.  bottom line, you're the doctor, you diagnose, give us the best options whether it's western, or combined therapy.  That's what you're there for, to help people.

  2. Colebabie profile image60
    Colebabieposted 9 years ago

    I have doctors that provide one or the other and both. The point is it is whatever is best for the patient. I plan on helping my patients in whatever way possible.

  3. profile image0
    Leta Sposted 9 years ago

    I think the "idea" to integrate holistic and traditional medicine is definitely already here.  Note books by Dr. Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra, two western-trained medical doctors who write/talk about nontraditional and non-western health practices.  However, the actual practice by real life physicians is another thing.  There's a lot of catching up to be done there.

    Referrals to chiropractors, however, is almost mainstream... Especially for injuries and chronic pain.

  4. Lapis Lazuli profile image61
    Lapis Lazuliposted 9 years ago

    The human body is by far more complex than a Mercedes Benz or a Lexus, yet we spend a lot more money in car alignments and oil changes than we do with our own human bodies.

    When I was a kid, only black and white TVs existed.  In 2009, I am only 45 years old and all the kids own cell phones.
    When I was in highschool, Chiropractors were all sued by doctors.

    Today, I can walk because of the many chiropractors who have adjusted the alignment of my skeletons over the years.  No medications could have helped me, instead, the pharmaceutical companies would have killed me as they have killed my mother last year, in 2008.  She died from the side effects of the medications prescribed to her for her curable disease and the meds gave her a heart attack.  Can you imagine taking pills that will kill you, yet no one tells you.

    It is no longer about what we believe, it is about what our bodies need. 

    I was trained for 7 years by a smart doctor who was determined to educate me and thousands of others so we could understand how our brain work.

    We do have under our skull the smartest machine of all times yet we are still ignorant since we all die. Why ?  Our human brain is such an advanced machine, even you, as a doctor cannot phantom how to heal on your own without the help of the pharmaceutical world. 

    One of the smartest doctor I know is named Dr Joe Dispenza.  Check him out @   He is one of the main interviewed in the international hit movie called "  A movie that has inspired many to wake up and to see how intelligent the human brain is.

    I am pleased to have come across your Hub so I could share with you an entry way into a worm hole of a parallel reality of brain sanity.

    We are evolving so fast and we wonder why we die so young.  We die at the early age of 112 because no one has educated us about the fascination of the neuropath ways in our infinite brain.

    Mr Doctor, if you want to live a long life, you are so welcomed to interact and engaged with me so together we can conquer the adversity of the world we live in.

    I flat out refuse to die and as a result I have become an outcast.  Can you imagine being so determined to live, no one can control the longevity of my brain.
    At last.

    I told my mother, upon her death bed, that I have a choice to live for as long as I wish.

    Doctor, mister, can you compete with my wish ? might be the answer to your curiosity

    Caroline Couture Taylor

  5. profile image47
    jerbsenposted 9 years ago

    Dr. Health Blog,

    I appreciate your openness to investigate Holistic approaches.

    I have been let down by my traditional doctors too many times over the years and have been enlightened by my Holistic doctors in recent months.  My basic concern with traditional doctors is that they often seem baffled when I bring concerns that are not dire to their attention and their solutions are ALWAYS DRUGS OR SURGERY when the situation becomes pressing. 

    The Holistic Doctor I am seeing was able to test and is currently treating me for Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue (and low Thyroid).  I was offered pharmaceutical or natural treatments.  I chose the natural since the doctor felt they were just as effective.

    The primary care physician who I initially visited threw up her hands when I told her about my digestive issues, told me I looked healthy, ran tests, came up with nothing except Hypothyroidism and prescribed Thyroid meds for life.  She also sent me to a very intelligent seeming Gastroenterologist who in the end came up with nothing except he told me I could go on a very expensive "Large Molecular Trial Antibiotic" to reduce my persistent gastrointestinal troubles.  He also told me that I would be a prize to the Medical community since people like myself are needed to test these drugs.  As for the Hypothyroidism, the Gastroenterolist told me that I clearly did not exhibit signs of Hypothyroidism.  Among other things he did a scratch test which left prolonged red marks -- a sign of "high reactivity" which is the opposite of Hypothyroidism. 

    Since I was virtually assymptomic of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism, I did not want to go on meds for life (yet?) and decided to seek alternative answers.  The remarkable thing is that the alternative doctors ran far more extensive tests and were able to pinpoint the cause of my troubles which I listed above; my thyroid is low/normal and this is not the primary concern.  The solutions take work (major dietary changes for up to 6 months) but if I am solving the underlying problem, I am happy to do so.  I had already eliminated wheat from my diet on my own since I as so reactive to it.  This next step -- to avoid all the unsuspecting foods that were irritating my stomach for up to 6 months paired with the Candida diet for 6 weeks & various supplements seems perfectly reasonable to me.  These time frames are nothing compared to the length of time I've had GI troubles so they do not seem extreme at all.

    What puzzles me is that the so-called Holistic doctors are far more scientific in their approach and the Traditional doctors I've encountered seem trained to do 2 things, as I said previously, drugs and surgery.  They also seem stuck in old fashioned methods (i.e. non-empirical in their approach).  For example, when I was 1st diagnosed with Hypothyroidism, my friends in Med School and my family members who are high-level doctors told me with absolute certainty that my stressful lifestyle was not the cause of my Hypothyroidism and that no one who eats a Western Diet has Iodine deficiency. 

    ... and yet, the tests run by the Holistic doctor showed that I was Iodine deficient and so I began taking iThryoid. My core body temperature has gradually begun to rise (I've been taking it every day for months now).  As for my stressful lifestyle, the primary antidote to Adrenal fatigue is to rest more combined with the glutathione builder MaxGXL (which I am currently researching and which lead me to your hub).  My understanding is that as my Leaky Gut, Candida and Adrenal Fatigue are corrected, the stress on my body will be reduced and the Thyroid should resume its normal function.  In addition, I will be re-tested for parasites at a later date.

    So my question to you is why are Traditional doctors missing so many of the signs that seem to be well established and better understood in Holistic medicine? Is their training too reductive .. why are Adrenal Fatigue and Iodine deficiency impossibilities in Traditional medicine?  Why do food sensitivities and Leaky Gut not show up on their tests?  I am not hostile towards Traditional medicine, but it seems that something is wrong with the traditional approach since so many people's concerns seem to be falling on deaf ears in traditional medical practices.

  6. perfumer profile image64
    perfumerposted 9 years ago

    This is an except from "FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy" by Andrew W. Saul

    I FIRED MY FIRST DOCTOR when I was fifteen. I was away at school and experiencing some anxiety symptoms. Without hesitation and without explanation, the school physician gave me a little white envelope containing half a dozen little green capsules. Before leaving the infirmary, I took two of them, as directed.

    By the time I got to the campus dining hall, I was higher than a kite. I still remember walking over to the table by the window where my roommate and best friend, Dean, always sat. As I approached, he looked at me quizzically. Me, I just smiled. And I mean all I did was smile. Everything was absolutely, positively fine; there are no worries when you are as heavily doped up as I was. Of course I could do nothing but smile in that state. I did not care if I ate and I do not remember if I did; I had no interest in schoolwork, conversation, or anything else, either. Those little green capsules turned out to contain a very powerful tranquilizer.         

    It was odd, really, for the year was 1970, and seemingly every student I knew (except Dean and me) was perpetually in search of any way at all to purchase the kind of high I had just received, legally, entirely paid for by health insurance, and dispensed from the wise hands of the good ol' school doc.
    I never took a second dose of that tranquilizer. Maybe this is because I was a straight-laced good boy. Maybe. More likely, though, the real reason was because I wanted a healthy life. This was a major realization, a truly big step: I realized that the doctor's treatment was seriously amiss. I never went back to the infirmary.

    Firing a doctor need not assume the conventional image of a pink slip and a bootprint on the keester. Rather, to fire your doctor means to not need him, to outgrow her, to decide that the doctor's information is incomplete or wrong, and to determine his skill to be insufficient to bet your life on.

    To fire your doctor is to hire yourself as your chief physician.

  7. edguider profile image66
    edguiderposted 9 years ago

    Depending on what the medical issue is my doctor sometimes recommends both. Obviously doctors want to prescribe prescription meds because they make money by doing it but if it were up to me it would only be Holistic...

  8. profile image49
    Dr. Health Blogposted 9 years ago

    First of all I applaud your Naturopathic provider as well as your Internist for working together for your health and well being.  There are three major points came to mind as I was reading your blog.
    1.    Diabetes can occur as a result of several different problems. 
    A person can have one or multiple causes for Diabetes.  To just name a few:

    *Insulin resistance-
    Meaning your body makes enough insulin; however it has difficulty processing it.  Seen frequently in Adult Onset Diabetes and overweight persons.

    * Pancreas does not make enough insulin.-
    As see in Juvenile Diabetes.

    * Increase production or presentation of glucose to the body, such as seen with steroid use or adrenal tumors.

    These are just a few, and likely there are many others causes that cannot be fully explained or understood.  However, the holistic or medical treatment approach should be aim at the source(s) of your diabetes.

    2.    The goal is to make sure that, on average; your body is in a “normal” glucose state. 
    Whether it be from diet, holistic or a prescribe medication.  A good way to monitor this is to follow your hemoglobin A1C (glucose “tagged” hemoglobin).  This lab test will give you an idea of your sugar levels over the last 3 months.  Guidelines suggest that a Hemoglobin A1c less than 7 is good, but it would be awesome to keep it in the range of non diabetics- less than 6.0

    3.     Even herbal formulations, if not taken appropriately, can have negative effects.

    Be mindful that if you are being treated by a holistic and your Internist, there should be full disclosure of treatments from both sides.  There are herbal formulations that can interfere with the action of commonly prescribed Diabetes Treatment.
    For example (information from evitamins) :
    Guar gum
    In a small, controlled study, guar gum plus metformin slowed the rate of metformin absorption.7 In people with diabetes this interaction could reduce the blood sugar–lowering effectiveness of metformin. Until more is known, metformin should be taken two hours before or two hours after guar gum–containing supplements. It remains unclear whether the small amounts of guar gum found in many processed foods is enough to significantly affect metformin absorption.
    Ginkgo biloba
    In a preliminary trial, administration of Ginkgo biloba extract (120 mg per day) for three months to patients with type 2 diabetes who were taking oral anti-diabetes medication resulted in a significant worsening of glucose tolerance. Ginkgo did not impair glucose tolerance in individuals whose diabetes was controlled by diet. Individuals taking oral anti-diabetes medication should consult a doctor before taking Ginkgo biloba.
    Sounds like you have the best of both worlds.  I also encourage you to continue to be proactive and knowledgeable about your own medical condition.  This will help both practitioners, for your healthcare should be a team approach, with you as a key player.

    Wishing you good health, Dr. Health


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