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Conventional and holistic medicine are both million dollar industries. When it comes down to it, everyone is looking for a cure to what ails them. There are countless arguments for and against both, often with strong options on either side. Whether you prefer westernized medicine or alternative health care, neither are without flaws. After doing a lot of research and talking to people who either work in the industries or have strong beliefs about this subject, I came to a conclusion. First though, I would like to outline a few pros and cons of each type of medicine:
Conventional Medicine Pros:
- Science and evidence based. Drugs have been tested and approved by professionals in the field of medicine.
- Quality control, you know what you are getting and drugs are strictly regulated.
- Symptom based cures. Faster acting than alternative medicines and can save lives in medical crisis situations.
- Medicines treat symptoms but fail to take into consideration a person’s mind, body, and spirit.
- Side effects can be a big issue with many pharmaceutical drugs. Many drugs come with a risk of side effects that can be far worse than the illness that it is intended to treat.
- A one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t work for people who aren’t a “textbook case.”
- Cost can be a factor in some countries. It can be extremely expensive for people who live in countries where free health care is not provided.
Holistic Medicine Pros:
- Cheap and obtainable without a prescription
- Takes into consideration a whole-body approach to wellness
- Focuses on prevention as well as curing
- Lack of regulation
- Minimal testing and therefore lack of concrete evidence to back up claims
- Just because it is "natural" does not mean it is safe.
With all the pros and cons supporting both sides of the argument, you may be asking yourself, which is my best option? The answer is neither! Both come with good, bad, and the in-between. I don’t believe it needs to be black or white when it comes to healthcare. Do your homework, make educated decisions and do what you feel is best for you. Don’t choose a treatment based on whether it is classified as western or traditional medicine alone. Choose the treatment option that you feel is best suited to help improve or recover from what ails you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, talk to people, do research and know the facts! Your body is your temple so take care of it and make informed decisions. Whether you choose to use holistic or pharmaceutical medicine is irrelevant, if you make a choice that is well thought out and feels right to you. Integrating both western and traditional forms of health care is a good option too. Just be sure to keep your Doctor and Holistic Practitioner in the loop. You want to make sure that when combining pharmaceutical medicine with herbal medicine, that there are no interactions. You have the right to know what you are putting into your body. If you Doctor is not open to alternative therapies, then find a Doctor who is! The same goes for the other side; if your Naturopathic Doctor is close minded to western medicine, then keep looking! Check their credentials and trust your intuition. You deserve to see a Doctor who is professional, educated and respectful. Don’t settle for less.