Alternative Medicine

Tips for finding a balance

Do you want more from yourself? Ready to pay more attention to the interconnectedness of your body, mind, and emotions? Do you think that focusing on your health is a priority? If so, exploring alternative medicine may be for you.

Alternative medicine is defined as a range of medical therapies that aren’t regarded as orthodox by the medical profession.

Examples of alternative medicine include: Herbalism and diet
Yoga and Tai Chi
Chiropractic Care

In the past decade, the alternative medicine industry has become more widely accepted which has led these types of treatments to also be known as complementary medicine. Some medical professionals respect and understand the desire to add alternative medicine practices into a traditional care regime and encourage a patient to do so. If you choose to replace or compliment your care regime with alternative medicine, consider the following:

Try to treat the root cause of your discomfort before considering medication. Before embarking on any new medical treatments, take stock of your overall health.

Depending on your symptoms, there’s a chance that you can cut down on medications overall by fixing your ailments using alternative medicine rather than traditional medical interventions.

Perhaps, instead of taking prescription heartburn medicine you can reduce stress and cut down on foods that aggravate your stomach. Or, instead of using a daily anti-inflammatory to treat your chronic knee pain, you can lose weight or gain strength to support your aching joints.

Practices such as yoga, chiropractic care, proper diet, and meditation can all help with common health issues which may result in the reduced need for traditional medications.

Do your research. Did you know that St. John’s Wart can be a great way to help ward off depression but may also make birth control ineffective? Or that Kava, used to help lessen anxiety and insomnia can be bad for your liver? Before you begin taking alternative medicines makes sure that you do your research to understand the positives and negatives of each natural cure.

If you take multiple traditional medications, it’s also a good idea to speak to a pharmacist to make sure that any new natural remedies that you’re taking are compatible with the traditional ones. Focus on the way you feel and not the negative voices around you. Despite the fact that alternative medicine has been around longer than it’s “traditional” counterpart, friends, family, and even some medical professionals may push back on your decisions to pursue health via alternative medicine. Despite the potential pushback, it all comes down to your convictions, the way you feel and your quality of life. It’s always helpful to have positive voices around to lift you up so joining an alternative medicine online group or spending time with friends with the same convictions may help you stay on track. In the end, all that matters is that you feel well, reduce the need for traditional medications and have a healthy mind.

Dr. Jeffrey Ditzell is a Psychiatrist in New York City and offers nutrition coaching in the New York City area.