Western Medicine vs. a Holistic Approach

April 17th, 2013 by Lauren Carbis

Western Medicine Vs. Holistic Approach

Life presents unique opportunities that we would never wish upon ourselves. However, if we remain open to what the universe wants to teach us, we will even surprise ourselves at our resiliency and ability to not just persevere, but also shine brighter than ever before regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.

My life came to a screeching halt several years back as a vehicle I was a passenger in was struck by another car. I was left unconscious with severe bodily injuries. All I had known up to that point changed in an instant.

My release and enjoyment in life was long distance running. As I would train for competitions, my time out in nature, running through the trees, on the avenue, and through the local parks – I felt one with the universe. I could find pleasure in not only what I was actively doing, but also what I was seeing all around me. This was a true joy in my life that was now gone.

In dealing with my new normal, I had two options and a choice that needed to be made. Both choices consisted of a new regimen and way of life. I could either continue to rely on prescription drugs for temporarily numbing the pain while enduring the eventual side effects that would come. Or, I could take the time to study, learn and apply holistic techniques as doctors teach me how to listen to my body so I can give it what it truly needs to heal.

When I look back over these past five years, I am incredibly thankful for the wealth of education, knowledge and healing that has taken place by choosing to transition from a one-sided medical approach to an all-encompassing holistic approach for treating my injuries.

The wisdom I have been able to internalize and share with others includes the importance of overall health with special focus on healthy eating, pain management, and therapeutic exercise that paved the way right back to the running track! Embracing my body’s signals and giving it what it truly needs to operate at its best has dramatically increased my energy, vitality and positive mindset. In a bubble, it gave me confidence, optimism, and courage to begin running again after I had lost hope of ever doing so.

Please understand that I am not recommending you turn away from medical doctors for treating your injuries or illnesses. There is certainly a time and a place for it as you get back on your feet and are able to explore other options. For dealing with modern day issues, I really like the term “Complementary Medicine” as I think all of the various healing modalities have something valuable to offer.  In the case of traumatic injuries, like what I experienced back in 2008, it is clear I need both the “western medical” approach and the holistic approach. They were able to complement each other very well.

In my research, I received great advice from Tracy Stewart, who is a biochemist, licensed acupuncturist and owner of Qi Balance. She helped educate me further on how the two views of medicine can be appropriately combined for treatment.

“Acute and life-threatening situations respond best by seeing an MD immediately, especially where there is bleeding, head injuries, lacerations and broken bones.  This is what Western medicine does best.  However, chronic problems are not handled well in the West. In most chronic situations, all that Western medicine has to offer are drugs with side effects.”

In summary, Tracy believes that, “western medicine will save your life – and complementary medicine, or a more holistic approach, will save your health, and restore you to wholeness.”

I am thankful for her advice; although my view remains that we can approach wellness best with our mind in the right place, so that our energy, health, and bodily capacities can follow. In other words, mind over body is the approach I believe in.

To help get our mind aligned with what is best for our bodies so that our future destiny can be achieved, we need to feed our mind with information that will aid us in our decisions regarding our current and future path in life. I strongly recommend you take some time to watch a documentary called Food Matters.

Hippocrates, our founding father of modern medicine says, “Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food.” Imagine where we could go in life if our physical, mental and emotional health properly supported our destiny – with mind over body, it can truly become a reality!