Why I Think What I Think

6:50 PM

Today I began my second post-secondary program (my first was an Honors BSc in Nutritional Science from UWO) at the Academy of Natural Health. I am currently studying towards my registration as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist. This may seem to some a step backwards, receiving a less known albeit less credible designation behind my name directly after spending four years on an undergraduate degree at a well known University. I've chosen this path because I believe in holistic health care and I'm positive there is much for me to learn. So why do I subscribe to this alternative to conventional medicine?

Holistic health care is simply an approach to well-being that is achieved by natural means, taking into account the whole body (not just symptoms and ways to eliminate them), and focusing on prevention rather than treatment. It is one that I've found encourages self-study, a partnership between practitioner and patient, and supporting the body to heal itself. On the other hand, allopathic medicine sees medicine as a means to reduce problems, generally with no great amount of time spent on root causes, and ultimately ignoring systemic balance for the sake of treating single parts.

Stats Can recently found that 20% of Canadians use alternative health care and the rates are on the rise. There are now 25,000 Canadians employed in natural health with 42,000 products available and $2.5 billion spent per year. It is an industry that I intend on being a part of for a long time and one that I plan on endorsing and assisting in the growth of within my city.

I'm simply disenchanted with the conventional system. The Journal of the American Medical Association is now 75% funded by pharmaceutical companies. Two-thirds of allopathic research this year will be done at for-profit companies' facilities, instead of Universities. An independent watch-dog organization found that studies by drug companies are 3 - 5 times more likely to recommend a drug than studies by nonprofit researchers, despite gathering the same data. A famous study by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 tested the effectiveness of arthritis medications. It was found that the natural remedy (glucosamine chloride with chondritin) offered a higher overall pain decrease in participants than the prescription drug (Celebrex). A placebo was also included. However, because in the area of "20% pain reduction" the Celebrex had a 70% response rate and the glucosamine had a 66.5% response rate the study authors concluded and publicly reported that the natural remedy did not reduce pain effectively. Subsequently the New York Times reported that no effect was found with patients using the natural remedy. It is interesting to note that 11% of the researchers were on pharmaceutical company payrolls.

This is not to say that I would slather a severed limb in calendula salve and hope to live, or even that this past week when I suffered from a severely painful dry-socket from a wisdom tooth extraction that I didn't dabble (for the first time) in the world of codeine, but in general I use and promote natural remedies and health care philosophies.

You are welcome to post comments below. I encourage it. Let's talk about what you think on the topic.

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  1. i am wondering how you feel about vaccinations and how/if they can fit into a natural health care philosophy.

  2. I'm right there with you. I believe that every type of healing has it's place, but I do feel that surgery and pharmaceuticals are recommended much more often then they should be.
    Real information about the drug companies (all those stats above) makes me feel sick when I think about. (ironic eh?)
    I've tried lots of different methods of healing so far, and from my experience holistic health care is my preference.
    I love the variety of natural remedies. Allopathic medicine seems to like to put people into big groups where everyone gets the same treatment. No wonder so many people react badly, heal badly, develop chronic problems.
    I am one of the 20% of Canadians who choose to invest in enzymes, probiotics, yoga classes, natural beauty products, water filters, organic produce, grounding technology, homeopathic remedies, nutrition consultations, energy balancing, touch for health, and the list goes on and on....
    Next up for me is a 4 month run of the Body Ecology Diet :)

  3. At risk of repeating myself, I totally agree with you - there is a place for allopathic medicine. It's a lifelong journey of figuring out where that place is in my life, and where it will be in the lives of my future children. As for vaccinations, I don't feel close enough to crossing that bridge to spend a lot of time looking into it. It's been my unofficial position that I don't want my kids vaccinated but it's also been my unofficial position that I want natural home childbirth and homeschooling which might not happen. I have a husband to consider, ha ha.

  4. As someone who is all to familiar with joint and muscle pain (I have SIJD), I
    have taken my share of Glucosamine with Chondroitin.

    Although it includes all kinds of nasty tasting ingredients, like fish oil and
    shark cartlidge, I would gladly take it again. And I would recommend it as a
    long-term benefit to joint pain. It repairs and strengthens the joints.

    I would most certainly not recommend spending huge amounts of money on brand
    name products that essentially do the same thing (if not less),like Lakota and
    the like.

    If you suffer from this type of pain, get yourself to Costco (or Sam's Club),and
    buy the bulk bottle of Glucosamine.

    You won't regret it.

    Also worthy to note: I find that physicians tend to cover the real issues with
    medications that only treat the symptoms. You can medicate pain as much as you
    want; it doesn't actually fix the problem. Dealing with the cause of the problem
    is the only way to repair it. With muscle and joint pain, this means
    Chiropractic,Physio/PT,Osteopathy/Deep Tissue Massage Therapy and the like;
    people who actually deal with joint and muscle repair.

    Explore your options- you may find you don't need to sit in the doctor's office
    nearly as often as you think !

  5. moxxie has had her two month shots. but then i started looking into it and it's appalling what goes into vaccines, and thus into our bodies. i'm not going to say that i'm an all natural kind of girl, because i'm not, but i want to protect my daughter from all kinds of complications linked to vaccines. i am looking into getting a naturopath to promote health and immunity for her, but i am not sure we can afford it.

  6. dude, that's sick that' you're going back to school for that


  7. Thanks Teen.
    Vaccines do have a lot of nasty ingredients and even more nasty side effects. Even inquiring and showing the medical system, government and school system that we are taking health into our own hands is a step in the right direction.
    Betty - glucosamine is great and I'm glad you've found great prices. I also recommend MSM to reduce inflammation, and looking to "Genacol", a collagen supplement that rebuilds better than anything else I've seen. It's interesting that doctors are happy to suggest ways to reduce symptoms but forget to seek out why the condition has begun in the first place. If joint degradation is caused by an overwhelming acidity in the body, or a lack of essential fatty acids, it would be a nice thing to know, even when the joints stop hurting.


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