I’m a believer in natural supplements. I know that natural supplements can often heal us of illness, comfort us in times of pain, and make us stronger and better feeling by supplementing the vitamins and minerals we don’t get enough of. Supplements can even help us gain muscle weight and get more out of our workouts. But some supplements can be dangerous if we abuse them by increasing the suggested dosage.
Sometimes, when we find a supplement that is doing something good for us, we begin to think that it will do more good if we increase the amount we are using. In some cases this may be true, but in many cases it is not. And while the experts at our health food stores are not doctors, they do typically know their business and can guide you in the use of the natural supplements. It is however, a good idea to take natural supplements as directed.
When it comes to medicine, it is important to understand that most medicines (drugs) only mask the symptoms of our ailments, and rarely cure them. And though medicines are usually prescribed by your doctor, the doctor doesn’t always know how you are going to react to the drugs they prescribe. Many can have very dangerous side effects. If you watch any of the plethora of prescription drug commercials on television, you’ll often hear the actor or narrator warn you of the possible side effects. Some can even be fatal. Many drugs are rushed to the market so quickly that the drug companies haven’t tested them long enough to understand the full implications of their use. Did you know that there are now laws that protect drug companies from legal action should you or a loved one die from the drugs they produce?
The reason that I am sharing these thoughts about prescription drugs is to remind you that doctors don’t always know what is best for you. As a matter of fact, most diagnoses by doctors are educated guesses. Once they tell you what they feel is wrong with you, they often prescribe a drug and tell you to come back if it doesn’t work. In my many years of study in nutrition, health and fitness, I have come to understand that though we have put our faith in these doctors, they are often wrong. And when they are, the results can be serious. Did you know that doctors (MD’s) usually get little to no education in diet, nutrition, or natural healing methods and supplements? Here are a few things to ask yourself when looking for help from a doctor to get you feeling better:
- Am I seeing the right kind of doctor?
- Is it necessary to get a 2nd opinion on my illness and what was prescribed for it?
- Are the drugs being prescribed to me going to be habit forming or addictive?
- Is there a natural alternative to these prescriptions that might be safer?
Feeling your best and being your strongest is something we all want for as long as we can have it. Choosing the right doctor can make a significant difference when it comes to your health. Choosing the wrong doctor can jeopardize your health in the short and the long term, but more important can take you down longer and more seriously if your condition is misdiagnosed or not understood for what it really is.
As an aspiring young racer with an understanding of the physical dangers of racing, I found advantages in taking up a big picture approach to my health, eventually becoming so fascinated with fitness and health that I became a Personal Trainer. I felt that if I was going to truly recognize and reap the benefits of health in my racing program, I was going to have to get to know all about my body and how to keep it strong and disease free throughout my racing years. Little did I know, this new found interest in my health would lead me on a path to learning a lot more about doctors, medicines, and supplements.
Having had back injuries, I felt that I needed to do some serious homework on doctors and treatments in order make the right decisions for getting past the pain, and getting healed with the best possible results. Thanks to a referral to the right doctor coupled with a lot of common sense and study, I learned a lot about the different types of doctors and where their true concerns lie. I spent years learning about these different types of doctors and eventually began comparing their methods to finally decide the type of doctor to best help me sustain and even prolong a healthy life. I even became involved in selling medical equipment, became a therapist, and eventually received training as an instructor for the use of therapeutic modalities. I literally began training doctors in the use of therapy, and what I learned was a bit shocking. Not only did I discovered that many of the things I had been told about doctors not only wasn’t true, but that some of the doctors I had learned to trust with my health had no regard at all for my health and wellbeing.
One important facet of choosing the right doctor is choosing a doctor that understands the dietary needs of your body, and has some knowledge of nutrition and how it affects your health. Choosing a doctor that has no experience with nutrition and natural (homeopathic) supplementation may mean that you end up playing the guessing game with your health. But choosing a doctor that has a true understanding of nutrition and homeopathic prescription can keep you on track to getting and staying healthy. Most people don’t realize that the majority of disease in society today is the result of a lack of good nutrition.
Let me start by letting you in on some interesting and true facts about MD’s. As stated earlier, most MD’s have absolutely no education in the field of nutrition because it doesn’t serve their purpose. MD’s support, and receive support and perks from the drug companies for prescribing you chemical drugs. MD’s follow a belief in drugs because that is what they were taught in medical school. They weren’t taught that healing is better served through natural means. Did you know that by running to the doctor to get antibiotics every time you get a runny nose or a cold, you are killing your body’s natural ability to heal by forcing your immune system to rely on drugs? Did you know that many drugs destroy or cause bleeding of your internal organs, eventually leading to other more serious conditions? There are many reasons why more often than not, the prescription of chemical drugs does not support a healthy lifestyle.
Now that I have stated a few of the negative effects that chemical drugs can have on your body, let me elaborate on the instances that you may need these drugs. In emergency situations you may need drugs for specific issues that need a fast and specific impact like slowing bleeding, killing pain in the instance of an accident, or putting you to sleep like an anesthetic for surgery. So let me stress that there are times when you may need drugs to facilitate getting you through a crisis. However, for meeting the needs of illness that is not directly life threatening, a good homeopathic assessment and treatment is safest, and will likely show the best results while having less negative effects on your health in both the short and long term.
As you become close to a good homeopathic doctor, you will fully understand his role in your medical choices and will learn to trust his decisions in both areas. As far as my doctor is concerned, if I get into an emergency situation that dictates immediate emergency treatment, I make sure that he plays a role in overseeing any and all treatment that I receive if time permits.
As I had mentioned previously, I had in the past, sustained a back injury. This happened while I was in the military, and though it seemed to heal fairly well, I was warned that I would eventually feel it resurface and that it would give me some trouble. Well, it did and I knew I needed to get help as soon as I could make the trip to the doctor.
Once I arrived and met the doctor, he ordered the x-rays, and prescribed to me some muscle relaxers and pain medication. Once he reviewed my x-rays and told me what he found, along with his diagnosis and course of action, I was shocked! He told me that surgery would have to be performed, and that they would have to fuse disks in my back. This was my first big clue, and needless to say a wakeup call that I was about to have to make some pretty serious decisions.
At this point, it wasn’t that I was scared of surgery, but rather that I was scared of the notion of getting discs fused together in my back. Taking into account people that I have known over the years that had this type surgery and would never be the same, this was a very frightening prospect for me. Some of them, including a family member of mine, would be in pain from that point on, never to have relief again after her first invasive surgery. And this doesn’t even take into account the physical limitations brought on by a reduced range of motion and other physical inabilities that come with such a surgery. I refused to believe that there were no other options. I refused to believe that the only course of action for me was to go under the knife.
After speaking with an old friend about what I was going through, I decided to see a doctor she had been seeing for several years. This doctor was a Chiropractor and a Kinesiologist whose practice was based on Applied Kinesiology. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, “Kinesiology” is primarily defined as the study of the body’s muscle tissue, and “Applied Kinesiology” is defined as the use of muscle testing to identify imbalances in the body’s structural, chemical, emotional and energy centers to establish the body’s priority healing needs. So I set an appointment for the next week, and began to dig more into the theory of Applied Kinesiology. I soon came to find out that what was fascinating about this Applied Kinesiology was that it was real science and not a guessing game. This also reinforced some gray areas for me that surfaced while visiting my former MD’s office.
When I would visit my MD, he’d walk into the examination room and ask me, “What’s wrong with you?” To which I would reply, “You tell me, you’re the doctor.” Then he would ask me a series of questions that would help him to make a guess about my condition. You heard me right, I said a guess. That is exactly what an MD does when you come in for help. Short of spending hundreds of dollars and missed work on getting blood tests or other, more complicated and expensive tests, his job was to guess what was wrong with you. Then he would write a prescription or two and send you on your way, telling you that if this didn’t do it, to come back and spend more money so that he could guess again, though in not so many words. This was a serious red flag that I should have paid more attention to a long time ago.
Needless to say, I headed home and called this Kinesiologist Chiropractor to setup and appointment. After an examination and a look at my x-rays (something that all good chiropractors want to see before your first treatment), he told me that he could help without the use of surgery or any other invasive treatment. I was somewhat relieved by his answer, but was told that I would have to visit 3 times per week for therapy and be seriously diligent about my reactive therapy at home, which included stretching and proper rest. He also gave me some natural supplements to reduce the inflammation and pain, and told me that he would look forward to seeing me again for my next scheduled appointment.
Within a month I was back on track and feeling good. I was impressed with the results that this doctor had delivered without the scare of a drug addiction or guessing game. But what was also fascinating to me was he would gladly explain anything that I had questions about, and began teaching me about the spine and the nervous system, and how they interacted with the body’s muscles to give indications of problems. Even more fascinating was that even though it sometimes seemed like voodoo watching him touch muscles and find weaknesses, he was always correct in his diagnosis. Even when I thought I knew what my condition was, he could prove me wrong with his means of testing my muscle’s reactions to the condition. I once argued with him that I had the flu, but he laughed and said, “No, you have a form of bacteria in your system that is making you feel sick and feverish, giving you flu-like symptoms.” After getting past my inquisition, he told me to run by the grocery store and pick up a natural probiotic supplement called acidophilus, and take 2 with each meal for the next few days. You can imagine my surprise when I did what he told me to, and awoke the very next morning feeling like a new man. How could he be wrong? These are methods that were developed thousands of years ago, well before we had MD’s to prescribe us dangerous drugs. I am thoroughly convinced that a good Kinesiologist Chiropractor can, and will get you results if you follow his instruction, and make the visits he suggests.
If you read the description of Applied Kinesiology again, you’ll see that it encompasses the emotional side of your health as well. Through Applied Kinesiology your doctor can help you resolve emotional problems that can stem from nutritional and physical deficiencies to help you strengthen your overall health picture. Additionally, I found out that most successful professional athletes visit their chiropractor for an adjustment prior to each and every event.
Now where does this leave the rest of the Chiropractic world? Unfortunately, I have heard a lot of people that are quick to discredit Chiropractors. Some even have funny names for them, like Crackerpractor or Quackerpractor. These are funny enough, but knowing what I do now about their knowledge of the body and healing, you’ll never hear a derogatory statement from me about a good Chiropractor. With that said, the understanding that spinal manipulation plays a role in long term health was known and spoken of thousands of years ago, though the science and the founding of Chiropractic care is accredited to a man known as D.D. Palmer, who began practice in the late 1800’s.
Chiropractic care today has two main groups. The “Straights”, now the minority, emphasize vitalism, innate intelligence, and spinal adjustments, and consider subluxations to be the leading cause of all disease. The “Mixers” are open to more mainstream and alternative medical techniques such as exercise, massage, nutritional supplements, and even Acupuncture.
Throughout its history, Chiropractic care has been controversial, being dubbed as not being a solid science by many in the medical community. Of course such statements are made by the same doctors that use guess work and chemical drugs to get your money visit after visit, keeping you coming back for weeks for a single ailment that a good Chiropractor would have had you healed of long before.Additionally, the alternative care category that includes Chiropractors is the fastest growing segment of the medical industry today. More and more people are coming around to the notion that homeopathic (alternative) care physicians are the way to go for fast, safe healing. Maybe that is because people are starting to realize that the drugs they’re taking are only helping them deal with their condition, and not healing them of it?
Though there is no doubt in my mind that we suffer many ailments as a result of poor spinal alignment, the critical part of discovering and treating these ailments more specifically is the aspect of Applied Kinesiology. And though you can visit a Chiropractor who is not a Kinesiologist that may relieve you of ailments, he is likely to adjust you entirely, and that may not be necessary. But if you are good enough at explaining your ailment, most Chiropractors know what to adjust to relieve the problem and heal it.
Because of their ability to diagnose through muscle reaction, I feel that the best bet is to be examined by a Kinesiologist Chiropractor for a more accurate assessment of your condition and a more focused means of treating it. Keeping in alignment is good, but knowing what is being adjusted and why is the key to getting better and building a healthier, stronger body. However, any decent Chiropractor is better than any MD on any day.
Another aspect of a Chiropractor that I was impressed with was their knowledge of therapies and rehabilitation. They work very hard at finding natural ways to heal through physical therapy and rehabilitation. This makes sense when you think about them not relying on chemical drugs to affect symptoms, and invasive surgeries to correct problems. Typically you will find that Chiropractors own and operate more therapy modalities, and better understand therapeutic methods. Most of them really do have a genuine devotion to helping you heal.
With that said, I was disappointed to learn that MD’s are more concerned with your return visit and the money they make on those visits. While training doctors on the value of healing with Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), and how to use it to get the best results, I rarely found an MD that wanted to purchase these great devices, even though Chiropractors were buying them. Several times MD’s actually told me that they didn’t want devices that healed so many ailments, because they depend on those patients coming through the door. And though this may not include every MD, this happened so often that I quit wasting my time on MD’s. Chiropractors, on the other hand, were the opposite. They knew their patients would refer their friends if they were healed.