Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Problem with Medications and Surgeries

It is a shame that we live in a society where it is considered normal to medicate and cut into people, but it is considered alternative and experimental to address problems through dietary change and non-invasive bodywork.

Our chemical balance is largely dictated by our diet, and this same chemical balance can create an atmosphere that is either friendly or unfriendly towards our health. Many symptoms for which doctors will immediately prescribe medications can be addressed more naturally, and more permanently through dietary change. Inflammation, for example, which is responsible for a large percentage of our physical pain, can be exacerbated and, conversely, reduced by elimination of certain foods. But, in our culture, we’re more likely to go to a medical physician than a nutritionist for assistance.

The same holds true for surgery. Although many musculoskeletal abnormalities can be addressed through manual bodywork such as Body Tuning, it is more likely that a typical American will see a doctor for physical pain. The doctors field of study is ‘MEDICINE’ so is it any surprise that the doctor would prescribe medication for pain? There are two distinct problems with this approach.

One problem is that no medication is free of side-effects. Some of the side-effects of common medications are horrific. In many cases you are not only trading one problem for another (taking a medication for dry skin might give you diarrhea, or a medication for depression might give you headaches, etc.) The list of side-effects are staggering. When I see a television commercial for an allergy medication and the announcer starts listing the possibly side effects (irritability, headache, nausea, dry mouth, difficulty with urination, confusion and death) I sometimes wonder if I’m the only one paying attention. Is this really worth the allergy relief? Have you even tried nasal irrigation or eliminating gluten from your diet?

And another major problem with drugs is that medication only addresses the pain, not the cause of the pain. The cause continues. If it continues unaddressed (except for deadening the pain sensation) the cause will continue to get worse and worse until the doctor finally refers the patient to an osteopath, orthopedist or neurosurgeon. In most cases, surgery is not far behind.

But, like medication, surgery addresses the symptom, not the cause. Most people who get surgeries for things like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Bunions and Tennis Elbow are back, complaining of the same pain within five years.

This is due to two main reasons:


One, is the reason I already sited. The surgery addressed the result of the problem, but not the problem itself. If the patient does not change the activity, or correct the misalignment that caused the problem in the first place, the problem will return. Education on proper body mechanics is crucial for recovery.

The second reason is that many people fail to realize that getting surgery is only half of the battle. The post-surgery rehab is just as important as the surgery itself. If you think about it, surgery is actually quite barbaric. The surgeon must cut into your flesh, many times slicing through layers of healthy tissue to get to the problem. Any surgery creates collateral damage by disturbing what is really a very fine, delicate balance of tissues within the body. This takes months and months of diligent effort to heal properly.
If you do elect to have surgery done, you would be best off getting a series of Body Tuning to assist your body in regaining that balance it was born with.

There is no excuse. You'd have to be living under a rock not to know that all experts agree that eating a healthy diet, based on fresh, whole, unprocessed foods, drinking plenty of fresh water, getting a proper night of sleep every night and exercising regularly are your best tools for staying healthy. Making this a lifestyle will go a long way towards preventing you from even needing to consider medications or surgery. Also, getting your body regularly tuned up, just as you would a car, is important to keep it running smoothly and pain free. Do this BEFORE you feel the pain and you'll live a long, comfortable life.

We have a responsibility to our bodies. We need to listen to them and take care of them, as if they were our children or our pets. Many people take better care of their cars than they do their own bodies. Take ownership back. Don’t let our society become more and more sick by relying blindly on medications and surgeries to ‘fix’ something that can be more permanently and efficiently addressed with a little hands on care and attention. Your body is always telling you what it needs. Are you listening?

2 comments:

Jason Alan Griffin said...

I wanted to clarify that I'm not bashing osteopathy in this blog post. I have very little experience myself with osteopaths, but I do listen to the stories that people tell me.
I come across a lot of people who have big scars and the story usually goes something like, "my doctor referred me to an osteopath and the osteopath told me I needed surgery."
I have never heard anyone tell me that they went to an osteopath who spent two hours a week for eight weeks to address the problem.
If you find an osteopath who does that, please let them know that they are quite special.

Sheila said...

Great blog. I agree completely. I, too, am a believer in 'alternative' medicine through nutrition, etc when at all possible. Most Americans run to doctors first when they might easier benefit from looking at their own lifestyle first. You didn't bash osteopaths or any other professional. But what you said is completely true. I listen to the list of side effects of medications that are so freely advertised these days and cringe. I usually just say aloud.."Oh Great...give me two!" If I hear commercial for depression meds I immediately mute the sound. Truly horrific. Keep on with the great blogs.
Sheila Weinstein