Jan 10, 2014

What to do when you get sick -- making the right decisions

When you get sick, you must decide what course of action to take in order to recover your health. If you do not accept this responsibility, others will decide for you and will not necessarily make the best choices. The most important decision is whether visits to health professionals will help or hinder your own healing system. You will need to understand the nature of your illness and to know whether conventional medicine can do anything for it without reducing the possibility of spontaneous healing. You will also want to know whether any alternative treatments exist that might be of benefit.

A good place to start is with a review of what conventional medicine can do effectively and what it cannot. For example, it is very effective at managing trauma, so that if I were in a serious automobile accident, I would want to go directly to an urgent care facility in a modem hospital, not to a shaman, guided imagery therapist, or acupuncturist. (Once out of danger, I might use those other resources to speed up the natural healing process.) Conventional medicine is also very good at diagnosing and managing crises of all sorts: hemorrhages, heart attacks, pulmonary edema, acute congestive heart failure, acute bacterial infections, diabetic comas, bowel obstructions, acute appendicitis, and so forth. You must be able to recognize symptoms of potentially serious conditions, so that you will not waste time before getting needed treatment. In general, symptoms that are unusually severe, persistent, or out of the range of your normal experience warrant immediate investigation.

…Let me summarize for you what allopathic medicine cannot do for you:

Can:
  • Manage trauma better than any other system of medicine.
  • Diagnose and treat many medical and surgical emergencies.
  • Treat acute bacterial infections with antibiotics.
  • Treat some parasitic and fungal infections.
  • Prevent many infectious diseases by immunization.
  • Diagnose complex medical problems.
  • Replace damaged hips and knees.
  • Get good results with cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
  • Diagnose and correct hormonal deficiencies.

Cannot:
  • Treat viral infections.
  • Cure most chronic degenerative diseases. ,
  • Effectively manage most kinds of mental illness.
  • Cure most forms of allergy or autoimmune disease.
  • Effectively manage psychosomatic illnesses.
  • Cure most forms of cancer.

Here is another good rule to follow: Do not seek help from conventional doctor for a condition that conventional medicine cannot treat, and do not rely on an alternative provider for a condition that conventional medicine can manage well. (Andrew Weil, M.D., ‘Spontaneous Healing’)