For pretty much my whole life, my mom has encouraged me and my family to maintain a fairly healthy lifestyle. She tries to feed us mostly organic food, and rarely gives us any form of microwavable dinners or fast food. She kicks us out of the house pretty much every day to get some form of exercise, and goes to extreme measures in order to make sure my sleeping patterns are relatively normal. While this kind of sucked as a kid, (as fast food and those kid cuisine dinners were freaking delicious on those rare occasions) it did actually help my body to develop a much stronger immune system and a fast metabolism. I rarely got sick, and when I did, I recovered fairly quickly. While a good diet and a fairly healthy lifestyle may have been a large influence on my overall health, I sincerely believe that a huge portion of it has to do with my mom's habit of being a medical science 'hippie'.
My mom went to Marquette University to study to become a nurse. She graduated an RN (registered nurse), worked in several hospitals, started a hospice, worked for several years as a massage therapist and also became a teacher of CNAs (Certified nurse assistants). In addition, she did work for a network marketing company named Mannatech, a corporation based around 'glyconutritionals': the eight different sugars which your cells use in order to communicate with one another. After working with Mannatech for many years, my mom became privy to non-conventional and non-traditional forms of medicine and treatment, which I have affectionately nick-named: 'hippie medicine'.
Americans in particular have become obsessed with with the traditional 'sick' rhythm: get sick, go to the doctor, get diagnosed, get a prescription, take pills, repeat. While this method isn't necessarily bad, as no one wants to feel like crap, and it's far easier to take a painkiller than to deal with a fever, being obsessed with this method is probably one of the root causes to mass sickliness across the United States. It is important to remember that majority of painkillers and prescription drugs are meant only to treat the SYMPTOMS of the disease, not to cure or prevent it.
This is partially due to the monetary advantage to never actually curing a disease, for example: cancer. If cancer was suddenly cured, imagine how many researchers, pharmacists and doctors would suddenly be out of work, or at least would lose a substantial amount of income. If no one was dying of cancer and needing chemotherapy, and someone could just take a vaccine, a huge income towards cancer treatment business would be lost. As corrupt and unreasonable a system this is, it is one of absolute truth. Remember, that this method of preventing the actual prevention or curing of a disease is the direct result of traditional, western medicine. This is where the 'hippie medicine' comes into play.
When I was a kid, and I got sick, my mom would do the natural motherly thing: call in sick for me at school, and put me in bed with a thermometer. However, unless the illness was severe, she would almost never give me painkillers to lower the fever, or cold medicine to treat symptoms. Instead, she told me to lie still and let my body do what it was designed to do to fight off the disease. While this may sound a little sadistic for a mother to do to her child, in the end it benefited me greatly. It empowered my body to build up a stronger resistance to pathogens, and the lack of antibiotics in unnecessary situations reduced the creation of far more dangerous antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
In addition to these basic, resistance of unnecessary treatments, there are several other non-conventional methods of 'hippie medicine' that have proven to be as good if not better methods of treatment and prevention of illness than those of traditional medicine practice:
- Placebo medicines: Generally, sugar pills that have zero real effect on the real body, but are sometimes prescribed to patients whom believe that the pills are going to treat their problem. Because the patient -believes- that the placebo is treating them, they feel better regardless of having no true treatment.
- Acupuncture: An ancient Asian technique of using tiny needles placed in specific parts of the body in order to re-allow the flow of 'chi' (energy). While there is no true science behind this practice, it has proved to relieve patients of some ailments, and is not harmful to the body.
- Herbs and plant-based treatments: While it's unreasonable to think that mushing up some leaves and flowers will help to heal a cut, it has been proven that certain herbs and plants such as aloe have very strong healing abilities, and can sometimes work better than traditional prescription drugs.
These are only a few of the many forms of non-traditional medicine techniques that have been proven to improve health, and offer alternative methods of treating ailments aside from the constant abuse of prescription drugs. It is important to remember that I am NOT against the use of drugs, only that I do not believe that they should be the main focus of treatment, when many other, safer and sometimes better treatment options exist. Unfortunately, however, it will take America a very long time to accept this reality, as we appear to have been brainwashed into believing that when faced with a problem, the quick fix is the best fix.