I find it ironic and sad, too, that practicing simple healthy habits is called “alternative” health and/or medicine.
I’m not using “alternative” health modalities. I’m getting HEALTHY without medication after conventional medical treatment with drugs profoundly wrecked my wellbeing. Our language sucks. It’s quite Orwellian, in fact.
Getting healthy in my mind means returning to or discovering what being in tune with our body/mind and spirit entails. Nothing alternative about that. It’s about returning to our animal inheritance. It’s foundational to simply being human.
Conventional medicine, in general, as practiced, is what should be called alternative. I’m not talking about catastrophic care. That is when our medicine can truly work miracles. No, I’m talking about all the chronic conditions that are caused by the harm we’ve incurred to the planet and our bodies. We dump toxins into the environment and eat polluted and processed foods that don’t nourish us and then when we get sick as a result, we take neurotoxic substances called medicine to make up for the neglect which actually just adds insult to the injury. The list of harm can go on and on.
Anyway, for me, healing from those multiple injuries, and the neurotoxic psychiatric drugs I took for so many years, the “cure” seems to be mostly diet and movement (yoga and other forms of natural exercise) and meditation…not supplements, though there have been a few supps that certainly have helped strengthen my foundational wellbeing on this adventure back to health. Supplements in a body that has been ravaged by drugs are actually often contraindicated. A fact that medical practitioners of all stripes, “alternative” and conventional, don’t understand. But the fact is they can be risky and cause setbacks. It pays to be very careful and do research with the help of those of us who’ve learned from each other in the trenches. See: Support in withdrawal
At certain times when I was at various peaks of acute illness I’ve required micro-doses of drugs, but that was a stop-gap measure in times of crisis that would never have come to be had I not been made ill with drugs in the first place. It also always involved playing with fire as my body became exponentially sensitized to adverse effects. I don’t tolerate most medications anymore. That is not uncommon among people who withdraw from psychiatric drugs. The severity of sensitivity varies and in time it often diminishes.
It is one of the great ironies of “medicine,” in general that people need more and more drugs once they start taking them. That happened to me too. Healing isn’t really ever in the cards once one gets on that merry-go-round. The tricky thing about so many medications is they require, at best, continued use for maintenance, but then at worst they cause additional issues that cause one to need more and more drugs. Getting off all of them is rather like juggling and it’s often not a linear proposition. Sometimes it’s not even a good idea. There can sometimes simply be too many risks to come off all drugs safely. I am pragmatic. We do what we need to do and ultimately our individual experience is always going to trump ideology or whatever we would like to believe. That means there is never an absolute cookie-cutter solution to anything and sometimes, yes, drugs make sense given whatever idiosyncratic situation someone is confronted with.
Still, the whole framework of what it means to be healthy in this culture is all messed up…medicine as practiced today (in general) has very little to do with health and much more to do with maintaining illness via pharmaceuticals.
I’m deeply grateful to have, for the time being, completely emancipated myself from conventional medicine as practiced by the status quo. That does not mean I don’t utilize labs and other forms of competent and non-harming application of science to monitor and understand my health. These things have undeniable wonderful applications. Medicine could be a wonderful vocation with all the technology and science we have access too. But for now medicine is controlled by pharmaceutical companies (even enlightened MDs are saying so: see here and here) so it’s not safe to take anything most doctors say for granted. Sad but true. For me this means I’m on a learning journey to discover all the myriad ways I can learn to live in harmony on this planet as naturally as possible.
Everyone’s path to wellness differs. These are posts about some of the ways I’ve learned to care for myself:
My favorite source of (scientifically informed) health information that also critiques much of how medicine is widely practiced today is Chris Kresser’s blog. He’s got a huge archive and covers many health issues. He practices real medicine as I defined it above. He helps people discover what being in tune with our body/mind and spirit entails.