CONVENTIONAL vs. HOLISTIC Medicine Approaches

“Two opposing approaches to health and disease are conventional and holistic medicine. The conventional approach, known as allopathic, Western, mainstream or traditional medicine views problems as coming from outside the body. According to this view, the cause of disease comes from outside, invades the body, and the person gets “sick.” Allopathic philosophy says that when the body has symptoms, such as pain, fever, or nausea, that means the person has caught some bug or some disease and needs to have these symptoms treated, which may actually mean suppressed or covered up. Rather than addressing the root cause, Western medicine often prescribes medications that temporarily suppress symptoms of disease. Suppressing symptoms is not healing!


According to the conventional approach, the cause of disease comes from outside, invades the body, and the person gets “sick.” Allopathic philosophy says that when the body has symptoms, such as pain, fever, or nausea, that means the person has caught some bug or some disease and needs to have these symptoms treated, which may actually mean suppressed or covered up. Rather than addressing the root cause, Western medicine often prescribes medications that temporarily suppress symptoms of disease. Suppressing symptoms is not healing! Once the patient stops taking the chemical medications, the symptoms may reappear. If the disease localizes itself in one part of the body and will not go away, then that part of the body may have to be surgically removed. Thus, the allopathic approach can be summed up as disease, symptoms, drugs, and surgery.


The holistic approach, also known as alternative or Eastern medicine, is very different from the allopathic approach. The holistic philosophy says that the cause and cure of all disease lies within the body. The parts of the body are interrelated in ways that are complex and elegantly orchestrated. In most cases, the body can heal itself when it is provided the opportunity. It does this from the inside out, from the brain and spinal cord outward through the nervous system to every organ and cell. For every time you have been sick, there may have been hundreds of times when your immune system conquered a disease without any overt symptoms being expressed. Holistic medicine heals the whole person: body, mind, and spirit.


Conventional medications can heal, but they can also kill. For example, if you take medication for blood pressure, it may negatively affect your bones. So then you will end up taking another medication to treat your bones, which can cause an additional health issue, perhaps with another organ. In a nutshell, medication may help heal one condition in the body, but may harm another body part and cause another condition through off-target adverse effects. Why not look for the cause and replenish the body with the nutrients that are missing and bring it back to balance?


An antacid or an aspirin may soothe your pain, but it does not cure the cause of your symptoms. Headaches, indigestion, fatigue, allergies, anxiety, eczema, high blood pressure, and other conditions are clues to deeper imbalances in your body. Learning to read those clues is a key step in maintaining optimal health. With the holistic approach, the cause is determined and then treatment is given to restore the body and reach balance. Have you ever wondered about the purpose of using medications to lower cholesterol or control diabetes? Wouldn’t it be simpler for individuals to merely alter their diets, to switch to low cholesterol or low sugar diets, rather than experience off-target effects that may lead to additional health issues? Even for people who have high cholesterol caused by a genetic predisposition, cholesterol levels can be controlled to a certain extent by a healthy lifestyle.


“A good analogy to illustrate the differences between conventional and holistic medicine is that of a person riding a bicycle on a road strewn with nails. Eventually, the person will get a flat tire, and a patch will need to be applied to the tire for the individual to ride the bicycle again. However, the person will eventually ride over another nail, get another flat tire, and require another patch. This process continuously repeats itself until there is no more room for patches. This is like the conventional medicine approach, with symptoms suppressed and covered through medications that may cause more off-target or even adverse effects than the original symptoms. In the holistic medicine approach, the cause of the problem is determined, and the treatment focuses on eradicating the cause. In our analogy, this approach removes the nails from the road.”


Excerpt from “The Formerly Stressed Vegan's: Ultimate Guide To Optimal Health” by

Taly Cotler. Book is now available on Amazon.


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