Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, once said: “let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”
Since the time of Hippocrates, medical science has grown and improved by leaps and bounds that are difficult to even comprehend. And yet, this ancient message – to heal yourself through diet – is resonating with increasing numbers of people today, at a time when more and more of us are taking prescription medication for any number of issues we might be facing in life.
Of course, conventional medication can and does save lives, and modern medical technologies can have a dramatic impact in boosting our quality of life. Today, for example, you can take this hearing test online, and potentially walk away with a new hearing aid shortly after.
But turning to medication too often, and too chronically, comes with risks and side effects. And there are good reasons why it’s worth exploring holistic health practices, as well.
Here are a few of those reasons.
Because medications are often prescribed too hastily and can come with dramatic side effects
A lot has been written about the increasing proclivity of doctors and medical experts across the board, to hastily prescribe medications rather than properly investigate lifestyle factors, when dealing with assorted health conditions.
There are various downsides to this, including, of course, the fact that medications can come with dramatic side effects – and often do.
Pharmaceutical drugs do, by their very nature, exert a strong influence on the body, and this doesn’t always manifest itself in a positive way. In some cases, the side effects of various medications can be as bad as the condition the medication is meant to treat – sometimes even worse.
Antidepressant SSRIs, for example, can notoriously increase risk of suicide in certain cases. Statins can cause cognitive decline. And everyone knows what happened with thalidomide.
In many cases, it’s best to explore lifestyle practices for better health, before jumping straight onto the pills.
Because wellness requires an overall lifestyle approach, not just a pill
These days, we tend to be inclined to believe in “magic pill” (or “magic bullet”) solutions to our problems. If we are feeling depressed or anxious, we look for the miracle drug that will make things right. If our cholesterol is too high, we try to find a prescription that will allow us to keep eating and living as we have been before, but without the associated health risks.
In reality, wellness requires an overall lifestyle approach, not just a pill. Certain medications can save your life in certain contexts, but maintaining good overall health, mood, and well-being, is never as simple as just popping a pill.
A holistic approach to health emphasizes the importance of considering all factors of a person’s life, and lifestyle, rather than just looking for a simple diagnosis, and simple treatment.
Because holistic health techniques help you to get in touch with your own body and its internal cues
If you are feeling pain in one way or another, it is a sign that your body is trying to tell you something – not just a disconnected phenomenon that you have to deal with.
Holistic health techniques can often help you to get in touch with your own body and its internal cues, and can help you to make sense of your symptoms, so that you can try to address them more subtly, via lifestyle practices.
An overdependence on certain medications – especially when the issue they are treating is not one of life and death – can numb the warning signal, without tackling the underlying issue.