The Best Medicine May Sometimes Be Free

prescription drugsWhile modern medicine has provided the world with many miracles, it is not a failsafe treatment system nor even close to being so.

In fact, you may be at risk for unnecessary treatment, ineffective drugs, and even premature death when you see an allopathic medical doctor or spend time in a hospital:

Consider these eye-opening statistics:

  • “It’s estimated that 2.5 million unnecessary surgeries are performed each year, with hysterectomies, heart bypass grafts, lower back surgery, and angioplasty leading the list. Just two procedures alone, coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) — known in the trade as cabbage — and balloon angioplasty cost $100 billion annually. With long waiting lists for CABG, you’d think it was vital for prolonging the lifespan of heart patients, but that’s a mistake. Current statistics suggest that about 3% of bypass surgeries extend life expectancy, with angioplasty scoring even lower at zero percent.” -  The Huffington Post
  • “The vast majority of drugs – more than 90 per cent – only work in 30 or 50 per cent of the people.  I wouldn’t say that most drugs don’t work. I would say that most drugs work in 30 to 50 per cent of people. Drugs out there on the market work, but they don’t work in everybody.” – Allan Roses, Senior Executive, GlaxoSmithKline Drug Company
  • “250,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors, making this the third-largest cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer.” – Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association

Is there an alternative?

Many people are turning to ancient healing arts as an alternative or complement to Western medicine.  And scientific research is beginning to validate the efficacy of alternative treatments for a wide range of health concerns and disorders.

For example, the University of Maryland School of Medicine offers a Complimentary Medicine Index that details nutrition, dietary, and alternative treatments for a wide variety of ailments based on the latest scientific research.

Reiki TreatmentLast weekend, I attended a free course given by Family Nurse Practitioner Rachel Allen to learn a gentle hands-on healing technique called Reiki.  Reiki is simple to learn.  It can be practiced as a form of self-healing or as a healing modality you can share with your family and friends.  Reiki reduces stress, enhances relaxation and facilitates the flow of your “life force energy” – call “ki” in Japanse, “chi” in Chinese, and “prana” in Sanskrit.

After a Reiki session, people typically report greater feelings of relaxation, peace, security and wellbeing.   Reiki has been said to be of help in treating almost every known illness.  Some have seen miraculous results.  It is a safe approach with the only side effect being relaxation.Reiki Symbol

Reiki originated in Japan.  The Japanese symbol for the word “Reiki” has two parts.  “Rei” means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power”.  “Ki” means “life force energy.”  Thus, the healing art involves tapping into a higher healing force and allow it to flow through you to heal yourself or others.

While it might sound “woo-woo”, one medical doctor and a handful of nurses were present at the seminar in addition to ordinary people like you and me.  Reiki is gradually be introduced into some hospital settings.

Reiki is not generally offered for free.  However, you can learn Level 1 Reiki at a low cost.  Then you will be able to regularly give yourself healing treatments at no further cost.  And, if you wish, you can share healing treatments with family and friends.

At times, modern medicine may be exactly what you need.  But it’s not the only course of treatment open to you.  If you are interested in taking greater responsibility for your health and wellness, there are many options available.  Reiki is a simple and safe way to relax, nourish yourself, and support your well-being.

Do you receive or practice alternative or complimentary treatments?  What approaches have worked for you?

Please note that I am not a doctor, health practitioner, or psychotherapist.  Nothing on this blog should be construed as medical advice.  Please seek appropriate medical advice for any health concerns you may have.

If you enjoyed this article, please share the link with others.  And, I would love to connect with you on Google+ or the Always Well Within Facebook Page   With love, Sandra

Comments

  1. varuni says

    I totally agree with you , Sandra. i have found that allopathic medicine useless in curing my hypothyroidism. Since most diseases are psychosomatic, eliminating incorrect mental thought patterns might help.

    • says

      Varuni, We each need to find our own medicine, don’t we! I agree with you that the mind is powerful. Working with our own mental patterns can make a huge difference.

  2. says

    I am happy to be healthy without taking any medicines. I hope it will stay that way for years to come! The level to which the medical industry has become about profit is definitely concerning. I wasn’t aware of the tremendous cost and relative ineffectiveness of surgeries. Regarding alternative treatments, I am somewhat skeptical. I agree that there is generally no harm in trying them, but have an aunt who died in her thirties after refusing to seek treatment for her illness and relying on Chinese herbal medicine. We suspect that her illness may even have been exacerbated by the build up of heavy metals and toxins in her system from those medicines. I think, at minimum, that it is helpful to get opinions from both traditional and alternative doctors.

    • says

      You’ve raised some important concerns, Jennifer. I believe we need to investigate the efficacy of the approaches we are considering using and make the most intelligent choices possible based on both our intellectual assessment and our intuition. Your aunt’s story is telling and is also an indication that alternative treatment may not be the right solution for everyone. I like the University of Maryland Complimentary Medicine Index because it is based on scientific research. I personally prefer seeing a doctor who has traditional medical training but uses a holistic approach, often called integrative medicine or functional medicine. I don’t have a problem with using drugs when necessary, but approach them cautiously.

  3. Vishnu's Virtues says

    Sandra – this post title may have the American Medical Association putting you on their radar! Free medicine!?! :)

    There’s no such thing as free right? Even Reiki practioners do charge unless you do it on yourself (as you mention)

    Prayer is probably the only free treatment. :) Actually, I think prevention is the best treatment – so the better we take care of ourselves, the less we may find ourselves in the medical slot machine! lol

  4. says

    Oh goodness, I’m sure I’m in deep trouble! Fortunately, the AMA doesn’t own the word “medicine”, which can mean “something that affects well-being”. Laughter (one of your qualities) can be the best medicine and that is surely free! I don’t think mainstream medicine is in any grave danger if we complement it by giving ourselves free self-treatments.

    You are right, many Reiki practitioners do charge for treatments. However, the person I received the training from does not charge for her treatments. And we can learn Reiki and give treatments to our self or to others for free. So it can be free! It’s up to us.

    Prevention and prayer are both powerful tools in our wellbeing kit! I’m glad you mentioned those.

  5. Jean Sampson says

    Hi Sandra. Great post! I have been working with a Network (non-cracking) Chiropractor for many years because I had a lot of back pain and a lot of fear about what my future would be. Without using any force, he enabled my body to heal scoliosis which I really did not think could be healed! But it happened. If anyone is wondering if these things work, they should take a peek at his full office—–people LOVE what he does!

  6. says

    Western medicine is good in certain, usually, critical instances. There is so much else available out there that doctors are not very knowledgeable about and will not point you to. This includes all kinds of energy work, like reiki, and alternative therapies like hyperbaric oxygen, acupuncture, and neurofeedback.

    It is up to us to take responsibility for our health and to utilize these “woo woo” practices which have been and are being validated by science more and more. The more these practices are utilized and demanded, the more main stream they will become. It is a win/win.

    I credit alternative therapies with completely rehabilitating me from a serious brain injury when traditional doctors had nothing to offer me.

    • says

      Debbie,

      That’s a powerful vote for taking personal responsibility and the power of alternative therapies to make a difference! Thanks for underscoring all the possibilities that alternative therapies offer to us. I’m so happy you are so well now and I know it’s taken patience and diligence on your part, but it certainly demonstrates what might be possible for others as well.

  7. says

    Reiki is slowly becoming popular, but we only come to know of practitioners if we know someone who knows someone, if you know what I mean. They don’t advertise themselves. I completely agree with your post about the mess our medical system and doctors create, unless we’re lucky and have a good doctor. Even then, I often think doctors are kind of detached – and only do so much. I guess they have to be that way if they are to treat hundreds of patients.

    That is where alternative healing plays such a major role. You know, one of my friends’ uncles had stage 3 cancer and they had all but given up hope on him. Then one of the elders in the family village suggested reading a sloka/prayer called “Aditya Hridayam” (that invokes the sun God) to him every day. Believe it or not, he recovered – his condition was pronounced better after three months. The last time I spoke to her, he was up and about. That was such an amazing story. Deciding to experiment, I did the same with my Mom, who was advised total bed rest due to spinal TB. That back bone, that was on the verge of disintegrating healed completely. The doctor thought it was a miracle. Unfortunately three months later, another of her chronic conditions, a lung fibrosis caused her lung to collapse and she passed away a week later.

    I think alternative healing must be explored. After all, it is not invasive like traditional medicine.

    Thank you for this post, Sandra.

    • says

      Those are amazing stories, Vidya! Thank you for sharing them with us. In my tradition too, prayer or specific practices or mantras are often recommended in illness. I know of great masters who have healed themselves of cancer and also ordinary people too, sometimes in concert with modern medicine and sometimes not. I agree with you: why not exploring alternative healing? The limits of what can be achieved and healed are in one sense only limited by our mind. Although I believe it’s a little more complex than that. Due to our past actions, we have created certain circumstance and they can have a time spam to play out. Still we can expedite the practice by working with our mind.

      Thanks so much for your contribution. It opens up the possibilities. As the saying goes, “Faith can move mountains.”

  8. says

    Hi Sandra,

    Those are disturbing statistics about Western medicine. But for many of us, we have grown up thinking this is the only alternative that we have.

    Yet for many centuries the East has had its own healing arts which have proven effective in curing the ills of its people. I have never tried Reiki, but I am familiar with “chi” and its importance.

    I think the key here is to balance western with eastern medicine. Sometimes, you may need one or the other. Trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole may not be in the best interest for your health.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

    Irving the Vizier

  9. says

    Yes, I agree with you Irving. I balance both approaches and I have found this most effective for my health. I especially appreciate the diagnostic options offered by Western medicine. Although, I’ve seen some incredible pulse reading / diagnostics from doctors who practice Eastern medicine too. What an amazing world we are in with this abundance of possibilities for healing.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I like the image of the square peg and round hole. In the end, we need to find the healing approach that works best for us individually so this analogy is very fitting, indeed!

  10. galenpearl says

    The statistics in this article are sobering, aren’t they? I consult a wide range of healing professionals, from a traditional Western doctor (actually he’s an osteopath, a DO) to a naturopath/acupunturist to a Chinese herbalist to a qigong teacher to an energy healer. As I’ve gotten older, I find that I use less prescription type medication and more supplements and Chinese herbs.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this exact topic in the last year or so. So much of the typical medical practice now seems to treat patients with less compassion and dignity. I am not referring to specific practitioners, who are most always wonderful, but rather to the system itself. It’s discouraging, and I can’t help but wonder if it has a damaging effect on our health.

    Add to that all the fear that is generated by pharmaceutical companies in their ads–watch a few of those on TV!

    I don’t know that much about Reiki, so thanks for that helpful information. You’ve given us a lot to think about!

    • says

      Galen,
      Those are interesting reflections on the medical system in and of itself. With so little time to spend with each patient, how can the system be fundamentally compassionate. That’s an excellent questions as to whether it is damaging to our health. I find seeing most doctors stressful so that’s an indication in my own case. Fortunately, I have a loving, compassionate, and smart doctor at the moment who doesn’t evoke a stress response!

      I’m glad you’ve found the right mix of medicine for you.

  11. Patricia says

    Hi Sandra
    I have learn Reiki too, only the first level. It’s amazing how well you feel after a session. For me the only problem (not only with Reiki) is keep practicing. I found sometimes very difficult to take the time and doing it, especially when I’m feeling well, which is a contradiction. I think the expert call it procrastination… Well, better I take the next half an hour and do some Reiki, which it is very needed at the moment. Thanks for the reminder.

Trackbacks