OUTSIDE THE BOX
Story by DR. RONDRICK WILLIAMSON
outside the box is a metaphor that means to In some cases, patients get frustrated with the restricted approach think differently, unconventionally, or from a new perspective. One of traditional medicine. For some, surgery or pharmaceuticals are options they don’t select. Instead, they rely on the holistic medicine can venture to say that it also means going against the grain. approach. Holistic and traditional methods differ in terms of The slogan has become very cliché as individuals look past the philosophy, treatment options and diagnostic techniques. Holistic obvious to see what lies beyond. What if we applied this philosophy practice looks at illnesses or injury within the context of environment, social, and personal circumstance. The burden of responsibility is to our health? placed on the patient as holistic medicine considers how individuals As a society, we have become accustomed to reaching for a contribute to or hinder their own health through individual beliefs pill bottle every time we experience the tiniest ache or pain. and lifestyle choices. Traditional Western medicine has become the norm. We as physicians match an array of symptoms to a known paradigm of diseases and dysfunctions. The paradigm also involves using advanced diagnostic tools to help determine not only the cause, but the actual progression of a disease entity.
Prescribing medications for treatment which most likely is administered by the patient independently is often the standard of care. Is a pill really necessary for every ailment? In today’s culture, antibiotic resistance has become one of the world’s most pressing public health problems according to the Center for Disease Control. Could this have been avoided by physicians refusing to over prescribe such medications? The question could be raised as to how often we encourage patients to make simple lifestyle changes to work cohesively with appropriate amounts of treatment or medication. Are there other options for the patient besides prescription medications? The alternative would be a holistic approach to medicine.
Typical treatment recommendations include dietary changes, meditation exercises like Yoga and Tai Chi, herbs, massage and even acupuncture. As a practicing physician, I strongly believe in what I do. However, I am aware that society does recognize other viable options to enhance health. By no means am I discounting the efficacy of traditional medicine—my purpose is to expand people’s way of thinking. A place exists for both approaches to medicine. The holistic approach is an option available to those who seek alternatives to prescription medication and surgery. While the majority of individuals will seek the care of controlled Western medicine, others will consider less monitored avenues. No matter where you stand, the benefits are endless when you take an active role in your overall health.
Published on Dec 31, 2014
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