“Don’t do anything risky – stick with scientific medicine.” That’s something we’ve all heard for decades. Friends and family, especially for people of my generation, cautioned us not to venture out into the vast unknown, using unproven methods provided by people with questionable credentials. The term “quacks” was often used to describe alternative providers. Today that term is used a bit less but still the preference for treating almost any condition, is to seek the opinion of a conventional medical professional first— regardless how minor the condition or symptom may be. Most say scientific medicine has all the answers and has the best treatment protocols.
In my first book, GET WELL – EVEN WHEN YOU’VE BEEN TOLD YOU CAN”T, I took great pride in busting a few medical myths that have dogged us for decades. This particular one, addressing the safety inherent in conventional medicine, is one of my favorites. It’s also so easy to discredit with just a few facts. I don’t do this to take a cheap shot at conventional medicine, because I highly respect the profession, when used appropriately. I just believe we depend on that form of care far too frequently and are too reliant on pharmaceuticals, their first line of defense against almost anything! I like to describe conventional medicine’s approach—as resorting to a canon for treatment instead of a flyswatter.
When the practice of medicine first began, not the scientific medicine we know today which only started 200-years ago, all physicians had an underlying philosophy which drove patient care. That philosophy was initially credited to the physician Hippocrates (460 BC – 370 BC) and its core was to: “First, do no harm.”. That statement was part of the Hippocratic Oath, still taken by physicians today, but most don’t follow that at all. Patient care is now driven by a different philosophy, as I’ll explain.
The focus of today’s medical care is to “attack”, “kill”, or “destroy” the germs, bacteria, viruses, or cancers—or whatever the condition and in doing so, the physicians goes to war with the invaders. To that end, the mission jumps immediately into battle mode using harsh, invasive treatments right away such as surgeries, radiation and drug therapy. When drugs are used, which is the majority of the time, it’s safe to assume they will produce some side effects, maybe ones you won’t feel but will affect your body in some negative way. They think more about the battle than the collateral damage and my friends, our bodies feel the effects of that collateral damage.
The tools physicians use today are analogous to playing with fire but it’s the patient who gets burned. Still, we remain loyal because we honestly believe medical doctors will take better care of us in the long run—or because we don’t know where else to turn.
Here are a few facts that might give you pause and perhaps help you consider other options. Everything stated here is well sourced and confirmed through major hospital studies, noted medical journals and other sources like Harvard, CNBC and WebMD. The figures are current as of last year.
1) It is estimated that 128,000 Americans die each year as a result of taking prescribed medications. That’s more than three times the number of people killed by automobile accidents or from firearms in the United States. These 128,000 cases are not diseased caused deaths—these are treatment caused deaths.
2) Medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. after heart disease and cancer. According to a Johns Hopkins study, 225,000 people die each year in the U.S. from medical errors and some reports claim then number is as high as 440,000. Those figures make the deathrate from pandemics look pretty tame in perspective.
3) Another article titled, “Death by Medicine” written by five medical researchers: three MDs and two PhDs contained data that was much more comprehensive since for the first time there was an analysis and combined data from ALL of the published literature dealing with injuries and deaths caused by government-protected medicine included. These medical researchers found: the number of people with in-hospital, adverse reactions to prescribed drugs to be 2.2 million per year and the number of unnecessary antibiotics prescribed annually for viral infections to be 20 million per year—even though we all know antibiotics are useless against any virus, they are still often prescribed. Unnecessary medical and surgical procedures are performed annually at a rate of 7.5 million per year and people unnecessarily hospitalized annually numbered 8.9 million.
This study concluded that the more realistic total of the number of deaths caused by conventional medicine, was an astounding 783,936 per year, making the American medical system the leading cause of death in the US—with heart disease in 2001 trailing by 699,697 and cancer farther behind at 553,251.
Why is this happening? Is it because medical doctors are evil? Not at all, physicians honestly believe they’re doing the right thing; they’re doing what they’ve been taught in medical school. Are they stupid or lazy? Again, nonsense. It’s just because they’re human. Humans make mistakes. The big exception here is that the tools with which the medical physician “practices’ (practice of medicine) are extraordinarily lethal: pharmaceuticals, all of which deliver a number of side-effects—some more dangerous than others like chemotherapy; radiation—self-explanatory; and surgery—obviously invasive and often risky. So, when a mistake is made, it’s serious.
The option is to use a flyswatter once in a while for minor conditions, instead of the cannon. Does that sound radical? If not once in a while, at least early in the process, before all the damage is done to our bodies by conventional care. Home and natural remedies were used very effectively for millennium and many of those remedies still exist. You don’t hear frightening statistics of people dying from an ineffective Reiki treatment, an acupuncture needle placed in the wrong spot; or most any supplement—if used as directed. Also, a change in diet or lifestyle that is recommended can hardly be considered radical or any of these protocols: aromatherapy – essential oils; Chinese Herbal Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, naturopathic medicine, chiropractic care, hydrotherapy, hypnotherapy, homeopathy; massage, imagery and visualization, yoga or meditation. They are all basically harmless, rely on natural sources and when used in combination, can be extraordinarily effective.
Just a point to consider, since I recovered naturally from a host of conditions that would have made most others run for the nearest specialist: rheumatoid arthritis, chronic leukemia (twice), psoriasis, hyperthyroidism (Grave’s Disease), chronic allergies and eventually, neutropenia, I’m an example that natural methods can work. Guess that’s why I don’t look any the less for wear, given my years of health challenges. The advantage for me was I protected my body in the process.
My secret is simply to only use conventional medicine for emergency or trauma care, cosmetic or joint replacement surgery and I always get a diagnosis from the conventional medical community when something appears to be an issue in my health. After that, I decide which form of treatment I’ll use, theirs or others. For less serious or chronic issues (where there is plenty of time), I always try something less aggressive. I don’t use that system of medicine for everything. I don’t avoid conventional care—I just use it judiciously.
Most often, I’ll take a flyswatter over a cannon, anytime.