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Organic Consumers Association

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Conventional Vs Alternative Medicine Explained

Our culture has allowed the health care industry to become so powerful and disproportionately lucrative that it is now in the business of illness rather than health. In one disconcerting example, a cancer physician, returning from an extended vacation, found an empty waiting room. His colleague had been treating his patients nutritionally. The physician wailed, "This is terrible. It took me years to build a long-term, regular patient clientele!" People everywhere are realizing that our doctors receive no reward for health, only for treating illness.

Most medical schools don't teach disease prevention, proper diet or exercise as a part of health. Objective measures are emphasized - white blood cell counts, blood pressure readings, etc., instead of how the patient feels. Pain is treated as a powerful enemy, its symptoms assaulted with prescription drugs that mask it or drive it underground- a practice that usually means it will resurface later with increased intensity.

The twenty-first century finds many people using more natural, less drug-oriented therapies, sometimes as an alternative to conventional medicine, sometimes in a team approach along with it. As orthodox medicine becomes more invasive, and less in touch with the person who is ill, informed people are becoming more willing to take a measure of responsibility for their own health.

Health is a lifestyle process. It is based in wellness care, instead of just illness treatment. The best news is that natural remedies work - often better than prescription drugs for many health conditions.

Orthodox medicine focuses on crisis intervention and is less successful in treating chronic illness. Many modern medical techniques were developed during war time, for emergency care. However, respected studies show that most illnesses don't just drop out of the sky and hit us over the head. Arthritis, osteoporosis, lower back pain, high blood pressure, coronary-artery disease and hormone imbalances are related to aging and lifestyle. The emergency measures tend to overkill, and even suppress the body's own immune response. Mental anxiety is brought on by needless testing, medication, or treatment, and a brusque or rushed doctor. You can literally worry yourself sick when there is nothing seriously wrong. 

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