I reach for the over-the-counter sinus medicine my husband bought for me and then hesitate. I find myself in this dilemma every time I’m sick. Do I keep using only homeopathic remedies or do I turn to conventional drugs? When I use holistic practices at the first sign of sickness, they usually work, or at least keep the sickness at a tamer level. So if asked this question when I’m healthy, I would quickly choose the natural approach for its safety and benefits. However, there are times when I’m going to get sick no matter how well I care for myself (due to a naturally sub-par immune system), and when I’m suffering to the extent that I’m in survival mode, I just want the misery to stop. And the quickest fix is usually the drugs. Maybe I’m at fault because I don’t know enough about holistic medicine, I’m unprepared, or not waiting long enough for the remedies to take effect.
Treating myself with natural remedies and nature’s nourishing food sits better with me. It makes more sense and gives me peace of mind that I’m doing right by my body. It also puts me in the driver’s seat in my recovery. I’m taking responsibility for my health and taking action. I’m not trashing conventional medicine…it has a very valid and important place in healthcare. But I think we Americans have become too comfortable popping any old pill that promises to get rid of our pesky symptoms. It is easier and works well in the short-term. In the long-run, however, holistic medicine is preferable because it is not only about treating the sickness, but the person as well. It also encourages us to find the source of the problem, not just cover up the symptoms. The downside is letting the sickness take it’s course once it has started…gross/annoying symptoms and all. On the upside, there are no harmful side affects because the treatment is whole foods, not man-made, manufactured drugs that our bodies may not know how to use.
I suppose the answer to my quandary is 1) to use nature’s medicine as much as I can, and 2) to be patient with myself–that as I learn more about holistic practices, I can exclude another conventional over-the-counter drug and replace it with a gentler, safer, more effective natural remedy. But for now, I take the pill…I’m leaving for work and I’m sure my customers would appreciate me more without the sneezing/snot fest.