-by Dr. Brent Waterman, BioVeda Health and Wellness Center of San Ramon

Are you thinking about changing your doctor to an alternative medicine doctor?  Do you like the allopathic approach or are you fascinated with eastern medicine? If you are ready for a change in your health and healthcare professional, then you should know the differences between the two approaches. Both are worlds apart and choosing one has been the bone of contention for a long time.

Let’s discuss and educate you on which approach to trust your health with.  We feel that the choice of going with a complementary and alternative medicine doctor should be yours. Often referred to as allopathic medicine, the western approach aims to treat the illness only. When a person falls ill or is suffering from a disease, the condition is treated using drugs and surgeries. Allopathic practitioners are limited by what they can do because they only focus on the symptoms not the causes. Since last century, allopathic healthcare practices have spread to every nook and cranny of the planet. Most of the population is now accustomed to this type of allopathic treatment. As you can see most infants are injected with immunizations without hesitancy, and flu shots are administered without any questions. It seems as though there is a pill for every ill, and even better, a pill for all their side effects. We have somehow been convinced that when sick, it is due to a lack of medicine or surgery and this is the only way.

On the other hand, holistic healthcare complimentary alternative medicine is proactive and aims to find the causes of disease or dis-ease in your body’s system. It encompasses the entire anatomy of a person including the physical body, the mental state, and the spiritual connection. A Holistic practitioner has a focus that is much broader than solely getting rid of the symptoms of disease. They believe that a person is complete as a whole, not separating its parts whether they are ethereal or solid. The emphasis of treatment is more on the relationship between the various parts and the whole self. In chiropractic for example, Doctors check the body’s nervous system (main control center) for decreased activation. They remove this nervous system interference, balancing the brain and body chemistry allowing your body to function at its best. Do you think that if your body is functioning correctly that you will become sick?

In the present medical scenario, you cannot separate allopathic treatment out of the holistic approach. Holistic approach is derived from cultures and traditions and come from every corner of the planet. They may consist of traditional and pre-scientific understandings of healthcare and medicine. In some cases, they cannot be evaluated scientifically to prove their safety and effectiveness. However, allopathic practitioners may adopt a holistic treatment, if a particular alternative medical practice is scientifically investigated and the effectiveness is established.

During the era of WWII we saw a shift from chemistry based sciences (Big Pharma) to quantum based sciences (energetics) bringing light and research to holistic health care. Contrary to allopathic medicine, holistic medicine focuses primarily on prevention and its practitioners are sometimes called Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Acupuncturists, or Herbalists. They usually do not prescribe pharmaceutical drugs and work at elevating one’s own immune system naturally. Though, some holistic clinics might have a dispensary, they prescribe vitamins, homeopathic remedies, supplements and tinctures. These natural prescriptions are much safer than prescription medications and are often void of their unwanted side effects. All this is not meant to demean the allopathic approach. For e.g. in case of a serious accident or a mishap, immediate relief is provided by allopathic medicine. It is more suitable to treat a broken bone through the allopathic model. But when it comes to problems such as allergies, depression, backache, neck pain, hormonal imbalances, eczema and other such grave issues, nothing compares to the holistic approach.

So, you may choose to incorporate both in your life. The main point here is to make sure you do not get pigeon holed into one approach. Educate yourself and make your own decisions, it is YOUR body. Chiropractic also comes under the umbrella of holistic medicine. It is gaining immense popularity because it combines sophisticated scientific methods with a holistic approach. Offering the best of both worlds, chiropractic can solve some problems unknown in the allopathic realm.

~Results may vary from patient to patient. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If pregnant or nursing, ask a health professional before use. If symptoms persist or worsen, seek advice of physician.