Some Alternatives to the Medical-Industrial Complex
With our medical system in a mess, many people are wondering how to escape the dangers of going under the care of the medical-industrial complex. People are afraid of medical malpractice, especially the overprescription of medications. Pharmaceutical companies make big profits in developing the next big drug, and they give doctors powerful incentives to prescribe medications before all the data is in on the side effects these drugs can have on the complex human system, leading to numerous pharmaceutical injuries.
But is there an alternative? Although some shameless individuals might want you to believe that there are tons of natural “secret” cures, the truth is that there are some alternatives you should try before resorting to drastic medical treatments. CNN’s Empowered Patient feature recently rated the top 5 alternative treatments according to medical experts. The results:
- Acupuncture for pain—this is especially interesting when we think of the dangers of addiction for pain medications as well as the myriad of side effects of arthritis medications like Vioxx.
- Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B6 for PMS—although not every woman is subject to the moodiness and bloating that often accompany menstruation, for those that do, these supplements have proven a good relief.
- St. John’s Wort for depression—although studies are mixed as to the effectiveness of this herb, they are often just as mixed for heavily engineered mood medications. With all the risks involved with taking medications like Paxil and other Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), risks involved with both starting and stopping the medication including increased risk of suicide, it seems best to consider a less invasive option first. Other anti-depression drugs with serious side effects include Zyprexa, whose risks include diabetes and pancreatitis.
- Guided imagery for pain and anxiety. Although it seems unlikely that we are just able to think our pain and anxiety away, it is true that a proper application of the technique can really help. If you are interested in the details of the technique, consult the guide at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing.
- Glucosamine for joint pain—not only does this seem to reduce pain, but it might also reverse the cartilage loss that causes osteoarthritis.
As always, though, be sure that what you’re getting is the real deal. Since these things really work, but the medical community refuses to take them into the regulatory fold for fear of the competition, it’s hard to tell the good stuff from the bad. For alternate medications, look for the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or NSF International certifications on the label. Also make sure that your acupuncture practitioner comes well-recommended.