Alternative Health

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There are many reasons why people are starting to turn to natural health remedies instead of the conventional prescription drugs. If you went out onto the street and ask lots of people what they think of natural and alternative therapies then you’d get varying answers. Some will talk about what they’ve read in a magazine or watched on TV whilst others might have personal stories to tell.

Although I have been lucky enough not to have dealt with any real health ailments in my life, I have taken a keen interest in health supplements, food, exercise and all of these types of topics. The reason is because of what I’ve had to witness from my own parents.

My mum was officially diagnosed with Multiple Scleroses (MS) 13 years a go. There were many different tests done at the time including a lumber puncture and brain scans. When the doctor told her that it was MS he effectively said for her to go home and forget about it. If you have ever watched anything on tv about ms or read about it, you will know that it is a degenerative condition which leaves people in wheelchairs, or even in much worse conditions. Simply going home and acting like everything is normal is not at all possible. Because of the lack of help from conventional medicine, my mum and dad both read considerable amounts of information about this condition via books. They read about nutrition, exercise and natural health supplements. They also had consultations with natural health practitioners (including Jan de Vries) who said that it wasn’t as bad as MS and it was actually ME. They are both 2 of th e many different types of autoimmune condition.

I won’t go into a great amount of detail about what natural health therapies that were used but there were many vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids (evening primrose oil and fish oil). Although she still gets tired and has to take a nap every day, she has never needed to use a wheelchair or anything like that.

My dad’s health problems were back pain and digestion problems. First of all he hurt his back whilst taking heavy carrier bags from the shopping trolley and placing them in the boot of the car. Carrying the heavy weight whilst twisting round caused him major pain. His doctor told him to go home and rest but my dad wasn’t happy with this medical advice. So he got lots of books on back pain and they said that he should exercise. This advice is now common practice but at the time my dad’s doc wasn’t happy about him going against his professional opinion.

The other health problem related to digestion. My dad had put anti freeze into the car but realized he put in too much. SO he got a straw and sucked some out and then spit it out before he swalled any. Unfortunately some of this got into his system and it made him very ill very quickly afterwards. It’s thought that it damaged in the inside of his stomach causing food and nutrients not to be absorbed as well as they should. Luckily after a lot of different health advice and supplements he is now able to eat properly again. When he had this condition he couldn’t eat a single thing with yeast or wheat in it. Now is body had recovered.

It’s funny that when a doctor can’t see with his own eyes what is wrong with a patient they think that the patient is a hypochondriac. The doc had asked about his symptoms, when the occurred and if there was any pattern. My dad wasn’t sure so he decided to take a diary of everything he had eaten along with how he felt. The doctor said that he was thinking way too much about his condition and that he should stop. Instead of looking for proper treatments, he wanted to give my dad antidepressants.

Although you should always take the advice of a trained medical practioner, you can also ask if you can receive alternative treatments. Here in the UK, my gran gets acupuncture for nothing on the NHS because of her joint pain. Luckily there are more and more natural therapies being used and they aren’t seen as being mumbo jumbo. Unfortunately I think we still have a long way to go before your doctor will look at alternative therapies before prescribing any drugs.

Unfortunately not everyone in the health care industry can be trusted and it doesn’t matter whether they are self-employed or work for the NHS.  I don’t know if they do this on purpose or whether they just aren’t very good at their jobs but my mum has been having a lot of trouble with her neck recently and has gone to various people.  There was an osteopath who really didn’t help at all and charged her a small fortune for the privelage.  When my mum described the treatment she received to a physio she was told that it was of no help what-so-ever.  Luckily things are getting better due to the physiotherpay.

Smoking is a big problem that so many people try to stop.  There are so many different tips on stopping smoking.  I’m afraid I really don’t know what is good as I have never smoked before.  There are people who have done well with hypotherapy but even this doesn’t always work over the long term.  If you do give up smoking make sure that you keep away from people who smoke a lot because they will badly influence.  Apart from acupuncture and hypnotherapy I’m not sure about any other natural health remedies that can help.



  1. I had an uncle who suffered from MS for close to twenty two years. He went from being a Navy Commander to a vegetable over the course of that time. It was a disturbing thing to watch. I somehow doubt though that eating right, taking flax seed and doing yoga would have helped him much though. natural medicine is a good preemption to flu or cold but serious ailments kinda require something a little more tried and true.

  2. Lift Chairs says:

    Sorry to hear about your dad and the antifreeze. I did the same thing with diesel once.

    I know someone who had been having trouble with his elbow for several months and had gone to the doctor on several occasions. Someone suggested he try acupuncture and it really worked for him.

  3. Phyllis V says:

    I don’t know, as I know a woman who had cancer and natural regimens helped improve and prolong her life. However, I think that it is WHAT you do, your personal makeup, and the severity of your ailment that play a huge factor as well.

  4. I support the attitude of your parents toward their illness. Natural foods are good to adjust the functions of human body and heal chronic diseases.

  5. It’s hard to believe that RLS actually exists and affects so many people as it does. Yes, I agree that eating natural foods is probably the top way to keep your system clean.

  6. Vicki says:

    I’m all for working with more natural products to increase health. I think modern medicine is great, but it doesn’t hurt to top up with good food, exercise and a positive outlook :-)

  7. Mo says:

    We always use traditional/natural health remedies- it’s the only way to go. Thanks for the informative article and sorry about your father.

  8. MERCOLA says:

    These are the reasons why it happen;

    * Effectiveness of the alternative medicine which drugs are originally from.
    * Cost – it is much cheaper compare to drugs.
    * Side effect – some are believing that alternative medicine are much lessen side effect which may risk their life.

    Those are the minor reasons may other thinks on between drugs and alternative medicine.

  9. Lasik says:

    I am all for alternative medicine, I have high blood pressure and have found that buy drinking hybiscus Tea it greatly lowers it ! I was able to get off all my blood pressure medication after I started this tea. I hope the best for your and your family.

  10. A couple of things, I’m wondering if you’re planning on doing any more posts?

    Secondly, there is a huge increase in the amount of people demanding alternative medicine – I think people are fed up with their conditions not being improved by medicines. I remember reading somewhere that the average number of prescriptions that 65 year old people in America take is 12. Now that was a few years ago now, but I can’t imagine it’s improved any.

    To me there is no way I want to rattle at 65, I’ll be taking care of my health as much as possible and using alternative medicine before any drugs.

  11. I think alternative health care can be beneficial for everyone if we understand there principle and nature. Most of us switch to alternative health remedies with a different mindset, a mindset similar to modern health cure.

    I think alternative health care is improving our modern life style to a health conscious lifestyle.

  12. Alternative medicine is often much better than prescription drugs. Every drug comes with side effects, and most poeple would love to avaid these. Natural treatments can work just as well without the side effects so more people should be informed of how well they work!

    All the best, Craig

  13. An Aud Life says:

    I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis 3 years ago and started on the normal prescriptions that doctors usually prescribe. When I found that I wasn’t getting better, I looked into something else- natural medicine. I have been off plaquenil and mtx for 6 months and feel the best I’ve felt in years because I’m taking a natural approach.

    I use turmeric, cloves and omega3 fatty acids to reduce inflammtion, and it does the trick wonderfully.

    It’s encouraging to see more and more people becoming aware and accepting it.

    Best Regards,

  14. Studies have shown that people who drink at least a pint of green tea daily have a lower risk of death from stroke and heart disease.

  15. I know that when i work out and am out in the sun i feel alot better than when im a lazy bum

  16. Vivienne says:

    Looking after yourself and keeping healthy is essential and a natural approach to life makes this a given. Care should be taken though when choosing a physician. An example is that I may go to see a herbalist to discuss an itchy rash or perhaps even fertility however if I had say appendicitis I would prefer to see someone who has studied medicine in depth. We sell pet products and it is amazing how many human therapists treat pets. I think it is essential, for pets, to get a vet involved as animal physiology can be quite different.

  17. i sit at a computer all day i need some help getting more healthier

  18. My parents are much healthier since we began to make vegetable juice and take supplements. However, as they are pensioners, the products are now becoming too expensive. This really is a factor that plays a huge role.

  19. Vitallywell says:

    Remember why they call it “practicing medicine”. Good luck on your natural health journey, it has helped me 3 times where traditional medicine did not.

  20. Murthy Rao says:

    Our healths depends upon the food… Nowadays we are seeking more problems in the food… now 80% of foods have food poisons… so take more vegetables it’ll make healthy people…
    Thank You

  21. Murthy Rao says:

    I support the attitude of your parents toward their illness. I know someone who had been having trouble with his elbow for several months and had gone to the doctor on several occasions.

  22. I know my body more than anybody does. If someone told me that I have a cold when I didn’t have any nasal congestion, I wouldn’t believe him. But I will drink a glass of fresh juice just to make sure that I am really fine. Thanks for this blog. Natural remedies is better as prevention.

  23. I have friends in the medical field and most of them support alternative or herbal medicine. But I like munching on crunchy veggie and fruits more so I just settled on sipping some herbal teas. :)

  24. Cynthia says:

    Thanks for all your info, April– live life with as much positivity and hope as you can muster, and fuel your body with nutrition that comes from whole foods (beware of supplements that are made from petrochemicals… they don’t work any better than what your MD hands out). Prevention is still the best medicine!

  25. Josh says:

    Natural is always better. Naural health as you said is virtually non existent in health care today, so keep bringing this importnat isue to light. I eat as much natural foods as possible and it’s made a huge difference in my energy levels (I’ve never had any major health problems) so I know the differenece it can make.

  26. north sydney says:

    The topic here is pretty interesting.

    As I see many helps the nature, but we should not forget what modern health remidies and techniques have given us.

    No doubt natural remedies are the best for the health because they dont have any side effects. But the selection of those techniques should be according to the modern techniques, as we should first know what is perfect for us. Not just going behind any natural remedy

  27. I think the medical world needs to wake up to the phenomena of natural medication. It has been arround for centuries and even most medications will have some extracts of some kind of natural substance, i mean just look at the benefits of aloe vera alone!

    Power to natural products and medication.

  28. Golf Irons says:

    There are a lot of good and useful things reguarding natural medicine but without man made cures and remidies where would we be today.

  29. Josh says:

    I agree completely, it’s ridiculous what the medical profesion has come to. I feel much healthier when I eat a lot of fruits and vegatables and drink vegetable juice, and I think anybody who tries to eat naturally can attest to the differnece it makes.

  30. Herbal malc says:

    It’s true that you are better off learning about health for yourself through reading and talking; then using doctors as just another resource. They can be valuable; but again they are never going to know as much as you do about yourself. And sometimes they are just plain too narrow in their view.

  31. I find that using natural remedies must be balanced with modern day techniques. For instance, my wife had a traumatic miscarriage at 15 weeks. We tried a few herbs we knew that stop the bleeding, but when things looked serious, we went in to the ER. Good thing we did too, she lost a lot of blood before it was over. All this to say, go natural as much as you can, but don’t be afraid to use other resources either.

  32. steve says:

    great post!!! this is very very useful thanks….

  33. I agree that everyone is responsible for their own health. If this was the case, when you went to the doctor, they might believe what you have to say instead of categorizing you in a cookie cutter box. There is a fine balance of being educated about yourself and being arrogant when talking to a medical professional. Thanks for showing us the way! – Nate

  34. Clyde says:

    Apparently, there is a lot of talk and research being done on how the body digests different food combinations. Certain mixtures of foods cause the body to ingest toxins and this leads to many of the debilitating diseases like what your Mum’s going through. You should look into this for her sake. It might be BS but it might also have some significant credence. It’s new stuff.

  35. Jason says:

    Eating natural foods can also help with anxiety disorders. So many prepackaged foods are packed with hormones and stimulants.

  36. How to detox says:

    Well said – the older I get the more people I know (personally) who have had some kind of nasty side effect (even fatal in at least case with my Grandma) to the drugs they have been prescribed by their doctor. We all need to take responsibility fo rour own health and stop realying on doctors – who ultimately are simply the end “consultant” for the large drup companies.

  37. LA says:

    With the rising cost of health care its no wonder people are trying different ways of staying healthy. High blood pressure runs in my family and we’re trying to combat it naturally to try to break loose from the medications, the prices are outrageous

  38. CharlieDW says:

    Hi April
    Sorry to hear about the problems that your parents have had, but glad to hear that they are making progress. I think that the main problem is that most natural health remedies cannot be patented (being natural), so nobody is willing to spend the enourmous amount of money getting FDA (or other countries equiverlent) approval for it. Only the big pharma can afford this process, which is how they are able to keep the competition from natural remedies at bay. More of this at:

  39. Neeraj says:

    I strongly believe in self-administered natural health that depends on being in touch with your body, mind and emotions. An assessment by someone else might provide useful information but at the end of the day you need to decide what is good for you.

  40. Ken Nickless says:

    There are so many dangerous drugs being prescribed today and I often wonder why people from years gone by lived healthy and happy lives without them. Could it have anything to do with sensible diets, regular exercise and the less stressful existence that prevailed then?

  41. Antioxidants says:

    Sorry to hear of your father.
    Natural therapy has a lot to offer, unfortunately Natural therapy is the last thing on the list that people try.

  42. kpb says:

    I tend to agree with most of the posts here. Alternative medicine and Holistic therapies are becoming more popular daily. Normally when we visit our local doctor or medical practitioner they tend to ask what is wrong and then prescribe antibiotcs or whatever to treat the symptom and from my experience rarely consider what is causing this symptom.
    I am often asked what is holistic … I think if we put a W in front of it and change the word to Wholistic then we think of the word “Whole” and that is exactly what holistic therapies are all about the Whole person “for if we need to find the cure we must look beyond the symptoms”.
    There is no effect without a cause and similarly there is no illness without a cause.
    When we visit an Holistic practitioner they should take a case study and they will or should look at anything and everything that can be that “cause”.
    They will look at our diet and eating habits, what exercise we do, whether we drink or smoke, our work and family situations to ascertain if they are causing any stress (bearing in mind that a lot of illnesses are stress related). They will consider past illnesses, falls or bumps and anything at all that could relate to our present condition. In effect they are looking for the cause of our condition .. oh yes if we have a headache we can take an asprin or paracetamol and the headache may go … for a while. What we have done here is treat the symptom and the relief may be short lived as the cause may not have been corrected. The cause of the headache for instance may be due to spending too long if front of a computer or maybe our eyesight has deteriorated and we need spectacles.
    We can treat the symptom which will continue to return until we have dealt with the cause of our problem.
    There is a saying (I believe by Paracelus the great 16th century physician) which is very true and a good simile “Those who merely treat the effects of a disease(and not the cause)are like those who imagine they can drive away the winter by brushing the snow from the door”

  43. jack says:

    I always believe in natural health. My family doesn’t always rely to see doctors but sometimes we had to. The best thing to cure a disease is early prevention. Exercise, fruits and vegetables, fresh air and clean envrironment.

  44. Tim says:

    The formal medical community is beginning to crack a little on the subject of Alternative Techniques for treating conditions and disease and these are excellent examples of why that is happening. Proof in the pudding.

  45. Rebecca says:

    Jack’s right that healthy living is the best medicine. Working with natural remedies as I do, I think that’s one reason natural remedies are better: they’re not offered as an alternative to good health habits, as is so often the case with drugs.

  46. Natty says:

    yeah, I too believe in natural cures. After delivery of my first baby i faced lots of health problems… arthritis followed by whole body inflammation and after some years muscular pains and cardiac pain… I regained my strength & got rid of all those problems by
    1. 30minutes brisk walk in the morning on empty stomach
    2. Eating fresh food only; no frozen & canned foods or refrigerated food… mostly vegetables & little of non-veg
    3. taking multivitamins & iron & calcium tabs & fish oil tabs
    4. Started with ayurveda natural medicines for rejuvenation
    5. Trying to be stress free… Don’t allow negative thoughts to come in your mind. Moment u realize, your brain is thinking about some bad experiences or depressive thoughts, say NO..NO… & think about something else..something good & refreshing…

    Life is really short & its really very beautiful… so Enjoy every second by having good thoughts & deeds in your life no matter how bad the world is…

    Wish U all the best

  47. Dave says:

    I think we must use natural way to heal the disease :)

  48. Mike McMahon says:

    My aunt and a good friend of ours has MS. Both of them have approached their conditions very differently. My Aunt has followed the alternative approach and just like your mom she does get tired and usually needs to nap at times but she is still on her own two feet. In addition to a number of herbs and vitamins she credits drinking pure water and bathing with filtered water as playing a big part in her over all health.

    Our friend that has MS has relied entirely on the advice of her doctors. She doesn’t have a very good diet and while she isn’t in a wheel chair yet it won’t be long. She has a lot of issue with poor circulation and weight gain. Now she is at the point the getting around with her walker is a real struggle so she doesn’t even get out of her house very much. She won’t have anything to do with alternative healing because she thinks it’s all a bunch of hocus pocus.

    I only wish she would at least try what is working for my Aunt.

  49. I always opt for a natural remedy if at all possible. Sometimes pills are unavoidable tho.

  50. Get a good work out at home with some basic equipment, you don’t need an expensive gym membership.