Taking an honest look at holistic or homeopathic medicine is not complete without adding the therapy of essential oils.
These Three Concepts Are A Form Of Health Therapy.
Do you know what they are and what to expect if you take part?
It is the old school all natural alternative medicine. It claims to heal the whole body with natural cures.
Common medical treatment focuses on the symptoms of a specific ailment or disease.
Homeopathy is reported to have been created by Samuel Hahnemann in 1796.
The original thought was that the substance that causes disease symptoms in a healthy person, can be the cure for those same symptoms in a sick person.
This is not a subject I have a lot of knowledge about.
What I have learned
Homeopathic remedies are not generally held in high esteem by medical professionals. That is not to say your doctor will advice against them, but rather, your doctor needs to know what you are doing.
There are homeopathic remedies that may have a negative or harmful reaction to prescribed medications.
While the FDA regulates homeopathic remedies, they are not examined for safety or effectiveness.
One point to consider if you are taking a natural or homeopathic remedy. The quantity of the active ingredient may not be what you expect.
One report indicated that many take remedies believing the product is diluted. That assumption may not be true.
In some reports, science has trouble finding any explanation as to how certain remedies can affect a specific disease when the remedy has no active ingredient.
The report says that it defies the fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics.
It is widely believed that homeopathy is a simple form of staying as close to natural as possible.
An example might be taking coconut oil daily to ease digestive discomfort and promote bowel regularity. It is a popular and sensible point of view.
While there are medical therapies for digestive discomfort, natural remedies are common. Metamucile is one example. Certain probiotics is another.
The point that screams to be heard, is that none of the examples have a down side. They are not likely to hurt anyone. Even if they do not work.
The danger lies in two areas. Skipping traditional medical treatment in favor of homeopathic remedies. And having a dangerious interaction between medicine and homeopathic remedies.
Did you know there are some promoting such things as homeopathic immunizations? I am not so sure that most who are taking homeopathic remedies, are substituting immunizations with such remedies.
That is not how I plan to get my annual flu shot.
The low level homeopathic remedies most of us know about does not include the more radical treatments.
There are those who promote all natural, exotic food sources as a cure for such things as cancer. The amounts and types of food products are extreme.
There are other treatments, such as laetrile. There is a growing acceptance of the product, which is in essence cyanide, but it is homeopathic and needs extreme caution and oversight in its administration.
This is a significantly different form of addressing health. It is often thought to be synonymous with homeopathy. They are not the same.
While both refer to treating the ‘whole’ body, they don’t mean it in the same manner.
Holistic therapy has to do with treating the ‘whole’ system rather than individual parts. An attempt to treat the body and the mind as one.
I read that the first reported use of holistic or the root word holism, occurred in 1926. Less than one hundred years ago. Compare that to Homeopathic that goes back to 1796.
The main concept, and this explanation is superficial, has to do with physical ailments and diseases finding their root in the mind.
The third rail of this thinking is spiritual. WebMD added emotions to the mix of holistic medicine.
Holistic practitioners embrace all forms of treatment. From traditional medicines to alternative treatments.
Treatment from a holistic doctor will treat the symptoms to relieve pain. They may then use holistic or alternative therapy to treat the cause.
An example might be a radical change in diet to cure stomach problems, but initial treatments help with the symptoms.
The same concept may treat headaches with medicine for the pain and then begin treatment to reduce stress. The real cause of the head ache.
A treatment for the cause may include a therapy like acupuncture.
Holistic medicine is focused on treating a patient as a whole person rather than a disease. It is a hard concept to wrap my head around, yet I understand the idea of not ignoring everything at the expense of the one thing being treated.
In the depression example, it’s reasonable to believe that a person needs more than medication. It only treats the symptom. The patient likely needs to have treatment for the cause of the depression. Often that would be psychotherapy.
Some how I don’t see that as holistic, but rather good medicine. It is however, explained as an example of a holistic approach to depression.
I sense there’s an attempt to get all touchy feely when thinking and reading about holistic medicine.
I don’t see a cancer patient thinking that pokes, probes, fruits and veggies coupled with sniffing aromatic scents, or needles stuck in their spine as a way to combat a bunch of mutated cells running rampant in their body.
I know of those who recommend a radical treatment to cancer that abandons traditional medicine in favor of an extreme diet said to not be legal in the United States.
Then there is the spiritual part of the whole person that needs attention. Does the holistic approach have a spiritual setting they prefer?
How is the spiritual dimension of the whole person best served?
I have my answer, I hope that you do as well.
Here is another subject I had to research. I am, to say the least, a sceptic.
The first impression I got from the web is a plethora of sites dedicated to selling product. I assume that sites selling essential oils, will have great things to say about them.
The overarching point by those selling oils is the wellness of it. Whether breathing pleasant scents or taking vitamins laces with the healthy oils, all of it is said to be wonderful.
Here is what I am ready to grant.
Being surrounded by pleasant scents may be great for one’s frame of mind. I don’t know how breathing in the scent of peppermint or rosemary is keeping my body healthy.
Some supporting essential oils claim it’s great for everything from repelling bugs to soothing an upset stomach.
It is acknowledged that oils can be harmful to some people. I read of testing oils on a small patch of skin before using the product topically. Some have allergies to the product.
There are other risks. It is reported that children are ingesting oils and suffer poisoning type reactions.
Here is what one report, attributed to Vanderbilt University that said. “Several essential oils such as camphor, clove, lavender, eucalyptus, thyme, tea tree, and wintergreen oils are highly toxic.”
The rule is to understand that the toxic elements is related to dosage. Children being poisoned by essential oils illustrates that even a small accidental dose may be too much for young people.
As we pointed out earlier. Many believe that the oils are diluted and safe. That is not always the case.
The best recommendation comes from a report encouraging that users of essential oils follow the label instructions to the letter. Don’t use it for something not recommended.
Holistic medicine, homeopathic remedies and essential oils with their therapy, may have a place in healthy living.
There is overwhelming advice from all quarters, that whichever concept seems right for you, do not abandon good medicine.
If you are involved in any of these practices, be sure to keep your traditional medical practitioners aware of the treatments you are receiving.
Whether it is aromatic scents, acupuncture, or antioxidants, keep your doctor in the loop.
If you have questions or comments, I would like to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments section below.