Alternative Medicine: Many thoughts, many ways

Forgive me for what is bound to be a circuitous blog post. It all started when I was surfing the web (isn’t that how a lot of disjointed thoughts get started?) and realized that a theme has emerged over the last few days: Alternative Medicine. So here’s my attempt to pull together a post on that theme (from all my disjointed thoughts) and I’ll start with the most recent.

Thought 3: Why does this keep happening? And what does it mean?

Did you see that Paula Deen, Georgia’s own queen of “buttah”, has recently announced publicly that she has Type 2 Diabetes? The full-of-life 64 year old was diagnosed 3 years ago. I suppose she chose to announce this now as she will soon become the spokesperson for the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk where she will talk about her life with diabetes and recipes that fit her lifestyle for the company’s “Diabetes in a New Light” program. I wonder what this means for “Paula’s Home Cooking?”

We know that Type 2 Diabetes is a growing problem in the United States and more and more children are being diagnosed with the disease as well. When you read the statistics, you might find yourself wondering what is happening in our food system that is helping to perpetuate this problem. Because, frankly, I believe it is not just the food choices we make but where our food comes from, how it’s made and how it’s altered that could be affecting our health.

Thought 2: Should I? But more importantly, can I?

This week, my husband and I watched the documentary film, Forks over Knives. Have you heard about this? Here’s where the idea of “food is medicine” is explained–and quite well, I should say.

The film follows two doctors (one a researcher and the other a former heart surgeon) who work with patients that are battling chronic conditions from heart disease to diabetes and more. They teach them how to adopt a whole foods, plant-based diet to relieve (and sometimes cure) their ailments. The results are quite astonishing. We soon realized that the aforementioned “knives” is not an eating utensil, but a surgical tool.

Is it possible for us to change our diets (and buying habits) that drastically? I’m pretty close, only a few more steps will take me there, but can I do it?

And can you imagine a world where what you eat actually heals your body? Where supermarkets no longer offer foods that, frankly, may be slowly killing us? Think about a life with no more (or fewer) drugs entering your system…only earthly goodness. Is that possible? (This is where my tendency to be a conspiracy theorist comes in…which is for another post.)

But check out the trailer:

Thought 1: I should check this out. Maybe. I don’t know. Yes, definitely.

You might enjoy (like I did) part one of a two-part series on complementary alternative medicine (CAM) that our friend, Beth Leibson, wrote for As I saw in Forks over Knives, a whole food, plant-based diet is just one avenue, but there are many other options of alternative medicine that Beth describes in her article. She says that cancer survivors are more likely to use complementary medicine than the general population, according to National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Unfortunately, many insurance companies have not yet seen the value that CAM offers to assist in the healing of one’s body (…and mind…and spirit) but hopefully they will soon.

But meditation is free (and Lee shared the benefits of meditation in an earlier post). So we can at least start there with this 15-minute Release and Renew meditation from Alice McCall. Hey, it’s a first step, right?

How many of you have taken a non-traditional approach in regards to your health? Was it beneficial? Did you have resistance from your traditional medical practitioners, or family, or friends? I’d love for you to share your “thoughts” with me.

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