Is Alternative Medicine Something I Should Consider?


If you are relying on conventional medicine to support your health, you may want to think again. Between 1983 and 1992 alone, between 90,000 and 110,000 Americans died from reactions to prescription drugs, while in the same period not a single person died from an herb. Alternative medicine is growing in popularity, and there are a lot of reasons why. In fact, there are as many different reasons as the people that are interested. There are so many people just in the United States alone, that can’t use conventional medicine because they don’t have insurance, or because they can’t afford it, or because they have had a negative experience, or simply because when they have tried to address a health issue they’ve been told that nothing is wrong.

Alternative medicine is simply stepping away from the sickness industry and truly taking charge of your own health. No one knows your body as well as you do, and therefore no one has the ability to change your health and your life except you. You also have the right to make decisions regarding the treatments you want to receive and you have the right to ask as many questions as you need to in order to make those decisions.

Remember that doctors are giving you their opinion, and that is limited to their experience, their knowledge and their philosophy. This is true of any health care provider, advisor, doctor or practitioner. So until something rings true for you, don’t make the decision, however long it takes.

And if you are relying on a prescription drug, please note that during 1983-1992 between 90,000 and 110,000 Americans died from reactions to prescription drugs. Another 320 died from over the counter drugs; three people died from dietary supplements and not a single person died from herbs, even Kava or St. John’s Wort.

So if you’re beginning to think twice, then the following statistics may make you stop dead in your tracks and think about the wisdom of just taking your doctor’s word for something, particularly when your gut says you’re not ready to say yes just yet...

"150,000 to 300,000 Americans are injured or killed each year because of medical negligence (i.e., mistreated diseases, surgeries, drug reactions, misprescribed drugs)." — Wall Street Journal, Jan. 13, 1993

"Iatrogenic diseases, generally defined as diseases that result from a physician’s action or in response to a drug, are believed to be a major problem in terms of morbidity and hospital expense." — Journal of the Amer. Medical Assoc., 12.12.80

"Over a million patients are injured in hospitals each year, and approximately 180,000 die annually as a result of these injuries. Therefore, the iatrogenic injury rate dwarfs the annual automobile accident mortality of 45,000 and accounts for more deaths than all other accidents combined." — Journal of the Amer. Medical Assoc., 7.5.95

"Current research suggests that 36% of physician visits are unnecessary; 36% of hospital admissions are caused by side effects from other medical treatments; 53% of surgeries are unnecessary; and half of all time spent in hospitals isn’t medically indicated." — Let’s Live, February, 1995

"Each year, nearly 2 million people in the United States come down with an infection in the hospital they didn’t have when they entered; more than 80,000 of these die." — Let’s Live, June, 1995

"Errors in judgment or technique concerning either the anesthesia or the surgery, or a combination of the two, contribute to close to 50% of the mortality in the operating room." — Dr. James Mannis, "Cheating Fate," Health, April 6, 1992

" Stanford University doctors compared the effects of chemotherapy to doing nothing in patients with slow growing tumors of the lymph nodes. The patients whose treatment was deferred for years did just as well as patients who immediately received expensive and unpleasant chemotherapy. Nineteen of the 83 (or 23%) experienced spontaneous remission lasting four months to six years. A review of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded, "... deferring treatment ... may allow for spontaneous regression of the disease." "- Cheating Fate," Health, April 6, 1992

"Chemotherapy and radiation can increase the risk of developing a second cancer by up to 100 times, according to Dr. Samuel S. Epstein. -- Congressional Record, Sept. 9, 1987 "Of every 1000 American women getting mammograms each year between the ages of 40 and 50, 345 will receive false positive results, often with unnecessary intervention as the result." — New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 11, 1993

"Harvard researchers studied hospital records from the state of New York over a one year period. They estimated that more than 13,000 New Yorkers were killed and 2500 were permanently disabled due to medical care. More than 51% were blamed on medical negligence." — New England Journal of Medicine, Feb. 7, 1991