My Type Of Medicine

“The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” -Aristotle

Man-Leonardo-da-VinciThe approach that Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy uses to treat his rheumatoid arthritis is very well-defined. I believe in a holistic approach that brings together knowledge from many different perspectives and fields of expertise. (Go Team RA!)

One of the nice things about this method is that the goal of holistic health is a wellness that encompasses the entire self, rather than just the absence of pain or disease.

I have seen holistic health and alternative medicine used interchangeably, but the fact of the matter is that alternative medicine is a subset of the larger whole that is bought together through a holistic approach. For me, my holistic health can – and often does -also  include traditional medical treatments.

Some people choose to use alternative medicine. Other people choose to use traditional medicine. I choose to use both. I guess this is why I am often confused when I read comments that one’s decision about which approach to implement need be an either/or proposition. I also even more confused when battle lines are drawn between these different methods.

During the past five years that I have lived with rheumatoid arthritis, I have tried many different things in my pursuit of trying to lessen the pain and inflammation, and hopefully return to a point of remission. (I did have one year of almost complete remission during this period.)

At times, my personal treatment plan has placed the emphasis on pharmaceutical medicines. At other times, my personal treatment plan has placed the emphasis on natural and alternative medicines. At the moment, my personal treatment plan incorporates all of the above, and has progressed to include meditation and acupuncture.

Each approach worked in its own way, for a certain period of time. As my rheumatoid arthritis has progressed and the symptoms have altered, so too has my treatment of it. I am unwilling to say that one approach worked better than the other…as I said, each one method worked at its own certain time.

For every alternative approach that is quite often shunned and ridiculed, I can name a corresponding traditional medical approach that did either not work for me, and in some cases made things worse with its side effects.

Just as I should not give up all medicines just because one medicine did not work for me, neither should I give up all alternative methods just because one alternative treatment did not work for me.

I, for one, find pleasure in researching rheumatoid treatment options that can be found documented either in the latest medical journal or read in this month’s issue of a body/mind/spirit type of magazine. In a way, I am more concerned with taking care of MYSELF than I am with taking care of my rheumatoid arthritis, and I can only do this by bringing together many different viewpoints.

I respect all points of view, and I am often saddened when certain topics of discussion are either discouraged or outright banned on various online support forums that I have visited in the past. Instead of building a wall between different forms of health treatment, I think we should be bringing them together as a whole.

(As for the sales pitches that all of us have received many times for the miracle pill that will cure you in 30 days, I personally prefer to files these along with my junk mail. Please don’t let these examples cloud your judgment of alternative medicine.)

Here on my blog, I welcome discussion of any type of treatment option for rheumatoid arthritis. More importantly, I look forward to hearing from people what has worked for them. I would much rather try something that doesn’t work, than not try something that does work.

Stay tuned…for the next adventure of Rheumatoid Arthritis Guy!

*****

Some fellow RA blogs that give me encouragement to explore and expand my horizons. The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo , A Journey to Cure Arthritis , and Gentle Hugs Cafe.

6 Comments
6 comments
  1. Linda C says:

    I personally think the most important thing you are doing is that you are making your own decisions. Never give up that right.

  2. Cathy says:

    I think just like everything in life, we each have to follow the path that works best for us as individuals and the more we learn the more we are willing to try. My path first took me down the allopathic route, then an integrative route and finally to an all alternative route which was my goal from the beginning. I love that we can each work through this in a way that best fits our personality and lifestyles.

    Can I ask how long you have been doing accupuncture? I tried it once during a flare-up with good results but start a month or so of it with a new guy on Monday to free my knee of the last of its swelling. I am feeling very optimistic!

  3. Laurie says:

    I have friends who are reiki practitioners. I find that it and energy medicine can help when I am stressed.

  4. RA Guy says:

    Cathy, I did acupuncture in November/December, that worked wonders for some muscles that I damaged in my neck. (I was learning to do headstands in yoga.)

    I started again this past month, and we have been focusing on my ankles, knees, and wrists. The person I visit practices electro-acupuncture, so during my sessions I get immediate relief from a lot of the pain. I complement these sessions with ultrasounds and electrical treatments with my physical therapist.

    I hope your acupuncture helps your knee, please let me what your thoughts are once you start!

    Linda, yes I agree the most important thing for each one of us is to do what works for us.

    Laurie, I’ve been looking into reiki but haven’t started anything yet. An interesting thing, when I have some of the worst pain in my joints, having someone just gently caress these joints with there hands seems to help…

  5. kirstin says:

    I also find that depending on the stage my RA is in (flares, remission), the effect of my therapy varies. I definitely am dependent on my pharmaceuticals but have noticed that the better I treat my body, my RA and body are happier. I have started monitoring my food more closely, and have begun seeing a chiropractor and massage therapist. All of the treatments so far have been worth it. As I have seen positive changes in my overall health.

  6. LindaJoy says:

    I am in the processes of finding out if indeed I have RA. I have had body pain for many years. No one test for RA, with a yes or no, scares me. This gray area of dx and then heavy medication is frightening. How did you know for sure? Are vitamins, Omega 3, or natural herb helpful? Can you live a normal active life with RA? I am full of questions.

    LindaJOY

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