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