A Look at Change: Growing Blogs, Medicine, and Alternative Medicine

By AltMed1-Peggy  

 

Prompted by the “If I started blogging today, I would…” question that is the May 23 Theme Day topic for bloggers who are participating in the WordCount 2012 Blogathon, today’s topic is a look at change.

 

It is always worthwhile to take time to reassess what’s working and what’s not working, whether the focus is a blog, as it is with today’s theme, or other aspects of work and life, such as adjusting expenditures as goals and income change our personal finance profiles or changing our daily habits as we reassess things we can, should, or might do to maintain and improve our health.

For me, the short answer to the blogging theme question, what I would do if I started blogging today, is keep learning, growing, thinking, acquiring new information, modifying, and evolving.

People who have followed this blog for a while may have noticed new pages have been added while a few old ones went away. Categories have changed a bit as a few new ones were added, a few old ones deleted, and a few expanded or condensed to provide a better framework and organization for the topics covered here. The blog’s overall “voice” has become more casual. And there have been a few other tweaks.

But to me, these are all part of the natural reevaluation and growth process.

And don’t we all do that, whether it’s a conscious effort or just part of living?

After all, nothing is static in life. Things change in our world. Our bodies change. Our attitudes and goals and thoughts change. We discover that things we once though were absolute fact may not be so absolute after all. Some things we “knew” or believed may turn out to have been wrong. Heroes turn out to be flawed. Villains turn out to have redeeming qualities. New information comes along that changes our perceptions and alters what we knew — or thought we knew. Our needs, our desires, our interests, our hopes, our challenges, our goals change and evolve as we go through the stages of life.

That’s how the shift toward acceptance of alternative medicine happened for many of us. Once upon a time we thought conventional medicine could cure every ill, fix every problem, make any ailment “all better.” 

All it took was pill MP900398845[1]or, worst case, an operation and we’d be fine.

I’ve heard people say their doctors tried to tell them they should change their diet, exercise more, stop smoking, curb drinking, or do other things that would improve their health and the response they gave the doctor was a brusque, “Why go to all that trouble? Just give me a pill.”

 

It’s not hard to see why that attitude took hold and lasted so long, even among doctors. After all, didn’t the discovery of wonder drugs cure many once-deadly diseases? Didn’t surgery MP900313990[1] make it possible for cataract-covered eyes to see again and arthritis-crippled joints to walk normally? Didn’t vaccination erase the terror of smallpox and other diseases that once wiped out huge swaths of the population?

Why bother with time-consuming and boring ancient ways when easy-to-use quick-fix new tools worked so well?

In fact, the new tools still work well – for some things. An integrative medicine doctor told me in a telephone interview recently that he still thinks conventional medicine the best choice for acute problems such as a cut, a burn, a broken leg, an infection, but for chronic problems, alternative medicine’s holistic approach offers better results and will save health care dollars, a factor that has taken on even greater importance now as health care costs continue to soar higher and higher.

The fact that the field of integrative medicine exists is a hopeful sign because it means medicine as a whole is recognizing that the conventional approach can’t cure everything so let’s put everything on the table and use whichever approach works best for the problem at hand.

And at the same time, researchers are getting the funding they need to conduct studies to find out whether alternative medicine treatments work, and how to use those treatments safely, for maximum benefit to the patient. The evidence those studies add to the body of medical literature will help in many ways. Insurance companies looking for the most cost-effective methods of treating health problems have already begun to make the shift by expanding their coverage to include evidence-based alternative therapies.

That’s why questions like the one posed for this Theme Day are useful…because assessing and reassessing can spur improvement, whether it’s for a blog like this one, or our whole system of health care.

© 2012, all rights reserved.

(Images courtesy of Microsoft Office)


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